HB 1608, a bill that censors conversation about LGBTQ kids in schools and outs transgender students, today passed the Indiana House Education Committee. The bill will now move to the floor of the House.  

ACLU of Indiana Advocacy and Public Policy Director, Katie Blair provided testimony at today’s hearing and after the vote issued this statement: 

“The Indiana House Education Committee just passed HB 1608, a horrific 'Don’t Say Gay' bill. This bill would censor discussion about LGBTQ people in schools and target students who choose not to conform to traditional norms about gender by forcing teachers and administrators to act as ‘gender police,’ outing transgender students without their consent, potentially putting them in danger at school and at home. This bill sends a dangerous message to already vulnerable youth, especially trans youth, that they and their stories are worth less than their peers.   

“The bill author, Representative Michelle Davis, is pushing this bill as a ‘parental rights’ bill, but Rep Davis authored another bill that would take away parents’ rights to make decisions about essential medical care for their trans kids. This is not about parental rights.  

“This is not about teaching sex-ed. If it were, HB 1608 would explicitly name sex education. Instead, Indiana legislators are using a broad, undefined term, 'human sexuality,' to ultimately erase conversations about LGBTQ Hoosiers. 

“Hoosiers see this bill for what it really is, a blatant attack on LGBTQ families in Indiana. Our schools should protect all students—including LGBTQ students—so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment.”