Ky. GOP lawmakers propose bills on how LGBTQ topics should be handled in schools

Ky. GOP lawmakers propose bills to ban drag shows, curriculum from schools
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:05 PM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Republican lawmakers are proposing bills aimed at how LGBTQ topics should be handled in Kentucky’s schools.

Republican lawmakers filed House Bill 173 Tuesday and Senate Bill 102 was filed Wednesday. The bills have nearly identical language. Senator Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, also filed Senate Bill 150, a similar bill.

He says SB 150 proposes three things.

One, it would require a district to notify parents when a student seeks out mental or physical health services. Two, a district must give parents a two-week notice and an opportunity to review materials for any curriculum related to human sexuality. Three, the bill proposes it would provide First Amendment protections to staff and students by ensuring no one is compelled or required to use pronouns that do not conform to a student’s biological sex.

“The time to protect our students is long past due in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Sen. Wise. “As the former Education Committee Chairman, I’ve heard from parents, I’ve heard from administrators, those inside and outside of public education and from my own constituents, saying they are concerned where are educational priorities line up in Kentucky.”

The bills are getting strong opposition from the other side of the aisle, saying they could be dangerous for children.

Sen. Karen Berg, D-Louisville, quickly took to the podium, following Wise, pleading with the other senators not to pass the proposed bill.

Sen. Berg has worked to shed light on LGBTQ issues after the death of her transgender son Henry, who took his own life. She says he struggled with mental illness because of his battle to find acceptance.

“To the members of this body, that we avoid politicizing issues that are literally killing our children. That are literally putting them in the grave. We are politicizing this for no reason,” said Sen. Berg.

While those who propose these bills have called them the Childhood Protection in Education Act, or Rights in Public Schools Education, those against it have referred to them as Anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Now, Chris Hartman with the Fairness Campaign says they’re already prepared to fight against the newest proposals.

“The bills that have been filed over the past couple days are versions of Florida’s Dont Say Gay, Dont Say Trans Bills, on steroids,” said Hartman.