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Weekly Statehouse update: Gender-affirming care bans, Indiana’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill move forward

The Indiana Statehouse. Soft, yellow sunshine breaks through an otherwise overcast spring day. The trees in front of the building are bare.
Brandon Smith
IPB News

An expansion to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, rejected changes to the ban on gender-affirming care for minors and legislation inviting a lawsuit.

Here’s what you might have missed this week at the Statehouse.

HB 1608: Human sexuality instruction

Indiana’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed the House and would require parental notification if a child in school requests to change their name or pronouns to be inconsistent with their sex assigned at birth. A Senate committee took that qualifier out of HB 1608. Now, a school has to notify parents of any requested name or pronoun change – even a nickname – regardless of gender expression.

SB 480: Gender transition procedures for minors

House Republicans voted down proposed changes to SB 480 banning gender-affirming care for people under 18. That included efforts from Democrats Thursday to prevent minors currently receiving such care to be forced to de-transition.

On Tuesday, a House committee heard nearly four hours of emotional testimony before passing the measure. The bill would ban a list of medical procedures only if they were for the treatment of gender dysphoria.

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues throughout the legislative session. And follow along with our bill tracker.

HB 1569: Restrictions on DOC provision of gender therapy

And the Indiana attorney general’s office said a proposed ban on allowing people in state prisons to get gender-affirming surgery will likely lead to a lawsuit. Despite the acknowledged potential that HB 1569 violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, Attorney General Todd Rokita supports the bill.

Find all the bills our statewide team is covering in our bill tracker at

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.