June 15, 2022

GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is responding to President Joe Biden’s signing of an "Executive Order Advancing Equality for LGBTQI+ Individuals." The order, signed today at an LGBTQ Pride Month reception for advocates and members of the community, aims to strengthen protections for LGBTQ people during a time of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, legislation, and misinformation.

The Pride Month reception was streamed on the White House’s YouTube account. President Biden was introduced by Javier Gomez, an 18-year-old who helped organize protests against his state’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill at his Florida high school. Gomez spoke to the crowd and recalled the moment he and other teen activists “looked into the eyes of those pushing this cruel and dangerous legislation and said, ‘It’s okay to be gay.’”

President Biden delivered a message to LGBTQ youth: “Just be you. You are loved. You are heard and you are understood. You do belong.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis was among those attending the White House reception and executive order signing today, responding on Twitter, and here:
"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.”

Today’s executive order addresses the 225 anti-LGBTQ bills filed so far in 2022 at the state level, as well as other policies that harm LGBTQ children and families especially. The order includes:

  • Guidance for the Departments of Education and Health & Human Services on protecting access and inclusion to education and healthcare.
  • Initiatives to prevent anti-LGBTQ conversion therapy, including directing the Federal Trade Commission to investigate such therapies as deceptive practices.
  • A process to review access and barriers to federal benefits and resources for LGBTQ Americans.
  • A directive to launch a new working group on LGBTQ Homelessness and Housing Equity at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • New training programs for better serving LGBTQ youth in juvenile justice systems.
  • Establishing a new committee on expanding data collection on LGBTQ Americans
  • Strengthening support for LGBTQ older Americans.

GLAAD has been monitoring the Biden administration’s statements and policies about LGBTQ people and issues via the Biden Accountability Tracker:

So far in 2022, over 225 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures. Out of those, 118 specifically target transgender youth, with bans on evidence-based best practices in healthcare, restrictions on trans youth participating in school sports, and bills targeting safe and inclusive school environments including censoring discussion about LGBTQ people and history and bans on books. (Source: Freedom For All Americans)

The CDC reports one in four LGBTQ teens attempted suicide in early 2021.

28% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing homelessness or housing instability at some point in their lives.

20 states and 100 municipalities ban the practice of so-called conversion therapy, a practice discredited as ineffective and dangerous to vulnerable youth.

GLAAD’s Guide for Media Covering anti-LGBTQ legislation is available here. GLAAD’s checklist for accurate coverage includes recommendations to seek facts from experts in medicine and education over opinions from public figures; to include LGBTQ voices in all stories about LGBTQ issues; include LGBTQ parents and families in discussions about “parents’ rights;” and include context about bills’ impact on vulnerable youth.

GLAAD’s 11th edition of its Media Reference Guide includes recommendations for covering LGBTQ youth, older LGBTQ people, and transgender and nonbinary people.