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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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November 01, 2023

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 19 attorneys general, today supported a Maryland board of education’s efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ children and students.

The amicus brief, filed in Mahmoud v. McKnight, supports the Montgomery County Board of Education (MCBE) in a challenge to its policy of providing LGBTQ+ inclusive reading materials in its language arts curriculum.

"Inclusive classroom environments ensure all students feel valued and respected and allow everyone to thrive,” Raoul said. “I will continue to work with my fellow attorneys general to push back against coordinated efforts to attack LGBTQ+ youth and ensure all students are supported in the classroom.”

In their brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Raoul and the coalition explain the importance of providing safe and inclusive school environments for all children and argue that policies such as the MCBE’s do not raise legal concerns. Raoul and the coalition highlight how the MCBE and its members, like other school authorities around the country, are charged with playing a critical role in nurturing generations of children on their paths to becoming capable citizens. Courts have long afforded significant discretion to state and local governments in how they pursue this goal.

Raoul and the coalition also argue that states have an interest in making schools safe, supportive, and inclusive for all students; LGBTQ+ youth face unique struggles that should be addressed through a supportive and inclusive school environment, including curricula that incorporate LGBTQ-inclusive books; the MCBE’s chosen books foster tolerance and prepare children for a diverse world; and the MCBE’s efforts do not burden religious freedom or violate Maryland law.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.