Biden to sign executive order to fight anti-LGBTQ state bills

US President Joe Biden remarks to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month in the East Room of the White House, Washington, June 25, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden is set to sign an executive order Wednesday aimed at countering a historic number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country.

The order will direct federal health and education agencies to expand access to gender affirming care and advance LGBTQ-inclusive learning environments in American schools.

It would also “curb federal funding for the rejected practice of”conversion therapy,” Which one Nearly every major US medical association has condemnedand ask the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether this practice is an unfair or deceptive practice.

The presidential order comes during LBGTQ Pride Month and as advocates fight against a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in states across the country this year — more than 320, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group. ,

“President Biden always stands up to threats and that’s what extreme MAGA laws and policies do – they bully children,” a senior administration official told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. “Disgusting, discriminatory laws that target children do not suit the American people, and President Biden is going to use his executive authority to protect children and families.”

A slew of bills signed into law in recent months — 24 in 13 states, according to HRC — limit access to gender affirming care for transgender youth, allowing trans girls and women to compete in girls’ sports teams at school. Withholding from, and prohibiting instruction on, LGBTQ issues in school.

Under the executive order, a coordinating committee will also be established to lead the efforts of federal agencies to strengthen the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity.

It will also direct the Department of Health and Human Services to expand resources to address suicide and homelessness among LGBTQ youth and to study barriers faced by same-sex couples in accessing government benefits.

The new measures coincide with a recent surge in charged rhetoric about how and what children should learn about LGBTQ issues.

In recent months, conservative lawmakers, television pundits and other public figures have lashed out at opponents with a . is accused of Newly Enacted Florida Education Lawwhich the criticsdon’t say gay“Law, to try to “Groomed” or “Educated” Children, Word “grooming“It has long been used to mistreat LGBTQ people, especially gay men and transgender women, as child sex abusers.

have been advocates appeal to government officials Against using accusatory rhetoric, warned that it could lead to violence directed at LGBTQ Americans.

At least three LGBTQ events were targeted by white nationalist groups last weekend, after police arrested 31 people at an annual Pride in the Park event in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on suspicion of conspiracy to riot was. Those arrested came to the event with gas masks and shields.

The president has been urging Congress to pass comprehensive LGBTQ rights legislation in the form of the Equality Act. But after the bill was passed in the House last year stalled in the senate, Biden again called on Congress to take action in a White House fact sheet.