“I don’t have to tell you about the ultra-MAGA agenda attacking families and our freedoms. Three-hundred discriminatory bills introduced in states across this country,” Biden said. “In Texas, knocking on front doors to harass and investigate parents who are raising transgender children. In Florida, going after Mickey Mouse, for God’s sake.”
Pres. Biden at WH Pride Month event: “I don’t have to tell you about the ultra-MAGA agenda attacking families and our freedoms…In Florida, going after Mickey Mouse for God’s sake.” pic.twitter.com/h6JVbDq8aj
Biden is referring to a directive Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued to the state’s Department of Family Protective Services to investigate parents and medical providers who facilitate reconstructive surgeries and/or hormone-therapy treatment for their children.
The directive, which has faced several legal challenges, deemed the treatments “child abuse,” noting that many of the medical interventions, including “sterilization, mastectomies, removals of healthy body parts, and administration of puberty-blocking drugs or supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or estrogen,” can cause irreversible damage in children.
In Florida, lawmakers passed a law that prohibits instructors from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms. Democrats have dubbed the law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, despite the word “gay” not appearing once in the legislation.
The law led to a battle between Disney and Florida Republicans after the company inserted itself into the conversation around the law.
Disney has been an outspoken critic of the measure, going so far as to say its “goal as a company” is having the bill “repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.”
In return, Florida stripped Disney of its “independent special district” status, with Governor Ron DeSantis warning that if the company chose to use its “economic might to attack the parents of my state,” he would treat it as a “provocation” and “fight back.”
Seemingly in response to these policies, Biden announced his executive order that will also instruct the DOE to release a “sample school policy for achieving full inclusion for LGBTQI+ students.”
The order also directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Trade Commission to help reduce the practice of conversion therapy by clarifying that programs receiving federal funding cannot engage in the practice and also by considering “whether the practice constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and whether to issue consumer warnings or notices,” according to the White House.
“Children who are exposed to so-called ‘conversion therapy’ face higher rates of attempted suicide and trauma,” the White House said.
Biden also urged Congress to pass the Equality Act, sweeping legislation that would add sexual orientation and transgender status as protected classes under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The president went on to tout his administration’s “record number of out-and-proud appointees at every single level of our government.”
He also shared a message to young Americans: “Just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong.”