Equality Delaware opposes changes to the state’s draft anti-discrimination policy on transgender students.
The revised Regulation 225 now requires parental consent for a public school student to change a characteristic protected by federal law - like race, religion and gender.
But Mark Purpura of Equality Delaware said there’s no federal or state civil rights law that requires parental consent for anti-discrimination protection for minors.
Purpura said that means schools may have to “out” transgender students to their families - potentially exposing them to rejection or abuse.
“So for that reason, it should be every student’s choice, every child’s choice as to when they feel comfortable coming out to their families,” he said.
He wants students to be able to indicate their protected characteristics without needing their parents’ approval.
“It’s not fair to a transgender student to make them choose between you know not being supported by their family and not being able to live who they are in the place that they really spend the most time - at school,” he said.
Many Delawareans opposed allowing students make changes to their race and gender without parental consent.
Gov. John Carney defends the recent changes. He said he understands the risks to students, but he also has to respect the rights of parents.
“I think if we start from the idea that every student ought to be cherished and every student ought to be respected, then we’re going to end up with a good result,” he said.
Public comment on the revised regulation is open through July 6th.