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LGBTQI Catholics Urge Biden Administration to Focus on Covid Relief, Justice Work

November 7, 2020 - Now that the election has been called in favor of the Biden/Harris ticket, DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics committed to justice, equality and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in our church and society, congratulates Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and successful congressional candidates on their electoral victory, apparently winning the presidency and making it more likely that the work of the people can be done in Congress. We also congratulate the many barrier-breaking candidates, including LGBTQI people, who won their races at the congressional and state legislative levels. We await the results of several Senate races yet to be called or headed for runoff in early January. 

“We’re thankful to know there will be an end to an administration that consistently undermined the safety, well-being, and rights of LGBTQI people and other marginalized communities,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA. “We ask this new Congress and White House to prepare now to respond quickly to the many crises facing the nation as soon as they take office.”

“In particular, we urge them to prepare a robust COVID-19 response, prioritizing the health and safety of at-risk communities and providing essential financial relief to the millions who have encountered job loss or cutbacks, struggled to pay rent, or fought to meet their basic needs. We know that LGBTQI people, and especially Black LGBTQI people, have been hit the hardest in these intersecting crises, and are in dire need of support.”

Duddy-Burke continued: “A new governing coalition presents a new opportunity to address long-delayed justice initiatives that have sat inactive for years. LGBTQI Americans have awaited action on the Equality Act, a landmark piece of legislation that would enshrine LGBTQI inclusion into national law with wide-ranging anti-discrimination protections if passed. The principles of this Act are supported by people of both political parties. The Biden-Harris presidential ticket and numerous congressional candidates ran on promises to pass this historic bill if elected. We call on them to keep this promise.”

“Alongside these priorities, we hope for a return of justice for LGBTQI people as a cornerstone value in our foreign policy, swift action on climate change, protections for transgender/gender expansive and queer students, and health care reform that guarantees care for all. LGBTQI people and their families sit at the center of so many of the challenges facing our nation, as do so many marginalized communities. We pray that this new-look Congress and presidency will listen to the voices of those who encounter discrimination and inequalities in their daily lives in forming solutions to the many injustices of our world today.

“DignityUSA stands ready to work with our elected officials on finding the right balance between ensuring the equality of all people and respecting the legitimate rights of religious communities,” said Duddy-Burke. “The outgoing administration’s support of policies and initiatives linked to denial of LGBTQI equality based on a mistaken notion of ‘religious freedom’ endangers the freedom and lives of too many in this country. We look forward to forging a new path.”

Duddy-Burke noted, “DignityUSA’s mission of achieving justice, equality, and full inclusion for LGBTQI people in our church and society has: remained consistent for over 50 years, through numerous presidencies, Congresses, and even papacies. This election marks another new era in the work we do to fulfill our dreams. We know that we must repair the damage done during the last four years, and we hope to partner with the Biden-Harris administration on doing that as quickly as possible. Then, we look forward to making significant strides towards equality and justice for all.”