The executive order on "advancing equality for lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex individuals" was signed on June 15th as part of a White House observation of so-called Pride Month.
The order is said to build on "the historic progress" the president has made for LGBTQI+ people by addressing "discriminatory" legislative attacks against LGBTQI+ children and families, preventing so-called "conversion therapy," and taking new steps to "advance LGBTQI+ equality."
However, groups like Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are concerned about order's First Amendment violations.
Nathanael Blake at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) says various scholars at his organization are focusing on different areas, including the freedom of speech and religious liberty angles for professional therapists and pastors who are providing counseling, the freedom of speech and religious liberty angles for professional therapists and pastors who are providing counseling, and questions of legal overreach in which the administration is engaged.
"But I think the primary concern for most people at EPPC is simply going to be the children who are being victimized by this push to mandate medical transition as the only acceptable response to children with gender dysphoria or a confused sense of gender," Blake says.
While the Biden administration favors gender-affirming care and therapy bans for children and adults in the LGBTQ community, one doctor thinks the U.S. ought to take note of other countries that have learned from their mistakes.
"Very progressive countries like Sweden, Finland, and Denmark, are moving back from engaging in attempts to transition children to another gender, even if they're experiencing gender dysphoria," says Jeffrey J. Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics), senior vice president of bioethics and public policy for CMDA. "Their reason for that is not because of discrimination; they've been doing this for decades longer than we have in the United States. But what's happened is they've now been able to see the direct harms that come to children if they do try and transition them."
Dr. Barrows says the countries in question are now putting more of an emphasis on mental health therapy.
"This is exactly almost the opposite of the approach of the Biden administration," he asserts. "I really wish people would understand it's not about discrimination; it's about doing the right thing for our children."
CMDA has a position statement on so-called transgender identification.