by Mihika Kapoor
On the 25th of January, Biden signed a re-appeal on the transgender military ban alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
In the first few days in office, US President Biden has signed documents and policies in favour of the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. The transgender military ban was invoked during Trump’s Presidency along with several other derogatory and discriminatory practices. From casual interviews with American citizens (including members of the LGBTQ+ community and other minorities), it can be deduced that the Americans believe Biden will implement laws to promote equality. One of these presidential rulings was to issue an executive order barring workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Besides this, Biden has relaunched the White House websites, so that the users can choose their own pronouns while signing a contact-form.
After the nomination of Dr. Rachel Levine (a transgender woman), to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (in the Biden administration) U.S. citizens agree with the following quote from an interview with Dr. Levine, ‘I am proud of the work we have done as an administration to address health equity, and the work I have done personally to raise awareness about LGBTQ equity issues.” Her active participation in Biden’s Administration is presumed to prompt him to sign re-appeals for homophobic and discriminatory practices against the LGBTQ+. Due to Dr Levine’s expertise in the medical field, she is pushing to undo harmful policies of the Trump Administration, such as allowing health care providers to refuse service to transgender people. Besides striving in this aspect, policies regarding equity in the workplace, enforcing the right to access facilities and perhaps make changes to the adoption and foster-care-child system.
To focus on the holistic development of the country, other LGBTQIA+ community members such as Pete Buttigieg (a gay man) and Karine Jean-Pierre (a lesbian woman) may be appointed as secretaries for important divisions of the Biden Administration (i.e., Transportation and Press.) Even though Biden voted for the Defense of Marriage Act during the Clinton administration and to cut off federal funding to schools teaching acceptance of homosexuality, he is viewed as an evolved man by the American public. He voiced his support for homosexual marriage under the Obama-Administration, and thus far his current policies indicate that legal action will be taken to prevent discriminatory practices against the LGBTQ+ community.
The Biden Administration serves as a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ community, within national and international settings alike. The re-appeals of homophobic policies and active strides taken towards ensuring an equitable future for all American citizens irrespective of their sex and sexual orientation, harbors respect in the hearts of LGBTQ supports and the community itself. The bold choices of employing openly gay individuals in the administration or the support towards the nomination of a transgender woman, may inspire other countries to follow suit. Thus, through his administrative choices and political decision, Biden paves the way for a non discriminatory-based American and perhaps even international society.
“Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.” The White House, The United States Government, 21 Jan. 2021, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-preventing-and-combating-discrimination-on-basis-of-gender-identity-or-sexual-orientation/.