CLAIM: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said if your 8-year-old child wants to be transgender to make life easier, “they have a right to transition and there is no reason for you to deny it.”
THE FACTS: Social media users are altering comments made by Biden during an Oct. 15 town hall to falsely suggest he supports sex changing medical procedures for young children.
Biden said transgender children should not experience discrimination, but he did not say they “have a right to transition.” At the town hall, Pennsylvania voter Mieke Haeck asked Biden how he would reverse actions by the Trump administration that had negatively affected LGBTQ people, including her 8-year-old transgender daughter. Biden responded, “I will flat out just change the law. Every — eliminate those executive orders, number one.” He added, “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘You know I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It would make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination.”
Social media users shared an edited quote distorting his words to say: “If your 8 year old child says they want to be transgender to make life easier … they have a right to transition and there is no reason for you to deny it.” A transcript of the town hall shows Biden never mentioned transitioning or sex changing medical procedures in his response.
Biden has outlined a series of policy goals related to the LGBTQ community on his website. Among them, he pledges to protect LGBTQ youth from civil rights violations and harassment in schools. He has also said he would reverse a ban on transgender people serving in the military introduced under President Donald Trump. Biden’s website does not discuss sex changing medical procedures for children.
— Associated Press writer Ali Swenson reported from Seattle.