Gay Desert Hot Springs

Biden Issues Wide-Ranging Executive Order Protecting LGBTQ+ Rights

Posted on June 16, 2022

The order directs federal agencies to address health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

BY TRUDY RING Advocate JUNE 15 2022 12:30 PM EDT

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden will issue an executive order today aimed at advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people and fighting back against state legislative attacks.

The order, which comes on the same day the president is hosting a Pride Month reception at the White House, addresses health care, education, conversion therapy, homelessness, foster care, and more.

More than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, many of them aimed specifically at transgender youth, have been introduced in state legislatures this year, and more than 20 have become law. These include Alabama’s law criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming care to young people, which is temporarily blocked by a court. In Texas, there was not legislative action against such care, but Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state’s child welfare agency to investigate parents who allow their children access to this care, as he considers it child abuse (the probes are likewise temporarily halted by a court). Also, several of the laws passed in the past few years affect education, such as Florida’s “don’t say gay” legislation and numerous states’ restrictions on trans youth’s participation in school sports.

In response, Biden’s order advises states on how to take the opposite approach. It instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to release new sample policies for states on how to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQ+ people, including gender-affirming care. Further, to address the high risk of suicide among LGBTQ+ youth, it directs HHS to expand young people’s access to suicide prevention resources and to issue new guidance through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on providing evidence-informed mental health care for this population.