PHOENIX — An Arizona bill that would allow schools to discuss homosexuality as part of sexual education courses may die in the Legislature without getting a hearing.
The bill would strike certain language from a 1991 law that prohibits teachers from discussing homosexuality in a positive light or discussing safe sex practices for homosexuals.
“Having such derogatory and outdated language is really shameful to the state of Arizona, and to the people that it tries to shame,” state Sen. Martin Quezada, one of the bill’s sponsors, said.
According to Quezada, the Senate Education committee refuses to hear the bill. Arizona Planned Parenthood CEO Brian Howard said there is no health reason the bill should not be up for consideration.
“There is no public policy justification for current law,” he said. “The only justification is political.”
Another SB 1019 sponsor, state Rep. Lela Alstin, said the current law stigmatizes gay students.
“Leaving the issues LGBTQ kids are grappling with out of the health and sex education discussion stigmatizes them and puts them at risk for bad decision making, or worse,” the teacher and school board member said.
KTAR’s Brian Rackham contributed to this report.