On Thursday, the Biden administration revealed a set of new measures aimed at protecting the rights and safety of LGBTQI+ communities across the country, including the creation of a new position within the Department of Education responsible for overseeing "book bans."
The measures focused heavily on "LGBTQI+ kids," promoting actions addressing mental health and "helping families to affirm and support their LGBTQI+ child."
In a statement, the Biden administration introduced the new measures by claiming that laws passed in certain states "violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans, and are cruel and callous to our kids," and thus federal action was necessary.
Via the new DOE position, the White House vowed to crack down on "efforts that disproportionately strip books about LGBTQI+ communities, communities of color, and other communities off of library and classroom shelves."
The coordinator is expected to "work to provide new trainings for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws."
The term "book ban" has been slammed by many on the right as an unfair characterisation of the actions taken by school boards and state governments to prohibit certain materials deemed inappropriate for particular age groups.
In addition to pushing for sexually explicit literature in schools, the Biden administration also vowed to provide dedicated safety training and increase federal threat briefings for LGBTQI+ community organizations, to "protect health care providers who serve the LGBTQI+ community," and support children who identify as LGBTQI+.
"Almost half of LGBTQI+ kids say they seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year," the statement read, claiming that "when LGBTQI+ kids are supported, they thrive."
The Biden administration went on to announce that the Department of Health and Human Services would be issuing a Behavioral Health Care Advisory on Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth, in addition to "guidance to states and communities on using federal funding to support mental health services for LGBTQI+ youth."
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