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National Transgender Group Endorses Joe Biden for President

Mara Keisling and Joe Biden
Mara Keisling and Joe Biden

"Joe Biden is the advocate and president we need at this consequential moment," says Mara Keisling of the NCTE Action Fund.

The National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund has endorsed Joe Biden for president.

"Joe Biden is the advocate and president we need at this consequential moment," NCTE Action Fund Executive Director Mara Keisling said in a press release issued Tuesday. "He has the temperament, the experience and wisdom to lead our country. Throughout his career in public service, work as a private citizen through the Biden Foundation, and now his campaign to lead our nation, Biden has demonstrated his commitment to transgender people and the LGBTQ community.

"Biden has a strong agenda for addressing the issues that face transgender Americans, a record of getting big ideas done during his time as vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, and a history of ensuring that transgender people are protected, including protections for transgender women as part of the reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act he authored. Over the years he has consistently made clear that 'transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.' With Joe Biden, we know we will be engaged, we will be seen, and we will not be erased."

The presumptive Democratic nominee, a former U.S. senator as well as vice president, was interviewed by Keisling last year as part of the NCTE Action Fund's Transform the White House project (see below). In the interview, he said people of faith, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any other religion, should recognize trans people's right to their identity and to equal treatment under the law.

He also said he learned a great deal about trans issues when Sarah McBride, a trans woman who has gone on to be national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and worked for his son Beau when the younger Biden was attorney general of Delaware. Beau Biden and McBride advocated for Delaware's Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act, which became law in 2013. McBride is now running for the Delaware State Senate.

Additionally, during the interview the former vice president excoriated Donald Trump for rolling back polices meant to protect trans people and others from discrimination. Trump's anti-equality moves are "wrong for who we are as a people," Biden said. He further pledged to assure trans people's access to health care and protect all their rights. "The idea that someone can tell you that you can't be who you are in your heart and soul is just wrong," he said.

In endorsing Biden, Keisling pointed out the marked contrast between his ideology and Trump's. "The Trump administration is really the discrimination administration," she said. "President Trump has attacked transgender health care, put transgender students unnecessarily at risk, and led a consistent and unrelenting effort to roll back protections for LGBTQ Americans. Joe Biden is the clear choice for president of the United States, and the NCTE Action Fund is proud to endorse him."

Reggie Greer, LGBTQ+ vote director for the Biden campaign, issued the following statement:

"On behalf of Vice President Biden, our campaign is deeply honored to have the National Center for Transgender Equality Action Fund's endorsement and partnership in this election.

"In 2012, the same year he boldly declared his support for marriage equality, Vice President Biden made clear that 'transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.' He understands what's at stake, and has built an unmatched record of ensuring our nation's laws and discourse value, reflect, and see the lives, dignity, and worth of all transgender people. To the contrary, Donald Trump and Mike Pence have done nearly everything in their power to endanger the lives of transgender people or ignore the issues disproportionately impacting them. That's why it's all the more reason we are grateful for today's announcement.

"NCTE Action Fund has done trailblazing work to change the landscape of America, educate and lobby elected leaders, and empower and mobilize transgender people to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box. That record, and network to countless voters on the ground, is especially crucial in this time of uncertainty and upheaval.

"With six months until Election Day, this is an all hands on deck situation. Now with the NCTE Action Fund standing by our side, we couldn't be more equipped in our mission to build a diverse coalition of voters to take on, and beat Donald Trump this November."

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