PRESS RELEASE: LGBTQ Caucus Chairman Chávez Calls for Veto of New 'No Promo Homo' Sex Ed Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2021
PHOENIX – Representative César Chávez, Chairman of the Arizona LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, today called for Governor Ducey to veto discriminatory anti-LGBTQ Senate Bill 1456, which passed the House on a party-line vote on Wednesday. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, would expand the requirement parents of students to opt-in to sex education curriculum to any instruction involving gender identity, gender expression or sexuality. In effect, the bill will re-instate Arizona's discriminatory "No Promo Homo" law – rescinded by the Legislature and Ducey in 2019 – which prevented discussion of HIV-AIDS prevention and led to bullying and stigmatizing of LGBTQ students.
"Parental rights continue to stand with this bill, we already have to opt-in for age-appropriate comprehensive sex education, This bill should be vetoed because it is not needed and is only designed to intimidate and frustrate school districts into not providing sex education at all," Chávez said. "This bill will only stigmatize and increase harm to vulnerable students because it creates a new opt-in to be able to teach, for example, HIV/AIDS prevention, or history involving gender identity or gender expression like the Stonewall riots. That is troublesome and wrong. I believe the very first time I questioned my identity, I was about six years old. For the parent of a child like me to have to opt in automatically assumes that your sexual orientation, your gender identity or expression, is immoral. When we repealed the 'No Promo Homo' law with broad bi-partisan support, our goal was to remove the target from the backs of LGBTQ kids in our schools. If Governor Ducey signs this bill, he's putting it right back on."