Anti-Gay Sex Ed Bill Is Dead in Arizona but Its Sponsor Isn’t Giving Up

Sen. Sylvia Allen has blamed the media for reporting on the nature of her proposed legislation.

An Arizona lawmaker who introduced a bill that would have limited sex education to 7th grade and above, as well as ban any discussion of homosexuality in the curriculum has pulled it from consideration. Still, she has pledging to press on with the issue and introduce another bill in the future addressing her concerns.

Sen. Sylvia Allen, from the town of Snowflake, prefiled SB 1082 on January 8. It was scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, the same day she told a group of supporters on the Arizona Capitol lawn that she wasn’t giving up, despite pulling the legislation, which they had gathered in support of, just hours before its scheduled hearing.

Allen suggested she didn’t intend to write an anti-gay bill, claiming the media had mischaracterized it. She said in a video message posted to YouTube on January 9 that she regretted the anti-gay language in the bill had, in her words, “diverted attention from the main goal of the bill, which is to assist parents with more access and transparency so that they could make informed decisions about the health and welfare of their children.”

Democrats had characterized the bill as an attempt to undo their successful repeal of the state’s “no promo homo” law last year, which had prevented any mention of homosexuality during lessons about HIV/AIDS.

“Why was the bill held? Because it is tainted. It has a label on it now and people are backing away,” Allen said, according to the Phoenix New Times. “But ladies and gentlemen, there can be more bills that can be introduced. And there will be.”

Parents in the state can already review curriculum and pull their children from classes, leaving questions as to why Allen believes the legislation necessary in the first place.

“That bill is a deliberate and manipulative attempt to remove all sex education in our schools,” Sen. Victoria Steele told Time.

“That bill severely limits sex education for all from our schools by teaching abstinence only. It allows parents to sue the school districts, essentially making it so no school would even think of having sex education offered to their students because of a risk of lawsuits. Thus it would eliminate this lifesaving information and knowledge for our kids.”

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