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Biden vows to make Equality Act a legislative priority in first 100 days of office

Biden vows to make Equality Act a legislative priority in first 100 days of office
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Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE is vowing to make the Equality Act a priority in his first 100 days in office. 

In an interview with Philadelphia Gay News published on Wednesday, Biden said the LGBTQ+ rights legislation would be one of his top priorities if he wins the White House and Democrats control both the House and Senate next year. 

“I will make enactment of the Equality Act a top legislative priority during my first 100 days — a priority that Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE opposes,” Biden told the newspaper. “This is essential to ensuring that no future president can ever again roll back civil rights and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals, including when it comes to housing.” 

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Biden also committed to ensuring “immediate and full” enforcement” of the Equality Act across the federal government. 

“Too many states do not have laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination,” he said. “It’s wrong to deny people access to services or housing because of who they are or who they love.” 

In May of last year, the House passed the act, which expands the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination in employment, housing, jury selection and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The Trump administration has opposed the legislation, saying it is “filled with poison pills that threaten to undermine parental and conscience rights.” 

Biden also told Philadelphia Gay News that he would direct federal resources to address violence against transgender women during his first 100 days and pass the LGBT Essential Act to collect data on anti-transgender violence. The former vice president also said he would use “America’s full range of diplomatic tools” to deal with nations that still incarcerate LGBTQ+ people and allow them to be killed. 

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“I’ll stand up to bullies and once more put human rights at the center of America’s engagement with the world,” Biden said. 

He has been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and won the endorsement of over 300 leaders in the movement in August. 

"He is a leader who has stood with the LGBTQ+ community for decades, offering compassion in our moments of uncertainty and policies to move us forward," they wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today. 

The Trump administration has made multiple policy decisions seen as anti-LGBTQ+, including its 2017 transgender military ban and throwing out ObamaCare's nondiscrimination policy for sex and gender equality in June.