WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – President Joe Biden is issuing an executive order Wednesday that the White House says are discriminatory legislative attacks on the LGBTQ community by Republican-controlled states.
The orders seek to discourage “conversion therapy”—a discredited practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity—while promoting gender-affirming surgery and fostering for gay and transgender parents and children. Expanding care security.
The actions, which the White House says are tapping funds already allocated to federal agencies, are meant to counter more than 300 LGBTQ laws introduced by state lawmakers over the past year.
The Department of Health and Human Services will draft new policies to expand care for LGBTQ families, and the Department of Education will create rules to better protect LGBTQ students in public schools.
White House officials said the orders would promote programs that address the issue of suicide among LGBTQ children and make adoption easier for LGBTQ parents and children.
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Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were to host a reception later on Wednesday that was attended by LGBTQ activists, members of Congress and top administration officials, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who adopted the twins with her husband, Chastain. Had taken. The gathering is part of the Biden administration’s recognition of Pride Month.
Among the state laws the White House has opposed is Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” measure, which was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in March. It precludes instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Critics and activists say it marginalizes LGBTQ people.
A federal working group will promote educational policies for states and school districts that encourage inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ children. The orders call for new rules to discourage conversion therapy, although efforts to enforce the ban in places where state law allows the practice will depend on legal challenges from outside the White House.
While some Republican-led legislatures support conversation therapy, other states and communities have banned the practice. The American Psychological Association states that the conversation is not based on medical science and is harmful to a participant’s mental health.
In states that have banned gender confirmation care, the Biden administration has invited people who say they are adversely affected to file complaints with federal civil rights officials.
In earlier orders, Biden sought to convey that gay and transgender people are being protected from discrimination in schools, health care and work. He directed federal agencies to update and expand rules prohibiting sex discrimination to include sex discrimination and gender identity, and reversed the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
Biden also wants Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would amend existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The measure has been halted on Capitol Hill.