Washington, D.C. – Juwan J. Holmes writes in LGBTQ Nation that we are officially halfway through the first year of the Biden-Harris administration. Among other issues, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris ran on a platform promising progress for LGBTQ equality and civil rights. Although the Equality Act remains stuck in the Senate and Republicans are obstructing pro-LGBTQ progress across the country, the White House still has the ability to reverse past anti-LGBTQ policies and advocate for equality.

To ensure that the White House is doing just that, GLAAD launched the Biden Equality Accountability Tracker (BEAT) on the 50th day of the Biden-Harris administration, and has continuously updated it since then. Currently, GLAAD counts at least 65 moves that “affect LGBTQ people and rights,” with all of them having positive effects for LGBTQ people — especially in contrast to the nearly 200 anti-LGBTQ actions that they counted over the four years of the Trump-Pence administration. Those include tweets, appointments, executive orders and policy decisions since Biden and Harris took office on January 20.

Some of the list of pro-LGBTQ actions include the nomination of Chantale Wong as U.S. director of the Asian Development Bank. If confirmed, Wong would become the first openly lesbian ambassador.

June 30, 2021. The White House hosts a virtual event featuring transgender and nonbinary leaders, athletes and youth speaking out about the impact of state legislation and their experiences of intersecting forms of discrimination. The State Department announces a new rule to create a gender marker on passports and other official federal documents for people who identify as nonbinary or intersex. President Biden tweets support for the LGBTQ community and links to video testimonials from LGBTQ leaders. President Biden commemorates Pride Month with speeches in the East Room of the White House.

June 25, 2021: President Biden also signs an executive order to strengthen the federal workforce and urge diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in recruiting federal workers “to achieve a work force from all segments of society.” President Biden issues a new statement of support for The Equality Act: “Millions of Americans lack basic non-discrimination protections just because of who they are or whom they love.” The State Department raises the Progress Pride flag at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announces it will offer gender confirming surgery for transgender veterans. Presidential nominees and out military veterans Gina Ortiz Jones and Shawn Skelly testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Jones is President Biden’s nominee for Under Secretary of the Air Force. She will be the first out lesbian and first woman of color to serve as undersecretary of a military branch if confirmed. Vice President Harris, in her first overseas trip in office, meets with LGBTQ advocates in Guatemala. (LGBTQ Nation – Juwan J. Holmes at https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2021/07/heres-actions-taken-far-biden-harris-administration-advance-equality/?utm_source=LGBTQ+Nation+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c025976f8d-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_07_24_04_33&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c4eab596bd-c025976f8d-433273132)

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