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Biden to commemorate Pride Month with a new executive order

He will sign the order during a reception at the White House Wednesday afternoon while hosting families, advocates and allies from the community.

The executive order includes actions to address legislative efforts in states across the country, protecting children from conversion therapy, safeguarding programs to prevent youth suicide and a new initiative to protect foster youth, according to the White House.

The executive action comes as dozens of states with Republican-led legislatures have introduced legislation that could limit the rights of LGBTQ people. Many of those bills target transgender youth.

A senior administration official sought to cast those efforts as “extreme MAGA,” seeking to draw a contrast between the administration’s actions and moves by the Republican Party.

At the reception Wednesday, Biden “will talk about how these bills are worsening the mental health crisis that LGBTQI+ youth are facing, putting them at greater risk of suicide. President Biden always stands up to bullies and that’s what these extreme MAGA laws and policies do. They bully kids: hateful, discriminatory laws that target children are out of line with where the American people are and President Biden is going to use his executive authority to protect kids and families,” the senior official told reporters during a briefing, later calling those laws “un-American.”

The order takes steps to help support those affected by state laws.

“President Biden is charging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with protecting LGBTQI+ children and families from attacks on their access to health care, and has instructed HHS to release new sample policies for states on how to expand access to comprehensive health care for LGBTQI+ patients,” the White House said in a fact sheet.

Biden is also “directing the Department of Education with addressing the impacts of state laws that target LGBTQI+ students, and has charged the department with releasing a sample school policy for achieving full inclusion for LGBTQI+ students,” the White House said.

The order will also task HHS and the Federal Trade Commission to help reduce the practice of conversion therapy through clarification of guidance regarding federally funded programs and considering “whether the practice constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and whether to issue consumer warnings or notices,” per the fact sheet.

The executive order also takes steps toward boosting LGBTQ access to health care, as well as suicide prevention resources. And it will task HHS with “strengthening LGBTQI+ non-discrimination protections in the foster care system.” It takes numerous other steps, including expanding federal data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity, support for older LGBTQ adults, and support for youth in juvenile justice systems.

The actions will be taken within existing budgets and resources, officials said.

The steps, the senior official said, “will improve the health, well-being, and safety of countless families across the country. And they will send a powerful signal from the President of the United States to LGBTQI kids across the country who may be feeling scared and hopeless that their President has their back.”

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