Statement on the so-called “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act”
Advocates for Youth strongly condemns the so-called “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act” that is being debated and voted by the House floor this week. The lawmakers introducing this so-called “parents’ rights” bill in the House are the same who are seeking to further ban abortion, attack LGBTQ rights, restrict access to gender-affirming healthcare, remove books and history lessons from libraries and schools, and who are also trying to ban birth control. Let’s be clear, their interest is not in protecting parents or children. In reality, HR 5 takes control away from parents and puts it squarely in the hands of politicians.
The lawmakers behind this “parents’ rights” bill in Congress and in state legislatures across the country only cater to a small minority of parents. Underrepresented groups like parents of color and parents of LGBTQ youth have been intentionally excluded from the conversation and ultimately would be harmed by the bill.
Young people have the right to honest, quality education and to learn in safe and supportive environments. This harmful bill does just the opposite. Following the footsteps of dangerous state laws like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and others across the country, House Republicans are seeking to use “parents’ rights” as a red herring to exclude and vilify LGBTQ young people. LGBTQ youth and their families have become the target of a culture war in which the right espouses hate and intolerance in the guise of parents’ rights.
Now more than ever, elected leaders should be focused on ensuring schools are safe and supportive environments for all young people and that every young person has the support they need to be healthy and thrive. Sadly, House GOP leaders would rather pander to politicians who want to further their careers by bullying our most vulnerable youth and their families, than stand up for those who believe providing parental protection actually means creating a world in which all young people are supported and affirmed. Parents, educators, and young people deserve better.