Biden declares LGBTQ rights his No. 1 legislative priority

AP NEWS | 6/1/2019 | Staff
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden declared Saturday that the Equality Act would be his top legislative priority, an effort to enshrine LGBTQ protections into the nation’s labor and civil rights laws.

The former vice president shared his hopes of signing the legislation as part of a keynote address to hundreds of activists at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Ohio gala on the first day of Pride Month. In a half-hour at the lectern, his remarks ranged from emotional tributes to his audience and their personal endurance to condemnations of President Donald Trump.

Biden - Trump - Administration - Trump - Polices

“It’s wrong and it is immoral what they’re doing,” Biden said of the Trump administration. Among other Trump polices, he cited attempts to bar transgender troops in the U.S. military, allow individuals in the medical field to refuse to treat LGBTQ individuals, and allow homeless shelters to refuse transgender occupants.

“Just like with racial justice and women’s rights, we are seeing pushback against all the progress we’ve made toward equality,” Biden said.

Equality - Act - Practices - Democratic-run - House

The Equality Act would address many such discriminatory practices. It recently passed the Democratic-run House, but will not become law under Trump and the Republican Senate. That means LGBTQ residents in dozens of states are still subject to various forms of discrimination that are either specifically allowed or not barred by state law.

“It will be the first thing I ask to be done,” Biden said.

Biden - Ohio - Battleground - Time - Bid

Biden spoke in Ohio, a political battleground he was visiting for the first time since beginning his bid, on the same day that more than a dozen of his rivals were in San Francisco for the California Democratic Convention and a massive MoveOn.org conference. By the end of the weekend, 14 candidates will have addressed thousands of activists in California, which has more than 400 delegates to the 2020 convention, about a...
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