Republican lawmakers in Ohio are pushing a bill that would require teachers in the state to “out” transgender students to their parents.
ABC News notes that Republicans who support the Ohio bill say it will protect “parental rights” and “allow parents to dictate what is in their child’s best interests.”
Ohio House Bill 658 would require government entities, including schools, courts and hospitals, to “immediately” notify parents if a child displays signs of gender dysphoria or “demonstrates a desire to be treated in a manner opposite of the child’s biological sex,” according to the proposal.
Introduced by Republican Reps. Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger, the bill also gives parents the right to “withhold consent for gender dysphoria treatment or activities that are designed and intended to form a child’s conception of sex and gender.”
This is one of the most ridiculous — and dangerous — bills I’ve ever seen. If it’s passed, all government workers would be required to report what they perceive is a child’s trans-related behavior… whatever that means.
Think about that for a second. If children are trans, and they aren’t telling their family members, there’s probably a good reason for that. Maybe they’re scared of physical retaliation, for instance. Even if the kids are just waiting for a better time to tell people, “outing” them prematurely would be traumatizing for many. And this is all assuming we’re actually talking about transgender children, not those wrongly perceived to be trans.
Thankfully, critics of the bill are speaking up.
Opponents say that if it becomes law, the initiative could endanger children’s lives.
“In targeting transgender children, the bill authors create ridiculous and unenforceable requirements –– requirements that out transgender students and create a significant threat of bullying and reduced access to social support systems,” LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Ohio said in a statement. “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.”
If House Bill 658 were to become law, Ohio would have to “deputize its state employees to be gender cops,” the organization said, calling the provision “dangerous for Ohio families.”
Equality Ohio is right — and it seems like their side is the only one that cares about kids’ best interests. Why take the most vulnerable population in a school system and possibly subject them to additional harassment and bullying?
Maybe because the bill was sponsored by State Reps. Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger. Just the other day, Zeltwanger celebrated passage of a bill legally protecting pastors who don’t want to solemnize same-sex weddings… even though that’s already the case. And in 2003, Brinkman opposed a local measure to expand the definition of hate crimes to include attacks against people based on their sexual orientation. Citing the catechism of the Catholic Church, he said that supporting the ordinance would “send the message that you openly approve of homosexuality.”
The worst part of their co-sponsored bill is that it doesn’t just apply to teachers. Literally any government entity would be required to play watchdog for trans “behavior.” And since Transdar isn’t a thing, a lot of kids will likely be falsely “outed” if this passes.
The bill is set to be debated in the Ohio legislature this fall. If it passes, you can expect ruined lives — not to mention multiple lawsuits.