GLSEN Commends Executive Order to Protect LGBTQ+ People

Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order that directs the U.S. Department of Education to take new steps to protect LGBTQ+ youth and families against the shameful attacks targeting transgender and nonbinary led by state and local lawmakers across the country. The Executive Order affirms recommendations from GLSEN about the importance of data collection on the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth and adopting inclusive school policies that allow LGBTQ+ youth to thrive and reach their full potential in K-12 schools and beyond.

In response to this order, GLSEN Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she) issued the following statement:

“We thank the President for taking action to defend young people from an extreme anti-LGBTQ+ agenda and advance a vision of positive school transformation that prioritizes the needs of LGBTQ+ youth who should at minimum expect to be safe at school. Increasing support for the Department of Education’s equity programs with a working group devoted to LGBTQ+ students and families and expanding the collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity are critically important steps towards alleviating the harms that have resulted from these unprecedented and relentless attacks.

“Today, at least 14 states have enacted curriculum censorship laws that seek to erase and stigmatize people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ+ communities. Lawmakers in 17 states enacted legislation to discriminate against trans and nonbinary athletes. Efforts to pass policies that criminalize and further victimize young people, particularly LGBTQ+ BIPOC youth, are rampant. GLSEN will continue to rise up to defeat this destructive wave of discriminatory legislation and advance our vision of schools as places of liberation in communities across the country.”