The advent of the Biden/Harris administration heralds a reboot of federal policy with respect to LGBTQ+ equity. The past four years of the Trump/Pence administration witnessed tremendous rollbacks of hard-won gains, such as the revocation of President Obama’s commitments to transgender servicemembers serving openly and equally, the elimination of sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination provisions in Sec. 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, the issuance of Department of Education guidance falsely purporting that Title IX does not protect transgender students in schools, etc. Moreover, the former administration assailed the LGBTQ+ community with new harms, including regulations allowing homeless shelters to discrimination against transgender people, court briefs filed by the US Department of Justice taking the position that businesses must be permitted to opt out of complying with local pro-LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination laws, nominating anti-LGBTQ+ judges to the federal courts, and many more. This panel will discuss the progress that the Biden/Harris administration has made in working to reverse this damage and advance its stated commitment to LGBTQ+ equality. Our speakers will also explore the extent to which both the new President and the 117th Congress are likely to be able to achieve significant progress toward the overall well-being of LGBTQ+ people, through avenues such as the Equality Act as well as other legislation which would disproportionately benefit LGBTQ+ people.
Speakers: Alphonso David (Human Rights Campaign); Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen (National Center for Transgender Equality); Pamela Karlan (Department of Justice); Sharon McGowan (Lambda Legal)