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Ducey vetoes strict sex ed legislation, issues order requiring review

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have made Arizona’s sex education laws among the strictest in the nation when it comes to teaching about LGBTQ issues, instead issuing an executive order that requires related curriculum to be posted online for parents to review.

The order requires the Arizona State Board of Education to adopt several requirements by June 30 aimed at increased transparency regarding the sexual education learning process.

“Arizona is and will remain a national leader in parental rights,” Ducey said in a press release. “Too often, parents are left out of this process and the importance is even greater when it comes to educating students about deeply personal matters like sex education.

“This executive order ensures that parents are in the driver’s seat when it comes to overseeing the education of their children.”

Ducey said he vetoed SB 1456 because it wouldn’t have mandated that sex education materials be posted online.

The Republican governor added that the bill, which he called “overly broad and vague,” could put vulnerable children at risk by limiting discussion around sexual abuse prevention.

The proposed law would have barred all discussions about gender identity, sexual orientation or HIV/AIDS in sex education classes unless parents are notified in advance and specifically opt in for the instruction.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman applauded Ducey for the veto.

“Gov. Doug Ducey made the right decision by vetoing SB 1456 and I want to thank him for standing up to bigotry and intolerance,” Hoffman said in a tweet. “All students are welcome in Arizona’s public schools and today’s veto reaffirms that.”

The proposal would have applied outside of sex ed classes as well, requiring parents to agree to have their children learn about historical events such as a discussion of the modern gay rights movement that sprang from the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York.

It also banned any sex ed classes before fifth grade, which opponents have said will put young students who now learn about “good touch-bad touch” to avoid molestation at greater risk.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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