US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (June 15) signed an executive order to provide federal support for LGBTQ rights. The White House sees these rights under attack from Republican leaders at the state level. In Florida, potential presidential candidate Governor Ron DeSantis has put the fight against “woke” culture at the heart of his platform.
The executive order addresses “discriminatory legislative attacks on LGBTQI+ children and families, directing key agencies to protect families and children.”
The order Biden signed aims to prevent so-called “conversion therapy,” bolster health care programs against youth suicide, support LGBTQ foster families and protect against homelessness in the community.
A senior official was quoted by AFP as saying Biden’s high-profile intervention was aimed at countering “an onslaught of hate laws…that we’re seeing in the states.”
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there have been more than 300 laws introduced at the state level this year alone that violate LGBTQ people and their parents.
Among those invited to the White House were “children and families from across the country who have been personally impacted by these discriminatory bills,” the official said.
These included 18-year-old Javier Gomez, who rose to prominence as an activist while still in school in Florida and also joined Biden on the White House stage.
Recounting the bullying he suffered at school, he said an early teacher played a key role in providing “the support I needed to understand my identity”.
(With agency contributions)
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Post expires at 11:14am on Sunday June 26th, 2022