By Erica Irish
INDIANAPOLIS—When it comes to educators, minors and taboo topics likes sex, Indiana’s senators erred on the side of parents Tuesday.
Lawmakers approved Senate Bill 65, authored by Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, 37-12, to require schools to send out permission slips for any in-class discussion on three specific areas of human sexuality: sexual activity, sexual orientation and gender identity.
“I think this is a good thing to do, I think this is a moral thing to do, and I think it gives parents the rights they should have to decide what their kids are taught in school,” Kruse said in a closing statement.
As a father, Sen. Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, prefers having an opportunity to start the conversation about sex with his children before a school takes charge.
“We’re all going to differ in the way we have that conversation with our children,” he said. “It is very personal to each of us, it is very personal to each family.”
However, there was adamant opposition from several chamber Democrats.
Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, urges lawmakers to not support Senate Bill 65 before a vote Tuesday. Photo by Erica Irish, TheStatehouseFile.com.
Sen. Mark Stoops, D-Bloomington, said Kruse’s bill has less to do with students learning about sex and more with restricting their worldviews.
“This is surely undemocratic. This is surely un-American, to require that we have a small minority that is imposing their narrow religious morality on the rest of us,” Stoops said.
Stoops also accused Senate Republicans of using their support of the bill to promote their own interests in re-election campaigns.
“I understand the position your caucus is in. The Republican primary has got to be like a Spanish Inquisition. You got to pass that religious test, or you’re going to get primaried,” Stoops said.
Erica Irish is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.