Fact Check: Joe Biden Did NOT Say 'If Your 8-Year-Old Child Says They Want To Be Transgender ... They Have A Right To Transition'

Fact Check

  • by: Hallie Golden
Fact Check: Joe Biden Did NOT Say 'If Your 8-Year-Old Child Says They Want To Be Transgender ... They Have A Right To Transition' Mangled Quote

Did Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden say during an ABC News Town Hall, "If your 8-year-old child says they want to be transgender ... they have a right to transition and there is no reason for you to deny it"? No, that's not true: The quote is distorted. Although he did talk about an 8-year-old wanting to be transgender, he didn't mention the subject of them transitioning. He simply said, "There should be zero discrimination."

The claim appeared as a meme in a post (archived here) on Facebook on October 20, 2020, under the title "In my opinion, I have zero respect for anyone who says they believe the Bible but then willingly endorses this wicked nonsense." The meme's text, purporting to be a quote by Biden, said:

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.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Oct 21 16:53:42 2020 UTC)

Lead Stories conducted a search of the entire transcript generated by ABC News of the town hall on October 15, 2020, in Philadelphia, and found Biden did not mention transitioning in reference to an 8-year-old wanting to be transgender. His full quote on the subject states:

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.

He was answering a question from a woman who said her young daughter is transgender and the Trump administration "has attacked the rights of transgender people." She asked:

How will you as president reverse this dangerous and discriminatory agenda and insure that the lives and rights of LGBTQ people are protected under U.S. law?

Similarly, Lead Stories searched the transcript generated by Rev.com and also did not find any quotes by Biden that were identical to the one in the Facebook meme.

Neither the word "transition" nor the phrase "life easier" were used by Biden when discussing the subject of transgender children. In fact, the only times Biden used the word "transition" during the entire 90-minute televised discussion, is when he answered questions related to fracking and the Green New Deal. He only used the phrase "life easier" once, and it was in reference to a question on taxes.

The meme was posted on the page, "On Point with Pastor Greg Locke." Locke is a pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Tennessee. His posts have previously been debunked by Lead Stories, after he posted about the Democratic Convention logo having the same design and measurements as a well-known satanic insignia.

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  Hallie Golden

Hallie Golden is a fact checker at Lead Stories and a freelance journalist based in Seattle. Her articles have been published in such places as The Guardian, The New York Times and Bloomberg CityLab.  She previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Associated Press in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Philadelphia, Pa

Read more about or contact Hallie Golden

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