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Joe Biden promises mother of trans child he will ‘flat out change the law’ to reverse Trump’s hateful transphobia

Emma Powys Maurice October 16, 2020
Joe Biden

Joe Biden was unequivocal in his support for trans rights at the ABC town hall in Philadelphia (ABC)

Joe Biden was finally given a chance to answer a question about LGBT+ issues on national television, and his answer was a reassuringly unambiguous pledge to “eliminate” Donald Trump’s discriminatory policies.

On Thursday evening’s (October 15) ABC town hall in Philadelphia, the Democratic presidential hopeful was quizzed on how he’d protect the lives and rights of LGBT+ people.

The question came from Mieke Haeck, a physical therapist and “proud mom” of two girls aged eight and 10, the youngest of whom is transgender.

She explained how the Trump administration has “attacked the rights of transgender people”, highlighting the discriminatory transgender military ban, the weakening of non-discrimination protections and removal of the word “transgender” from government websites.

“How will you, as president, reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under US law?” Haeck asked.

“I will flat out just change the law,” Biden replied without hesitation. “Eliminate those executive orders, number one.”

Joe Biden reflects on his father teaching him not to discriminate.

Biden explained how his father raised him not to discriminate against LGBT+ people, recalling an occasion from his youth when he saw a gay couple kissing as he went to get a lifeguard application.

“I turned to my dad, my dad looked at me and said: ‘It’s simple, they love each other,'” Biden said.

Returning to Haek’s daughter, he continued: “The idea that an eight-year-old child or 10-year-old child decides, you know, ‘I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I decided I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier’. There should be zero discrimination.

“And what’s happening is, too much transgender women of colour are being murdered, they’re being murdered.”

When Joe Biden suggested the number of transgender homicides so far this year was 17, Haeck indicated it was higher – the total now being at least 33, making 2020 the deadliest year for trans people since records began.

Biden concluded: “I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied to your daughters… that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None. Zero.”

Haeck wasn’t the only voter who raised concern about LGBT+ issues. Another questioner asked if the LGBT+ community should be worried about Amy Coney Barrett‘s Supreme Court nomination leading to an erosion of rights.

“I think there’s great reason to be concerned,” Biden warned.

“My reading online of what the judge said was that she didn’t answer very many questions at all. I don’t even think she has laid out much of a judicial philosophy in terms the basis upon which she thinks are the basic unenumerated rights of the constitution itself, number one.

“So I think there’s great reason to be concerned for the LGBT community,” Biden continued. “[LGBT+ rights are] something I fought for, for a very long time there was equality across the board.”

More: Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump, joe biden, town hall, trans military ban

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