At a Pride Month event at the White House Wednesday, President Biden targeted Republican states – specifically Florida and Texas – for allegedly homophobic legislation, as he unveiled an executive order to combat such laws.
“I don’t have to tell you about the ultra-MAGA agenda attacking families and our freedoms. Three-hundred discriminatory bills introduced in states across this country,” Biden said. “In Texas, knocking on front doors to harass and investigate parents who are raising transgender children. In Florida, going after Mickey Mouse, for God’s sake.”
Biden’s remarks came after the White House announced the president will sign an executive order to fight state legislation that it views as homophobic and to support conversion therapy, “LGBTQI+ families” and more.
According to the White House, one provision will instruct the Department of Education to address “the impacts of state laws that target LGBTQI+ students.”
The Education Department will also be charged “with releasing a sample school policy for achieving full inclusion for LGBTQI+ students.”
That part of the executive order is likely in reaction to a Florida law that banned lessons on sexual identity and gender orientation for students in third grade and younger. Liberal opponents of the bill branded it the “don’t say gay” bill.
Javier Gomez, a gay teen who just graduated from high school in Miami, Fla., spoke at the White House event, detailing his coming out process. He said his openly gay 5th-grade teacher’s guidance helped make that process easier for him. But, Gomez said, “hateful” GOP legislation recently passed in Florida may make that harder for other gay children.
“I fear other students in Florida and across the country will not be able to get the same support because of hateful legislation like the don’t say gay bill,” he said. “But my presence here is a testament that we are fighting back.”
Biden also touted efforts to diversify his administration and fight discrimination more broadly.
“I think we have more LGBTQ+ people than any administration or every administration combined,” Biden said. “A record number of out and proud appointees at every single level of our government.”
Biden also directed a message toward young people.
“My message to all the young people: Just be you,” Biden said. “You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You do belong.”
Brock Juarez, a spokesman for Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, called Biden’s rhetoric on the issue “ironic.”
“It’s ironic that the Biden administration continues to claim their policies only support ‘affirming care’ while simultaneously defending and promoting permanent, harmful, and irreversible sex-change operations for children,” Juarez told reporters. “We have remained consistent that in Florida we must protect children and parental rights, and our Medicaid program should not be paying for medical experiments.”
“The Agency For Health Care Administration recently released a report that found several services for the treatment of gender dysphoria promoted by the Federal Government – i.e., sex reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers – are not consistent with widely accepted professional medical standards and are experimental and investigational with the potential for harmful long term affects,” Juarez added. “The Biden Administration was found to be using low-quality studies to affirm the guidance they released.”
Jessica Anderson, executive director at Heritage Action for America, told Fox News Digital that Biden’s move amounts to using children “for an experimental woke agenda.”
“The Biden Administration needs to wake up and learn that it is not acceptable to use children for an experimental woke agenda,” Anderson said. “By pushing to expand access to dangerous cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers for minors without parental consent, Biden’s Executive Order threatens the physical and mental health – and futures – of our nation’s children. It’s also an unprecedented power grab, using the stroke of a pen to bully governors and parents who are simply trying to protect kids in their state.”
“Just as we saw with COVID lockdowns and mandates, the Left is again using dangerously misleading or deeply flawed science to justify their political agenda,” Anderson argued. She cited a new Heritage Foundation study warning that cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers “have only been widely available for transgenderism for less than a decade, and have not been proven to improve health or reduce suicide risk.”
“To call the drugs ‘life-saving health care’ is a lie, and to try to cut parents out of lifelong medical decisions for their children is completely reckless,” Anderson argued. “In fact, as the Heritage study found, expanding access to ‘gender-affirming’ hormones can potentially put our nation’s youth at risk for severe mental health problems and suicide.”