Ahead of National Coming Out Day and a rise in anti-LGBTQI bills introduced in state legislatures, leading LGBTQI advocacy groups in the US have come together to endorse a Presidential ticket for the first time.
Equality Political Action Committee, Human Rights Campaign Political Action Committee (HRC PAC), and the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund (NCTE AF) have endorsed Biden-Harris 2024.
The groups said they represent more than 60 million Americans, including LGBTQI persons, allies and ‘Equality voters’. “LGBTQ+ voters are one of the fastest growing voting blocs in the nation, especially in battleground states, and are projected to represent nearly one-fifth of voters by 2040,” the group added.
The groups said they were endorsing Biden-Harris 2024 over their actions to strengthen protections for LGBTQI Americans.
A State Of Emergency
In January 2021, one of President Biden’s first actions hours after he was sworn in was to sign an Executive Order to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and end his predecessor Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning race and gender diversity training.
Bident appointed out LGBTQI persons to his cabinet – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine ( first out transgender federal official to be confirmed by the US Senate).
In December 2022, President Biden signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act which protects same-sex marriages. This came after the US Supreme Court voted 6-3 to strike down the 1973 abortion rights ruling in June 2022. Republicans voted against the law in the US Senate.
“At a time when the forces of hatred seek to divide us by race, place and identity the choice in this election is clear,” Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson said in a statement.
“LGBTQ+ Americans are living in a state of emergency and the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration is needed now more than ever. In their first term, President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked closely with HRC and other advocates to secure historic, landmark victories for LGBTQ+ Americans — and we proudly endorse them and look forward to continuing that work together.”
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, executive director of the NCTE Action Fund said that since taking office “President Biden has surpassed the efforts of all preceding administrations in his dedication to advancing the protections & rights of the transgender community. Without question, the Biden Administration has been the strongest advocate for the needs of transgender Americans of any presidential administration in American history.”
LGBTQI groups pointed to the “unprecedented spike in anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation”, with over 500 bills introduced in 43 states this year and more than 800 signed into law.
“We will do everything we can to help re-elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris next year,” said Equality PAC Co-Chairs Ranking Member Mark Takano (D-CA) and Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
“Since taking office, President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked tirelessly to expand LGBTQ rights, protect our community, and advocate for passage of the Equality Act. The LGBTQ community is under seemingly constant attack from extremists that want to roll back history and take away the basic rights that we have fought for and won in recent years.”
“It is critical that we elect strong allies into office at every level of our government, including the presidency and vice presidency — allies like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that will stand up for our community and speak out against injustice and hate. Make no mistake, LGBTQ rights are on the ballot in 2024 — and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the only candidates where we can put our faith, trust, and vote next year,” Equality PAC said.