Frankfort, Kentucky – Yesterday the Kentucky Senate passed Senate Bill 150, a discriminatory bill that targets LGBTQ+ youth and prevents teachers from creating safe, inclusive classrooms. The bill now moves to the House.
SB 150 could force teachers to disclose LGBTQ+ students' identity to their parents, making it more difficult for LGBTQ+ students to seek mental and physical health assistance from trusted adults in school. The bill also allows teachers and students to misgender their own pupils and classmates, and prohibits schools from recommending or requiring any policies on pronoun use.
“Your vote yes on this bill means one of two things: Either you believe that trans children do not exist, or you believe that trans children do not deserve to exist,” said Kentucky Sen. Karen Berg, D-Louisville. “I can tell you these children exist.”
Sen. Berg is the mother of Henry Berg-Brousseau, a transgender employee of the Human Rights Campaign who died by suicide at the end of 2022. “This hate building across the country weighed on him,” she said of her son.
Human Rights Campaign Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant released the following statement:
“School policy should focus on education, not discrimination. SB 150 is a shameful, mean-spirited bill designed to make LGBTQ+ students feel isolated. Caught in the crosshairs of elected officials’ divisive political strategy are vulnerable kids who are simply trying to navigate their adolescence and should feel supported in school.
Honoring a student’s chosen name and pronouns is essential to affirming their identity and showing basic respect. As Sen. Berg said yesterday on the floor, this bill takes the single most important thing that can be done to improve a child’s health and well-being and could force teachers to do the opposite. Children deserve safe and affirming spaces in school, and teachers should feel empowered to provide them. The Human Rights Campaign strongly condemns the Kentucky Senate’s actions today and urges the Kentucky House to do the right thing and oppose this discriminatory bill.”
Less than two months into 2023, HRC is already tracking more than 340 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in statehouses across the country. 150 of those would specifically restrict the rights of transgender people, the highest number of bills targeting transgender people in a single year to date.
So far this year, HRC is tracking:
90 bills that would prevent trans youth from being able to access age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best-practice health care; two have already become law, in Utah and South Dakota.
More bathroom ban bills filed than in any previous year,
And 28 anti-LGBTQ+ bills which have passed at least one chamber, 10 of which are specifically anti-trans.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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