Ohio lawmakers introduce bill restricting teachers from discussing sexual orientation, gender identity


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Ohio Republicans have introduced their version of Florida’s controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill – which would restrict school teachers from talking about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ohio’s House Bill 616 would ban all discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools until the fourth grade in most schools throughout the state.

“The classroom is a place that seeks answers for our children without political activism,” Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Loveland, a backer of the bill said in a statement. “Parents deserve and should be provided a say in what is taught to their children in schools.”

Other supporters of the bill said sexuality should not be discussed under any circumstances.

“Curriculum about gender identity and sexuality has no place in K-3 classrooms, period,” said Representative Mike Loychik.

The proposed bill doesn’t come without strong opposition from some groups.

House Bill 616 is another shameful attempt by Ohio legislators to attack honesty in education by using classrooms as a political battleground to foment racism, homophobia, and transphobia,” said Honesty For Ohio Education in a statement.

The President of the Columbus Education Association calls it an attack on students.

“HB 616 is a repulsive attack on our students. Our State Legislators can’t commit to properly funding schools, yet they find the time to censor educators,” said John Coneglio of CEA. “To our LGBTQIA+ students; your teachers are committed to honest in education. We see you, we affirm your value to our community, and we will not let your humanity be legislated away by bigots in suits.”