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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher October 27, 2020

Conservative group’s claim that Joe Biden backs sex changes for kids is False

If Your Time is short

  • Biden has stated opposition to discrimination against transgender people, he has not said he supports sex changes for children.

In a tweet promoting its new attack ad, a conservative super PAC  claims: "Joe Biden says he supports sex changes for kids."

The 30-second spot by the American Principles Project doesn’t go quite as far as the tweet, but strongly suggests that Biden endorses sex changes for kids.

Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has stated opposition to discrimination against transgender people, not support for sex changes for children.

The ad that’s promoted

In what appears to be a medical operating room, a voiceover says: "Sex changes for kids?" and the same words on the screen. "Most Americans say that’s going way too far, but not Joe Biden," the narrator says.

Then the ad shows a clip of Biden saying, with his words also shown on the screen: "An 8-year-old child decides, I want to be transgender; that’s what I think I’d like to be."

The ad ends with the narrator saying: "If Joe Biden is willing to endorse sex changes for second-graders, what won’t he support?"

The rest of what Biden said

The clip is from an Oct. 15 town hall in Pennsylvania that aired on ABC. Biden answered a question from Mieke Haeck, who said she has an 8-year-old daughter who is transgender. 

Biden does not state that he supports sex changes for children. He states opposition to transgender discrimination. 

Haeck: "The Trump administration has attacked the rights of transgender people, banning them from military service, weakening non-discrimination protections, and even removing the word transgender from some government websites. How will you, as president, reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and ensure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?"

Biden: "I will flat out just change the law. Eliminate those executive orders, number one. ... My dad was a high school-educated, well-read man who was a really decent guy. And I was being dropped off to get an application in the center of our city, Wilmington, Delaware, the corporate capital of the world at the time. And these two men —  I’m getting out to get an application to be a lifeguard in the African-American community, because there was a big swimming pool complex.

"And these two men, well-dressed, leaned up and hugged one another and kissed one another. I’m getting out of the car at the light, and I turned to my dad. My dad looked at me. He said, ‘Joey, it’s simple. They love each other.’ 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’d make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination. And what’s happening is too many transgender women of color are being murdered. They’re being murdered. I think it’s up to, now, 17. Don’t hold me to that number, but it’s higher now?" 

Haeck: "Yeah."

Biden: "And that’s just this year. And so I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied your daughter, or daughters, whichever, one or two."

  Haeck: "One."

Biden: "One. Your daughter, that your other daughter has a right to be and do. None. Zero. And by the way, my son Beau, who passed away, was the attorney general of the state of Delaware. He was the guy who got the first transgender law passed in the state of Delaware. And because of a young man who became a woman, who worked for him in the attorney general's office."

American Principles Project spokesman Paul Dupont argued to PolitiFact that "implied in the assertion that there should be zero discrimination" is that children should "have access to any medical treatments that will facilitate" a sex change. But Biden made no such statement.

Dupont also cited Biden’s support of the federal Equality Act. But that measure would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education and public accommodations.

On his campaign website, Biden criticizes the Trump administration’s decision to block the ability of transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. That section does not mention children. 

Biden’s campaign did not reply to our requests for information.

Our ruling

American Principles Project claimed: "Joe Biden says he supports sex changes for kids."

Biden has stated opposition to discrimination against transgender people, he has not said he supports for sex changes for children.

We rate the statement False.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Our Sources

Twitter, American Principles Project tweet (archived here), Oct. 20, 2020

Email, Paul Dupont, spokesman for the American Principles Project, Oct. 27, 2020

USA Today, "Fact check: Biden said transgender children should be subject to 'zero discrimination,’" Oct. 23, 2020 

Reuters, "Fact check: Fabricated Biden quote supports transgender children’s right to transition," Oct. 22, 2020

Associated Press, "Biden did not say transgender children should be able to ‘transition,’" Oct. 21, 2020

Rev.com, Transcript and video of Joe Biden town hall, Oct. 15, 2020

Philadelphia Inquirer, "Conservative group texts Pa. voters false claim that Biden backs sex reassignment surgery for kids," 

JoeBiden.com, "Out for Biden," accessed Oct. 27, 2020

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Conservative group’s claim that Joe Biden backs sex changes for kids is False

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