President Joe Biden signed an executive order June 15 aimed at preventing so-called conversion therapy and charging federal agencies with developing a plan “to promote an end” to such therapy around the world. The order was issued to mark Pride Month, according to a White House fact sheet.
Christian leaders noted multiple problems with the executive order. Focus on the Family’s Daily Citizen noted that conversion therapy is “a meaningless term created by those who oppose leaving homosexuality or transgenderism. But we do strongly support client autonomy and self-determination, meaning people have the right to engage in ethical therapy that is in line with their goals and values. Such work with trained pastoral counselors or licensed mental health professionals is often invaluable in helping people find freedom from unwanted homosexuality or sexual identity confusion.”
Because progressives would label as conversion therapy any counseling that might help a person overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria, the actions stipulated in the executive order “would directly threaten churches, ministries, counselors, bookstores, pastors and parents,” the Daily Citizen added.
The executive order also directs the Department of Education to use its authority “to support LGBTQI+ students, their families, educators and other school personnel targeted by harmful State and local laws and practices.”
Although the president’s order does not specify which laws he has in mind, observers speculate that he is referring to laws in several states banning gender transitioning for minors, as well as laws that protect the integrity of women’s sports by requiring athletes to compete according to their biological sex rather than their gender identity.
“Few actions of President Biden have been more sinister than to accuse state leaders of engaging in ‘conversion therapy’ while ordering the full weight of the federal government behind the Left’s conversion effort designed to confuse biological boys and girls into thinking they are the opposite gender,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “In the president’s comments surrounding the executive order, he did make one very accurate assessment of the situation when he said, ‘We’re in a battle for the very soul [of] this nation….’ “That we are.”