Protests, potential votes and “parents’ rights”: Another horrid week ahead for LGBTQ+ Ohio

There is a lot going down this week.

The week ahead is jam-packed with LGBTQ+ Ohio activity, with the potential for some disastrous legislative outcomes. Here’s what you need to know.

HB 8 Hearing

On Tuesday, the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee will hear opponent testimony on HB 8, the “Parents’ Bill of Rights.” If passed, the bill would force all teachers and school staff—including social workers and school counselors—to out LGBTQ+ students to their parents.

The bill was amended in April to add “counseling services,” now requiring parental notification of anything a student shares during counseling sessions.

Dubbed the “Unsafe Students Act” by Equality Ohio, this 4th hearing will be opponent testimony: those arguing against HB 8.

To submit written or in-person testimony opposing HB 8, email your Testimony PDF and Witness Slip to OHRPrimary&[email protected] and cc [email protected] by Monday, May 8 at 3 pm (24 hrs before the hearing).

HB 6 Hearing (and possible vote)

On Wednesday, the House Higher Education Committee will hold a fifth hearing for HB 6, the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” If passed, HB 6 would ban transgender girls and women from competing in sports from kindergarten through college.

The committee was expected to vote on HB 6 last week, but some last minute shuffling resulted in the hearing being pushed to this week. Legislative experts say this will be a close vote, so sending the committee members an e-mail making your views known would likely make a difference.

(Another) Drag Queen Story Hour Protest

Some truly horrid chatter has been circulating on ultra right-wing and neo-Nazi online channels threatening an upcoming Drag Queen Story Hour at Cleveland’s Near West Theatre on Saturday, May 13.

Supporters of Drag Queen Story Hour are advised to prioritize their safety in the face of these protesters who have previously come armed to these events. 🔥

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