President Biden is Working to Protect LGBTQ+ Americans’ Civil Rights From Trump and His MAGA Minions

In celebration of Pride Month, we’re highlighting the wins that President Biden and Vice President Harris have secured for LGBTQ+ Americans – including protecting marriage equality and advocating for anti-discrimination laws. Meanwhile, Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are campaigning on blocking doctors from providing gender-affirming care, undermining civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, and threatening “severe consequences” for teachers who try to educate students on gender.

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

“President Biden is standing up against Trump and his MAGA minions’ extreme anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. The Biden-Harris administration has reversed Trump’s hateful executive actions that targeted the LGBTQ+ community. President Biden championed the Respect for Marriage Act, protecting marriage equality in federal law. He signed an executive order to protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on his first day in office, has continued to push Congress to pass the Equality Act, and became the first president to issue a proclamation recognizing Trans Day of Visibility. Meanwhile, Trump rolled back protections for LBGTQ+ Americans, appointed judges with anti-LGBTQ+ records, and banned transgender soldiers from serving in the military. President Biden is the most pro-LGBTQ+ president in history, and the only candidate in this race who will fight to make sure everyone has the right to be authentically themselves while having the freedom to love who they love.”

On Day One, President Biden moved to strengthen anti-discrimination rules and reverse Trump’s record of failure, and he continues to fight for LGBTQ+ rights every single day.

The Advocate: “On his first day in office, January 20, 2021, Biden signed an executive order assuring that the federal government will not engage in workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and that it is expected to stand against such discrimination in the private sector as well. The order builds on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that the federal law banning sex discrimination also applied to bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Donald Trump’s administration had largely ignored the ruling and had argued before the court for a different outcome.”

CBS News: “The Respect for Marriage Act overturns the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing marriages that were not between a man and a woman. It also requires states to recognize any valid marriage performed in other states, regardless of sex.”

Human Rights Campaign, Press Release: “HISTORIC VICTORY: The Respect for Marriage Act is Law”

The Advocate: “Joe Biden Makes History With Trans Day of Visibility Proclamation”

“Here’s another first from President Joe Biden: a White House proclamation recognizing Transgender Day Of Visibility.

“The proclamation, released Wednesday, honored the ‘trailblazing work’ of trans and nonbinary folks in fighting for equality in the arenas of education, sports, and the workplace. However, it also drew attention to the ‘high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination’ faced by this community.”

Donald Trump repeatedly said he didn’t support same-sex marriages and now wants to appoint more judges like Clarence Thomas, who suggested Obergefell v. Hodges should be overturned.

O’Reilly: “All right. Gay marriage, favor it?” 

Trump: “I’m against it.”

O’Reilly: “Why?” 

Trump: “I just don’t feel good about it. I don’t feel right about it. I’m against it and I take a lot of heat because I come from New York. You know, for New York it’s like, how can you be against gay marriage? But I’m opposed to gay marriage.” 

Politico: “‘I’m not in favor of gay marriage,’ Trump said in an interview that aired late Monday night on Fox News.

“Asked about his positions on social issues by Greta Van Susteren, Trump said he doesn’t support abortion rights or gay marriage, insisting he’s in favor of ‘almost all conservative principles.’

“Trump entered into the gay marriage fray in 2009, when he defended Carrie Prejean’s stated opposition to gay marriage.”

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. 

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.

“The department’s move to insert itself into a federal case in New York was an unusual example of top officials in Washington intervening in court in what is an important but essentially private dispute between a worker and his boss over gay rights issues.

“‘The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,’ the Justice Department said in a friend-of-the-court brief, citing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in the workplace based on ‘race, color, religion, sex or national origin.’ ‘It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.’”

HuffPost: “Trump Signs Law Quietly Undercutting Obama’s Protections For LGBTQ Workers”

 “President Donald Trump signed legislation Monday that makes it harder for the federal government to keep track of companies’ labor violations when awarding contracts…

“‘The [LGBTQ] executive order still exists,’ said Camilla Taylor, senior counsel with Lambda Legal. ‘It’s still the law that federal contractors are not permitted to discriminate. The problem is contracting officers are not going to be given disclosures about when they do. So the ability of federal contracting officials to deny contracts to bad actors has been gutted.’”

Trump tried to remove the word “gender” from human rights documents, announced a ban restricting transgender people from serving in the military that surprised even his senior defense leaders, and now wants to reverse President Biden’s LGBTQ+ protections and continue to push more anti-LGBTQ+ rights. 

The Guardian: “Trump administration wants to remove ‘gender’ from UN human rights documents” 

“US officials at the United Nations are seeking to eliminate the word ‘gender’ from UN human rights documents, most often replacing it with ‘woman’, apparently as part of the Trump administration’s campaign to define transgender people out of existence.”

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…

“In January, he released a video detailing a range of policies targeting gender-affirming care for minors, including pressing Congress to approve a federal ban and several measures to restrict federal funding when it came to trans issues…

“In the video, Trump laid out additional plans for extending the restrictions to schools, promising ‘severe consequences,’ including potential civil rights violations, for educators who ‘suggest to a child they could be trapped in the wrong body.’”

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

“President Trump abruptly announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military on Wednesday, blindsiding his defense secretary and Republican congressional leaders with a snap decision that reversed a year-old policy reviled by social conservatives.

“Mr. Trump made the declaration on Twitter, saying that American forces could not afford the ‘tremendous medical costs and disruption’ of transgender service members. He said he had consulted generals and military experts, but Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, was given only a day’s notice about the decision.”

Trump appointed a slew of judges with long histories of anti-LGBTQ+ records and views.

NBC News: “A third of Trump’s court nominees have anti-LGBTQ history, report finds”

NBC News: “Trump stacked courts with judges ‘hostile’ toward gays, rights group says”

“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.”

Slate: “The Trump administration’s assault on LGBTQ rights scored a major victory on Thursday when the Senate confirmed John K. Bush to the powerful 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bush, perhaps Trump’s most controversial nominee to the lower courts, has a long history of making homophobic and sexist comments during his years as an anonymous blogger. Yet every Republican senator (except the absent John McCain) voted to confirm him. Bush, who is 52, will serve a lifetime appointment.

“Bush’s record overflows with offensive, archaic, and bizarre comments, many directed toward women and sexual minorities. In 2005, he used the word ‘f****t’ in a speech to a private club, quoting Hunter S. Thompson.”

The Hill: “The LGBT advocacy group said one-in-three, or 16 of the 59 nominees that Trump has put forth since taking office, have anti-LGBT records, including Leonard Steven Grasz who was recently confirmed to 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Grasz was rated ‘not qualified’ by the American Bar Association out of concern that he would be unable to be an impartial judge.

“Lambda Legal said Grasz served as the board director of Nebraska Family Alliance, which opposed marriage equality, bans on conversion therapy and anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people.”

Newsweek: “Trump’s New Judicial Nominee Believes Gay Judges Shouldn’t Hear LGBT Cases”

“A report by Alliance for Justice found that Howard Nielson was representing the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a 2013 case that would have banned same-sex marriage in California. As the case played out, Nielson filed a motion saying chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Vaughn Walker ‘had a duty to disclose not only the facts concerning his [same-sex] relationship, but also his marriage intentions.’”

“Since the case was about same-sex marriage, Nielson argued that Walker, a Ronald Reagan appointee, could not be unbiased unless he did not intend to marry another man…

“The motion was rejected by another judge, but Nielson continued his tirade against the LGBT community by arguing that sexual orientation is a choice, opposing the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.”

Houston Chronicle: “Civil rights groups are decrying the president’s choice of several of the nominees, including that of Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Vincent Brown, who once suggested publicly that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision allowing gay marriage could be grounds for Texas to secede again. Brown was nominated to the Southern District of Texas in Houston.”

Trump rolled back protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, allowing homeless shelters and medical providers to deny LGBTQ+ Americans services.

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…

“It would turn back requirements under an Obama-era rule that operators of single-sex shelters who receive HUD funding ‘provide equal access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.’” 

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.”

Speaker MAGA Mike Johnson has supported a seemingly endless list of anti-LGBTQ+ proposals: he’s argued that anti-discrimination laws don’t apply to LGBTQ+ Americans, supported a law that would ban same-sex couples from adopting children, and offered pro-bono legal services to people who oppose marriage equality.

CNN: “Mike Johnson’s America: Revisit landmark SCOTUS decisions and use government to ‘restrain evil’” 

CNN: “Johnson argued anti-discrimination laws did not recognize a ‘behavior’ like homosexuality. ‘There are laws on the books that prohibit discrimination against people for their immutable characteristics, their race and creed and that kind of thing,’ Johnson said in a 2009 radio interview. ‘There’s a difference – and the law has recognized a difference – between that and homosexual behavior. As something that you do, not an immutable characteristic of what you are.’”

“Mike Johnson, the new speaker of the House, voiced support for revisiting Supreme Court decisions that struck down restrictions on the use of contraception, barred bans on gay sex and legalized same sex marriages.”

CNN: “Johnson supported an Arkansas law against same-sex couples adopting children, citing it as ‘good public policy’ in 2008. In 2013, he opposed President Barack Obama’s appointment of an ‘openly homosexual’ ambassador, Wally Brewster, to the Dominican Republic, calling it a provocative move against the Catholic country.”

The Advocate: “House Bill 707, which Johnson has dubbed the “Marriage and Conscience Act,” would bar the state from punishing businesses and people for their views on same-sex marriage through denying or revoking state licenses, tax deductions or contracts, among other methods. Johnson has said the legislation would prevent backlash or retribution over someone’s beliefs.

Opponents argue that it would mean doctors could deny treatment to same-sex couples, and contractors could refuse to work on a gay person’s home.

Times-Picayune: “In a memo, the organization outlined how government officials can avoid assisting with same-sex marriages while carrying out their job functions and not running afoul of the law. For example, they said parish clerks who issued marriage licenses should appoint a deputy clerk to do so, should they feel uncomfortable serving same-sex couples.

“State Rep. Mike Johnson, who works for Freedom Guard, wrote the memo and sent it to all Louisiana government officials Tuesday (July 28). He also offered his legal services to officials who oppose same-sex marriage for free.”

MAGA minions across the country are introducing bans to censor LGBTQ+ stories in public schools.

Los Angeles Times: “Book bans are on the rise in U.S. schools, fueled by new laws in Republican-led states”

“Forbidden books are largely by and about people of color and LGBTQ individuals, the group found. Of the books removed in the first half of this school year, 30% are about race, racism or include characters of color, and 26% have LGBTQ characters or themes — all at a time when library shelves are becoming more inclusive and representative of society.”

CNN: “In 2021 and 2022, the ALA reported record-breaking attempts to ban books and more than 30% of the titles challenged included LGBTQ themes. And in the first eight months of 2023, more than 47% of challenges targeted LGBTQ titles, preliminary data shows.

“Pulling these stories from shelves, book ban opponents argue, deprives readers of all ages of essential, affirming representation of the LGBTQ community’s lives and history.”