CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and AIDS Healthcare Foundation strongly oppose Ohio’s new proposed legislation prohibiting the discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools. Limiting, or outright banning such discussion completely undermines the state’s public health and education system.
“Ohio House Bill 616 unfairly targets our LGBTQ+ youth, putting them at risk of a multitude of problems, including bullying and mental health challenges,” said Tracy Jones, Executive Director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, an affiliate of AHF. “It further puts our youth at risk for acquiring HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Making matters worse, this bill also targets young people of color by denying teachers the opportunity to teach the documented history of our state and country. It would halt legitimate historic discussion and public health prevention education to keep our kids safe.”
House Bill 616 will isolate children and place yet another burden on our educational system. The continued marginalization of LGBTQ+ youth will cause kids to be less safe in school. Broadly banning discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity is unacceptable health policy practice. With no safe space at school to discuss these critical issues, children will turn to less trusted resources, endangering their physical, mental and sexual health.
“House Bill 616 is a cynical trick to use race, sexual orientation and gender identity to divide our state and to score political points,” added Jones. “We cannot let this bill pass and must do everything in our power to stop it. The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and AHF respectfully ask the Ohio General Assembly to oppose the passage of House Bill 616.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 1.7 million individuals in 46 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter & Instagram: @AIDSHealthcare