HIGH STAKES

Biden Declares LGBTQ Rights His Top Priority

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday said his top legislative agenda would be passing the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ people. Speaking to a crowd at a fundraising event in Columbus, Biden told the audience the “very idea of America is at stake” as the Trump administration seeks to roll back protections for LGBTQ individuals. “It’s wrong and it is immoral what they’re doing,” he said. “Just like with racial justice and women’s rights, we are seeing pushback against all the progress we’ve made toward equality.” The “first thing” he’d ask to be done, he said, would be passage of the federal Equality Act, which would prohibit various forms of discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, many states do not have legislation outlawing such discrimination. While the House passed the legislation in mid-May, the Republican-controlled Senate has yet to take it up. Biden on Saturday urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on the bill.