• Kaveesh Pathak

Biden's executive orders hit close to home for state rep

Robert Fucci Wicked Local

One of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders on Jan. 20 reversed former President Donald Trump’s diversity training ban that restricted the federal government and its contractors from a curriculum that explored race and gender bias.

Trump's executive order issued in late September had an immediate effect on revived efforts to reverse patterns of discrimination and exclusion in the workplace.

On Jan. 25, Biden signed another executive order supporting the LGBTQ community, reversing a Pentagon policy that largely barred transgender citizens from joining the military.

Among those who applauded Biden’s actions was State Rep. Tami Gouveia (D-Acton), who had a personal interest in the change.

“It’s just pure relief,” said Gouveia, who has a transgender son. “The change in perspective in how we treat people who want to serve our country, and then also the restoring the Bostock ruling from the Supreme Court that expects the federal government to enforce and protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people from discrimination. His actions are very much welcome among people, families that identify as LGBTQ.”

Biden’s Jan. 20 order moves to ensure that Americans of all backgrounds have equal access to federal government resources, benefits and services. A data working group will be created, as well as the study of new methods to measure and assess federal equity and diversity efforts.

Another of Biden’s executive order reinforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This requires the federal government not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, a policy that reverses action by the Trump’s administration.

“With this family, there are differences in how our children are being treated,” said Gouveia, who has three other sons. “No parent wants that for their children. We want to make sure we are protecting our children and providing them with all the opportunities for them to contribute as citizens for the country in ways that feel good to them. Under the previous administration, so many of our children were denied that right. They were denied the opportunity that other people just automatically had based on their gender identity.”

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