Joe Biden’s 2024 presidential run means ‘high stakes’ for trans Americans

US president Joe Biden has officially launched his reelection campaign, with LGBTQ+ groups describing the upcoming race as a “high-stakes” for the community amid nationwide attacks. 

On Tuesday (25 April) president Joe Biden officially announced he would run in the 2024 race, with vice-president Kamala Harris once again joining him as his running mate. 

In a video posted on his social media accounts, the 80-year-old Democrat leader blasted “MAGA extremists” and positioned his campaign as one of freedom, democracy and equality; urging voters to let him “finish the job”. 

“Every generation has a moment where they have had to stand up for democracy,” a caption alongside the post reads, “To stand up for their fundamental freedoms. I believe this is ours.

“That’s why I’m running for reelection as president of the United States. Join us. Let’s finish the job.”

The video features several key moments from Biden’s first term as president, as well as scenes from the US Capitol insurrection.

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During Biden’s first term, there has been an extreme rise in the number of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation tabled at state-level across the United States, including trans sports ban, restrictions on gender affirming healthcare, drag bans and anti-discrimination rollbacks. 

So far in 2023 alone, at least 469 pieces of queerphobic legislation have been brought forth, with lawmakers in Texas putting forth 50 bills explicitly targeting the LGBTQ+ community.

The 2024 presidential election is being seen by many as a crucial time for LGBTQ+ rights in America and, particularly, a tipping point for trans rights.  

Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, the executive director for the National Center for Transgender Rights Action Fund, told PinkNews that Biden’s official announcement is “critical”. 

“His administration has been steadfast in support of the transgender community,” Heng-Lehtinen said. 

“The 2024 election stakes are incredibly high for trans Americans, and Biden’s continued advocacy as a presidential candidate will continue to support the advancement of trans rights.”

LGBTQ+ rights should ‘never be up for debate’

GLAAD president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis also noted that LGBTQ+ Americans’ safety is “under attack” in state legislatures across the country “as extremists on the US Supreme Court, federal judiciary and gerrymandered states continue to strip human rights vital to everyone’s future”. 

Ellis said: “Essential health care, book bans, and access to society as our authentic selves should never be up for debate but they are on the ballot in 2024. 

“GLAAD will once again be tracking the records and rhetoric of candidates in order to educate LGBTQ+ people and our allies as they head to the polls.” 

During his first term as president, Biden biggest legislative win for the LGBTQ+ community was the passage of the historic Respect for Marriage Act. 

The legislation codifies same-sex – as well as interracial marriage – into US law, by repealing provisions that define marriage as a man and a woman.

Upon signing the act in December 2022, Biden said: “Today, America takes a vital step toward equality, liberty and justice. Not just for some, but for everyone.”

Former president and Republican favourite Donald Trump has already launched his 2024 re-election bid, with Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former vice-president Mike Pence also tipped to mount campaigns.

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