Protest held against Gov. Dunleavy’s ‘Parental Rights’ bill

Protest held against Gov. Dunleavy’s ‘Parental Rights’ bill
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:52 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Roughly 100 people showed up Saturday to rally against Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which they say is harmful to transgender youth.

The protest was held at Town Square Park by the Party for Socialism and Liberation Anchorage, which condemned the bill, as well as other recent enactions such as the transgender bathroom ban in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, and the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community.

“Trying to pass these laws off as giving parents the right to choose is ridiculous, and we the people are not going to stand for it,” event speaker Naomi Bain-Harris said during the protest.

The bill in question — the Parental Rights in Education bill, as Dunleavy called it — would require, among other things, written permission from a parent before a child can change their pronouns at school, and would also include gender identity as one of the educational topics requiring written parental permission before students can participate.

“Nobody knows their kids better than a parent,” Dunleavy said in a March 7 press conference. “As a parent of three girls, I can tell you I know my girls better than anyone else. Any idea that this is a ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill or this is anti-anything — it’s not. It’s pro-parent.”

Those attending the protest said it is an attack on transgender rights, as it takes away a child’s agency in how they identify at school.

“I hope that people come to realize it sooner rather than later, before more people get injured or more people get outcast from their families,” attendee Kendzie Carter said. “As someone who was kicked out of my family myself, it hurts.”

The governor said at the conference that the bill is intended to engage the parents and keep them informed as to what their children are learning at school.

While this bill has been brought forth by Dunleavy, no action will be taken unless it passes through the legislative process and becomes law.