CV NEWS FEED // In a White House briefing Thursday, the Biden Administration announced plans to address issues surrounding “LGBTQI+ safety,” “LGBTQI+ youth mental health,” and a rise in so-called “book bans.”
In the briefing, the administration announced the appointment of a new coordinator at the Department of Education who will address the administration’s concerns over “the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students.”
“Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning, and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that LGBTQI+ people and other communities face,” according to the briefing:
That coordinator will work to provide new training for schools nationwide on how book bans that target specific communities and create a hostile school environment may violate federal civil rights laws.
The administration also intends to regulate foster care placement. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require that children identified as LGBTQ are placed in what the Biden administration describes as “safe and appropriate families.” HHS will provide $1.7 million in federal funding along with guidance for local governments’ use of the funding.
“The HHS Office for Civil Rights [will] propose regulations to protect LGBTQI+ kids and families from discrimination in human services programs that support children and families,” the White House briefing states. “This would strengthen protections eroded by the previous Administration to help protect LGBTQI+ Americans from discrimination.”
Roger Severino, former director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights and a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, condemned the proposal, saying it will prevent religious organizations from helping those in need.
“This administration continues to tear down conscience protections that ensure greater access to health and human services for everyone,” he said. “They would rather have more kids stuck in foster care for longer than to allow faith-based groups to be a part of the solution. This is divisive politics at its worst.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security will provide LGBTQ organizations with bi-monthly threat briefings, safety resources, and preventative training.
The Department of Homeland Security was established by President George Bush in 2002 after the terrorist attacks on September 11, combining 22 federal departments and agencies in order to respond more efficiently to national security threats.