It was a familiar swing-set from an LGBTQ year: highs, lows, lows and the ever-present animosity of the Trump administration, a bigotry that Trump and his gas minions like Richard Grenell insisted on. on the fact that it was not sectarianism.
On one side of the story was Pete Buttigieg, the first LGBTQ candidate to rally delegates in his impressive bid to become the Democratic presidential candidate. Now chosen by Biden to be transport secretary, Buttigieg has made history once again, as the first gay man to be appointed to a Cabinet post. A note of bum: Chasten Buttigieg will not be First Gentleman. Again.
Then there was Trump’s campaign for LGBTQ votes, led unlikely by Tiffany Trump (who granted us the new acronym of LGBQIA, erasing trans people). The campaign, after four years of relentless attacks on the LGBTQ community (especially trans people), sought to convince America otherwise.
Trump’s packing of courts – including the Supreme Court, and including lower courts – with right-wing judges has heightened the alarm that anti-equality decisions could be made on a range of issues.
Joe Biden’s presidential victory raised hopes; he is an avowed supporter of LGBTQ equality. The unknown: to what extent will he attempt and succeed in repairing the damage done by Trump through legislation and the choice of his judges?
Biden has already pledged to overturn – by executive order, most likely – the Trump administration’s ban on trans serving in the military. In May, a trans naval officer was granted the very first exemption to continue doing his job; other similar cases are ongoing and will simply go away if Biden gets rid of the ban.
Biden said Dallas Voice in February that he intends to do so “on the first day” of his administration. A spokesperson for Biden’s transition team told the Daily Beast that he was committed to repealing the ban early in the administration.
Biden’s campaign website clearly shows Biden’s intention to rescind the transgender military ban, which is “discriminatory and detrimental to our national security.” Any American qualified to serve in our armed forces should be able to do so, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and without having to hide who they are. Biden will order the US Department of Defense to allow transgender members to serve openly, receive necessary medical care, and be free from discrimination.
Biden has a lot more LGBTQ legislative and political damage to repair, even in the past 12 months. The year began, as the advocacy group GLAAD noted, with a directive from the Trump administration to strengthen access to federal funds for religious organizations; the most recurring weapon against LGBTQ equality in government and in the courts is ‘religious freedom’, with the dominant thesis that treating LGBTQ people equally and fairly is a violation for those who wish to deny them services or basic equality.
He also supports the Philadelphia-based organization Catholic Social Services (CSS), which wants to ban same-sex couples from becoming foster parents. In Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, currently before the Supreme Court – now with a conservative 6-3 majority – judges question whether the city can ban CSS from screening potential foster parents given it refuses to work with couples alike sex.
Another recurring theme of the year is the administration’s use of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act 1972 Against Trans Athletes. In April, the Department of Justice filed a “expression of interest” in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, saying Title IX should be considered to exclude female transgender athletes and apply only to transgender female athletes. cisgender women.
In May, the administration threatened to withhold funding from states that allowed athletes to compete under the gender they identified with.
The following month, he supported an Idaho law that prohibits trans female athletes from participating in school sports as girls and women. This law is now on trial, Hecox vs. Little. This week, an amicus brief in favor of trans athletes was signed by female athletes, including Billie Jean King and Megan Rapinoe.
The administration also announced rules allowing single-sex homeless shelters to flee trans people, and in June announced a rule to remove transgender health care protections from Section 1557 of the Care Act. affordable.
Oddly, it has nothing to say about the at least 41 transgender and non-gendered people fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the majority of whom were black and Latin transgender women – as reported by the Human Rights Campaign. (HRC). In contrast, Joe Biden has acknowledged this violence and pledged to ensure that his administration does everything possible to protect and value trans lives.
JK Rowling’s various statements against trans people have become the most notable – but not the only – part of a relentless UK media campaign against trans people, the effects of which have been heavily portrayed by Katherine O’Donnell in a recent Daily Beast article.
Along with the Trump administration’s significant acts of anti-LGBTQ aggression, there have been some purely pathetic ones, such as when the Defense Department issued guidelines banning the display of Confederate flags outside military institutions and included also a ban on LGBTQ pride flags.
“The bigotry of the Trump administration, while implacable, has also been successfully challenged.“
In March, former Illinois congressman Aaron Schock stepped out, surprising no one. He wanted this outing to be a clean slate. Considering the damage he did to LGBTQ people during his tenure, his pleading words sounded very empty. Later that year, Conservative leader Jerry Falwell Jr., so happy – like his father – to moralize LGBTQ people, would have liked to watch his wife have sex with another man.
The bigotry of the Trump administration, while implacable, has also been successfully challenged. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act included LGBTQ people, making it illegal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. (Naturally, the Trump administration immediately challenged the decision.)
In October, the US State Department backed down in two legal battles over granting citizenship to children of same-sex couples born overseas after The Daily Beast first reported on the matter. last year (Politics Reporter Scott Bixby won a GLAAD award for his work). The State Department has withdrawn its appeal in the case concerning Roee and Adiel Kiviti’s daughter, Kessem. (The couple won their case in June, but the Trump administration had appealed the decision.)
Separately, the State Department has also chosen not to appeal the case of Derek Mize and Jonathan Gregg, an American same-sex couple who filed a discrimination complaint last year after their daughter, born in the foreigner with a surrogate mother, has been denied citizenship.
The election brought a series of impressive LGBTQ firsts. Over 220 LGBTQ candidates were victorious in their races. Sarah McBride became the first senator to leave the trans state, after winning Delaware’s first Senate district. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Mondaire Jones (NY-17) became the first two LGBTQ Black members of the US Congress to win their races in New York. Torres, who represents the South Bronx, is the first Afro-Latinx LGBTQ member of Congress.
Adrian Tam’s election victory in Hawaii means he’s the only LGBTQ person in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He beat Nick Ochs, head of a section of the far-right group the Proud Boys.
There have been significant deaths this year – of pioneering journalist Monica Roberts; Aimee Stephens, who was one of those LGBTQ people who fought – ultimately successfully – in the Supreme Court in the Title VII case; activist Lorena Borjas; and famous playwrights Larry Kramer, Terrence McNally and Mart Crowley.
There were also those who continue to make history and inspire, like trans TV star Shakina Nayfack, activist Kayla Gore, MCC founder Troy Perry, theater-changing black queer playwrights, Alphonso David, the first black president of HRC, and the powerful and moving story – 50 years later – of those people who settled down and marched the first pride marches in America.
Gerald Bostock, whose name heads the landmark Supreme Court Title VII decision, told the Daily Beast how “thrilled” he was when he heard the news right after it was announced.
But this victory, and the 50th anniversary of the first prides, did not signal that all battles were won. Far from there. Marriage equality itself was attacked by two of the Supreme Court’s most conservative justices on the first day of his new term in October (now with a Conservative 6-3 majority). Justices Thomas and Alito said the ruling “allows courts and governments to label religious followers who believe that marriage equality is between a man and a woman fanatics.”
Trump’s court wrapping allowed a pro-conversion therapy decision to release the Fourth of the 11th Circuit recently. On November 20, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down bans on conversion therapy for gay youth in South Florida.
Majority votes in the 2-1 decision came from two Trump-appointed judges who argued that therapists practicing this mode of therapy – resoundingly condemned by all professional bodies in the field – saw their freedom of expression violated by being banned from practice. The damage caused by conversion therapy was graphically evoked by four people who spoke to The Daily Beast about their experiences; the decision of the 11th circuit is now under appeal.
The Trump administration, in its unpredictable and tumultuous death throes, has not finished discriminating against LGBTQ people, recently announcing that it will allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ workers through a religious exemption. This will go into effect on January 8, just before the official Trump Circus ends – an example that, in terms of sheer anti-LGBTQ spite, this administration has been second to none.
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