PRESS RELEASE: Bolding and House Democrats Urge Veto of Anti-LGBTQ SB1456
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2021
PHOENIX— House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding urged Governor Ducey to veto Senate Bill 1456 sponsored by Republican Senator Nancy Barto, which passed today along party lines and would require parents of students to opt-in to sex education curriculum and any instruction involving gender identity, gender expression or sexuality. Multiple members of the Democratic caucus noted that parents already control whether students receive age-appropriate comprehensive sex education, but this bill would also effectively shut off any discussion of gender identity, information about HIV prevention, how to recognize and report sexual abuse, or even discussion of historical events involving LGBTQ people.
"If our Republican colleagues truly cared about preventing childhood sexual abuse – which they frequently profess – then they should have rejected this bill," said Bolding, D-Phoenix. "Age-appropriate comprehensive sex education helps children when they are most vulnerable to distinguish between – for example – a good touch and a bad touch and gives them the language to tell a responsible adult if they have been abused. Parents can already opt out of this instruction if they choose, but if the legislature erects so many barriers that this instruction disappears altogether it will only allow and cause more harm."
Bolding added, "Two years ago, by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, the Legislature repealed the discriminatory so-called 'No Promo Homo' law that for decades led to stigmatization and bullying of LGBTQ students. The passage of SB1456 effectively puts those restrictions on discussion of public health issues like HIV-AIDS – or even the history and contributions of the LGBTQ community – back into place. The same governor who repealed that stain on our state's history should not sign this one."