LGBTQ+ community react to Biden victory amid calls for human rights to be the main focus of the next administration

While Biden defeated Trump, Amnesty International has called on the new administration to place human rights at the forefront.

Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr/cc

Following Saturday’s announcement that Joe Biden is projected to be the 46th President of the United States along with Kamala Harris as the first female person of colour to take on the role of Vice President, many Americans took to the streets to celebrate.

Among those celebrating were many from the LGBTQ+ community, with exit polls suggesting that 61% voted for Biden.

Katherine Zappone took to the streets of New York to celebrate the Democratic victory.

Prior to the election, Zappone wrote about the global impact of the US election for the LGBTQ+ community.

“As we approach election day on November 3, it is true that our community will continue to mostly drift towards voting Democrat – they always do. However, many of those voters may not be aware that we have in Joe Biden a strong ally who as Vice President broke ranks to declare his support for Marriage Equality.

“When I met Joe Biden during a visit to Ireland in 2016 I found him as someone keenly aware of many social justice issues.

“His choice of running mate, Kamala Harris, is another champion on rights. Her record speaks for itself. As a San Francisco District Attorney she established a Hate Crimes Unit to investigate and prosecute anti-LGBTQ+ violence. She was a leader to end the use of the so-called ‘gay and transgender panic defence’. In 2014, California became the first state to ban the practice in law, four years later Harris and other Senators introduced a bill to prohibit the practice nationally.”

Speaking as part of GCN’s In & Out festival, former President Mary McAleese shared her thoughts on Joe Biden:

“He’s my kind of person and I know that Ireland is written in his heart because he’s always been interested in what’s going on and like the administrations that he was a very strong supporter of over the years, he kept that interest in Ireland, he helped to support our peace process.

“If I was to ask who would I trust to be on our back all through [Brexit], and to understand what we need and to understand the ins and outs of what is a very complex situation in Ireland, I know Joe Biden understands that absolutely in anatomical detail.

“I know it’s written in Joe Biden’s heart and I trust him in that regard.”

Following the announcement, the National LGBT Federation tweeted:

“Warm congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their US Election win. We know the vast majority of LGBT Americans & millions of others will be pleased – and relieved – at the outcome. We also look forward to the US rejoining the global effort for LGBT rights.”

While a majority have supported the Biden administration over Trump, the win is a bittersweet moment as many point to the flaws of both Biden and Harris when it comes to their human rights track record.

Jason Domino noted this from the point of view of sex workers:

It is a historic moment because of Kamala. People in my community, the Sex Worker community, are finding this moment bittersweet however: we supported her over Trump but she shows deep rooted prejudice towards consensual sex workers. She undoubtedly spells specific attacks on us.

Amnesty International has called on the Biden administration to adopt a bold, transformational strategy that places human rights at the forefront of all domestic and foreign policies.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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