Joe Biden boils LGBT+ rights down to the absolute simplest terms

Lily Wakefield May 17, 2021
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Joe Biden

Joe Biden. (Getty/ Win McNamee)

Joe Biden has vowed to “always stand with the LGBT+ community” on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT).

IDAHOBIT is observed around the world on 17 May “to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics”.

While the day was, unsurprisingly, never acknowledged by Donald Trump, Biden has issued a statement on IDAHOBIT, promising to continue working for better LGBT+ human rights “in all corners of the world”. 

He said: “Jill and I are proud to recognise the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia — the anniversary of the day in 1990 when the World Health Organization took the long overdue step of declassifying ‘homosexuality’ as a mental disorder.

“So much has changed for the LGBT+ community since that day — not only in our laws, but in the hearts and minds of the American people.

“Courageous activists in America and around the world have championed progress, and won.

“Here at home, marriage equality and greater protections against hate crimes are the law of the land. Overseas, foreign governments, civil societies, and international organisations like the United Nations finally recognise that LGBT+ people are deserving of the full measure of dignity and equality.”

While Biden celebrated the progress that’s been made for LGBT+ rights, he also highlighted the massive amount of work still to be done.

He continued: “COVID-19 and rising authoritarianism around the world continue to widen economic, social, and safety gaps for LGBT+ people — and an epidemic of violence still rages, with a particular impact on the transgender community, specifically transgender women and girls of colour.

“Around the world, some 70 countries still criminalise same-sex relationships. And here at home, LGBT+ Americans still lack basic protection in 25 states, and they continue to face discrimination in housing, education, and public services.”

Biden promised: “My administration will always stand with the LGBT+ community.

“Already, we have rolled back discriminatory polices targeting LGBT+ Americans, and we have made historic appointments of LGBT+ individuals to the highest levels of our government.

“We continue to implement my executive orders to advance equality and equity. And I continue to urge Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would confirm critical civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for all Americans.

“Everyone is entitled to dignity and equality, no matter who they are, whom they love, or how they identify — and we will continue to engage with allies and partners to advance the human rights of LGBT+ people here at home and in all corners of the world.”

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