National Black Justice Coalition Reacts to Biden Signing Racial and LGBTQ+ Equity Executive Orders
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Washington, DC — Shortly after becoming President of the United States of America, President Biden signed several important executive orders. In addition to the expansion of DACA, two others are explicitly critical in the fight for justice, equity, and liberation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+/same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people.
To read the National Black Justice Coalition’s Policy Agenda for the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration and the new Congress, look here.
The first was an executive order addressing and assessing racial equity in the principles, policies, programs, approaches, data collection, contractors, grantees, outreach, and other means of resourcing across all of the agencies and departments in the federal government, and across a variety of combined marginalized identities. This executive order also repeals the Trump-era executive orders that sought to undermine advances in addressing bias and discrimination in our nation’s history and in skills, attitude, and knowledge of federal government employees.
“The Biden/Harris executive order “on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government” is a critically important step in ensuring the government — which we, as taxpayers, help to fund– equitably supports all of us,” says David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition — the nation’s oldest civil rights organization dedicated to the eradication of both racism and anti-LGBTQ+ prejudice and discrimination.
“We look forward to seeing the tangible results of this executive order across our government, while also looking to Congress for permanent solutions that cannot be undone as administrations change.”
The second executive order mandates that the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Bostock decision declaring that sex discrimination includes LGBTQ+/SGL people be interpreted across federal programs and policies with an emphasis on housing, refugee resettlement programs, schools, and employment with plans developed within the next 100 days. It also includes provisions for intersectional identities.
The sex discrimination language in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that led to the Bostock decision and this executive order, was inserted with great advocacy by the great Saint Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, a Black, gender non conforming, same gender loving woman of faith who in today’s times may have identified as transgender. As a documentary about her life is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in a couple of weeks, we carry the reality that her legislative victory finally gave way to legally freeing all of who she was in the world.
“There is still a long way to go for our nation to end the attitudes and habits that contribute to violence and discrimination against our community, but the legal and policy-based protections signed by President Biden yesterday are a move in the right direction,” concluded Johns.
According to Williams Institute research, 13 million LGBTQ youth and adults live in the US. Fewer than half of them are currently covered by state-level laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Many of the states without protections are in the South where a majority of Black LGBTQ+/SGL people live. These executive orders will aid in ensuring people across America have access to federal legal rights to live without discrimination during the Biden/Harris administration as we advocate to eliminate discrimination in society.
LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination in all areas of their lives. Recent Williams Institute research has documented discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, health care, and other settings. It is important to note that sex discrimination public accommodation protections do not exist in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 leaving a gap for women and LGBTQ+ people. The Equality Act is legislation that would address this gap in protections along with expanding protections to include important other areas of public life such as publicly funded programs like criminal justice institutions and services. Our policy agenda discusses the outcomes of this legislation among others that would provide opportunities for our community and everyone to thrive.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.