Human Rights Campaign Blasts Montana Legislature for Passing Slew of New Bills Censoring Classroom Speech

by HRC Staff

Helena, Montana — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — condemned today’s votes in the Montana Legislature that make it more difficult for students to access LGBTQ+-inclusive sexual education. Of the two bills passed today:

  • House Bill 502 requires schools to give 10 days notice of any sex-based classroom instruction

  • House Bill 566 removes sexual orientation and gender identity from sex ed lessons,

Human Rights Campaign Legislative Counsel Courtnay Avant released the following statement:

“All students deserve access to a sex education that is inclusive and equips them with the skills necessary to stay safe and healthy. Studies continue to show that well-designed and well-implemented sex education lowers teenage pregnancy rates, and reduces harassment and bullying against LGBTQ+ kids. Instead of trying to score points with their fringe political base, these politicians should focus on removing barriers to education that do little more than endanger the lives of kids. These bills should not become law in Montana.”

A few months into 2023, HRC is already tracking 380 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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