Legislation introduced this week by Rep. Stephanie Borowicz is similar to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and is another legislative example of Republicans’ attempts to attack transgender youth.
Touted as a parental rights bill, a Republican state lawmaker introduced legislation in the House that targets LGBTQ youth.
Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Clinton) introduced House Bill 319 on Monday. Also known as the Parental Rights in Education bill, it mimics similar legislation passed in Florida last year which critics quickly dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
Borowicz’s bill would prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for kindergarten through fifth grade students. It would also require public schools to notify parents “if there is a change in services from the school regarding a child’s mental, emotional or physical health or well-being.”
Borowicz introduced a similar bill last year, House Bill 2813, that never made it out of the House Education Committee.
“It is imperative that we ensure that parents have the right to be informed about the services offered to their children at school, and that elementary school children are protected from inappropriate sexual content in our classrooms,” Borowicz said in a memo to all House members.
Even though only about 1% of Americans identify as transgender, Republican lawmakers and right-wing activists have ramped up their legislative and rhetorical attacks on the trans community in recent months. Nearly 400 anti-LGBTQ have been introduced nationwide so far this year, including six in Pennsylvania.
Last year, the GOP-controlled state Senate approved legislation that would limit LGBTQ instruction in schools and trans athletes’ participation in sports. None of the bills made it to the House floor for a vote.