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06/19/2024 11:08 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42260
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 8, 2024 02:26 PM
From: Representative Robert Leadbeter and Rep. Joseph D'Orsie, Rep. Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: Combating compelled speech and preserving free expression under the First Amendment.
 

In recent years, the public discourse on gender and identity issues has shifted substantially from how those issues were discussed in prior generations. The most controversial area of that public discourse has centered on the roles that parents and the government play in guiding children who are grappling with gender and identity issues.  Each individual’s answer to that question turns on whether that person believes that parents or the government should be the arbiter of what children are taught and what medical interventions are appropriate.

A bill recently introduced in Illinois represents an egregious example of the government attempting to control how gender and identity issues are presented to children. This bill would label parents who deny their children “gender-affirming services” as child abusers.  Indeed, as written, a parent’s refusal to use a child’s preferred pronouns or to consent to permanent and irreversible medical treatments, including the administration of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, would constitute child abuse and could potentially result in a parent losing his or her custodial rights.
 
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the administration of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in children can lead to significant complications, including long-term effects on bone density, height, reproductive system development, fertility, and mental health.  A parent’s objection to his or her child’s desire to transition should not be considered controversial and certainly should not be proscribed by any law in the United States.  On the contrary, our society should welcome debate and public discourse on topics as significant as gender identity and gender expression.



Document #1

Introduced as HB2156

Description: Bill #1 (Leadbeter)  
This bill will grant civil immunity to any parent who refuses to use his or her child’s preferred pronouns or refuses to consent to gender affirming medical services.  This legislation is necessary to ensure that parents are not unfairly labeled child abusers for objecting to a child’s wish to transition from the member of one sex to another.
 

Document #2

Introduced as HB2158

Description: Bill #2 (Kauffman)
This bill will similarly grant civil immunity to any individual who refuses to use another person’s preferred pronouns.
 

Document #3

Introduced as HB2157

Description: Bill #3 (Leadbeter)
This bill will provide that in custody matters, one parent’s refusal to refer to his or her child by the child’s preferred pronouns or refusal to consent to gender affirmation treatments may not be considered by the court when determining the best interest of the chil
 

Document #4

Description: Bill #4 (D’Orsie)
This bill will prohibit school districts from denying any teacher their constitutional right to free speech through penalties or disciplinary action, should they act out of a deeply held belief or conviction and thus refuse to use a child’s preferred pronouns