The decree seeks to discourage “conversion therapy” – a discredited practice that aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity – while promoting gender reassignment surgery and extending sponsorship protection to gays and women. children.
Utilizing money already donated to federal agencies instead of seeking new funding, Biden said the mandate is intended to address the more than 300 anti-LGBTQ laws introduced by state lawmakers last year alone. The Ministry of Health and Human Services will develop new policies to extend care to LGBTQ families and the Department of Education will devise rules to better protect LGBTQ students in public schools.
The president, First Lady Jill Biden, and Vice President Kamala Harris attended a large reception in the east room of the White House, where the adjoining hallway was decorated in rainbow colors. LGBTQ activists included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress, as well as top executives, including Transport Minister Pete Butitzig, who adopted twins with her husband, Chasten.
The rally is part of the Biden government’s recognition of Pride Month.
“All of you in this room know better than anyone that these attacks are real and consequential for real families,” the president said before sitting down to sign the decree. He specifically noted the arrest last weekend of 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near a pride event in Idaho.
The actions outlined in the decree seek to strengthen programs that better address the issue of suicide among LGBTQ children and seek to facilitate adoptions for LGBTQ parents and children.
“You do not need courage to be yourself,” said Jill Biden, who noted that it was more or less hot and humid in sunny Washington in the summer to host the event in South Lawn. “We know that in places across the country like Florida or Texas or Alabama, rights are being attacked. And we know that in small towns and big cities there is still prejudice and discrimination.”
Among state laws the White House has opposed is the so-called “Do Not Say Homosexual” measure in Florida, which was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSadis in March. Prohibits instructions on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten until the third grade. Critics say it marginalizes LGBTQ people and the law sparked a public battle between the state and Walt Disney Co.
Biden action sets up a federal working group to help combat LGBTQ homelessness and a team promoting education policies for states and school districts that encourage inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ children. His order also introduces new rules to discourage conversion therapy, although efforts to impose bans in places where state law allows the practice will be based on legal challenges outside the White House.
While some Republican-led legislatures have advocated conversion therapy, other states and communities have banned it. The American Psychological Society says that conversion therapy is not based on science and is detrimental to a participant’s mental health.
The mandate further instructs health officials to clarify that federation-funded programs can not be used to fund conversion therapy. And it seeks to alleviate barriers to healthcare and certain types of treatment for the LGBTQ community, including gender reassignment surgery.
This follows a February order from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that instructed the Texas Child Welfare Service to investigate reports of child sex confirmation as abuse. A judge has since issued a restrictive order stopping searches of three families and preventing others.
“We have a lot more work to do,” Biden said. “In Texas, knocking on front doors to harass and search for parents raising trans children. In Florida, chasing Mickey Mouse for God’s sake.”
In previous orders, Biden has sought to ensure that gay and trans people are protected from discrimination in schools, health care, housing and employment. It ordered federal agencies to update and extend regulations prohibiting sexual discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and reversed the ban on trans people serving in the military.
Biden also renewed Wednesday calls to Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would amend existing civil rights legislation to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics. The measure has been immobilized in the Capitol, but the president said it was necessary “to safeguard the long-term safeguards of the civil rights of all Americans, every American.”
Associated Press author Aamer Madhani contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Biden signs executive order to combat discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ community Source link Biden signs executive order to combat discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ community