In an interview published on Wednesday by the Philadelphia Gay News, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stated that, if elected, he will oppose religious exemptions in proposed laws prohibiting “discrimination” against homosexuals and transgenders and will undo current policies that make allowances for federal contractors/government funding recipients with conscience objections.
“The idea of ‘religious freedom’ as a reason to allow discrimination has stoked divisiveness in this country. What can we do as a country to ensure that discrimination against LGBTQ people, no matter how it’s justified, does not happen?” Biden was asked.
“Trump has deliberately tried to gut protections for the LGBTQ+ community by creating broad religious exemptions to existing nondiscrimination laws and policies that allow businesses, medical providers, and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people,” he replied. “We need to root out discrimination in our laws, institutions, and public spaces.”
“Religion should not be used as a license to discriminate,” Biden, a Roman Catholic, continued, “and as president I will oppose legislation to deny LGBTQ+ equal treatment in public places. I will immediately reverse discriminatory practices that Trump put in place and work to advance the rights of LGBTQ+ people widely.”
Among his goals is to push for the passage of the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act — which currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” — to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list. The two terms would be included as pertaining to matters of “sex” discrimination.
The 2019 version of the Equality Act proposed in Congress specifically stated that religion cannot be cited to protect one’s actions if sued, outlining, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.”
The measure, which passed the House of Representatives last year, would outlaw “conversion therapy,” a move that faith groups say would prohibit licensed Christian therapists and counselors from sharing with homosexuals or those struggling with transgenderism that Jesus Christ offers hope and change to every man via the good news of salvation and regeneration.
Most commonly, the bill prohibits discrimination in employment and housing, meaning that faith-based employers, Christian schools and churches cannot fire an individual for engaging in same-sex behavior, nor can landlords with convictions about marriage decline to rent to two men or women. Women’s shelters would also not be permitted to turn away men who identify as women.
As previously reported, a Christian-based women’s shelter in Alaska filed suit in November 2019 after it was placed under investigation by the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission for declining to admit a man who identifies as a woman as the shelter was not accepting any new guests at the time.
A Christian-owned and operated foster and adoption agency likewise sued the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) after it was given the ultimatum to either change its policies and allow placement in same-sex homes or close its doors.
Several lawsuits have been filed in recent years against faith-based hospitals that have declined to allow the performance of sex-change related operations on the premises — mainly women who sought the removal of their uterus so that they would feel more masculine physically. See here, here, and here.
“By blocking the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve their country, denying LGBTQ+ people access to critical health care, proposing policies allowing federally funded homeless shelters to turn away transgender people and federally funded adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, and failing to address the epidemic of violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of color — the Trump-Pence Administration has led a systematic effort to undo the progress President Obama and I made,” Biden told Philadelphia Gay News last week.
He further outlined that he believes those who identify as transgender should be able to have formal documentation that reflects their gender identity instead of their birth sex.
“I believe every transgender or non-binary person should have the option of selecting ‘X’ as their gender marker on government identifications, passports, and other documentation. I will support state and federal efforts to allow for this accurate representation,” Biden explained.
“In addition, I ensure all transgender inmates have access to appropriate doctors and medical care – including OBGYNs and hormone therapy,” he stated. “I will also support reforms that allow transgender Americans incarcerated in federal prisons to petition to change their legal names and gender identity on official documents, and will support a prohibition on gay and transgender ‘panic’ defense and increase LGBTQ+ cultural competency trainings and bias trainings for law enforcement offices.”
He said that, if elected, he would also continue the push to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide, even to the point of utilizing “pressure tactics.”
“If governments restrict the rights of LBGTQ+ individuals, or allow violence or discrimination, my administration, working with partners, will use America’s full range of diplomatic tools to influence that government’s behavior, including private diplomacy, public statements, and multilateral initiatives at United Nations agencies. We will also use direct pressure tactics as appropriate, including sanctions, to respond to violations of human rights, including LGBTQ+ rights,” Biden outlined.
As previously reported, while giving protections to religious liberty in America, the Trump administration has likewise been working to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.
Last year, Trump personally posted two tweets in recognition of homosexual and transgender “Pride Month,” asking Americans to “stand in solidarity” with homosexuals who live in countries where such sexual practices are illegal, as well as for nations to join his administration’s effort.
“As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month and recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great nation, let us also stand in solidarity with the many LGBT people who live in dozens of countries worldwide that punish, imprison, or even execute individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation,” he wrote.
“My administration has launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality and invite all nations to join us in this effort!” Trump urged.
The nation of Zambia has rejected the push, declaring that homosexuality is “unbiblical and unChristian,” and “we don’t want it.” President Edgar Lungu has refused to work any further with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Foote as he reportedly threatened to pull aid to the African nation after two men received lengthy prison terms.
Proverbs 16:12 states, “It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness, for the throne is established by righteousness.”
Noah Webster, Connecticut politician, county judge, writer, Bible translator and “Father of American Education” (1758-1843) once wrote in exhorting fellow Christians, “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God.”
“The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty. If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted. Laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes, corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws, the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men, and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded.”
“If government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.”