President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to have the “most pro-equality administration in history.”
Biden made the remarks during a virtual appearance at the LGBTQ Victory Institute’s 2020 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference on Dec. 4.
He reiterated his support for LGBTQ rights and cheered the number of out LGBTQ people who won elections last month, saying, “It’s an honor to be an ally, and have been in the battle with all of you.”
“Vice President-elect Harris and I are committed to being the most pro-equality administration in history,” Biden continued. “But we can’t do it without you.”
Biden also congratulated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who received the Victory Institute’s History Makers Award in honor of her successful push to repeal the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which had barred out LGBTQ people from serving.
“Nancy, congratulations on receiving the Victory Institute’s History Makers Award. You deserve it,” Biden said. “Three decades in Congress, always in the right side of LGBTQ history. Always. And the fact that you can receive a History Maker Award for that and so much more is testament to your character.”
Biden said he couldn’t wait to “work together” with Pelosi to “continue to fight for full equality and to usher in a new era of LGBTQ rights and the entire movement.”
As the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition team continues efforts to prepare for taking office in January, a number of LGBTQ have already been nominated to key roles within the Biden-Harris administration.
Karine Jean-Pierre and Pili Tobar, both lesbian women of color, will join the White House communications team — Jean-Pierre as principal deputy press secretary and Tobar as deputy White House communications director.
Carlos Elizondo, an openly gay event planner who previously served as special assistant to the president, has also been tapped to be White House social secretary.
Biden’s transition team also features transgender veteran and former Obama administration official Shawn Skelly, a retired U.S. Navy Commander and the first openly transgender presidential appointee.
Skelly’s appointment was widely viewed as a nod to Biden’s commitment to overturn Donald Trump’s ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military. Recent analysis has shown that, once Biden reaches office on Jan. 20, he could reverse the ban in as little as 30 days.
Aaron Belkin, director of military think tank the Palm Center, told Metro Weekly in a recent interview that the military “doesn’t need to do anything differently. The only thing that needs to be done in order to make sure that all transgender troops can serve equally is to cancel the Trump ban.”
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