The proposed Ohio House Bill 616 (HB 616) is a direct and disgusting attack on the LGBTQ+ community across the state of Ohio—we must do everything to ensure such a demoralizing bill does not happen here in our state.
HB 616 would ban both instruction and materials about sexual orientation and gender identity in Ohio schools that receive government funding. The legislation would also restrict teacher discussion and training on other “divisive or inherently racist concepts” such as critical race theory, diversity, equity, and inclusion learning outcomes and “any other concept that the state board of education defines as divisive or inherently racist.”
This is a moment in our history when LGBTQ+ identities are being attacked, in particular youth identities and we must do the work of being supportive adults who understand their experience. Children and young people are unable to create spaces for themselves—adults have made it that way. We are in a period of history when the spaces that were created for our young people to be safe are under attack.
Adults created gender constructs; adults created racism. Now that we know better…we must do better.
We know that when we see reflections of ourselves in education, in popular culture, that we find a deeper understanding of who we are and what we’re about. This bill would diminish representation within the classroom, diminish representation in terms of conversation around identity.
The Stonewall organization vehemently disagrees with this proposed legislation and we call for elected leaders to abandon, and oppose, efforts to enact Ohio House Bill 616 and we call on our corporate partners to leverage their respective power in this space to ensure such a bill does not move forward. We ask our community to contact your elected officials, especially your Ohio representative (find their contact information using this district map), let them know this legislation is not something we support!
Stonewall works to increase visibility, inclusion, and connection for the LGBTQ+ community so we see an Ohio where we all thrive—so, we must ensure we are seen and not erased.
Take action here: https://secure.ngpvan.com/QJ9yXmcb1k2fLx6zAF369A2
Stonewall Executive Director’s media reaction on the proposed bill:
- April 06, 2022 Bigotry or parental choice? Ohio’s proposed ‘don’t say gay’ bill
- April 06 2022 Stonewall Columbus believes HB 616 could be detrimental for job recruitment in Ohio
- April 06 2022 Columbus educators, activists slam Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law as Ohio faces a similar one
- April 06 2022 Ohio eyes bill like Florida’s controversial education law
- April 05, 2022 House Republicans introduce Ohio version of the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill
- April 05, 2022 ‘Don’t say gay:’ Bill similar to Florida’s introduced in Ohio
- April 05, 2022 GOP reps introduce bill banning schools from teaching about sexual orientation, gender identity and ‘divisive concepts’ about race