Biden attributed state legislation to “some hysterical and, I would argue, prejudiced people who are engaged in all of what you see going on around the country.” The president lamented what he said is a rising trend of “violence and hate crimes targeting LGBTQ people.”
“It’s wrong that extreme officials are pushing hateful bills targeting transgender children, terrifying families, and criminalizing doctors,” Biden said.
He promised federal coordination of safety and security at Pride celebrations and marches, LGBT community centers, health care providers, and small businesses.
“Secondly, we’re addressing civil rights violations, a new coordinator to protect LGBT students from book bans, which make it harder for kids to learn and may violate their civil rights at the same time,” he added.
The president promised “more mental health resources and funding to help families support their kids” and also promised more efforts to combat homelessness among LGBT-identified youth.
Biden hosted a Pride Day event Saturday with thousands of attendees on the South Lawn of the White House.
Federal funding to ‘affirm LGBTQI+ kids’
The White House’s plans include more federal funding “to support programs that help parents affirm their LGBTQI+ kids” and new regulations to “protect LGBTQI+ youth in foster care.” The White House fact sheet also pledges to “support the mental health of LGBTQI+ youth and partner with families to affirm LGBTQI+ kids.”
The White House fact sheet noted the Department of Health and Human Services’ release of a Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth to provide “evidence-based practices for mental health providers.” HHS will also provide guidance to states and communities on using federal funding for LGBTQI+ youth. The White House said a $1.7 million grant will back programs that “prevent health and behavioral health risks for LGBTQI+ youth (including suicide and homelessness) by helping families to affirm and support their LGBTQI+ child.”
The White House said almost half of these youth have thought about attempting suicide in the past year. Additionally, nearly 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+.
For Kniffin and Dodson, the claim about suicidality is “misguided and unsubstantiated.”
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“While everyone wants to help young people struggling with suicide and homelessness, there are no long-term studies that support the administration’s claims that ‘gender-affirming care’ leads to better mental health. To the contrary, pro-LGBTQI+ advocates’ claims are based on methodologically flawed non-random surveys,” they said, recommending a September 2022 EPPC factsheet on gender-affirming care.
“Additionally, LGBTQI+ self-identifying youths often present other mental health disorders and physical health disorders that contribute to suicidality,” Kniffin and Dodson said.
Biden administration curtails parental rights, critics say
Among the many controversies about LGBT issues, some parents have said that their local school encouraged their children to change their gender without notifying their parents.
EPPC has filed an amicus brief in Littlejohn v. School Board of Leon County, Florida, a case that argues public school staff wrongly met in secret with a middle school girl to support her purported gender transition and conceal this from her parents.
“Pro-LGBTQI+ school counselors and other advocates irresponsibly tell children and their parents that ‘gender-affirming care’ is a cure-all, while ignoring clear signs of trauma or other mental health conditions,” Kniffin and Dodson told CNA. “Many of these youth continue to get worse until their underlying mental health problems are addressed, at which point their gender confusion often resolves itself.”