The Biden administration is set to unveil a series of fresh initiatives aimed at safeguarding the rights and well-being of the LGBTQ+ community within the United States.
President Joe Biden will host the largest Pride celebration in White House history on Thursday, where he is expected to announce a slew of actions aiming to not just protect the LGBTQ+ community but also strengthen mental health resources for LGBTQ+ youth and directly address book bans in schools that infringe on students’ civil rights.
“LGBTQI+ communities face a surge in violence against individuals and community spaces. Federal threat monitoring shows that these threats are increasingly tied to hate groups and domestic violent extremists. LGBTQI+ individuals — especially transgender women and girls of color — have experienced disproportionately high rates of violence and hate crimes for decades,” the Biden administration said in a statement.
Which is why the Biden administration is launching the “LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership” with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health and Human Services to work with community organizations to provide safety training and resources to protect them against these increasing threats.
Additionally, HHS will be issuing an advisory to professionals, providing them with best practices to effectively support the mental health of transgender youth. To further reinforce their commitment, HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will allocate $1.7 million in federal funding toward programs aimed at promoting the health and well-being, specifically regarding mental health, of LGBTQ+ youth, according to administration officials.
In Thursday’s announcement, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights will also unveil plans to designate a new coordinator whose primary responsibility will be to combat book bans implemented at the state and local levels.
“Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQI+ people and other communities face,” the administration said in a statement.
According to the White House, organizers are expecting hundreds of families on the South Lawn but will continue to monitor the air quality due to hazardous smoke from Canadian wildfires to determine whether to go ahead with Thursday night’s event on the lawn.