Words by Smiley Team
Pride Month lasts the entirety of June and it’s highlighted by the celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, the history of civil rights for queer people, and a push for more social acceptance as a whole. But in the background, across the United States, there has been a swath of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
According to the White House, over 300 pieces of legislation aimed at the LGBTQ+ community have been introduced in the past year. This includes things like the controversial Florida, so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill or a bill in Ohio that would permit genital exams of youth athletes.
In response to this and to commemorate Pride Month, President Biden introduced an executive order to strengthen protections for people in the LGBTQ community.
“These attacks defy our American values of liberty and dignity, corrode our democracy, and threaten basic personal safety,” Biden said in a statement. “They echo the criminalization that LGBTQI+ people continue to face in some 70 countries around the world. The Federal Government must defend the rights and safety of LGBTQI+ individuals.”
The order will tackle a few things specifically, like conversion therapy, a practice that is banned in 20 states, according to Movement Advancement Project, a group focused on providing information about different US demographics.
In addition to this, the order will also work to protect healthcare for LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as “launching a new initiative to protect foster youth, prevent homelessness, and improve access to federal programs".
“The Federal Government must take action to address the significant disparities that LGBTQI+ youth face in the foster care system, the misuse of State and local child welfare agencies to target LGBTQI+ youth and families, and the mental health needs of LGBTQI+ youth,” Biden said. “ My Administration must safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices like so-called ‘conversion therapy’ … a discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm, including higher rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors by LGBTQI+ youth.”
Are you looking for ways to give back or support the LGBTQ+ community? There are many groups situated around the country that are helping – try these below.
First things first is the Trevor Project, a group that works on suicide prevention of queer youth.
Another is the Equality Federation, which works on progressing issues affecting the queer community like workplace fairness and family recognition as well as fair legislation.
Finally, is the Human Rights Campaign, a group that supports a push for equality and equity for all, including any race, sexuality, or gender identity.
DONATE: You can support the aforementioned Movement Advancement Project. They help people find places they’ll be safe that have the resources they need.
SUPPORT: It is still pride month, so look into local LGBTQ+ organizations. As said in the article many queer youths face things like homelessness, so think about volunteering in local shelters.