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Joe Biden orders huge change on gender law

Joe Biden has signed an executive order - an instruction from the President to all federal agencies - regarding the treatment of people who do not identify as the gender they were born as. 

President Biden states that no 'agency' will be allowed to ban a trans person from joining a school, team or job because of their changed gender. It states that the term "sex" in law should now also refer to the gender someone has chosen to live as. 

A spokesperson from an American LGBTQ+ group has told Premier it will not apply to faith communities. 

The Executive Order on 'Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation' states: "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. Adults should be able to earn a living and pursue a vocation knowing that they will not be fired, demoted, or mistreated because of whom they go home to or because how they dress does not conform to sex-based stereotypes."

The White House administration explains that laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, also apply in cases of gender orientation and sexual identity. 

The Executive Order follows a court case last year, Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the Supreme Court held that the prohibition on discrimination "because" covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation as well.   

Implementing this court case into law was one of the key priorities of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ+  group. 

HRC legal director Sarah Warbelow told Premier: "The Biden Executive Order implementing the Bostock decision does not apply to membership of faith communities, religious teachings, or ministerial positions."

HRC President, Alphonso David, said: "Biden's Executive Order is the most substantive, wide-ranging executive order concerning sexual orientation and gender identity ever issued by a United States president. Today, millions of Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their President and their government believe discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not only intolerable but illegal."

The Family Research Council, a Christian group which campaigns on issues of marriage, family and sexuality, responded by saying: "Now, those who hold to biological reality and the doctrines of the world's major religions will be forced to violate their consciences, or even lose a government contract. Ultimately, if this executive order is able to be fully carried out, it will affect everyday Americans who hold biblical and conservative values. In his inauguration speech yesterday, President Biden called for unity, but he is now demanding uniformity."

To read the President's Executive Order, click here

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