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President Biden Signs Executive Order on LGBTQI+ Equality

President Joe Biden signed June 15 an executive order to confront unlawful discrimination and eliminate disparities that harm lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals and their families.

Specifically, the order instructs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use HHS’ authorities to protect LGBTQI+ individuals’ access to medically necessary care. The order also directs HHS to develop and release, within 200 days, sample policies to support health equity and expand access to health care for LBGTQI+ individuals and their families, including mental health services.

Additionally, the order outlines a comprehensive approach for federal agencies, including HHS, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Office of Management and Budget, to take action to target:

  • disparities LGBTQI+ youth face in the foster care and juvenile justice systems;
  • harms and risks associated with “so-called conversion therapy” (efforts to suppress or change sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression);
  • support for LGBTQI+ students in schools and educational institutions;
  • homelessness and housing instability among LGBTQI+ individuals;
  • support for LGBTQI+ older adults;
  • disparities experienced by LGBTQI+ children and caregivers in the child welfare system; and
  • federal data collection practices, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics (SOGI data).

The order also acknowledges political and legislative attacks at the state level that impede work to advance the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals and emphasizes that promoting comprehensive health care for LGBTQI+ individuals must include working with states to expand access to gender-affirming care.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a principal policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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