President Joe Biden, in his State of the Union address, assured the nation’s transgender youth that he will work to pass legislation to better protect LGBTQ Americans and fight against anti-trans bills spreading across Republican states.
The president made the comments in a sweeping address focused on the Russian invasion in Ukraine, the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and serious concerns about the nation’s economy. But he specifically pointed to what he called an “onslaught” of GOP-led legislation targeting trans youth, bills that seek to limit transgender minors’ access to medically necessary health care or keep them from playing on school sports teams.
The best way to protect them, he said, would be for Congress to pass the Equality Act, bipartisan legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill has been hailed by civil rights groups.
“For our LGBTQ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk,” Biden told Congress. “The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families, it’s simply wrong.”
The Democrat-dominated House voted to pass the Equality Act, but it has been held up in the Senate, where it needs 60 votes to pass and overcome a Republican filibuster. Many republicans lawmakers refused to vote for the bill, saying it would infringe on religious rights, even though a majority of Americans support its passage.