Utah Lawmakers Repeal Law Banning Gay Discussions In Sex Education Classes, LGBT Supporters Commend Senators

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 10, 04:00 am

Lawmakers in Utah have passed a bill repealing an existing law that disallowed gay discussions in sex education classes. The removal of the "no promo homo" law was laid out Wednesday in the wake of a discrimination lawsuit against the state which was filed in 2016.

Some 27 senators voted to amend the law on gay discussions via the Senate Bill 196: Health Education Amendments. Republican Sen. Stuart Adams sponsored the bill and only one senator, Republican Margaret Dayton, voted against it.

The House of Representatives also almost unanimously voted for the repeal with 68-1 votes, according to Advocate. The passed bill is currently awaiting Gov. Gary Herbert's signature for it to become a full-fledged law.

In 2016, Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights filed a lawsuit against Utah and seven school districts because of the no promo homo provision in sex education classes, as per Vox. The groups cited the law as discriminatory as it created an unwelcoming environment for LGBT students in the classrooms.

Sex education classes, as well as history classes and school clubs in Utah, implore teachers not to advocate for homosexuality or discuss it in a positive light to the kids. One student testimony in the lawsuit claimed he couldn't properly present a report on his family when he wanted to discuss an uncle in a same-sex marriage. He said received harassment from classmates, Fox 13 noted. The lawsuit, however, was stalled because lawmakers were then having a deliberation for SB 196.

"We commend Sen. Adams and the Utah legislature for recognizing that LGBTQ students should be treated with the same respect and dignity as straight students," Troy Williams of Equality Utah said in a statement, per Pink News. "The removal of discriminatory language from school curriculum will send a positive message that all students are valued in Utah."

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