Ducey vetoes controversial sex education bill

Governor Doug Ducey vetoed a highly contested bill Tuesday that would have given Arizona some of the strictest anti-LGBTQ sex education laws in the country. He concurrently issued an executive order mandating all sex education materials to be posted online — something the vetoed SB 1456 would have made optional.

The bill would have prohibited schools from teaching children about gender identity, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ history without parental consent. It would have also enforced a strict review process for sex education materials and required parents to opt their children in to education concerning LGBTQ history like the gay rights movement. The bill refers to LGBTQ history as “taboo.”

 

 

News of the bill’s passage out of its second chamber last week sparked outrage among its opponents. Democratic lawmakers and citizen stakeholders protested the bill on behalf of Arizona’s LGBTQ youth and urged the governor to veto it. 

 

Image: Arizona Senate Democrats

 

Some organizations, such as Progress Arizona, encouraged Arizonans to call Ducey’s office demanding that he veto the legislation.

Whether it was the result of these advocacy efforts or not, Arizona’s Democratic lawmakers are lauding Ducey’s decision to veto the bill.

Representative Cesar Chavez — who met with the governor to explain why the bill was harmful and should be vetoed — praised Ducey for vetoing the bill in a tweet on Tuesday:

“Appreciative of [Gov. Doug Ducey’s] veto, and for listening compassionately to the woes that affect the LGBT+ community. I’d also like to thank the advocacy of my [Arizona LGBTQ] Caucus colleagues and the non-profit organizations working against SB1456.”

The ACLU of Arizona released the following statement following Ducey’s veto:

 

Image: ACLU of Arizona

 

While Ducey’s veto eliminates the negative impacts the bill would have had on LGBTQ youth, his new executive order enforces even stricter transparency requirements than SB 1456 would have done.

He said his executive order is intended to increase transparency and protect parental control over their children’s education:

“Arizona is and will remain a national leader in parental rights. 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.”