USA: Biden signs executive order to advance LGBTQI+ equality
US President Joe Biden Wednesday signed an executive order which directs key federal agencies to advance LGBTQI+ equality and protect communities from hateful attacks.
Biden’s executive order, which was signed during Pride Month, will combat historic anti-LGTBQI+ laws passed across the US. The executive order will address discriminatory legislative attacks, prevent conversion therapy, safeguard health care and mental health, support LGBTQI+ children and families, and advance LGBTQI+ equality.
Biden outlines that these objectives will be achieved through a variety of efforts across various US federal agencies. In regards to countering harmful state and local laws, “[w]ithin 200 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Education shall develop and release sample policies for supporting LGBTQI+ students’ well-being and academic success in schools and educational institutions.”
Biden encouraged the Federal Trade Commission “to consider whether so-called conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and to issue such consumer warnings or notices as may be appropriate.”
In order to provide counseling and resources “[t]he Secretary of [Health and Human Services] shall seek to expand the availability of family counseling and support programs in federally funded health, human services, and child welfare programs[.]”
Within one year of this executive order, Biden ordered that individuals across various US federal agencies submit a report which will detail the implementation of this order.
Anti-LGBTQI+ bills that have been been legislated across the US include bills that restrict healthcare for transgender youth, single-sex facility restrictions, exclude transgender youth from athletics, provide school or curriculum restrictions, and restrict access to IDs. Additionally, Florida faced controversy over its Parental Rights in Education Bill, which is commonly referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. A similar bill was advanced in North Carolina.
In further support of the LGBTQI+ community, “[t]he State Department announced it will allow U.S. embassies and diplomatic outposts to fly the Pride flag on the same flagpole as the U.S. flag at their embassy or consulate.”
On Biden’s first day in presidential office, he signed another executive order on January 20, 2021 to prevent and combat discrimination against LGBTQI+ Americans. This executive order specifically addressed enforcement regarding prohibition of sex discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
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