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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Takes Action on Pride Month to Advance LGBTQI+ Rights

June 16, 2022

As President Biden said during his first joint address to Congress, the President has the back of LGBTQI+ people across the country. To mark Pride Month, President Biden signed an Executive Order Advancing Equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals. This historic Executive Order addresses the discriminatory legislative attacks against families and children, preventing so-called "conversion therapy," supporting youth mental health, and more.

President Biden will keep taking bold actions fighting for full equality for every American – including urging Congress pass the Equality Act and provide overdue civil rights protections for LGBTQI+ people.

See below for what they are saying:

Elected Officials

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Chair, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies: "President Biden is committed to making sure every LGBTQ American has the freedom of full equality and I'm thankful to @POTUS for standing up to attacks on the progress our community has achieved. #Pride ????is back at the @WhiteHouse." [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus: "President Biden has been a deeply committed ally to the LGBTQI+ community in the White House, and today's executive order is another example of President Biden's strong commitment to advancing LGBTQI+ rights. At a time when radical right-wing politicians are pushing legislation targeting our community — and particularly transgender and nonbinary youth — President Biden is not just speaking out against these laws, he's also taking critical actions to secure and protect our rights. Today's executive order will have a significant impact on LGBTQI+ people of all ages, from LGBTQI+ youth, including those in the foster care system, to LGBTQI+ older adults." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, Chair, Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife: "With a stroke of a pen,
@POTUS is helping us counter Republican attacks against the LGBTQ+ community and sending a strong, resounding message to trans Americans that they—and the decisions they make for their own medical care—truly matter. What a great way to celebrate #Pride!" [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus: "I'll always be grateful that we have an ally in the White House. Thank you @POTUS for taking steps to advance equality for the LGBTQ+ community, renounce discrimination, and secure our rights." [Tweet, 6/15/22]

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Chair, Committee on Oversight and Reform: "I applaud President Biden and his Administration for today's historic Executive Order, which provides a whole-of-government approach to advancing equality for LGBTQI+ people in the United States. Yesterday, my Committee passed the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act, groundbreaking legislation to expand the collection of data pertaining to LGBTQI+ communities so that the federal government can advance more equitable, inclusive policies. This legislation will empower federal agencies to implement President Biden's Executive Order and could not come at a more crucial time, as LGBTQI+ rights are under attack across the United States. During Pride and beyond, I am proud to join my Democratic colleagues at every level of government in pushing for a more equitable America for LGBTQI+ people." [Statement, 6/15/22]

Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Chair, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services: "Everyone deserves to age with dignity, and for too long the LGBTQ community has faced increased isolation and poverty in their golden years. I've long advocated for culturally-competent programs and support services for LGBTQ seniors. Today I thank President Biden for signing an Executive Order that reflects the legislation I've led to secure and protect the fundamental rights of LGBTQ seniors. I'm also pleased that the Executive Order includes several meaningful steps to help protect members of the LGBTQ community of all ages, especially youth and transgender students. During this Pride Month and beyond, I'll continue to do all I can to protect the rights of the LGBTQ community. No one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love." [Statement, 6/15/22]

Virginia Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott, Chair, Committee on Education and Labor: '"I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for its continued commitment to protecting LGBTQI+ individuals against discrimination. Specifically, today's executive order marks a critical step toward providing LGBTQI+ students with safe and supportive classrooms, safeguarding LGBTQI+ children from so-called 'conversion therapy' practices, and protecting older LGBTQI+ adults from discrimination in health care and other care services. This historic action is particularly critical as state legislatures across the country move to restrict access to education, care, and other services for LGBTQI+ children and their parents."' [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly, Vice Chair, Committee on Energy and Commerce: "Today President Biden will sign an Executive Order to advance equality for LGBTQ+ people across the country. No one should face discrimination because of who they are. We are a nation comprised of diverse individuals and should celebrate and protect that diversity. I thank President Biden for his action today to protect LGBTQ+ Illinoisans and Americans." [Statement, 6/15/22]

Maine State Representative Ryan Fecteau, Speaker: "Happy #Pride from @WhiteHouse! What an exceptional opportunity to celebrate our community w/ fellow LGBTQ+ leaders & change makers. Awesome to be there as @POTUS signed an EO to advance LGBTQ+ rights. I'm grateful for @JoeBiden who cares about our community & our rights" [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Texas State Representative Julie Johnson: ""Pride is Back" says @potus from the @whitehouse hosted #pride event today where he signed an EO protecting #LGBTQ rights! It was such an honor to celebrate equality at the White House w/my good friend & @txlgbtqcaucus co-founder @jessicafortexas #pridemonth #loveislove #txlege" [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: "Incredible strides have been made for our nation's LGBTQ+ community in the fight for equal rights and protections, but there is always more we can do to ensure that every American feels free to express themselves without fear of discrimination. I'm grateful to the Biden Administration for taking these bold steps forward that will help create safe, open-minded communities protecting our right to live and love openly and freely." [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Ft. Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis: "I had the privilege to take part in a moment of American history yesterday when @POTUS signed an executive order to advance the protection of all #LGBTQIA people in our country. I joined with fellow LGBTQ+ officials from across the nation to witness the signing of this order. At a time when legislative restrictions against LGBTQ+ citizens are being imposed in many states, including Florida, where the "Don't Say Gay" bill takes effect next month, @POTUS' order directs federal agencies to take new steps to support LGBTQ+ people and their families. We know that much more must be done to ensure legislative equality for all who identify as LGBTQ+ in America, but this is a welcomed and much-needed step forward. Thank you, Mr. President." [Tweet, 6/15/22]

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia: "Just this year, more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced into state legislatures across the country. Thank you to @POTUS for taking this step to help protect the rights, safety and dignity of our entire LGBTQ+ community." [Tweet, 6/15/22]

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria: "I'm honored to be at @WhiteHouse to commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month. As San Diego's first elected LGBTQ+ Mayor, it was moving to be on-hand to watch @POTUS sign historic executive orders to advance equality and protect LGBTQ+ people — particularly our youth. #ForAllofUs #Pride." [Tweet, 6/15/2022]

Organizations and Advocates

Amit Paley, The Trevor Project: "This historic executive order will advance long-sought, LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices that will help save young LGBTQ lives. It's past time that we put an end to the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion 'therapy,' and expand access to the affirming care LGBTQ young people actually need to survive and thrive. It's crucial that our schools and the upcoming 988 lifeline are properly equipped with specialized suicide prevention resources for LGBTQ youth. And LGBTQ Americans deserve to be fully counted in federal data collection and afforded civil rights protections through the passage of the Equality Act. Thank you to President Biden for this comprehensive plan to protect LGBTQ youth, especially those who are transgender or nonbinary, people of color, experiencing homelessness, or in the foster care system. Despite recent and relentless political attacks, we are hopeful that this will move us forward toward a day where all LGBTQ young people can be themselves without fear of discrimination or violence." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Janson Wu, GLAD: "This executive order is an important step toward ensuring that LGBTQ+ Americans can freely access health care, equal educational opportunities, housing, and other basic needs at a time when our rights are being attacked and undermined in state legislatures nationwide. We are grateful to have a President who is committed to LGBTQ+ equality. President Biden's initiative to reduce the risk of youth exposure to the dangerous and discredited practice of "conversion therapy" is particularly important as it, along with other disrespect of young people's identities, is linked to higher rates of suicide attempts and adverse mental health effects. While many states have banned conversion therapy, LGBTQ youth continue to be subjected to it—and right-wing lawmakers have sought to overturn the bans. In New Hampshire for instance, GLAD led a coalition that worked to prevent the legislature from overturning a state law outlawing conversion therapy. As GLAD continues litigation against Alabama's law criminalizing parents for obtaining essential health care for their transgender children—one of many such initiatives passed or pending in various states—we're pleased that President Biden has directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release sample policies for states to expand access to health care for LGBTQ+ patients and specifically work with states to promote expanded access to gender-affirming care. Finally, we applaud President Biden's efforts to specifically recognize and address the needs of older LGBTQ+ Americans, who are particularly vulnerable due to fewer family supports, and the cumulative effects of stress related to decades of discrimination and stigma. GLAD recently settled a discrimination complaint on behalf of Marie King, a transgender woman who was denied a room at an assisted living facility, and we welcome the executive order's directive that HHS publish new guidance on the non-discrimination protections for older adults in long-term care settings." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD: "At a time when anti-LGBTQ misinformation and rhetoric is at a peak, the importance of LGBTQ visibility at the White House cannot be overstated. Today's LGBTQ Pride Month reception and the signing of an executive order strengthening critical protections for our community help show the world that LGBTQ Americans are a valued and respected part of this country, and we aren't going anywhere." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

National Center on Transgender Equality: "A new executive order directs @HHSGov to reduce the risk of exposing LGBTQ people to conversion "therapy." We applaud the Biden administration's commitment to protecting trans people from such damaging attempts to erase who we are." [Tweet, 6/15/2022]

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN: "We thank the President for taking action to defend young people from an extreme anti-LGBTQ+ agenda and advance a vision of positive school transformation that prioritizes the needs of LGBTQ+ youth who should at minimum expect to be safe at school. Increasing support for the Department of Education's equity programs with a working group devoted to LGBTQ+ students and families and expanding the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity are critically important steps towards alleviating the harms that have resulted from these unprecedented and relentless attacks. Today, at least 14 states have enacted curriculum censorship laws that seek to erase and stigmatize people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ+ communities. Lawmakers in 17 states enacted legislation to discriminate against trans and nonbinary athletes. Efforts to pass policies that criminalize and further victimize young people, particularly LGBTQ+ BIPOC youth, are rampant. GLSEN will continue to rise up to defeat this destructive wave of discriminatory legislation and advance our vision of schools as places of liberation in communities across the country." [Tweet, 6/15/2022]

Kristine Kippins, Lambda Legal: ""This is a huge step in the right direction. We are grateful that the Biden Administration is taking another step forward on its commitment to protecting LGBTQI+ people across the country. Given the historic number of state legislative attacks on LGBTQI+ people, specifically LGBTQI+ youth and families, it's critical that action is taken at the federal level to protect vulnerable children and parents. Today's Executive Order from the Biden Administration shows that the President understands the many issues preventing LGBTQI+ people — disproportionately trans people, youth, and people of color — from living safe, equal, and full lives in this country. When interacting with our health care, education, foster care, and congregate care systems, LGBTQI+ people have had systemic disadvantages working against them, and we're hopeful today's actions will make a real difference. Today's Executive Order, however, is a beginning, not the end. There is still much work to be done in advancing rights for LGBTQI+ people in this country. We know the Biden Administration's Department of Education has been working on updated, stronger rules for implementing Title IX's promise to protect LGBTQI+ youth, and that the Department of Health and Human Services will build on today's EO in order to reverse discriminatory and harmful Trump-era regulations and implement the non-discrimination protections in our health care and foster care systems by working directly with LGBTQI+ people and issuing long-awaited new rules. The need for these protections is urgent. We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration until all LGBTQI+ people are able to live their lives with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Victoria Kirby York, National Black Justice Coalition: "The President's executive order advancing LGBTQIA+ equity is a great example of governing for all of us and includes several policy proposals that the National Black Justice Coalition has supported and recommended – most recently federal government action on the slate of state attacks on Black, gay and transgender children in education and healthcare. Black LGBTQ+/SGL foster, adopted, and kinship care kids need family and institutional support that addresses the unique harms created by society's stigmatization of their combined marginalized identities. Black LGBTQ+/SGL youth and seniors continue to experience greater harm due to racism, anti-LGBTQ+ bias, sexism, ableism, and classism. The harms – too often stemming from family rejection — often result in greater rates of homelessness, suicide attempts and completions, and poverty for the most vulnerable members of our community. Conversion therapy is being banned across federal government-supported programs will help minimize mental health concerns for our community. However, the larger Black community will have to do more in-house to address how it shows up in our homes and in our churches. Today's order regarding LGBTQ+ inclusive data will allow us to disaggregate data better to identify root causes and solutions to the many disparities impacting Black LGBTQ+/SGL families. The best solutions to support our kids and families are found in the cross tabs of research that are often unavailable or not inclusive enough to leverage by civil rights advocates. American lives will be changed for the better thanks to these improvements in data collection. After decades of demanding change and falling through the cracks in both racial justice and LGBTQ+ liberation groups, the federal government is finally doing something to systematically ensure equity for all combinations of identities. State and local governments should look to this model of rooting out inequities across government while increasing access and use of government services – something NBJC has been very vocal about with the White House and various federal agencies. We welcome the Biden-Harris initiatives making a more equitable and inclusive government, and look forward to hearing more about title IX implementation for LGBTQ+ student discrimination protections, DOJ investigation of law enforcement agencies that refuse to competently serve all of us as well as dozens of Black transgender fatal hate crime cases that have yet to be solved, and Brittney Griner's return home from wrongful detainment in an enemy nation at war." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Imani Rupert-Gordon, National Center for Lesbian Equality (NCLR): "Especially in the midst of some of the most vicious attacks our community has ever faced, we are grateful to the President and this administration for embracing LGBTQI+ people and our families as full-fledged members of this nation who deserve equal consideration, protections, resources, and support. This Executive Order is unprecedented in its recognition of the broad scope of issues that affect LGBTQI+ individuals from youth to old age. We are particularly grateful for the emphasis on LGBTQI+ youth and the need to ensure that they receive the love and support that all children need to thrive." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Mathew Shurka, Born Perfect Campaign: "As a survivor of conversion therapy, I am grateful for President Biden's action. My own family was deeply harmed by this fraudulent practice, which has destroyed countless other families and lives. President Biden's pledge to stop this deadly abuse gives me enormous hope for the future." [Statement, 6/15/2022]

Alicia Weigel, Human Rights Commissioner for the City of Austin and intersex activist: "The intersex movement is honored to work with President Biden and his administration on this critical work toward the protection and recognition of all LGBTQIA+ Americans. The formal recognition of intersex individuals in the White House's Pride month initiatives—a historic first—is momentous, resulting from decades of hard-fought struggle by our community. We will continue to strive for healthcare and autonomy for intersex children and adults in Washington and nationwide. This is only the beginning and there is a long way to go but today gives us hope for a better future."

Brandie Balken, Freedom for All Americans: "President Biden's commitment to ensuring dignity, respect, and equality for LGBTQ Americans is more important than ever as members of our community have faced relentless attacks in states across the country this year. With so many urgent domestic and international priorities to address, we are grateful to President Biden for taking action to address the inequalities that LGBTQ Americans continue to face. The onslaught of attacks demonstrates that discrimination continues to be pervasive against LGBTQ people and must be explicitly addressed. Congress has an opportunity now to send a message of fairness and freedom for all by passing LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation that makes clear how we all deserve to be treated. We urge members of Congress to enshrine our collective American values into law by working together to offer a bipartisan solution to outlaw LGBTQ discrimination as soon as possible." [Statement , 6/15/2022]

Council for Global Equality: "CGE enthusiastically welcomes the new Executive Order Advancing LGBTQI+ Equality that introduces new measures to protect LGBTQI+ kids and families, in the United States and around the world. As the White House notes, more than 300 anti-LGBTQI+ laws have been introduced in US state legislatures over the past year—a development mirrored by anti-LGBTQTI+ laws proposed or passed from Russia to Guatemala to Ghana. It is more important than ever that we understand what we're up against, as we witness coordinated attacks on the basic citizenship of LGBTQI+ people and on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, as we even see violent extremists threatening to disrupt Pride, right here in the United States. The first "Don't Say Gay" bill was passed in Russia in 2013, and since then, we've seen similar legislation proposed in Guatemala and in Ghana. We've seen how Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill draws directly from the law passed in Hungary under the authoritarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. American politicians such as Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, along with their autocratic counterparts around the world, are using Vladimir Putin's playbook to end progress for women, LGBTQI+ people, and other disenfranchised groups. They all prey on fear to divide and conquer, fighting inclusion, inciting violence, and fundamentally damaging democracy. So CGE strongly supports the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to support queer and trans youth through suicide prevention campaigns, expanding access to health care, anti-homelessness programs, and combatting so-called conversion therapy, among other initiatives. These steps forward are clearly invaluable in their own moral right, but they also represent critical support for some of the vulnerable populations most directly targeted by anti-LGBTQI+ extremists and anti-democratic politicians. CGE stands with all those working, in the United States and around the globe, to ensure the full promise of LGBTQI+ human rights and the full inclusion of LGBTQI+ youth and families. We especially want to note President Biden's directive to "the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and HHS to develop an action plan to promote an end to so-called 'conversion therapy' around the world and ensure that U.S. foreign assistance dollars do not fund the practice." As a coalition of 32 organizations working to make U.S. foreign policy more LGBTQI+ inclusive and affirming, CGE looks forward to working the Administration, with a broad range of federal departments and agencies, and with U.S. embassies to craft and implement a plan to end these harmful practices for good." [Statement, 6/16/22]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden Takes Action on Pride Month to Advance LGBTQI+ Rights Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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