As Prepared For Delivery:
Good evening, everyone. Happy Pride!
In my new role as Domestic Policy Advisor, I am proud to help lead our Administration’s ongoing and historic efforts to advance equality, dignity, and safety for this community.
As you know, President Biden has already developed a historic record of supporting the LGBTQI+ community—from signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law, to making a historic number of LGBTQI+ appointments, to reversing the ban on open service by transgender servicemembers. And in recent weeks, we announced new victories, like lifting the blanket restriction on blood donations by gay and bisexual men so that our policies are led by science, not stigma.
There have been so many advances for the LGBTQI+ community. At the same time, however, we are seeing a whole range of attacks on the community. Across the country, hateful and un-American legislation aims to prevent LGBTQI+ people from being who they are. Over a dozen states have passed more than 50 anti-LGBTQI+ bills so far this year. We are seeing a disturbing surge in violent threats against LGBTQI+ community organizations. In too many parts of our country, LGBTQI+ Americans are being targeted for who they are. And that is discrimination.
And, as an Administration, we will never stop fighting for their freedom.
Tomorrow evening, the President will build on our pro-equality record. He will host the largest Pride celebration in White House history with LGBTQI+ families from across the country, demonstrating that LGBTQI+ people belong in the People’s House.
The President will also announce new actions to protect our communities, help children thrive, and provide Americans with the freedom to learn by protecting against harmful book bans.
To protect the community, we will announce the launch of a new LGBTQI+ Community Safety Partnership by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with support from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This Partnership will work hand-in-hand with LGBTQI+ community organizations to provide them with dedicated safety training and resources.
For example, this Partnership will help LGBTQI+ community centers prepare for the worst—including trainings on bomb threats, active shooters, and cybersecurity. It will also help protect health care providers who serve this community by working with doctors and medical associations.
And, with the Department of Justice’s support, this partnership will help state and local law enforcement better serve LGBTQI+ Americans. DOJ is also expanding its work to respond to issues and challenges that affect the community.
We are also proud to announce new actions to help kids thrive across mental health, family affirmation, homelessness, and foster care. As a few examples:
HHS will announce that it will issue a Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth to help mental health providers give transgender youth the best, evidence-based care. We will release new funding to help local communities build resources to help families affirm and support their LGBTQI+ kids. Tomorrow, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will announce the launch of a new federal initiative to address LGBTQI+ youth homelessness, including new resources, training, and support to local communities. And HHS will announce that it is pursuing new regulations to protect LGBTQI+ kids in foster care and ensure that they have access to safe and appropriate placements.
Finally, across the country, our nation faces a dangerous spike in book bans—efforts that disproportionately strip books about LGBTQI+ communities, communities of color, and other communities off of library and classroom shelves.
Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that many communities face.
Therefore, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights will appoint a new coordinator to lead the charge on book banning, and to offer trainings and resources to schools to help them understand that students have a right to learn free from discrimination, and that book bans may violate federal civil rights laws if they create a hostile environment for students.
We know that there’s more work to do, but these meaningful new steps will help protect our communities. They will help protect Americans. And they demonstrate our commitment to standing proudly with the LGBTQI+ community in the enduring struggle for freedom, justice, and equality. Thank you.