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Joe Biden on Gender

In his career before running for President, Joe Biden has introduced legislation to help women and LGBT Americans, and was often ahead of the times. 
During his time in the Senate, Biden took a leadership role (1) in hate crime prevention, notably working to require government agencies to begin collecting data on hate crimes based on sexual orientation. He later was able to increase the lax punishments facing those who committed hate crimes against LGBT people. In 1994, Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act (2), which helped to radically change how criminal courts responded to rape and domestic violence (which were often not addressed or taken seriously). Many experts credit the act “with contributing to a dramatic decrease in the rate of domestic violence in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the overall rate of intimate-partner violence dropped 64% from 1993 to 2010" (3). Through the Affordable Care Act, Biden also helped stop insurers from charging women up to two or three times (4) more than men for identical health policies. 

While Biden has not released his full plan for gender equality yet, Biden’s plans include many programs that will help eliminate discrimination against women and the LGBT community. 
As President, Biden would fight to make sure qualified LGBTQ+ families are not discriminated against by the adoption or foster care systems (5). He will also ensure that all transgender individuals have access to identification documents that accurately reflect their gender identity, and enact the Equality Act, which will “guarantee that LGBTQ+ individuals are protected under existing civil rights laws" (6). Biden will retract policies (7) from the Trump administration that don’t allow transgender people, or people with HIV, from serving in the military, and will increase federal funding for HIV treatments. Biden will also help women enter the workforce and diminish the achievement gap by instituting universal pre-kindergarten (8) for all three- and four -year-olds. Biden also plans to choose a women as his Vice Presidential (9) running mate. 

Biden has released plans to protect the LGBTQ+ community from harassment and life-threatening situations. 
The Trevor Project has found that “40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt”, “lesbian, gay, and bisexual young people are five times more likely to attempt suicide (10) than their heterosexual peers”, and "one-third (11) of transgender young people report that they attempted suicide in the past year”. Biden has pledged to fight this epidemic by "doubling the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, social workers, and other health professionals in our schools”, investing in teen suicide prevention programs, funding the LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative (12) and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (13), with guidance on how to best serve LGBTQ+ runaways. Biden will also help secure transitional living programs, job counseling, as well as mental and physical health care for young LGBTQ+ Americans who have been kicked out of their homes. Further, Biden will put a federal ban on conversion therapy, create a grant program to aid campus anti-harassment programs, and move to ban people who have been convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime, or have been charged with criminal hate or bias, from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

Eight women (14) have alleged that Biden had, at different times, touched them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. 
While these interactions include allegations of Biden invading their personal space, smelling their hair, inappropriate touching and kissing, seven of the women stated his behavior did not amount to amount to sexual harassment or assault. Biden responded (15) with a video stating, "Social norms are changing, I understand that, and I've heard what these women are saying," but he has been criticized for not directly apologizing (16) for his behavior. One of the accusers, Tara Reade (17), has stated that Biden repeatedly harassed her and sexually assaulted her in a Senate building in 1993.