“LGBTQ Americans are being targeted for who they are, and that, simply put, is discrimination,” Neera Tanden, a White House domestic policy adviser, said in a statement.
One of the measures is the creation of a new community safety partnership led by the Department of Homeland Security, which will train LGBTQ community organizations—such as community centers, small businesses, and Pride festivals—on how to properly respond to “worst case scenarios,” such as bomb threats and active shooters.
This partnership will also work with health care providers to ensure that LGBTQ Americans are given the proper medical care and that doctors, clinics, and hospitals have access to safety trainings amid a growing wave of threats against providers and facilities that provide care for LGBTQ patients.
The Department of Education will also name a coordinator in the Office of Civil Rights to take on book bans that target materials with LGBTQ content.
During just the first half of the 2022-23 school year, Pen America has found 1,477 instances of individual books banned, affecting 874 unique titles. Several states have also taken legislative measures to censor how and what children are taught in schools.
This coordinator will be responsible for training American schools on how book bans create a hostile school environment and, in some cases, may violate federal civil rights laws, especially when they target a specific community, like LGBTQ people.
The Biden administration also plans to release $1.7 million in funding for new programs that will support the physical and mental health of LGBTQ youth.
The Department of Health and Human Services will also issue an advisory to mental health professionals across the country, which will detail best practices for supporting the mental health of transgender children, who have overwhelmingly been the target of bans on gender-affirming care.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, nearly two dozen states have passed laws or policies that ban gender-affirming care for people up to the age of 18. Several other states are considering these bans, as well.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development will also launch a new federal initiative aimed at addressing LGBTQ health and youth homelessness. According to The Trevor Project, 28% of LGBTQ youth have reported experiencing homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives.
This coming Saturday, President Biden is also set to host what the administration is calling, the “largest-ever Pride celebration to be held at the White House.”
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