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March 1, 2024

Bill to Protect LGBTQIA+ Youth Passes House

DENVER, CO – The House today passed legislation to protect LGBTQIA+ youth in Colorado schools. HB24-1039, sponsored by Representatives Stephanie Vigil and Brianna Titone, clarifies the responsibility of school districts to adhere to non-discrimination laws, including addressing students by their self-identified preferred names which is independent of a court-ordered legal name change.

“Prioritizing the health and well-being of all Colorado youth makes our families and communities more resilient. All kids should feel safe and accepted in order to grow, learn, and thrive,” said Rep. Stephanie Vigil, D-Colorado Springs, Chair of the Colorado Youth Advisory Council Committee. “This legislation is about protecting our youth in schools from deadnaming, bullying,  and unsanctioned outings to classmates. I support all families, with unique concern for transgender youth and their parents who are being targeted with harassment and violence. This bill will make our schools safer and more welcoming for all of Colorado's youth."

“A name is an important aspect of a person's individuality,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada, Co-Chair of the Colorado Democratic LGBTQ Caucus. “This legislation, brought to us by Colorado students, is about creating a better learning environment for their fellow students. Giving a student the ability to have their chosen name honored is a gesture of dignity, respect and an impactful way to help marginalized students thrive.”

HB24-1039 aims to clarify the application of non-discrimination statutes to school districts, particularly the imperative to address students by their self-identified names. The goal of HB24-1039 is to protect and empower youth in Colorado schools. This bill passed the House by a vote of 42 to 19.

This legislation stipulates that students have the right to be addressed by their preferred names. Public schools and institute charter schools will need to use a student's preferred name when requested. The legislation defines a chosen name as any nomenclature an individual formally requests, reflective of their gender identity and differentiated from their legal name. The bill is one of three pieces of legislation put forth by the Colorado Youth Advisory Council Interim Committee.

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