HB 1608, known as Indiana’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, passed out of the House of Representatives (65-29) on Thursday. Two amendments passed earlier this week that transformed the bill: One omitted the language about sexual orientation and gender identity and instead focused on not allowing schools to teach sexual education in grades kindergarten through third grade; The other prohibits teachers from calling trans or non-binary students by their preferred names or pronouns without written permission from their parents, as well as require schools to inform parents if their child requests a name change. MCCOY opposes HB1608 because it would censor discussions about LGBTQ people in schools and force teachers to "out" trans or non-binary students without their consent, risking their safety. Read more about HB1608 here.
SB 480 passed 8-3 out of the Health and Provider Services committee on Wednesday. If passed, the bill would continue to allow children to access mental health services, but it would prohibit access to any sort of medical or surgical treatment for transgender youth including puberty blockers, hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery. Supporters of the bill argue that children cannot comprehend the permanency of these decisions. Opponents of the bill, including several trans Hoosier youth and their parents, said that medical care has saved their lives, and denying that care would increase suicide rates among the LGBTQ+ population. MCCOY opposes SB 480 because experts agree that gender-affirming care is lifesaving healthcare. Read more about SB480 here.
Click on the link below to join us and our friends at the ACLU of Indiana to tell legislators to protect LGBTQ youth and oppose HB1608 and SB480.