WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) supports President Biden's Executive Order that bolsters the Administration’s commitment to freedom and equality for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals and lays out a plan to achieve these goals.
This historic Executive Order seeks to counter the exponential rise of discrimination, violence, and stigma toward the LGBTQI+ community. A historic number of anti-LGBTQI+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures over the past year, many of them specifically targeting transgender children and their parents by banning access to medical care, participation in sports, and support at school.
“NASW stands with LGBTQI+ children, adults and their families and communities and applauds the Biden Administration’s leadership in issuing this comprehensive Executive Order supporting them” said NASW Chief Executive Officer Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW. “The mission of the social work profession is rooted in core values such as the dignity and worth of the person and the importance of human relationships. Further, we are called to prevent and eliminate discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. This Executive Order takes important steps towards eliminating discrimination toward the LGBTQI+ community and assisting social workers in carrying out this charge.”
Specifically, this Executive Order takes critical steps to:
- Reduce the risk of youth exposure to the discredited practice of “conversion therapy”;
- Expand the collection of LGBTQI+-inclusive data across the federal government;
- Support LGBTQI+ students’ well-being and academic success in schools and educational institutions;
- Protect transgender and nonbinary youth’s access to gender-affirming care;
- Invest in suicide prevention and mental health resources in schools;
- Promote family counseling and support of LGBTQI+ youth as a public health priority of the United States;
- Address discrimination and barriers faced by LGBTQI+ children, youth, parents, caretakers, and families in the child welfare system and juvenile justice systems;
- Increase LGBTQI+ participation in and eligibility for federal benefits and programs for families;
- Provide funding for crisis response, including the launch of 988;
- Prevent and end LGBTQI+ homelessness and housing instability;
- Safeguard healthcare access for LGBTQI+ people, preventing LGBTQI suicide, strengthening protections for LGBTQI older adults, protecting LGBTQI foster youth, and addressing LGBTQI+ homelessness, among other provisions; and
- Promote nondiscrimination protections.
“These proposed actions are in fact life-saving measures. LGBTQI+ people – especially youth – should not live in a place of such precarity,” said Lee Westgate, MSW, MBA, LCSW-C, NASW Manager of Policy & Advocacy. “LGBTQI+ people deserve to live their truth in public in a world that is full of possibility.”
NASW supports the comprehensive plan outlined in the President’s Executive Order and the Administration’s continued efforts to fight for full equality for every American and urges Congress pass the Equality Act in order to provide overdue civil rights protections for LGBTQI+ people.
Read the Executive Order
Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals | The White House