Biden scrambles to create Plan B on LGBT rights as Equality Act meets resistance

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04/13/2021

President Joe Biden vowed on the campaign trail to pass a law protecting LGBTQ Americans from discrimination within his first 100 days in office. But with the Senate’s backing for the Equality Act seen as unlikely, he may already have opted for Plan B. Biden covered key parts of the civil rights bill — which faces an uphill struggle in a Senate split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats — with an executive order signed on his first day in the White House. By extending equal rights safeguards to sexual minorities in health, housing, education and credit in the order, Biden showed his commitment to the act, while placing the onus on Congress to go the whole hog, political analysts said. “It’s an honest signal from the administration that if more is going to be done, it has to be done through Congress,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institution think tank. “What the executive order does is tells the federal agencies to do everything that they can to advance the cause of equality,” Hudak said. “It’s about as far as an administration can go on its own.”

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