LGBTQ+ Leaders on Biden’s Win and Trump’s Defeat
From left: Alphonso David, Sarah Kate Ellis, and Mara Keisling
LGBTQ+ and other progressive groups are reacting with jubilation to the election of Joe Biden as president. Pennsylvania was called for Biden Saturday morning, putting Biden over the top in the Electoral College.
Here are some statements released by the organizations.
Alphonso David, president, Human Rights Campaign: “The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris proves once again that equality is a winning issue.
“The Biden/Harris ticket is the most pro-equality ticket in history. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are not just willing to be our allies, but they are true advocates for equality. And they’ve done it for decades. From Biden’s work championing hate crimes protections in the 1980s to Harris performing some of the first marriages for LGBTQ couples after Prop. 8 was overturned, these leaders have a clear vision that centers unity over division. A vision where LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination and are afforded the freedoms and rights we should all have. A vision where transgender and gender-nonconforming people don’t fear for their lives walking down the street. A vision where LGBTQ children are loved, embraced and protected from bullying.
“But hard work lies ahead. Trump, Pence and anti-equality forces left us with unlawful and regressive policies that have stripped away protections marginalized communities have had for years. In the coming days, the Human Rights Campaign will release our Blueprint for Positive Change, charting the path forward for equality under Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The future of our democracy and the quest for equality is bright.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO, GLAAD: “The results of this presidential election affirm that every vote and every voter counts. LGBTQ people and all marginalized Americans came together to make this victory possible, and now the journey to safety, equality and acceptance can continue forward.
“President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris have promised to fight for America as a place where we all can belong and succeed, where truth and kindness matter. In the early days of their administration, they must prioritize protecting LGBTQ people equally under the law in a country where we can live without fear. We must all also confront the racism and bias that fueled the division of the last four years, and resolve to come together for justice and equality for all. We are eager to act on this historic vote for progress and get our country back on track.”
Mara Keisling, executive director, National Center for Transgender Equality and NCTE Action Fund: “Joe Biden is the president our country needs. The National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund was proud to endorse Biden during his campaign, and look forward to working with a new Biden administration to improve the lives of transgender people. Joe Biden has demonstrated his commitment and caring to the LGBTQ community throughout his career, and we know he will be a strong partner who treats everyone with the dignity and respect that they deserve. The voters have spoken, our legitimate democratic process has counted, and the will of the people is clear. Now we come together and move forward as a nation.”
Imani Rupert-Gordon, executive director, National Center for Lesbian Rights: “By all accounts, this has been a historic election. Our democracy rests on the foundation that our leaders are elected by the people of this country and despite calls to do the contrary, we made the simple but powerful demand that we count every vote. They were counted. And the people have spoken.
“But that is not the only significance of this historic election. President-Elect Joe Biden has long been a champion of our community and he has promised the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration that has ever been in the White House. The opportunity to partner with a friendly administration and rebuild has never been greater.
“And additionally noteworthy, Kamala Harris not only represents the first woman ever with the title Vice President-Elect, but also the first Black woman and South Asian woman to hold the position, which will provide a perspective that we have never had in that role before. This gives us hope — hope that we can begin to build a solid foundation of trust where our community has previously felt left out.
“And yet we still have much work to do. From reversing Trump’s baseless and immoral transgender military ban and restoring protections for LGBTQ students, to protecting LGBTQ families and asylum seekers and providing relief to the millions of people who are struggling to pay rent, buy food, and keep their families afloat – our communities have a number of priorities we are excited to immediately begin working on with this administration. President-Elect Biden has committed to passing the Equality Act, and we look forward to working closely with him to make that a reality.
“But today we are celebrating. Celebrating that an administration that made a commitment to honor our community will have the opportunity to do so. And NCLR will be there every step of the way to make sure they do.”
Kevin Jennings, CEO, Lambda Legal: “The results of the election are clear, with clear majorities in both the popular vote and the Electoral College for the Biden-Harris ticket. The people of this country came out in record numbers for this election and the results are unequivocal. We urge President Trump and his supporters to follow the example set more than 200 years ago, when President Washington set the standard of a peaceful transition, as has every president since, all of whom have accepted and honored the will of the people, even those who sought but were denied a second term.
“We celebrate the election of Vice President Biden and Senator Harris, both of whom have been key supporters of civil rights for LGBTQ people and everybody living with HIV. But, we are also mindful of the hard work ahead. Now that our opponents have lost their control of the executive branch, we know we will face renewed efforts to litigate away our rights through the judicial branch over the next four years using the Trump-appointed judges that Mitch McConnell has rammed through over the past four years. We stand ready for the fight and are happy to have an ally in the White House to fight alongside us.
“We look forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to roll-back some of the most egregious efforts of the previous administration to deny and dilute the hard-won rights we have secured since our founding almost 50 years ago.”
Eliza Byard, executive director, GLSEN: “The election results represent a resounding defeat for an administration that attacked LGBTQ+ people at all the intersections of identity and experience, at every opportunity. All of us can now move forward with greater hope to continue advancing justice for LGBTQ+ students in our nation’s schools. But, we cannot allow ourselves to be complacent. There is much work still ahead to rebuild and repair our schools to ensure that every LGBTQ+ child finds safety and liberation in education.
“We may not feel ready in this moment, but I promise you that we are the ones we have been waiting for. We at GLSEN will continue to support every student, parent, educator and policymaker working to make our schools places of respect and affirmation for every student, and to play a role in ending anti-LGBTQ+ bias and violence for good. Together, we have created a community built on our collective commitment to action for LGBTQ+ youth, and a better future for them and for us all.”
Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center: “Today the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the entire LGBTQ community stand with millions of Americans — people fighting for racial equity and justice, feminists, immigrants, youth, and other people of good conscience—to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
“In particular, we celebrate the election of our fellow Californian, Kamala Harris, to the office of vice president. Senator Harris will become the first Black woman—indeed, the first woman — and the first Indian-American elected to one of the two highest offices in the land. The historic significance and symbolic magnitude of her election and what it represents to all people who have lived in the shadow of discrimination and inequity cannot be overstated.
“For four years, the LGBTQ community has faced hundreds of attacks against our collective and individual rights from the Trump Administration—assaults that included attempts to take away our health care, remove legal protections, and threaten the safety and well-being of our youth. Indeed, we have experienced nothing less than a concerted effort to delegitimize our existence and strip us of our humanity.
“Today we take a moment to celebrate, to take a deep breath and imagine a new, more hopeful chapter in our ongoing struggle for full equality and humanity. The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris does not mean those struggles have ended, nor does their election end the deep divisions we have experienced as a nation over the last four years. But it does mean that our leaders in the White House share a vision of a nation that includes our community as full and equal participants. From that starting point, we can continue to build a better, more inclusive, and just world for all.
“Despite the ongoing attacks of the last four years, the Center and our community never stopped fighting. We continued to oppose the assaults by the Trump Administration at every turn. We fought to affirm the principle that we deserve no less than full equality and equal justice and that no President, no Cabinet member, no Senator, can take that from us.
“We are right to celebrate today, but we also know that many LGBTQ people still suffer the pain of racism and anti-Blackness and live under the shadow of deportation, harassment, and discrimination. Transgender women of color still live in fear of brutal violence and daily assaults on their very identity. Queer youth are still disowned by their families and bullied at school. There is still so much to be done. The Center looks forward to working with the new Biden-Harris Administration and leaders at the local, state, and federal levels to create a world in which LGBTQ people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society.
“Today we celebrate the possibilities and embrace the dream of full equality. Tomorrow, we go back to work.”
Amit Paley, CEO and executive director, the Trevor Project: “Across our 24/7 phone, chat, and text crisis services, LGBTQ youth have been reaching out to The Trevor Project and expressing a wide range of emotions in response to the election. We know that for LGBTQ youth, politics can be extremely personal, and we want them to know that there is no one way to process everything that is going on in the world right now. No matter what, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors will continue to be here 24/7 for the more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth who seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S. Mental health and suicide prevention should be nonpartisan issues, and we must all unite to fight for LGBTQ young lives.”
Sam Brinton, vice president of advocacy and government affairs, the Trevor Project: “Now is a time to come together, for the sake of our country and the most marginalized among us. Ending the public health crisis of LGBTQ youth suicide will require urgent action, from increased investment in specialized services for LGBTQ youth to comprehensive policy reforms at the federal, state, municipal, and school district levels to protect youth from the harms of conversion therapy and discrimination. We look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress on these issues, and to continuing our bipartisan work with legislators across all 50 states. Regardless of who is in the White House, we will keep fighting — through advocacy, research, education, and more — to create a world where all LGBTQ youth can live their lives openly and without fear.”
Paul Kawata, executive director, NMAC: “NMAC congratulates President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We are pleased that that the new administration is committed to not only an aggressive approach to end the HIV epidemic but to address issues of systemic racism and inequities that cripple minority communities’ access to health care. We look forward to working with the new administration to more aggressively pursue the plan to end the HIV epidemic by 2030 and to work to end the related epidemics of STDs and hepatitis. We ask this new administration to look through the lens of racial justice and health equity as they develop their priorities for the next four years. And we will continue to remind them of those commitments as we go forward.”
Tina Tchen, president and CEO, of Time’s Up Now:
“It’s official: One hundred years after women won the right to vote, our country has elected the first Black and Asian woman to become the next Vice President of the United States. Propelled in part by historic turnout of women and women of color voters, candidates have broken records, up and down the ballot – in red states and blue states alike.
“This is a historic moment for our country, no matter who you voted for. It means girls and boys across this nation will see and learn from a new generation of women leaders, which will help change our culture over the long run.
“But first, the hard work of forming a more perfect, more fair, more just union lies in front of us. On behalf of those we lost to COVID-19, those risking their lives on the frontlines, and all those who have been left behind by those in power, the fight has only begun. Now is the time to get more engaged than you ever have before.”
Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring