Victory: Joe Biden wins presidency after record-breaking race

Victory: Joe Biden wins presidency after record-breaking race
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

After a knife-edge election race, Joe Biden has now won the White House – although President Donald Trump is yet to accept it.

Biden got to 273 electoral college votes, taking him past the 270 required, after he won the key swing state of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral college votes.

While ballots are still being counted it is now clear that Biden won both the electoral college and the popular vote. He will likely secure even more electoral college votes when the final states are called.

The main remaining question is whether Trump will now accept the result or will continue to challenge it. Georgia has already said it will conduct a recount and Trump has vowed to contest the whole election in the courts. Some even suggest the president’s supporters will take the fight to the streets.

But both candidates can claim one success. Both achieved record high numbers of votes in an election with an historically high turnout. Indeed, Trump actually surpassed his 2016 tally. Meanwhile Biden not only surpassed Barack Obama’s counts from 2008 and 2012 but, with over 74million votes, achieved the biggest vote count in US election history.

As a result, while many may have hoped for a decisive rejection of Trump’s extreme views, that hasn’t happened. If anything, the election has confirmed how polarized America is.

Indeed, exit polls suggest that Trump retains stronger support today than in 2016, even among LGBT+ people.

After a presidency that saw his administration attack the LGBT+ community over 175 times, he actually increased his vote among lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans Americans.

Exit polls by Edison Research for the National Election Pool say 28% of LGBT voters chose Trump, far higher than the 14% he achieved last time. 

However, the polls also note that 61% of LGBTs supported Biden – more than twice Trump’s tally and a far higher proportion than average. Moreover, it’s worth noting the LGBT sample in the exit poll was only a little over 1,000, so may be inaccurate.

Biden and Harris pledges

Assuming a peaceful transition – which remains an alarmingly big assumption – the question now becomes what a President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – the first woman or person of color to hold the role – may mean for LGBT+ people.

Both are long-term LGBT+ allies and have vowed to undo some key Trump attacks on the LGBT+ community.

They will roll back President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces. Moreover they will undo Trump’s attempts to erase trans healthcare rights and access to homeless shelters.

Meanwhile Biden promises to bring in the Equality Act within his first 100 days in office. And in the same period he pledges to tackle both LGBT+ youth homelessness and violence against trans people, particularly trans women of color.

Further promises include allowing trans young people proper bathroom access in schools. And potentially offering US citizens gender-neutral ‘X’ passports, along with ‘M’ and ‘F’ gender options.

The pair also hope to secure a nationwide ban on ‘conversion therapy’. That is something only a handful of countries have so far achieved and could put them on a collision course with the religious right who conduct most ‘gay cures’ around the world.

Finally Biden promises to re-establish LGBT+ rights as a State Department priority – something Barack Obama initiated but Trump has failed to follow.

How much of their ambitious program they can achieve is a big question. However, it is set to be a very different administration to the one we’ve seen for the last four years and the LGBT+ community stands to benefit as much as anyone.

[Syndicated Content]

Published on GayStarNews Read the original article

Author: Tris Reid-Smith