Biden to sign memo on protecting LGBTQ rights worldwide
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Thursday that Biden would announce the memo during remarks at the State Department later in the afternoon.
“It reflects his deep commitment to these issues both here in the United States and everywhere around the world. The United States will speak out and act on behalf of these rights as we go,” Sullivan told reporters at a White House press briefing.
Biden campaigned on a pledge to pass LGBTQ rights legislation known as the Equality Act within his first 100 days as president and to make LGBTQ rights a top priority of his administration. His plan included protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, ensuring fair treatment in the justice system and advancing LGBTQ rights globally.
The Equality Act, which was first introduced in 2015, would protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination in housing, employment, education and other settings.
The Trump administration was criticized by rights groups for weakening multiple protections for LGBTQ individuals. Shortly after taking office last month, Biden repealed former President Trump’s ban on most transgender people serving in the U.S. military.
Biden also signed an executive order on preventing LGBTQ people from discrimination that broadly interprets the landmark Supreme Court ruling that employees are protected from discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday that Biden “stands by” his pledge to sign the Equality Act in his first 100 days but noted that Congress would need to take action to pass a bill first.
During his remarks at the State Department later Thursday, Biden is expected to focus on his commitment to diplomacy and touch broadly on his foreign policy and national security agenda.