House speaker Nancy Pelosi perfectly handled a Christian news reporter who challenged her on Joe Biden’s commitment to gender-affirming care for trans kids.
The president-elect has been reassuringly unambiguous in his pledge to “eliminate” Donald Trump’s many transphobic policies, promising to “flat out change the law” when he enters the White House.
Pelosi, who has been equally uncompromising in her support for the trans community, held firm under questioning at a news conference on Friday (4 December).
“Joe Biden says he’ll give transgender students access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance to their gender identity in all federally funded schools,” a reporter from the Christian News Service said.
“Does he have the power to unilaterally do this, and do you agree?”
The reporter seemed to pose the question as a “gotcha” moment with the intention of eliciting a controversial answer. But Nancy Pelosi’s been in politics far too long not to notice where they were heading, and she clearly wasn’t going to be drawn on the matter.
“Yes, and I think he does,” before firmly moving on from the subject.
Experts agree that Pelosi is “absolutely right” in saying that Biden has the power to protect trans youth.
“The Supreme Court was abundantly clear when it found sex discrimination laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, exactly as Title IX does,” Gillian Branstetter, a spokesperson for the National Women’s Law Centre told the Washington Blade.
“And given the crisis of harassment, violence, and rejection faced by trans youth, supporting schools in their effort to keep trans kids safe is essential as both a legal and moral matter.”
Biden has pledged to reinstate the Obama guidance for transgender students revoked by Trump on his first day in office.
He’s also promised to create high-level positions on LGBT+ rights at federal agencies including the State Department and the National Security Council, and to pass the Equality Act within his first 100 days as president.