White House website's contact form now requires users to state their pronouns
The Biden administration has changed the White House website's contact form so that it now asks visitors to select their preferred pronouns before they submit a comment or question.
GLAAD, a national LGBT advocacy group, announced the change to the White House contact form on its Twitter account Wednesday, less than three hours after President Joe Biden was sworn into office.
The organization proudly proclaimed that the "contact form now asks for your pronouns."
In addition to the traditional "she/her" and "he/him," visitors to the White House website also have the option to choose from "they/them," "other" and "prefer not to share." The drop-down menu does not include the pronoun pair "ze/zir" as an option.
Along with "Mr.," Ms.," and "Mrs," the contact form's prefix drop-down bar now contains the gender-neutral option "Mx."
The Wayback Machine, an internet archiving tool, captured a snapshot of the White House contact form earlier in the day Wednesday.
The snapshot, taken before Biden assumed the presidency, reflects the White House contact form used during the Trump administration. That form looked almost identical to the form used by the Biden administration except for the pronouns section and a slightly different cosmetic appearance. The old White House form didn't have "Mx." as a prefix option.
Additionally, the tabs above the White House contact form containing links to the previous administration's policies on the economy, national security, the budget and immigration have been removed. They have yet to be replaced with links containing information about the new administration's policies on the issues.
The inclusion of a pronoun section on the White House contact form reflects the Biden administration's policy priorities on the LGBT community.
The Biden presidential campaign vowed to "stand with the LGBTQ+ community to ensure America finally lives up to the promise on which it was founded: equality for all."
The president's campaign promised to "provide the moral leadership to champion equal rights for all LGBTQ+ people, fight to ensure our laws and institutions protect and enforce their rights, and advance LGBTQ+ equality globally."
On his first day in office, Biden signed an executive order requiring government agencies to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The order cited the 2020 Supreme Court decision of Bostock v. Clayton Countyto contend that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to sexual orientation and gender identity even though neither term is mentioned in the act.
Biden has made the passage of the Equality Act — legislation that would expand federal civil rights law to include protections for LGBT people — a priority for the first 100 days of his administration.
Critics of the bill argue that it poses a threat to religious liberty and will put biological females at a disadvantage in women's sports by allowing biological males who identify as females to compete against them.
The Equality Act already passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in 2019 but failed to become law due to opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate and White House.
Democrats now control both houses of Congress and the White House, making it more of a possibility that the Equality Act will become law.
However, Democrats only have a one-vote majority in the Senate, leaving them far short of the 60 votes required to pass legislation under current Senate rules.
While Democrats have expressed a desire to end the filibuster rule, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has said that he would vote against any push to end the filibuster rule.
If Manchin votes with all Republicans to preserve the 60-vote threshold, Republicans could filibuster the Equality Act and prevent it from passing.
Biden's agenda for the LGBT community also includes preventing federal funds from going to Christian-run adoption agencies unless they agree to alter policies to allow placement of children in the homes of LGBT adults.
The president also plans to ban therapy and counseling for those with unwanted same-sex attraction, which is described by critics as "conversion therapy," and establish diplomatic positions devoted to advancing LGBT advocacy worldwide.
The Biden campaign has contended that the Trump administration was hostile to LGBT rights. However, Richard Grenell, who served as the acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration and is the first openly gay person to serve in a cabinet-level position in the U.S., called on 69 countries to decriminalize homosexuality and same-sex relationships in 2019.
Additionally, Trump himself described the debate about same-sex marriage as "settled" and sent out a tweet in honor of LGBT pride month. The former president received 27% support from the LGBT community in his 2020 re-election bid, an increase from the 14% he received four years earlier.
Historically, the LGBT community overwhelmingly favors Democrats in presidential elections. Biden only received 64% of the LGBT vote in the 2020 presidential election, according to network exit polls.
The previous Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton, received 77% support from the LGBT community in her unsuccessful 2016 White House bid.