On June 15, 2022, President Biden signed the Executive Order “Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals.” This order is intended to counteract the wave of discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ+ legislation that has been sweeping across conservative parts of our country in the past year.
The provisions in the act are summarized in a Fact Sheet released by the White House (read it here). They include:
Addressing discriminatory legislative attacks against LGBTQI+ children and families, directing key agencies to protect families and children;
Preventing so-called “conversion therapy” with a historic initiative to protect children from the harmful practice;
Safeguarding health care, and programs designed to prevent youth suicide;
Supporting LGBTQI+ children and families by launching a new initiative to protect foster youth, prevent homelessness, and improve access to federal programs; and
Taking new, additional steps to advance LGBTQI+ equality.
While signing the act as part of Pride Month, President Biden made it very clear to all LGBTQI+ people: “We have your back.“
Having spoken with many students impacted by Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law, as well as Gay-Straight Alliance advisors, school social workers, and mental health professionals, I can attest that the need for outspoken protection is vital. In addition to the protections afforded by the Executive Order, its very existance sends a message to all LGBTQI+ youth out there: Our President, our Federal government, is on your side.