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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Biden, Harris inaugurated, leaders comment
--From press releases. Come back for additional statements
2021-01-20

This article shared 571 times since Wed Jan 20, 2021
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Planned Parenthood Illinois:

Statement attributed to Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action:

As the eyes of the world turn from the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago to today's inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) welcomes this change in leadership and the ushering in of a pro-reproductive health care agenda.

Because Illinois is a haven state in the Midwest, surrounded by states which are restricting access to reproductive health care at every opportunity, we urge the incoming administration to issue an executive order unequivocally stating its commitment to protect and expand access to comprehensive reproductive health care, uphold sexual and reproductive rights, including abortion care, in the U.S. and around the world, and rescind or revoke prior executive actions limiting access to care.

The policies of the last four years have desperately eroded equal access to health care such as cervical cancer screenings, annual wellness exams, birth control, STI testing and treatment, and abortion care. This has been especially true for low-income people, people of color, and undocumented folks who already face systemic barriers to care due to racist and discriminatory policies, both past and present.

We are pleased to welcome the new administration and look forward to renewed support for comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, or national or social origin.

SAGE, Advocacy and Services for LGBT Elders

From his public support of marriage equality as Vice President, to being the first-ever president-elect to acknowledge the transgender community in a victory speech, President Biden knows how to be on the right and just side of history. As the oldest president to take office, he also shares both our elders' wisdom and experiences in the face of an ageist society. Similarly, Vice President Harris has been a leader for fairness while also enduring deplorable racism as the country's first Black woman of Indian descent to assume her role. At SAGE, we celebrate this historic day and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' monumental victories in assuming the leadership of our nation's executive branch, and we look forward to working with the administration to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead.

With more than 350,000 Americans dead from the COVID-19 pandemic — the majority of whom are 65 and older — a devastated economy, and a renewed fight for racial equity in the face of rising white supremacist violence, the Biden-Harris administration enters the White House at a time requiring swift, courageous action. Older Americans are also threatened by the crippling dual pandemics of financial insecurity and isolation. This is especially true for LGBT and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) elders, who are subjected to discrimination and multiple forms of violence. As the recent deadly attack on the U.S. Congress reminds us, violent forces of extreme-right hatred are on the rise in this country. BIPOC, transgender, and gender-nonconforming people are especially at risk. Protecting them and championing their rights must be a consistent priority for the new administration.

SAGE is well prepared to help and pledges to partner with the Biden-Harris administration to usher in change to address the injustice and bring positive, proactive change. SAGE must — and will — ensure that LGBT elders are seen and heard. To that end, we must undo the previous administration's policies that attacked LGBT people, immigrants, communities of color, and other marginalized communities.

Specifically, as we approach the first anniversary of the passage of the LGBT-inclusive reauthorization of the Older Americans Act — the only piece of LGBT-inclusive legislation to become law under the Trump administration — the Biden-Harris administration must prioritize its implementation. LGBT elders have waited long enough to see this change come to fruition. We look forward to partnering with the new administration to ensure that federally-funded community services are equally and equitably available to LGBT elders in every city and town in this country, ensuring that the federal government fulfills its responsibility to all older Americans.

Our country's leaders should draw inspiration from the overwhelming resilience of our elders. These are challenging times to assume the Presidency and Vice Presidency. But as our LGBT elders have continually proven — over this past year and in the decades of struggle they have traversed since the Stonewall Uprising — success requires endless determination and a relentless commitment to fairness and equity for all people in this country. Over the next four years of the Biden-Harris administration, SAGE pledges to do all within our power to ensure that the federal government is held accountable for these commitments and that LGBT elders and elders from all diverse communities are at the center of progress toward a dramatically more just and equitable society.

The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law:

Today, President Biden is expected to release a plan to overhaul immigration laws in the U.S. The plan provides an eight-year pathway to citizenship for immigrants without legal status, an expansion of refugee admissions, and a focus on addressing the root causes of migration from Central America. In addition, recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the temporary protected status (TPS) program would be able to apply for a green card immediately. Further, undocumented immigrants will once again be counted in the U.S. Census.

According to Williams Institute analysis, there are approximately 289,700 undocumented LGBT adult immigrants in the U.S. An estimated 76% are Latino/a. There are 81,000 LGBT Dreamers in the U.S., and 39,000 of them have participated in DACA.

"Undocumented LGBT people are a particularly vulnerable population," said Kerith J. Conron, the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute. "Having a pathway to citizenship will increase access to jobs that pay livable wages and offer paid leave and other benefits necessary to ensure health and well-being for undocumented immigrants and their families."

President Biden is also expected to release an executive order rescinding the travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries. An estimated 135,000 Muslim LGBT people live in the U.S., according to forthcoming research from the Williams Institute. The majority (58%) were born in other countries.

The travel ban created additional barriers to entry for LGBT people fleeing from violence in 13 countries impacted by the ban. Williams Institute research shows that LGBT people face hostile environments in many of these countries. An analysis of social acceptance of LGBT people in 174 countries found that most of the countries in the travel ban ranked in the bottom half in terms of acceptance, including Iran (ranked 164), Nigeria (146), Kyrgyzstan (140), Sudan (132), Tanzania (126), Libya (108), and Yemen (104). In four of these countries (Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Yemen) homosexuality can be punished with the death penalty in all or parts of the country. Three other countries ranked in the top half—Myanmar (69), Syria (48), Venezuela (39)—and data were not available for the remaining countries.

Key findings from Williams Institute research include

-There are an estimated 289,700 LGBT-identified individuals in the U.S., representing approximately 3.0% of all undocumented adults in the country.

-Relative to all undocumented immigrants, LGBT undocumented immigrantsare more likely to be male and younger.

-Nearly half (48%) of LGBT undocumented immigrants are estimated to be under age 30 compared to 22% of all undocumented immigrants.

-76% of undocumented LGBT adults are Latino/a, 14% are Asian or Pacific Islander, 7% are white and 3% are Black.

-An estimated 135,000 Muslim LGBT people live in the U.S., including about 25,700 born in Iran, Iraq, and Syria, countries subject to a travel ban during the Trump administration.

There are an estimated 81,000 LGBT Dreamers in the U.S., including 39,000 who have participated in DACA.

-The U.S. currently provides TPS to foreign nationals from 10 countries. Social acceptance of LGBT people ranked low in many of them: El Salvador (ranked 50), Haiti (106), Honduras (57), Nepal (10), Nicaragua (42), Somalia, South Sudan (161), Sudan (132), Syria (48), and Yemen (104).

PFLAG National:

WASHINGTON—Today PFLAG, representing hundreds of thousands of parents, families, allies, and LGBTQ+ people, celebrates the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala D. Harris as the 49th Vice President of the United States.

Statement by Brian K. Bond, Executive Director of PFLAG National:

"Across the country, PFLAG families and allies celebrate the inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as President of the United States and Kamala D. Harris, a child of immigrants and the first woman and first Black and South Asian person in history to serve as Vice President of the United States. President Biden and Vice President Harris have each demonstrated a strong commitment to public service in the interest of marginalized people, inclusive of LGBTQ+ people, throughout their careers. This work promises to continue through the leadership of the new administration's Cabinet, whose nominees would make it among the most racially, ethnically, and gender diverse in our nation's history.

"For PFLAGers and LGBTQ+ people around the country, the nomination of the first openly gay member of the Cabinet, Pete Buttigieg as Sec. of Transportation represents an historic milestone. More importantly, public servants like Buttigieg come prepared with the skills and plans to help our cities, suburbs, and rural communities build back better as the nation turns to address the crises of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Following four years of administrative assaults that targeted LGBTQ+ people, and transgender people in particular, PFLAG is working with the Biden-Harris Administration and our elected leaders in Congress to prioritize fixing the effects of these harmful policies. We are heartened that executive actions in the short term include undoing Trump's final actions before leaving office to eliminate LGBTQ+ discrimination protections; reversing the the transgender military ban and the Muslim ban; curbing ICE and working to reunite families separated at our borders; enforcing protections for LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination; and ensuring a fair and complete Census in which everybody counts.

"Together with the White House and Congress, PFLAG supports passing HR5, the federal Equality Act, to extend equal protection from discrimination to include LGBTQ+ people; passing HR1, the For the People Act of 2021, which will expand Americans' access to the ballot box; and supporting the historic confirmations of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation and Dr. Rachel Levine, who is openly transgender, as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services.

"There is much work that lies ahead of us, and PFLAG National looks forward to uniting with the Biden-Harris Administration to do our part and achieve equality and justice for LGBTQ+ people and their families."


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