WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals.
The following statement is from Scott McCoy, SPLC Action Fund interim deputy legal director, LGBTQ+ Rights & Special Litigation:
“The SPLC Action Fund applauds President Biden for issuing this executive order, which further demonstrates the administration’s commitment to standing in the gap for LGBTQI+ communities and their families. The executive order rightly acknowledges that economic disparities and discriminatory obstacles can be felt most acutely by transgender people and LGBTQI+ people of color.
“We welcome the executive order’s effort to support LGBTQI+ people and improve their lives through many varied actions overseen by multiple federal agencies – addressing homelessness and housing instability, suicide prevention, the need for better data, as well as efforts to support youth and families and older adults.
“The executive order recognizes the unfortunate, but necessary, need to counteract the cruel, premeditated roll back of rights using state legislation that was drafted to solve problems that don’t exist. Similarly, state legislators nationwide have shown no regard for the lives of LGBTQI+ persons – especially youth – whom they were elected to protect. It also directly calls out the fact that these unrelenting political and legislative attacks ‘threaten the civil rights gains of the last half-century and put LGBTQI+ people at risk.’
“By developing an action plan that includes essential technical assistance and training for health care workers and social service providers on the dangers of ‘conversion therapy,’ evidenced-based best practices to support the health and welfare of LGBTQI+ youth and others, as well as tasking the State Department to promote this work abroad, this executive order should help curb the fraudulent practice and disrupt those looking to prey on anyone who only wants to live his/her/their own truth.
“Finally, we welcome the increased attention on the problem of barriers to housing for LGBTQI+ individuals. Ensuring all children feel safe, cared for, and welcomed shouldn’t be a divisive issue, which makes the administration’s newest initiative protecting LGBTQI+ foster children and preventing homelessness significant. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or in this case, sexual orientation, not only denies children safe and loving homes, but is also unfair and illegal to any eligible adults who are willing and able to help children in need.
“By addressing the systematic discrimination levied against LGBTQI+ communities, their families, and youth, President Biden continues to display his commitment to inclusivity and equality for all Americans. The SPLC Action Fund stands ready to work with the administration to implement the initiatives announced in this executive order.”