President Joe Biden issued an executive order designed to protect LGBTQ rights on June 15.
The order directs several federal agencies to take steps to protect LGBTQ citizens, especially young people, in health care, education and other areas. For example, the order requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to commit resources to combatting suicide among LGBTQ youth and fighting homelessness among this population, reported NBC News. It also mandates that the U.S. Department of Education create a sample policy for public schools that ensures that LGBTQ students are included.
In addition, the order directs federal agencies to ensure that same-sex married couples don’t face barriers in accessing government benefits. It also bars the use of federal funds to subsidize “conversion therapy,” a dangerous approach designed to convince LGBTQ people to “change” their sexual orientation which is often championed by Religious Right groups.
Biden unveiled the order during a White House ceremony, remarking, “My message to all the young people: Just be you. You are loved. You are understood. You do belong. I want you to know that as your president, all of us on this stage have your back.”