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Ducey signs law repealing teaching restriction considered anti-LGBTQ

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — A controversial 28-year-old Arizona law that bars HIV and AIDS instruction that “promotes a homosexual lifestyle” was swiftly done away with this week.

The Arizona Legislature quickly voted on Wednesday and Thursday to advance Senate Bill 1346, which contains an amendment to repeal the provisions concerning homosexuality.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed it minutes after the state Senate voted 19-10 to advance it. The House voted 55-5 after amending another bill to add the repeal on Wednesday.

The bill essentially killed the 1991 law, which prohibits HIV and AIDS instruction that “portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative lifestyle” or “suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a series of tweets Thursday that the repeal means students will “no longer be denied access to medically accurate, science-based information regarding HIV/AIDS.

“More importantly, after nearly three decades of this law placing stigma on our #LGBTQ community, the repeal sends a signal to every student, teacher, and family in Arizona that they are welcome in our schools – regardless of who they are and who they love,” Hoffman said.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Mark Brnovich declined to join in defending a lawsuit against the law that was filed last month against the state’s Board of Education and Hoffman.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Equality Arizona, argues the law constitutes unconstitutional discrimination and restricts educational opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students.

The law communicates “that there is something so undesirable, shameful, or controversial about ‘homosexuality’ that any positive portrayals of LGBTQ people or same-sex relationships must be explicitly barred,” the lawsuit continued.

Thursday’s repeal was expected to end the lawsuit.

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