Just a few years after RFRA wreaked havoc on our state and its economy, Indiana lawmakers are at it again – proposing legislation that targets LGBTQ young people and prevents educators from creating safe and welcoming educational environments for all students.
State Legislators Should Reject SB 65 Targeting LGBTQ Students
Senate Bill 65, which would limit instruction on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” in public schools, is so broadly worded that it could prevent schools from discussing any LGBTQ issues without express written permission from parents.
By targeting a vulnerable group of young people and preventing educators from creating safe and responsive learning environments, Senate Bill 65 runs a real risk of violating Title IX and the Constitution and subjecting the state to costly litigation.
Lawmakers should reject this unnecessary and discriminatory legislation and work together to support and protect all students.
Because the language of the bill is so broad, it could also be interpreted to limit the ability of educators to engage in any conversation with students about LGBTQ issues, chill educators from taking action to prevent bullying and harassment, and limit instruction regarding any gender difference, gender non-conformity or LGBTQ people altogether.
In addition, by specifically prohibiting discussions of “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” without parental consent, Senate Bill 65 risks violating Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination as well as the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Members of the Indiana House should stand with all Hoosiers and vote “no” on Senate Bill 65.