Statement from the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus Against Ohio House Bills 616 and 454 – Add your voice!

The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus strongly and unequivocally opposes Ohio House Bill 616, otherwise known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Ohio House Bill 454, the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE)” Act. This legislation is in direct conflict with our mission to work for justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and harmony between the gay community and the community at large.

Ohio House Bill 616 seeks to censor honest discussion of racism and outright ban “diversity, equity, and inclusion” and “any other concept that the state board of education defines as divisive.” It specifically restricts curriculum around LGBTQ+ issues from K-12 and would also restrict what teachers can — or cannot — say about African American history. In short, the legislation forbids the teaching or “affirming” of certain concepts connected to race, gender, or sexual orientation. If enacted, educators and administrators will be unable to provide safe and inclusive environments for students, further stigmatizing and isolating LGBTQ+ people and people of color. 

Ohio House Bill 454, the “SAFE” Act, seeks to ban any and all gender-affirming medical or mental health care for transgender minors in the state of Ohio. As a result, any gender-affirming medical care (like hormones or puberty blockers) would be illegal for minors, and any healthcare provider who provides those services or merely supports or affirms the identity of a transgender young person could be charged with a felony. In addition, the bill would require that any school staff member to whom a transgender or gender-questioning student discloses their identity would be legally required to provide that information to the student’s parents.

The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus is proud to add our voices to the growing number of businesses and organizations throughout Ohio to oppose Ohio House Bills 616 and 454. These bills would be devastating to all Ohio communities and families, particularly to the 30% of LGBTQ+ families in the state. A small but vocal minority of people are promoting an inherently racist, homophobic, and transphobic agenda.

We encourage everyone to contact your state representative to express your opposition to Ohio House Bills 616 and 454. You can do so by visiting ohiohouse.gov, or through the Human Rights Campaign you can Tell Ohio Lawmakers to Oppose “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” Education Censorship Bill  and/or Rush a message to Speaker Cupp to OPPOSE “Don’t Say Gay/Trans” bill! Tell your lawmakers this measure is wrong for Ohio’s students, teachers, and communities and should not become law. In addition, we ask that you please call Speaker Cupp at (614) 466-9624 and tell him these bills are wrong for Ohio.

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About the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus: The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus (CMC) is a voluntary, nonprofit 501(c)(3) community chorus organized to provide the opportunity for individuals identifying as male, whether gay, bisexual, transgender, or straight allies to sing together. Our Mission: Through our music, we strive for excellence; support and nurture our members; entertain our audiences; and work for justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and harmony between the gay community and the community at large.