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For Immediate Release: Equality Texas Releases Statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the Administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris
Posted on January 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

Angela Hale, Equality Texas, 512.289.2995 angela.hale@equalitytexas.org

Equality Texas Releases Statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on the Administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris

Austin, Texas – January 20, 2021- Equality Texas, the largest statewide organization solely dedicated to securing full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans, today released a statement from CEO Ricardo Martinez on what the Administration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris means to our LGBTQ Community.

“Today’s Inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Vice President Kamala D. Harris marks a much awaited and historic moment in our nation’s history. More than one million LGBTQ+ Texans, who have lived in fear and faced discrimination during the Trump administration, will finally feel a reprieve from four years of unprecedented and persistent anti-LGBTQ+ attacks. At every turn, the Trump administration implemented discriminatory policies against our community using a combination of new rules, legal interventions and newly created divisions at the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and State. Most recently, a new Department of Health and Human Services rule would allow taxpayer-funded social-service providers to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the Department of Education’s Betsy DeVos penned a policy memorandum against transgender students seeking to live, learn, and participate in sports by misinterpreting the recent Supreme Court Bostock decision. We know, the Biden/Harris administration will stand with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure America finally lives up to the promise on which it was founded: equality for all. They will provide the moral leadership to champion equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people, fight to ensure our laws and institutions protect and enforce their rights, and advance LGBTQ+ equality globally,” said Equality Texas CEO Ricardo Martinez.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN ON PROTECTING LGBTQ+ PEOPLE FROM DISCRIMINATION

“No one should be fired, denied a home or access to services because of who they are or who they love.” —Joe Biden, May 17, 2019

Half of LGBTQ+ Americans live in states without adequate civil rights protections including Texas. LGBTQ+ people still face discrimination in nearly every aspect of their lives, including employment, military service, starting a family, and obtaining identity documents with their accurate gender marker. 

“The harsh reality is millions of LGBTQ+ people face harassment and mistreatment in their daily lives, even outside of work, and they remain unprotected in public places like restaurants, stores, hotels, and federally-funded programs. That’s why Equality Texas’ top national priority is to elevate the urgent need for a federal response to anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. We hope President Biden actualizes his commitment to protect our community through federal legislation. We will do our part to pass a comprehensive non-discrimination law through the Texas Legislature,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas.

A comprehensive nondiscrimination law passed into Federal law and Texas law are the best vehicles for ensuring equal rights under the law for LGBTQ+ Americans and Texans, and will ensure LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under existing civil rights laws.

President Biden has vowed to make enactment of the Equality Act during his first 100 days as President a top legislative priority. Biden will also direct his Cabinet to ensure immediate and full enforcement of the Equality Act across all federal departments and agencies. 

Biden and Harris have promised the administration will:

  • Pass the Equality Act in the first 100 days
  • Protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination.
  • Support LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Protect LGBTQ+ individuals from violence and work to end the epidemic of violence against the transgender community, particularly transgender women of color. 
  • Expand access to high-quality health care for LGBTQ+ individuals.
  • Ensure fair treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals in the criminal justice system.
  • Collect data necessary to fully support the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Advance global LGBTQ+ rights and development

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Equality Texas is the largest statewide organization working to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through political action, education, community organizing, and collaboration. The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration.