Biden Announces New Coordinator For LGBTQ Protections

The Biden administration has introduced a slew of new protections for LGBTQ individuals, including appointing a coordinator to prevent book banning in schools. The new post-holder, who was not named, will train leaders in school districts and warn them that prohibiting books may run counter to federal law if it creates a “hostile environment for students.”

According to the free speech organization PEN, there are around 1,500 books currently prohibited in American schools, and around a third of these feature LGBTQ characters or themes. The number of books banned rose by 30% between 2022 and 2023; much of this has occurred in southern states including Texas and Florida.

White House domestic policy adviser Neera Tanden said, “Book banning erodes our democracy, removes vital resources for student learning and can contribute to the stigma and isolation that many communities face.”

Others argue, however, that the books in question are inappropriate for children. One such book, described by the LA Times as the “most banned book in America,” contains graphic pornographic images. Many other banned books are similar. The founder of Moms for Liberty, a conservative mothers group that campaigns to remove adult-themed books from schools, said it is not a matter of censorship but protecting children’s innocence. Tiffany Justice said, “We’re not saying books like this shouldn’t be written, but the public school library isn’t the place for them.”

Republican leaders have taken on this cause and several states have implemented bans. Under the microscope are adult-themed books, but there is also widespread concern about critical race theory (CRT). Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis removed CRT books from the schools of the Sunshine State, saying the theory encourages racial division and sends a message to white children that they should be ashamed of their skin color.

CRT teaches that America is a fundamentally racist society and that white people oppress black people. Closely associated with Marxism, it is derived mainly from the politics of European socialism in the 1800s.