ARIZONA – Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey vetoed Senate Bill 1456 – discriminatory legislation that would have affected not only sex education material, but all learning materials in the classroom and made it harder for LGBTQ kids to see themselves in school curriculum.
The Human Rights Campaign opposed SB 1456, which would have required that parents opt-in to curriculum for their children involving materials related to gender identity, gender expression, or sexuality in any school topic and instruction. This discriminatory bill would have added additional barriers to inclusive sexual education curriculum and prevented LGBTQ children from being able to learn critically important health information about themselves as they grow up.
The bill also would have required parents sign off on their children learning about any issues regarding sexual orientation or gender identity, including historical events such as a discussion of the LGBTQ rights movement. The bill discouraged teaching LGBTQ history and literature, creating a “taboo” around LGBTQ curriculum content, and would have made all HIV/AIDS instruction "opt-in,” and all education about sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identity only available through a permission slip.
The veto of SB 1456 is consistent with the progress Arizona made in 2019, when the state removed barriers for LGBTQ representation in educational content.
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