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Parents and advocates with the Parents Matter Coalition gathered inside the State Capitol on Tuesday to put parental rights on the ballot.

They were seeking signatures to place a statewide advisory referendum on the November ballot. The referendum would ask if parental consent should be required for children under 18 to receive non-emergency medical care, including gender modification procedures and gender therapy.

"I'm a father of seven, grandfather of 17 and soon to be 18. I'm very, very concerned about the direction that our government is going in and taking away key parental rights," Vincent Heaton, with the Parents Matter Coalition, said.

The Parents Matter Coalition wants to collect 500,000 signatures to put a statewide advisory referendum on the November general election ballot.

The question reads:

Shall the written consent from a minor's parent or guardian be required before any entity, person, clinic or school can provide a minor (under the age of 18 years) any non-emergency medical procedure, medication, pharmaceutical, or any gender modification procedure, gender identification counseling or gender therapy?

"Last year attendance by parents at board meetings, school board meetings across the state was at record levels, because parents are deeply troubled by the, you know, the same issue. So we are quite confident we are going to get huge support," Heaton said.

The Parents Matter Coalition said this advisory referendum is in response to state legislation and policies that have had the effect of reducing or eliminating the role of parents in medical decisions involving their children.

The Parents Matter Coalition has also gained support from some state lawmakers.

"Parents rights matter. We see parents' rights put on the back burner. We see woke special interest groups trying to dictate each one of your children and how they're going to live," Rep. Adam Niemerg, (R) Dieterich, said.

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