Republican Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen on Wednesday introduced legislation to allow parents to sue school districts if teachers discuss homosexuality in the classroom.
The legislation, Senate Bill 1082, will also bar Arizona students from receiving any type of sex education until the seventh grade, reports The Arizona Mirror.
The measure, which has been scheduled for a Jan. 14 hearing in the Senate Education Committee, also deletes “homosexuality” from acts constituting “sexual conduct” in a section of the statutes, a move that appears to ban any discussion of homosexuality during sex ed courses, reports the Arizona Capitol Times.
In September, Allen told a conservative forum on education that Arizona schools are giving pornography to students under the guise of sex education. Allen bragged to forum attendees that she had successfully blocked Democrat-sponsored bills in 2019 that related to sex ed.
Geoff Esposito, a progressive lobbyist, says that Allen’s legislation is merely a conservative response to Arizona’s April 2019 repeal of its infamous “no promo homo” law which prohibited instruction in HIV/AIDS curriculum that “promotes a homosexual lifestyle” or “suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”
Allen’s bill also seeks to deem as harmful any material that “normalizes sexual conduct between minors or sexual conduct with a minor” or calls such conduct “safe or without risk.”
Esposito says the proposed legislation shows that “ ‘anti-LGBT forces’ have been losing ground in recent years,” adding, “[Conservatives] are pushing an incredibly unpopular issue among the exact people they need to win over, and threatening vulnerable legislators’ re-election with a bad vote that will get a ton of media attention.”
Senator Tony Navarette, an openly gay Democrat who represents Phoenix, thinks he may have been able to come out of the closet earlier had teachers been able to talk openly about homosexuality. “This is really a health issue,” Navarette noted.
LGBTQ Nation notes: “Research has established a link between conservative prohibitions of discussing homosexuality in classrooms to higher rates of HIV. In 2018, Arizona and six other states with ‘no promo homo’ laws were among the 15 U.S. states with the highest rates of HIV. Arizona has the 14th highest rate of HIV among U.S. states, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control.”
In 2015, Allen raised eyebrows when she proposed a bill that would force all Arizona citizens to attend church to help America’s “moral rebirth.”