We are officially halfway through the first year of the Biden-Harris administration.
Among other issues, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris ran on a platform promising progress for LGBTQ equality and civil rights. Although the Equality Act remains stuck in the Senate and Republicans are obstructing pro-LGBTQ progress across the country, the White House still has the ability to reverse past anti-LGBTQ policies and advocate for equality.
To ensure that the White House is doing just that, GLAAD launched the Biden Equality Accountability Tracker (BEAT) on the 50th day of the Biden-Harris administration, and has continuously updated it since then.
Currently, GLAAD counts at least 65 moves that “affect LGBTQ people and rights,” with all of them having positive effects for LGBTQ people — especially in contrast to the nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ actions that they counted over the four years of the Trump-Pence administration.
Those include tweets, appointments, executive orders and policy decisions since Biden and Harris took office on January 20 – 182 days ago. They also include some of Biden’s appointments made since taking office, like Dr. Rachel Levine, Gina Ortiz-Jones, Shawn Skelly, and Sue Fulton.
Further appointments announced prior to Biden taking office or other executive hires are listed separately. Those include Ned Price as the spokesperson for the Secretary of State, Karine Jean-Pierre as Deputy Press Secretary, Pili Tobar as Deputy Communications Director to the White House, Carlos Elizondo as the White House Social Secretary, Emmy Ruiz as the White House Director of Political Strategy and Outreach, and Gautam Raghavan as the Deputy Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel.
Among out individuals, there is also Stuart F. Delery, Deputy Counsel to the President; Brendan Cohen, the President’s social media manager; Reggie Greer, the Director of Priority Placement and Senior Advisor on LGBTQ Issues to the President; Arlando Teller, deputy assistant secretary of Tribal Affairs in the Department of Transportation under Secretary Buttigieg; and Jeff Marootian, Special Assistant to the President for Climate and Science Agency Personnel.
See the current list of pro-LGBTQ actions below, and continue to follow GLAAD as they update the list and LGBTQ Nation as we bring you the latest updates.
- July 2, 2021: The Biden administration announces the nomination of Chantale Wong as U.S. director of the Asian Development Bank. If confirmed, Wong would become the first openly lesbian ambassador.
- June 30, 2021: The White House hosts a virtual event featuring transgender and nonbinary leaders, athletes and youth speaking out about the impact of state legislation and their experiences of intersecting forms of discrimination. The event was hosted by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and included other federal officials such as Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and his transgender cousin Alex, Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, Virginia State Representative Danica Roem, Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride, and Kansas Rep. Stephanie Byers. GLAAD 20 Under 20 honorees Sameer Jha, Stella Keating, Gia Parr, and Ashton Mota, and Changing The Game’s Sarah Rose Huckman also participated.
- June 30, 2021: The State Department announces a new rule to create a gender marker on passports and other official federal documents for people who identify as nonbinary or intersex. In a statement, the State Department also indicated it would remove requirements such as medical certification: “The Department has begun moving towards adding a gender marker for non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons applying for a passport or CRBA. We are evaluating the best approach to achieve this goal.”
- June 29, 2021: President Biden tweets support for the LGBTQ community and links to video testimonials from LGBTQ leaders, including GLAAD 20 Under 20 honoree Ashton Mota. “To LGBTQ+ folks across the country — no matter where you are on your journey — know you are loved and accepted just as you are.”
To LGBTQ+ folks across the country — no matter where you are on your journey — know you are loved and accepted just as you are. pic.twitter.com/e0vpSBkwFV
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 29, 2021
- June 25, 2021: President Biden commemorates Pride Month with speeches in the East Room of the White House. With LGBTQ Nation and community leaders among the invited guests, out Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and GLAAD “20 Under 20” honoree Ashton Mota gave opening remarks before introducing President Biden.Biden said: “Our presence here this afternoon makes a simple, strong statement: Pride is back at the White House.”
- June 25, 2021: Right before the Pride Month celebration, President Biden signs a bill designating the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as a national memorial at a White House ceremony. Pulse is “A place of acceptance and joy became a place of unspeakable pain and loss. We’ll never fully recover, but we’ll remember,” President Biden said. “May no president ever have to sign another monument like this.” Pictures of the 49 people killed at the Pulse nightclub were displayed at the White House signing ceremony.
- June 25, 2021: President Biden also signs an executive order to strengthen the federal workforce and urge diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in recruiting federal workers “to achieve a work force from all segments of society.” LGBTQ people are among those from underserved communities to be recruited, hired, promoted and served as those “who have been systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic, social, and civic life.”
- June 25, 2021: President Biden issues a new statement of support for The Equality Act: “Millions of Americans lack basic non-discrimination protections just because of who they are or whom they love. President Biden believes that every American must be able to live freely, openly, and safely. That’s why he continues to call on the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act, legislation which will provide long overdue federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families, while strengthening some key civil rights laws for people of color, women, people with disabilities, and people of faith.”
- June 25, 2021: The State Department raises the Progress Pride flag at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley were among those who helped raise the flag, noting it is the first time a flag recognizing the LGBTQ community will fly there.Secretary Sherman also remembered the “lavender scare,” when nearly 1,000 State Department personnel lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation. “As much as progress we have made, as we are celebrating today, we still have to work to do to guarantee equality for LGBTQI+ people in our workplaces, in our schools, at the Department of State, in our government and in our society,” Secretary Sherman said.“We raise the Progress flag today as a signal to people everywhere that the United States is firmly committed to doing that work and for fighting for LGBTQI+ people at home and everywhere,” added Sherman.
- June 25, 2021: President Biden appoints Jessica Stern as the U.S. Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons. The White House released a statement recognizing the threat against LGBTQ people worldwide and the envoy’s work ahead: “At a time when the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons are increasingly threatened in all regions of the world, the Special Envoy will bring together like-minded governments, civil society organizations, corporations and international organizations to uphold dignity and equality for all.”
- June 19, 2021: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces it will offer gender confirming surgery for transgender veterans. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the decision allows “transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side… we’re making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do, but because they can save lives.”There are an estimated 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S. and another 15,000 transgender people serving in the armed forces.
- June 17, 2021: The Department of Justice (DOJ) files statement of interest against West Virginia’s new law that bans transgender students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. The DOJ advises that it violates Title IX of the Educational Amendment of 1972 and violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
- June 16, 2021: The Department of Education (DOE) reveals its intent to announce protections for LGBTQ students by issuing an opinion on Title IX, which bans discrimination “on the basis of sex” in schools. “We just want to double down on our expectations,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told the New York Times. “Students cannot be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.”
- June 16, 2021: Presidential nominees and out military veterans Gina Ortiz Jones and Shawn Skelly testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Jones is President Biden’s nominee for Under Secretary of the Air Force. She will be the first out lesbian and first woman of color to serve as under secretary of a military branch if confirmed. Jones would be the second highest civilian official in the Air Force, overseeing hundreds of thousands of personnel and a budget of hundreds of billions of dollars.Shawn Skelly is nominated for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness. If confirmed, she will be the highest-ranking out transgender defense official in U.S. history.
- June 7, 2021: Vice President Harris, in her first overseas trip in office, meets with LGBTQ advocates in Guatemala. Vice President Harris acknowledged vulnerable communities they work with in her remarks before the roundtable meeting: “When we met last time, I was so moved to hear about the work that you have been doing, the work that has been about helping women and children, indigenous, LGBTQ, Afro-descendants, people who have long been overlooked or neglected.”Visibles of Guatemala tweeted: “Today we participated in a meeting with the vice president of the United States to talk about development opportunities for Guatemala and the search for inclusive justice. We, as an organization, spoke about the importance of addressing discrimination and acts of violence towards LGBTIQ+ people.”
Hoy participamos en una reunión con la @VP de Estados Unidos para hablar sobre oportunidades de desarrollo para Guatemala y la búsqueda de justicia inclusiva. Como organización remarcamos la importancia de abordar la discriminación y hechos de violencia hacia las personas LGBTIQ+ pic.twitter.com/cKcTs3qKTL
— Visibles (@visibles_gt) June 8, 2021
- June 7, 2021: President Biden tweets: “To transgender Americans across the country — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know your President has your back. During Pride Month — and all the time.”
To transgender Americans across the country — especially the young people who are so brave — I want you to know your President has your back.
During Pride Month — and all the time.
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 7, 2021
- June 5, 2021: President Biden acknowledges the 40th anniversary of the first HIV/AIDS cases to be diagnosed. An official statement from the White House recognizes the devastation and announces new additional funding: “… more than 700,000 Americans and 32.7 million people worldwide have been lost to AIDS-related illnesses – a heartbreaking human toll that has disproportionately devastated LGBTQ+ communities, communities of color, and underserved and marginalized people around the world…”I have requested $670 million from Congress, an increase of $267 million over previous levels, to aggressively reduce new HIV cases by increasing access to treatment, expanding the use of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and ensuring equitable access to services free from stigma and discrimination.”
- June 4, 2021: Pride flags are raised over the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Energy for the first time. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted: “Throughout the Department of @ENERGY, members of the LGBTQ+ community are our neighbors, friends, family, and colleagues, and world-leading scientists.”
Today, for the first time, @ENERGY is flying the LGBTQ+ Pride flag loud and proud. 🏳️🌈 This #PrideMonth, we proudly stand in solidarity and allyship with the LGBTQ+ community. 1/ pic.twitter.com/9O5InOcCCP
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) June 2, 2021
Regrettably, still today, they are underrepresented in our workforce, in the broader scientific community, and face discrimination across our country. 3/
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) June 2, 2021
We’re humbled by the triumphs of the trailblazers that came before, and at @ENERGY we’re fighting to ensure that the clean energy future we’re striving for is an equitable one. 4/4
— Secretary Jennifer Granholm (@SecGranholm) June 2, 2021
Homeland Security tweeted: “Today @SecMayorkas raised the #pride flag at our headquarters for the first time. Flying over our DC campus, this flag is a symbol of our commitment to our LGBTQ+ employees and the whole community.”
Flying over our DC campus, this flag is a symbol of our commitment to our LGBTQ+ employees and the whole community. pic.twitter.com/Bg8OXTPq85
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) June 4, 2021
- June 1, 2021: The U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) and the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweets statement for Pride: “The struggle to end violence, discrimination, criminalization, and stigma against LGBTQI+ people is a global challenge that deserves a global response. This Pride Month and every month, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or whom they love.”
The struggle to end violence, discrimination, criminalization, and stigma against LGBTQI+ people is a global challenge that deserves a global response. This Pride Month and every month, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect no matter who they are or whom they love. https://t.co/iYmAmNNNVq
— Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield (@USAmbUN) June 1, 2021
- June 1, 2021: The State Department issues a statement for Pride month.“The Department has committed to increasing U.S. engagement on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) human rights issues abroad.”Embassies, including the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, and other embassies in countries where LGBTQ rights are not recognized, raise and fly Pride flags. The Embassy to the Holy See in Vatican City tweeted: “The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights.”
The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See celebrates #PrideMonth with the Pride flag on display during the month of June. The United States respects the dignity and equality of LGBTQI+ people. LGBTQI+ rights are human rights. pic.twitter.com/Xentlnr16E
— U.S. in Holy See (@USinHolySee) June 1, 2021
- June 1, 2021: President Biden issues a proclamation on first day of Pride, recognizing progress for LGBTQ Americans and recommitting to solidarity for equality: “Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality. Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity. This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.”
- May 26, 2021: Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre becomes the first out gay woman to lead the White House daily press briefing, and the first Black woman to do so in thirty years. Jean-Pierre led the briefing by announcing that the Senate had confirmed Kristen Clarke as the first woman and first woman of color to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.Jean-Pierre acknowledged her historic moment and her role serving the country: “It’s a real honor to be standing here today. I appreciate the historic nature, I really do. But I believe that being behind this podium, being in this room, being in this building, is not about one person. It’s about what we do on behalf of the American people.”
- May 26, 2021: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is announced as the keynote speaker at an annual Pentagon event recognizing Pride Month. The Washington Blade reports the event theme is “Respect, Dignity and Service,” and the announcement describes the event as “crucial to ensuring continued LGBT visibility as we continue to work toward greater equality in the workplace.” No Defense Secretary had appeared at the Pride event during the previous administration.
- May 18, 2021: U.S. State Department announces it will grant citizenship to babies born abroad to married couples with at least one American parent: “Children born abroad to parents, at least one of whom is a U.S. citizen and who are married to each other at the time of the birth, will be U.S. citizens from birth if they have a genetic or gestational tie to at least one of their parents and meet the INA’s [Immigration and Nationality Act] other requirements.”Previously, the Department’s interpretation and application of the INA required that children born abroad have a genetic or gestational relationship to a U.S. citizen parent.” The new policy ensures American and binational couples who use surrogates or other reproductive assistance to give birth overseas can pass along citizenship to their children. A previously enforced policy required a child born abroad have a biological connection to an American parent to receive citizenship at birth, a distinction that was applied unfairly to same-sex couples, several of whom sued the State Department when their child was not recognized as a U.S. citizen.
- May 17, 2021: President Biden issues a statement commemorating International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB): “Around the world, some 70 countries still criminalize same-sex relationships. And here at home, LGBTQI+ Americans still lack basic protection in 25 states, and they continue to face discrimination in housing, education, and public services. My Administration will always stand with the LGBTQI+ community.”
- May 10, 2021 Announces Department of Health and Human Services will once again prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by healthcare organizations that receive federal funding. Reverses policy rollback the previous administration had announced on June 12, 2020, four years to the day of the Pulse nightclub shooting that killed 49 people, most of whom were LGBTQ.
In The First 100 Days:
- April 28, 2021: President Biden urges passage of the Equality Act and affirms support for transgender American, in his first presidential address to Congress. “I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans. To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back,” he said.First Lady Dr. Jill Biden invites transgender teenager Stella Keating to her “virtual guest box.” Keating was the first transgender teenager to testify before a Senate committee at a hearing for the Equality Act in March.
Join me as we recreate the tradition (virtually!) of hosting guests for tonight's speech. https://t.co/YLkJ9owtzM
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) April 28, 2021
- April 28, 2021: Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power is confirmed as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is also a vocal champion of LGBTQ rights.“People are suffering terribly around the world simply because of who they love and who they are,” Power told the Washington Blade during a 2017 interview. “Their own horizons are bounded. Their own travel plans are constricted because these rights are violated so blatantly and so brutally around the world.”
- April 27, 2021: President Biden announces intention to nominate out veteran Gina Ortiz-Jones as Under Secretary of the Air Force. From the White House announcement: “A member of the LGBTQ community, Ms. Jones served under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ Upon separation from the Air Force, Ms. Jones advised on military operations in Central and South America with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and U.S. Army South. She joined the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) as an inaugural member of U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany and served in the Libya Crisis Intelligence Cell.”
- April 26, 2021: Vice President Harris acknowledges violence against LGBTQ people as a root cause of migration to the U.S., in meeting with President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala.VP Harris said: “We are looking at the issue of poverty and the lack, therefore, of economic opportunities; the issue of extreme weather conditions and the lack of climate adaptation; as well as corruption and the lack of good governance; and violence against women, Indigenous people, LGBTQ people, and Afro-descendants. And we want to work with you to address both the acute causes as well as the root causes in a way that will bring hope to the people of Guatemala that there will be an opportunity for them if they stay at home.”
- April 23, 2021: State Department will allow U.S. missions overseas to once again fly Pride flags on their official flagpoles, according to an internal State Department cable obtained by ABC News. The policy, announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, repeals his predecessor Mike Pompeo’s effective ban on Pride flags flying at U.S. embassies and consulates.
- April 23, 2021: Announces intentions to nominate West Point graduate Army veteran and out lesbian Sue Fulton for Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs in the Department of Defense (DOD). Fulton helped push for the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”The White House statement says: “Fulton founded and led SPARTA to successfully end the transgender ban, while at the same time providing counsel to Army leaders on removing the combat exclusion rule and integrating women in the combat arms. In 2011, President Obama appointed her as the first openly gay member of the West Point Board of Visitors, and she was later elected Chair (twice) with strong bipartisan support. During 8 years on the Board, she successfully advocated for significant increases in admissions of Black, Latino, and women cadets.”
- April 23, 2021: Announces intentions to nominate Shawn Skelly, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Readiness, Department of Defense. Skelly served 20+ years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Flight Officer, retiring from active duty as a Commander. The White House statement notes that Skelly “is Vice President and Co-Founder of Out in National Security, a member of the Atlantic Council’s LGBTI Advisory Council, and a member of the Service Year Alliance Leadership Council.” If confirmed by the Senate, Skelly would be the highest-ranking defense official who is openly transgender.
- April 22, 2021: Dept. of Justice files a statement of interest on behalf of Ashley Diamond, a Black trans woman and activist for the rights of incarcerated people. Diamond is suing Georgia’s Dept. of Corrections for being imprisoned and housed with men, where she was harassed and sexually assaulted.The statement says “The United States submits that the Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to conduct individualized assessments that lead to reasonably safe conditions of confinement and adequate medical care for all prisoners” and that prison officials violate both the U.S. Constitution and the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) by “categorically refusing to assign transgender prisoners to housing that corresponds to their gender identity even if an individualized risk assessment indicates that doing so is necessary to mitigate a substantial risk of serious harm, and [by] failing to individualize the medical care of transgender prisoners for the treatment of gender dysphoria.”
- April 22, 2021: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formally withdraws Trump-era proposed rule change to reaffirm the right of transgender people to seek shelters matching their gender identity.HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said: “Access to safe, stable housing-and shelter-is a basic necessity. Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
- April 12, 2021: President Biden announces his intention to nominate Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus as the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Magnus would be the first openly gay CBP commissioner. The White House statement notes: “He received his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and his master’s degree in Labor Relations from Michigan State University. Magnus attended the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. He has been with his husband, Terrance Cheung, for 15 years.”
- April 8, 2021 President Biden acknowledges survivors and the loss of LGBTQ lives at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando nearly five years ago while announcing policies to address gun violence.
President Biden calls out @bjoewolf and Pulse Nightclub in his remarks from the rose garden. Today's executive action on guns is a necessary first step in our fight to #HonorThemWithAction 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/SWLN8nqXYF
— Michael Womack (@MichaelPWomack) April 8, 2021
- March 31, 2021: The Department of Defense issues policy updates allowing transgender Americans to once again serve openly in the military: “The revised policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or an individual’s identification as transgender, provide a means by which to access into the military in one’s self-identified gender provided all appropriate standards are met, provide a path for those in service for medical treatment, gender transition, and recognition in one’s self-identified gender, and seeks to protect the privacy of all Service members and to treat all Service members with dignity and respect.” The new policy will be effective April 30, 2021.
- March 31, 2021: President Biden issues a statement proclaiming March 31, 2021, Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV), which “recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world.”Biden is the first president to issue such a proclamation. Transgender Day of Visibility was first recognized in 2009.
- March 26, 2021: Department of Justice Civil Rights Division issues memo that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bostock decision expanding protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace can be extended to Title IX claims.“I hope this memorandum provides a starting point for your agencies to ensure the consistent and robust enforcement of Title IX, in furtherance of the commitment that every person should be treated with respect and dignity,” says the memo from Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan.
- March 24, 2021: Dr. Rachel Levine becomes first out transgender presidential nominee to be confirmed by the Senate. Dr. Levine is Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the highest-ranking transgender federal official.
- March 8, 2021: On International Women’s Day, President Biden signs executive order to guarantee all students “an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
- March 8, 2021: President Biden creates Gender Policy Council with the goal of advancing equality and equity for women and girls, and ensure the federal government works to advance equal rights and opportunity, regardless of gender or gender identity. The executive order includes LGBTQ people as among those who “suffer discrimination based on multiple factors, including membership in an underserved community.”
- March 2, 2021: Gina Raimondo is sworn in as the Secretary of Commerce. As the first female governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo signed a bill updating the state’s parenting and adoption laws saying, “No parent should have to jump through hoops to receive legal recognition because of their sexual orientation or the circumstances of their child’s birth.”Gov. Raimondo also restored veterans benefits to military veterans discharged because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and signed a law banning so-called “conversion therapy.”
- March 1, 2021: Miguel Cardona is confirmed as Secretary of Education. Cardona, a former public school teacher, principal and administrator, upheld the rights of transgender students during his confirmation hearing: “I think it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and this includes students who are transgender… I believe schools should offer the opportunity for students to engage in extracurricular activities, even if they’re transgender. I think that’s their right.”
- March 1, 2021: Vice President Harris tweets: “Women make history every day. Some we know—the Suffragettes, the Riveters. The stories of others—especially women of color and LGBTQ women—have gone untold. This Women’s History Month, we honor these women and all women.
Women make history every day. Some we know—the Suffragettes, the Riveters. The stories of others—especially women of color and LGBTQ women—have gone untold. This Women’s History Month, we honor these women and all women.
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) March 2, 2021
- February 25, 2021: Dr. Rachel Levine becomes the first presidential appointee to undergo a Senate confirmation hearing. Levine discussed her record in public health, pediatric care, and the battles against opioid addiction and Covid-19. Levine also endured invasive and transphobic questioning from Sen. Rand Paul during the hearing.
- February 25, 2021: President Biden tweets: “Transgender rights are human rights — and the House made that clear today by passing the Equality Act. Now it’s time for the Senate to do the same.”
Transgender rights are human rights — and the House made that clear today by passing the Equality Act.
Now it's time for the Senate to do the same.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 26, 2021
- February 24, 2021 Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces that the United States intends to seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, promising to pursue a policy to advance gender equality, uplift the rights of women, and end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
In seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, @SecBlinken promises to pursue a policy to advance gender equality, uplift the rights of women, and end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. https://t.co/mDuLzOJ1kx
— GLAAD (@glaad) February 24, 2021
- February 22, 2021: Linda Thomas-Greenfield is confirmed as the US Ambassador to the UN. Amb. Thomas-Greenfield’s record includes advancing LGBTQ rights in 2012 as Ambassador to Liberia, where she deployed “gumbo diplomacy,” inviting the minister of information and local LGBTQ youth to dinner in effort to lower the risk of LGBTQ harassment.
- February 19, 2021: President Biden issues statement regarding the introduction of the Equality Act in Congress and to urge its passage: “Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society. The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems – and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law.”
- February 11, 2021: The Department of Housing and Urban Development implements LGBTQ protections in housing, becoming first federal agency to implement Pres. Biden’s executive order to interpret Supreme Court Bostock ruling and include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes under ban on sex discrimination.
- February 10, 2021: President Biden appoints 12 professionals to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, created to address COVID-19 inequities, according to “race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors.”
- February 10, 2021: President Biden agrees to a temporary stay ordered in DC District Court, preventing last-minute Trump administration rollback of LGBTQ protections at agencies receiving HHS funding, including shelters, medical services and senior services.
- February 9, 2021: Press Secretary Jen Psaki responds to a reporter’s question about trans policy in the daily briefing, saying, “The president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights.”
- February 5, 2021: The CDC issues a report on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Americans, including increased risk for severe symptoms and long-term complications. The report specifically points to the lack of LGBTQ inclusion in data collection and recommends that sexual orientation and gender identity be added to collection efforts.
- February 4, 2021: President Biden issues executive memo on advancing LGBTQ human rights around the world. The memo directs all agencies “engaged abroad” to consider the implications of LGBTQ rights in funding and policy, increases protections for LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, proposes combating criminalization of LGBTQ people in foreign nations, and directs agencies to file reports on LGBTQ human rights directives within 180 days.
- February 3, 2021: President Biden issues a proclamation for National Teen Dating and Violence Awareness and Prevention Month to address higher rates of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) among young women, trans and gender nonconforming youth, saying dating violence “transcends gender…and sexual orientation.”
- January 30, 2021: Tweets: “Over the last 10 days, I’ve taken action on: – COVID-19 – The economy – Climate change – Racial equity – Immigration – Health care – LGBTQ+ rights. And I’m just getting started.”
Over the last 10 days, I’ve taken action on:
– The economy
– Climate change
– Racial equity
– Health care
– LGBTQ+ rights
And I’m just getting started.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 30, 2021
- January 26, 2021: President Biden directs HUD to review and assess Trump-era regulatory changes, citing housing discrimination against LGBTQ, people of color, immigrants and people with disabilities. Directs HUD to assess Fair Housing Act practices.
- January 25, 2021: President Biden revokes Trump’s 2018 ban on transgender military personnel and recruits. He tweets: “Today, I repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military. It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride.”
Today, I repealed the discriminatory ban on transgender people serving in the military. It’s simple: America is safer when everyone qualified to serve can do so openly and with pride.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 25, 2021
- January 21, 2021: President Biden signs executive order to increase COVID-19 equitable data collection, pointing to lack of tracking data in underserved communities that are disproportionately impacted, specifically citing lack of data collection for LGBTQ people. Biden establishes the COVID-19 Equity Task Force to assess whether resources have been allocated equitably, and strengthen anti-discrimination efforts.
- January 20, 2021: The Biden administration unveils changes to White House website contact form to include the addition of pronoun fields, now with they/them nonbinary pronouns and new additions to prefix field (Mx. added).
- January 20, 2021: President Biden signs an executive order directing the federal government to “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all,” specifically citing LGBTQ people among the list of underserved communities. Directs the Domestic Policy Council to “coordinate efforts to embed equity principles, policies, and approaches across the Federal Government” in coordination with the NSC and the National Economic Council.
- Biden directs the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to assess equity and launch model and pilot programs as needed, and allocate budget resources. He also directs all federal agencies to conduct 200-day assessments of systemic barriers to agency services for underserved populations and to engage with stakeholder and advocacy groups. He establishes the Equitable Data Working Group.
- January 20, 2021: President Joe Biden signs executive order that directs all federal agencies to implement the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision and interpreting the federal ban on sex discrimination (via the Civil Rights Act 1964) to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The order points to ending discrimination against transgender youth in school facilities including restrooms, locker rooms, and access to sports programs.