HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) —
Pennsylvania’s GOP-controlled Senate approved legislation Wednesday that Republicans say will restrict sexually explicit content and classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools, mirroring partisan fights playing out in statehouses around the country.
The bills passed nearly along party lines, and Democrats warned that Gov. Tom Wolf will veto them. They still require approval from the state House of Representatives.
One bill, which passed 29-21, would prohibit classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students.
A second bill, which passed 30-20, would require educators to identify sexually explicit content in the curriculum, classroom materials and books. Educators would have to notify parents if a child’s coursework or a book they’d like to check out from a library contains explicit content, and parents could opt their children out of viewing the material.
Wolf’s office said he would veto “any legislation that discriminates against LGBTQIA+ Pennsylvanians.”
A third bill that would prohibit transgender girls and women from playing in youth and collegiate sports in a way that matches their gender was headed for a veto by the Democratic governor after passing the Senate on Wednesday.
Bills like the one on classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation have cropped up in numerous states in recent months.