Supporting the rights of LGBT youth, young & parenting teens, and youth of color is totally critical when supporting sex education. It still feels like some states can’t get it together.
The utterly unforgivable: Tennessee & North Dakota
Tennessee decided to double down in both the state house and senate in February and re – introduced a worse version of their “Don’t Say Gay” legislation from last year. As if it this wasn’t already bad enough to deny LGBT youth of inclusive sexuality education, the “Classroom Protection Act,” if passed (SB 234/HB 1332), would also require school administrators, nurses, and counselors to report LGBT students to their families and recommend “counseling.”
North Dakota was not showing me any love again on Valentine’s Day because they struck down the anti – discrimination bill (SB 2252) which would have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. WHY DO YOU STILL WANT TO DISCRIMINATE???
BUT, it’s not ALL bad, there are some totally awesome things on the horizon.
Happy Feet for: Nebraska, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, & Texas
Nebraska introduced sex ed legislation (LB 619) that defines access to medically accurate information that will not allow for bias of LGBT young people, students of color, students with disabilities, or sexually active students. Thanks for not being biased!
Also, Maryland and Massachusetts are working on a Trans inclusive policy. The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality hosted a lobby day in February for the Fairness for All Marylander Act (SB449) which would stop discrimination based on gender identity for public accommodation, housing, and employment. We want to throw our support to the activist community in Maryland pushing it forward. The Massachusetts Department of Education issued guidance for public schools so they can be inclusive of transgender students.
I am keeping my fingers crossed for a big win in New Mexico to support the rights of pregnant and parenting teens. Educational equity must include an equitable school absence policy for pregnant teens (HB300/SB382), they had an amazing young parent lobby day, it passed the house & senate last week!
Also, there is nothing but love for student activists who are making it happen. Shout out to the Texas Freedom Network Student Chapters who are fired up and will start pushing back against the bill that would ban Planned Parenthood from providing sex ed in public schools in March.
Curated by Hemly Ordonez, State Strategies Manager at Advocates for Youth.