“You are loved. You are heard. You do belong,” said President Biden to LGBT youth, signing an executive order to push back against anti-LGBT state laws.
Signed on Wednesday, Biden’s new executive order directs the federal Department of Health and Human Services to draft and release new guidance for states to expand and protect access to comprehensive health care, and to strengthen support for LGBT children in foster care. The HHS is further asked to publish a healthcare “Bill of Rights” for LGBT youth, adults, and seniors. The order also orders the Education Department to draft a sample school policy showing including LGBT students, and several other actions, including a federal crackdown against conversion therapy.
While executive directives and guidances are not laws, they can have a great deal of power to become law. These are intended to push back on new laws passed in states like Texas and Florida that make it difficult or impossible for LGBT youth to access health care or to find support at school.
“President Biden always stands up to bullies and that’s what these extreme MAGA laws and policies do,” said a senior official in the Biden administration in a call with reporters. They went on, pulling no punches. “Hateful discriminatory laws that target children are out of line with where the American people are, and President Biden is going to use his authority to protect kids and families.”
Wednesday was June 15th, the center of Pride Month. President Biden signed the order in a small event in the White House for LGBT leaders and advocates to meet in person with Cabinet officials and members of Congress.
“My message to all the young people: just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong,” Biden said before he signed. “All of us on this stage have your back.”
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