Former Vice President Joe Biden is pledging that his administration will take a more active role in protecting and expanding rights for transgender and “gender-nonconforming” Americans.
Biden issued a statement on Friday marking Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event meant to pay tribute to individuals killed in “anti-trans violence.” Observing the event is increasingly in vogue among progressives who have sought broader protections for members of the trans community at both the state and federal levels in recent years.
In his statement, Biden urged Americans to come together and “work to end the epidemic of violence and discrimination” that has plagued individuals.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor their lives — and recommit to the work that remains to ensure that every transgender and gender-nonconforming person in America has the opportunity to live authentically, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity and respect in their communities and workplaces,” Biden said.
“Transgender rights are human rights,” the former vice president added. “From the moment I am sworn in as president of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.
Biden’s statement comes only days after Shawn Kelly, a transgender woman and former Obama administration official, was tapped for a prominent role on his transition team. Kelly, who is a retired naval flight officer, will lead a review of Department of Defense policies and staffing as the former vice president begins putting his administration into place.
The appointment has buoyed LGBTQ advocates and groups who are pushing Biden to rescind President Donald Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the armed services. Biden, himself, has signaled in recent days that he is likely to make such a move via executive order upon taking office in January.