While the state of Ohio could soon have its first openly gay U.S. Congressman, it could also have an extremely transphobic and homophobic bill as well.
HB658 has been introduced to the state’s House of Representatives and has already gained massive opposition from LGBTQ advocates and their allies.
The bill, submitted by Republicans Thomas Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger, asks that government officials, like doctors, teachers, and care providers, notify parents if a child ever acts “in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex.”
The bill goes further to say:
“If a government agent or entity has knowledge that a child under its care or supervision has exhibited symptoms of gender dysphoria or otherwise demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex, the government agent or entity with knowledge of that circumstance shall immediately notify, in writing, each of the child’s parents and the child’s guardian or custodian.
“The notice shall describe the total circumstances with reasonable specificity.”
The bill also tells teachers and school administrators to not refer to transgender students as their chosen names and pronouns, unless a parents says otherwise.
Plus, the bill also states that parents and guardians won’t be punished for denying their children gender dysphoria treatment.
It seems that HB658 is focused more on transgender youth, but the law is written so broadly that if a child acts outside of gender norms, the extent of which is up to the government official, it must be reported.
As such, gay or lesbian youth could also be at risk.
Of course, several LGBTQ advocates have expressed outrage at HB658 such as Equality Ohio which released a statement saying:
“Ohio’s HB658 is the latest attempt by anti-LGBTQ extremists in Ohio to codify explicit second-class citizenship for LGBTQ people, only this time, they are targeting transgender youth.
“We already have a legal standard of how we treat kids in Ohio – we treat them in accordance with their best interest. Period.
“The state policing of behaviour opens a can of worms. Who is the judge of which gender is allowed to do what? If Jane signs up for shop class, will her parents receive a government letter? If Jordan doesn’t want to play football, do his parents get a letter? What if Alex wants to attend a meeting of the student LGBTQ group – does the school email that to Alex’s parents?
“Just what stereotypes are they expected to enforce?
“In targeting transgender children, the bill authors create a ridiculous and unenforceable requirements – requirements that out transgender students and create a significant threat of bullying and reduced access to social support systems.”
“This bill is anti-trans youth. It’s attacking our most vulnerable.
“A few cynical politicians are trying to drum up fear and division about transgender youth and their families at a time when we need more love, respect, and kindness.
“This unnecessary and discriminatory bill does nothing to support youth and families.
“In fact, it puts the livelihoods of some of our most vulnerable youth – transgender youth – further at risk with bullying and discrimination by potentially forcing teachers to out them.”