President Joe Biden has taken welcome steps to roll back mean-spirited policies promulgated by the Trump administration that targeted members of the LGBTQ community, especially transgender Americans.
Biden reversed Trump’s ill-considered ban on trans troops in the military and ditched other Trump policies that negatively affected LGBTQ people, often under the false guise of “religious freedom.” Biden also spoke directly to trans people during his April 28 joint address to Congress, remarking, “To all the transgender Americans watching at home, especially the young people who are so brave, I want you to know that your president has your back.”
It’s a refreshing change of tone in Washington, D.C., but it’s just a start. Many of the changes Biden has made are through executive orders, which can be reversed by a future president. We need passage of legislation like the Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act to provide a uniform guarantee of rights for LGTBQ people from coast to coast.
It’s also important that Americans who support LGBTQ equality understand what we’re up against. Yes, cultural attitudes have changed markedly, and most Americans now support equality. That only infuriates Christian nationalists even more. Having lost the battle over marriage equality, they’ve shifted tactics and are targeting trans rights, which they’re attacking in several state legislatures. Anti-trans bills have passed in a number of states, most recently in Florida. At the same time, the legal arm of Christian nationalism is working to undermine trans rights in the courts.
During this Pride Month, get a handle on what’s going on nationwide by reading this story by Emily Starbuck Gerson in the June Church & State. Visit the website of our allies at the National Center for Transgender Equality. Arm yourself with the facts to debunk Christian nationalists’ anti-trans hate.
Twenty years ago, few would have thought we would have made the great strides we have in safeguarding LGBTQ equality. But there is still much work to do, and it’s important that the trans community not be left behind. Join Americans United, and help us keep moving everyone forward.