WASHINGTON — President Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday geared toward protecting L.G.B.T.Q. people from a cascade of laws in conservative states that increasingly targets the rights of gays, lesbians, transgender youth and others.
The order is designed to counter efforts by Republican politicians like Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who has pushed through a measure — called by some the “Don’t Say Gay” law — banning teachers from providing instruction regarding gender identity or sexual orientation.
Other laws passed in conservative states include prohibitions on transgender girls competing in highschool sports and efforts to ban the availability of gender-affirming care. White House officials have called the brand new laws “un-American” and said they’re designed to discriminate against families and youngsters based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Mr. Biden’s executive order takes direct aim at so-called conversion therapy, a discredited therapy by which doctors falsely claim to have the ability to regulate an individual’s gender identity or sexual orientation with treatment.
In a ceremony within the East Room filled with L.G.B.T.Q. supporters, Mr. Biden said he was moved to take motion to stop what he called “hateful attacks” by Republican governors and legislatures across the country.
On Being Transgender in America
“My order will use the total force of the federal government to stop inhumane practices of conversion therapy,” Mr. Biden said, to loud applause from his supporters. “This the primary time the federal government is leading a coordinated response against this dangerous discredited a practice.”
In the manager order, the president directs the secretary of health and human services and the secretary of state to steer an effort to limit exposure to the procedure on the a part of American youth, and endeavor to finish it altogether internationally. The order would also direct the Federal Trade Commission to find out whether conversion therapy amounts to a deceptive act that ought to merit warnings to consumers from the agency.
The order may even seek to expand access to suicide prevention and mental health resources for L.G.B.T.Q. people, White House officials said.
For Mr. Biden, the manager order is one other step toward fulfilling guarantees he made to the L.G.B.T.Q. community during his presidential campaign in 2020.
On the time he vowed to make his administration “seem like America” by appointing members of the L.G.B.T.Q. community to his staff and cabinet. He made good on that promise by selecting Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man, as secretary of transportation and tapping Karine Jean-Pierre to be the primary openly gay, Black woman to function his press secretary.
But Mr. Biden also vowed to take specific actions as president to advertise equality. On his first day in office, he signed an executive order directing federal agencies to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on the subject of health care, education, housing, employment and more.
The president’s announcement of a recent executive order comes because the White House celebrates Pride Month. In his remarks on Wednesday, Mr. Biden repeated what he said a yr ago during an analogous event: “Pride is back on the White House.”
But White House officials said the choice to issue the manager order was also motivated by the increasing variety of anti-L.G.B.T.Q. laws being passed by Republican state legislatures and signed into law by Republican governors.
Mr. Biden called it the “the ultra-MAGA agenda attacking families and our freedoms,” making reference to the Make America Great Again slogan that former President Donald J. Trump popularized during his first run for office in 2016.
In his remarks, Mr. Biden lamented the proliferation of attempts to limit or take away the rights of L.G.B.T.Q. people. He said that there was still a have to fight back against anti-L.G.B.T.Q. sentiment, despite the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage in 2015.
“Nobody knows higher than people on this room. We’ve so much more work to do. Loads more to do,” he said. He noted that there are “300 discriminatory bills introduced in states across this country — in Texas, knocking on front doors to harass, investigate parents who’re raising transgender children. In Florida, going after Mickey Mouse, for God’s sake.”
The group laughed on the president’s Disney reference. But Mr. Biden closed his remarks with a serious warning concerning the ideological divide within the country and the political fight that he said stays within the years ahead.
“We’re in a battle for the very soul of this nation, he said. “And that’s not hyperbole. We’re in a battle for the soul of the nation. Well, I go searching this room here, and all you here today, it’s a battle I do know we are going to win.”
He pounded his fist on the lectern: “We are going to win.”