President Biden and Vice President Harris Are Helping LGBTQ+ Americans Shatter Glass Ceilings

DNC Director of Outreach Communications Tracy King released the following statement: 

“President Biden and Vice President Harris promised to make their cabinet and administration look like America, and they’ve delivered. They appointed the first Senate-confirmed openly gay cabinet member, selected the first Black and openly gay White House press secretary, and have made appointing LGBTQ+ judges to our federal courts a priority. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has an extreme record of undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, appointed judges with anti-LGBTQ+ records, and banned transgender people from serving in the military. President Biden wants to ensure Americans can break barriers while living out and proud – Trump attacked the LGBTQ+ community as president and would do it again if he gets a second term.” 

President Biden is helping LGBTQ+ Americans shatter glass ceilings at all levels of the federal government – in his cabinet, White House, and throughout the Biden-Harris administration.

The Hill: “As the Biden administration celebrates Pride Month, it boasts an array of officials in its ranks who represent historic firsts in their respective positions.

“White House officials frequently tout the diversity of President Biden’s administration, including that roughly 15 percent of all appointees identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.”

Pete Buttigieg: The first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet secretary in U.S. history and has served as Transportation secretary in the Biden administration since February 2021.

Karine Jean-Pierre: First Black, gay immigrant woman to be selected as the White House Press Secretary

Ben LaBolt: An Obama-administration veteran with ties to the Biden team, LaBolt is the first openly gay White House communications director.

Stuart Delery: A longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, was the first openly LGBTQ person to serve as White House counsel. 

Ned Price: The first out gay man to be State Department spokesman, is taking on a new role: deputy to the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Chantale Wong: With her confirmation in December 2021, [Chantale] Wong became the first out lesbian and first LGBTQ person of color to be confirmed to the rank of ambassador.

Shawn Skelly: Skelly will serve as assistant secretary of defense for readiness, becoming the first transgender person to hold the post and the highest-ranking out trans defense official in U.S. history.

President Biden has appointed a historically diverse set of judges to the federal courts, and continues to prioritize appointing trailblazing LGBTQ+ judges. 

The Hill: “In addition to the officials working throughout the Biden administration, there have been a slew of federal judges nominated and confirmed over the past two years that have broken barriers as LGBTQ jurists.”

CNN: “The confirmation of Nicole Berner and Melissa DuBose to the federal judiciary in recent weeks marks a watershed moment for both LGBTQ representation and the Biden administration.

“Eleven federal judges who identify as LGBTQ, including Berner and DuBose, have been appointed and confirmed to lifetime positions since the beginning of the Biden administration, according to data analyzed by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a lobbying group.

Washington Post: “Biden has appointed 201 judges, boosting diversity of federal courts”

President Biden appointed Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly trans person confirmed by the Senate to a federal post.

NBC News: “Dr. Rachel Levine becomes first openly transgender person confirmed by Senate to federal post”

The Advocate: “Throughout the interview, Levine discussed critical achievements of the Biden administration in public health, particularly emphasizing initiatives like the U=U (Undetectable Equals Untransmittable) campaign and combating the resurgence of syphilis.

Levine emphasized the necessity of health equity and the importance of addressing the needs of the transgender and nonbinary community within the broader context of public health, noting that ‘everything is a team effort at [the Department of Health and Human Services] in the administration. So, nothing that we do is achieved alone.’”

Donald Trump appointed judges who had a demonstrated record of hostility towards LGBTQ+ Americans and threatens to double down if reelected. 

NBC News: “The Trump administration has spent the past four years stacking the courts with anti-gay judges, according to a new report from LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal.

“Nearly 40 percent of President Donald Trump’s confirmed federal appellate judges have demonstrated anti-LGBTQ bias, the organization claimed, from opposing same-sex marriage and protecting businesses’ rights to reject gay customers to helping implement the military’s transgender ban.”

Maeve Reston, Washington Post: “Trump at @FaithandFreedom ‘I will once again appoint rock-solid conservative judges in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia and the great Clarence Thomas, who they are going after very unfairly.’”

Washington Post: “In it, Thomas calls for not just revisiting Obergefell v. Hodges (same-sex marriage), Griswold and another contraception case, but overturning those precedents as well.


“‘For that reason, in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence [v. Texas]’ — a landmark case invalidating anti-sodomy laws — ‘and Obergefell,’ Thomas writes. ‘Because any substantive due process decision is ‘demonstrably erroneous,’ we have a duty to ‘correct the error’ established in those precedents.’”

Trump undermined anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ employees, students, service members, and more, while banning transgender people from serving in the military.

New York Times: “Justice Department Says Rights Law Doesn’t Protect Gays” 

“The Justice Department has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, taking a stand against a decision reached under President Barack Obama.

Forbes: “Former President Donald Trump on Friday said he would undo a new Biden administration policy that will offer protections for transgender students under the Title IX federal civil rights law—his latest promise to restrict LGBTQ rights if elected to a second term…”

New York Times: “Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military” 

Politico: “The Department of Housing and Urban Development is moving to roll back protections for homeless transgender people by enabling HUD-funded providers of shelters to consider a person’s sex or gender identification in determining whether they can be admitted…”

NPR: “The Trump administration on Friday finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance…
Under the new rule, a transgender person could, for example, be refused care for a checkup at a doctor’s office, said Lindsey Dawson, associate director of HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Other possible scenarios include a transgender man being denied treatment for ovarian cancer, or a hysterectomy not being covered by an insurer — or costing more when the procedure is related to someone’s gender transition.”