Indiana House Bill 1608 passed the House in a concurrence vote of 63-28 on Monday and will now head to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk. A concurrence vote means that the Indiana House approves of the amendments made to the bill on April 10 by the Indiana Senate.
If signed by Governor Holcomb, the bill will take effect on July 1, 2023.
The original version of HB 1608 would ban instruction on “human sexuality” from kindergarten through third grade, prevent teachers from answering questions on this topic and require schools to notify and receive consent from at least one parent if an unemancipated minor were to request a change in name, title or pronouns.
One change in this most recent version of the bill is that students no longer need parental consent to go by a different pronoun or name. Only parental notification is required.
The House also approved a Senate amendment that removed a section of the bill that would prevent teachers from being disciplined for not using a student’s preferred pronoun or name due to a religious position.
The bill defines “sex” as, “an individual's biological sex as either male or female based on the individual's genetics and reproductive biology at birth, including sex organs, chromosomes, and hormones, without regard to the gender that the individual experiences, identifies with, or expresses.” However, the bill does not expressly define “human sexuality.”
The American Civil Liberties Union is currently tracking 18 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in Indiana, including HB 1608. Two of them have passed into law: Senate Bill 480, which prohibits physicians and other practitioners from providing gender-affirming care to minors, and House Bill 1569, which restricts Department of Corrections provision of gender therapy.