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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organizations, has a plan for the incoming Biden-Harris administration. The organization released a 24-page blueprint for administrative action on Nov. 11 that included a call for President-elect Joe Biden to implement Bostock v. Clayton after he is sworn in.
The proposal, called the Blueprint for Positive Change 2020, includes 85 policy recommendations aimed at improving the lives of LGBTQ people in the U.S. and abroad. Chief among those recommendations is that the Biden administration should ensure government wide implementation of the Bostock v. Clayton decision, in which the Supreme Court banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Despite the June ruling, the Trump administration has failed to implement workplace protections for LGBTQ federal employees, The New York Times reported.
“The momentous election of pro-equality champions Joe Biden and Kamala Harris puts us on a path to move equality forward by advancing policies to improve the lives of millions of LGBTQ people,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Over the last four years, the Trump-Pence administration has systemically attacked LGBTQ people and our nation’s most sacred institutions –– our courts, our Constitution, and our fundamental civil rights.”
David continued: “The Biden-Harris administration has the opportunity to not only put our democracy back on track but deliver real positive change for LGBTQ people’s daily lives.”
The HRC is also calling on Biden to commit to diversity across the federal government, improve systems to support LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers, and prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ participants in assisted USDA programs and food stamps.
Here are some of the other crucial policies that the HRC is proposing:
Ensure the Enforcement of LGBTQ Students’ Rights Under Title IX
Title IX is part of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs that are federally funded. The Trump administration eliminated Obama-era guidance that clarifies that schools must treat transgender students consistent with their identity in 2017.
In a statement after the decision, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos maintained that the department was committed to investigating all claims of discrimination, bullying and harassment. However, she claimed the Obama-era guidelines gave rise to legal questions and that the issue should be left to the states to decide, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The HRC proposes that the Department of Education under a Biden administration “take affirmative steps to ensure that schools understand their obligations to LGBTQ students with a particular focus on transgender students.” The policy proposal also calls on the department to encourage students who have been discriminated against due to their sexual orientation or gender identity to file complaints and then to investigate and resolve those complaints.
Expand Outreach to LGBTQ Youth Centers to Connect Youth to HUD Services
LGBTQ youth are vastly overrepresented in the foster care system and represent a large proportion of homeless youth. According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth represent about 40 percent of the homeless youth population. Of those, studies reveal that as many as 60 percent are likely to attempt suicide.
According to a 2014 survey of human service providers that serve homeless youth cited by the Prison Policy Initiative, 31 percent of LGBTQ youths who were served identified as African American or Black, 14 percent as Latinx or Hispanic and 1 percent as Native American.
The HRC calls on Biden’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reach out to LGBTQ youth centers to provide them information regarding HUD services for youth and to encourage them to connect these youths to HUD services.
End the Global Gag Rule
The Global Gag Rule prohibits any U.S. aid to foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide abortion information or services even if the NGO provides these services with funds not given by the U.S.
The rule, which is also known as the Mexico City Policy, has had a profound effect on organizations around the world. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Trump administration’s anti-abortion restrictions have shut down health clinics for teenagers in Ethiopia and halted a program in Nepal, which had government workers traveling through the Himalayas to spread information about reproductive health.
The HRC calls on the Global Gag Rule to be ended in all forms. President-elect Biden has already pledged to reverse the policy once he takes office.
You can read all 85 policy proposals here.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a senior writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.