President-elect Joe Biden is planning to reverse a number of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT+ policies when he takes office in January.
Mr Biden, who will be sworn into office on 20 January, is expected to use executive orders to reverse several policies implemented by the Trump administration, according to the Associated Press.
The president-elect is planning on lifting the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military and its “freedom to discriminate” rules, which allow healthcare providers to discriminate based on religious beliefs.
Mr Biden will also reinstate guidance from the Obama administration, in which he served as vice president, which will allow transgender students to access facilities in accordance with their gender identity.
Plans to add questions about sexuality and gender identity to national surveys will also be renewed, after they were stalled by the Trump administration, according to Pink News.
The Biden administration will also reportedly create senior LGBT+ rights positions at the State Department and other federal agencies.
The measures would overturn policies implemented by the Trump administration that weakened protections for LGBT+ people, mainly based on freedom of religion grounds.
In a policy document, the Biden campaign said that Mr Trump and vice president Mike Pence “have given hate against LGBTQ+ individuals safe harbour and rolled back critical protections.”
Nicolas Talbott, a transgender man who took legal action over the Trump administration’s military ban, told the AP that he welcomed the plans.
“I look forward to being allowed to re-enroll in ROTC so I can continue to train, keep up my fitness to serve, and become the best army officer I can possibly be,” Mr Talbott said.
Mr Biden’s top legislative priority is the Equality Act, which was passed by Congress last year, but has since stalled in the Senate.
The act would extend to all 50 states the anti-bias protections that are already afforded to LGBT+ people in 21 states. The legislation covers sectors such as public services and public accommodations, according to the AP.
Mr Biden has said that he wants the act to become law within his first 100 days in charge, but his administration will face an uphill battle to get it passed in the Senate.
Even if the Democrats win both Senate runoff races in Georgia in January, they will still need support from several Republicans. Maine senator Susan Collins is the only Republican co-sponsor in the Senate at the time of writing.
Critics of the act, including Utah Republican congressman Chris Stewart, have claimed that the legislation is a federal threat to religious liberty.
However, Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, dismissed the argument and told the AP that “anti-equality forces are trying to use the framework of religious liberty to strip away individual rights.”
Speaking on the campaign trail, Mr Biden also pledged to make LGBT+ rights a part of his administration’s international advocacy efforts.
He said that he his administration will us its “full range of diplomatic tools” and “once more put human rights at the centre of America’s engagement with the world.”