INDIANAPOLIS – HB 1608, a bill that would ban conversation about LGBTQ families in schools and outs transgender students, today was signed into law by Governor Holcomb.
HB 1608 bans conversation about “human sexuality,” an undefined term and would broadly censor discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in pre-K through third grade.
HB 1608 would also force teachers to out students who request to be referred to by a different name or pronoun, by sending a note home to parents. Studies show that youth who are transgender face a real risk of rejection by the adults who are supposed to care for them when they disclose their gender identity.
ACLU of Indiana advocacy and public policy director, Katie Blair, issued this statement:
“The Indiana legislators behind HB 1608, and the Slate of Hate, have had one goal all along, to use our laws to control what youth can and cannot read, what they can and cannot learn, and—most troublingly— who they can and cannot be.
“Not every child can be their true selves at home without risking their physical or emotional well-being. For trans youth, especially those who cannot be safe at home, school may be one of the few places to be themselves. Trans youth thrive when they are affirmed in their gender identity, which includes being called by a name and pronouns that reflect who they are.
LGBTQ students exist at all ages and in all grade levels and their stories belong in Indiana schools. Our schools should protect all students—including LGBTQ students—so they can learn and thrive in a safe environment. ACLU of Indiana attorneys are assessing this law and will do everything in our power to protect the rights of LGBTQ students.”