On his first day in office, President
Joe Biden signed an executive order implementing the U.S. Supreme
Court's ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County.
Biden went to work on Wednesday after
taking the Oath of Office, signing 17 executive orders, including
actions ending the ban on people traveling from Muslim-majority
countries, launching the “100-day mask challenge” to help slow
the spread of COVID-19, and re-engaging with the World Health
The Supreme Court's Bostock
decision, handed down in June, found that anti-LGBT discrimination is
a form of sex discrimination. The ruling has wide-ranging
implications, affecting policies that prohibit discrimination based
on sex. It specifically prohibits workplace discrimination.
“All persons should receive equal
treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual
orientation,” a fact sheet released by the White House states. “The
Biden-Harris Administration will prevent and combat discrimination on
the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.
The Trump administration largely ignored the
ruling despite pressure from Democrats and LGBT rights groups calling
on the White House to implement the decision.
LGBT rights groups – which had been
calling on Biden to act – applauded the move.
“Biden’s Executive Order is the
most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual
orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States
president,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release.
“Today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing
that their President and their government believe discrimination
based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only
intolerable but illegal.”
“By fully implementing the Supreme
Court’s historic ruling in Bostock, the federal government
will enforce federal law to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination
in employment, health care, housing, and education, and other key
areas of life. While detailed implementation across the federal
government will take time, this Executive Order will begin to
immediately change the lives of the millions of LGBTQ people seeking
to be treated equally under the law,” he said.
“By signing this executive order on
his first day of office, President Biden is boldly demonstrating that
his administration will prioritize the civil rights of all
Americans,” said NCLR Executive Director Imani Rupert-Gordon.
“However, we recognize that there is still much work to be done in
order to end the systematic discrimination that plagues LGBTQ people,
communities of color, and people that hold multiple underrepresented
identities in this country, and NCLR looks forward to working with
this administration to help support and protect all of us.”
Biden has also promised to sign the
Equality Act, a federal LGBT protections bill, and reverse Trump's
ban on transgender troops.
Lloyd Austin says he supports open transgender military service.)