Here is what Biden’s Presidency means for the LGBTQ+ community

The election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States of America couldn’t have been at a better time. Under the previous administration’s policies, LGBTQ rights were severely rolled back: Using a combination of new rules, legal interventions, and newly created divisions, the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and State have all taken steps to advance “religious liberty,” often at the expense of LGBTQ rights, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project argue. President Trump had also banned transgenders from serving in the military, affecting nearly 9,000 members serving in the military.

Within a week after election day, the then President-elect Biden signalled an ambitious platform to initiate a much-needed change, which included pledges to enact the Equality Act, reinstate Obama-era guidelines preventing anti-LGBTQ discrimination in areas like federal contracts, fight against broad carve-outs in anti-discrimination law on the basis of religious beliefs, end the transgender military ban, and eliminate LGBTQ youth homelessness.

Biden has also set a goal of ending the HIV epidemic — which disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men as well as transgender women — by 2025, five years ahead of the goal set by President Donald Trump during his State of the Union address in 2020.

Over the last few years, LGBTQ rights were severely impacted not just in the US but across the world. According to the Human Dignity Trust, there are currently over 70 countries with laws that criminalize homosexual relations. Biden’s foreign policy, which was formulated with Obama in 2011, works to “ensure that United States diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of LGBTQ+ persons”. As per Gay Times, the memorandum also “calls for agencies and department to help combat the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ individuals abroad, to protect vulnerable LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, to aid with foreign assistance, to swiftly react to LGBTQ+ abuse cases abroad, and to build a coalition of nations and international organisation to fight against LGBTQ+ discrimination”.

He aims to improve LGBTQ+ rights globally by leading ‘by the power of example’, an example of how America is reducing queer inequalities in their country. Along with the memorandum, he also aims to reverse the trans military ban and pledges to pass the Equality Act within the first 100 days of him in office. The Equality Act is yet another one of Biden’s policies that would work towards reducing discrimination experienced on the basis of gender identity, sexuality, etc. This Act would be an excellent means of achieving the UN SDG 10. In fact, the Biden administration appointing the first openly gay, Cabinet member, Pete Buttigieg is an excellent example of what the Equality Act would look like.

Hence, Biden’s presidential action will not just address inequalities experienced by the queer communities in America, but queer communities worldwide – a huge step forward towards bettering LGBTQ+ lives globally. Biden’s action to improve LGBTQ+ lives will bring the world closer to achieving UN SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. Eliminating inequalities is essential to allow individuals to live fulfilling, empowered, and fruitful lives.

Finally, Biden also aims to reverse the Department of Defence’s policies, formulated during the Trump-Pence period, which unfairly discriminates against those living with HIV.

President Biden administration brings new light and hope, not just for queer Americans and Americans in general, but for people worldwide. It has been less than two months and his government has already been able to make some important changes. The World We Want is eager to see what the next 4 years would look like under this new administration.