On June 15th, 2022, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order (EO) on Advancing Equality for LGBTQI+ individuals, as well as a fact sheet about the EO. The EO outlines a series of plans and policies to address the systemic discrimination and barriers that the LGBTQI+ community face, including in the workplace and in accessing health care and education. The EO is consistent with and follows up on Executive Order 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, issued in January 2021.
While mostly focusing on access for youth, the EO also addresses care, discrimination, isolation, and health disparities for LGBTQI+ older adults, including promising additional guidance on non-discrimination protections for older adults in long-term care settings.
Among other things, the EO charges federal agencies with the following tasks:
- Developing sample policies to support LGBTQI+ students’ academic success and improve healthcare for LGBTQI+ youth and their families
- Expanding availability of family counseling and support, gender-affirming care, and access to evidence-informed mental care and substance use treatment
- Issuing a report specifically addressing health equity for intersex individuals.
- Reducing the prevalence of what the EO calls “so-called ‘conversion therapy’” in the U.S. and the world, including tasking the Federal Trade Commission to consider whether it constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, requiring consumer warnings.
The EO is issued in the midst of a flurry of state legislation impacting LGBTQI+ youth, and schools and institutions of higher education in states where those laws are in effect may feel some tension between state law and federal policies. And the EO precedes the issuance of the anticipated proposed Title IX regulations, which may also include rules around a school’s duty to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.