State senators make revisions to Indiana’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 7:30 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS (WNDU) - The so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Indiana no longer says today what it said yesterday.

A couple of provisions were softened during the amendment phase on the Indiana Senate floor on Thursday.

The main thrust of the bill remains — it still prohibits schools from providing any instruction about human sexuality to students in Pre-K through third grade.

As for what did change, the bill no longer requires parental permission to honor a student request to be called by a different pronoun. Instead, it simply requires that the teacher notify one parent of such a request.

There was some talk on Thursday about leaving parents out of the equation entirely so as not to “out” a student at home before they’re ready.

“I have a lot of amendments for this bill, and one of them says if the student expresses that they are afraid to go home because they might be harmed,” said State Sen. Shelley Yoder (D-Bloomington). “LGBTQ youth homelessness is a real concern in our state.”

However, others want parents to be in the mix.

“I cannot imagine a child of mine going to a teacher and telling them something of this significance and seriousness, and then the teacher telling them, ‘I need to inform your parents,’ which I would want, and I think we all we all want to know that. And because of our ‘law’, and they say, ‘Oh, never mind,’ and we’re ok with that? We’re okay with that child keeping that secret and living with that secret by themselves? I think that’s awful,” said State Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne).

There was another provision of the bill that was removed entirely. It sought to protect employees who refused to call a student by their preferred pronoun if that refusal was based on religious conviction.