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Day One Executive Orders Aimed at Achieving Equity

1/21/2021 – Yesterday, President Biden issued 17 Executive Orders including several designed to reverse harmful and discriminatory Trump-era policies and to manage the public health and economic crises of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the measures President Biden signed were a broad-ranging executive order that implements protections for LGBTQ individuals under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, an executive order to advance racial equity and support underserved communities, and an executive order to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

President Biden’s executive order on non-discrimination for LGBTQ+ individuals fully applies the ruling of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County; the federal government will enforce existing federal law to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, healthcare, housing, and education.

The president also demonstrated his administration’s commitment to racial equity through executive action by defining racial equity at the federal level and requiring federal agencies to act on the principle. The order also rescinds the Trump administration’s bigoted 1776 Commission and restores the ability for federal agencies to provide diversity and inclusion trainings.

Additional executive orders issued yesterday to restore the DACA program, rescind the discriminatory travel ban to Muslim-majority countries, rescind the Trump administration directive to exclude undocumented persons from the census, and halt continued construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall demonstrate the administration’s commitment to protect groups that the previous administration actively targeted.

We applaud President Biden’s swift action to overturn many of the harmful and discriminatory policies of the previous administration. While these actions are the first of many required to build equity and uproot racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia in America – the orders provide a basic framework of protections, which advocates and policy makers can use to leverage further change.

For more information regarding the executive orders signed by President Biden on 1/20/2021 please visit WhiteHouse.gov.