Victory! Arizona Sex Education Bill Requiring Teachers to Instruct LGBTQ Students to be Abstinent Stopped

GLAAD today celebrated what appears to be the end of SB 1082, a dangerous bill introduced by anti-LGBTQ activist, Arizona Republican State Senator Sylvia Allen.

Arizona State Rep. Daniel Hernandez just confirmed that the Arizona Senate Education Committee canceled a hearing for the bill which was scheduled for today. His tweet is available below:

GLAAD has been working to shine national attention on the bill alongside Arizona-based organization ONE Community, a coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations, and individuals who are moving diversity, inclusion, and equality forward for all Arizonans.

According to ONE Community, SB 1082 would have:

  • Required teaching abstinence to LGBTQ and other students,
  • Prohibited age appropriate and medically accurate sex education before seventh grade, which goes against the recommendations of Republican Governor Doug Ducey’s task force to prevent sexual abuse, and
  • Froze out sex education in both district and charter schools by threatening schools with lawsuits from individual parents and connecting health education with crimes against children.

SB 1082 was first introduced by State Senator Allen earlier this year, and after public outcry, was quickly amended to remove language that included “homosexuality” in a list of topics that would be banned from sexual education classes.

LGBTQ talent including Manny MUA, Trace Lysette, and Joey Graceffa also spoke out against the bill on Twitter. 

Arizona State Rep. Daniel Hernandez today spoke out: “With the cancellation of today's hearing on the anti LGBTQ SB1082 our faith has been renewed that hate is not an Arizona value. We must continue the fight and be vigilant but today we can breathe a sigh of relief. We look forward to the day that all Arizonans can work, live, and thrive without fear of discrimination that is enshrined in law.”

Angela Hughey, President and Co-Founder of Arizona’s ONE Community and ONE Community Foundation: “The State Senate's decision to not hear SB1082 is victory for LGBTQ students in Arizona. We thank the Senate for listening to stakeholders across the state about the harmful impacts of this bill by saying no to Sen. Allen's dangerous legislation. We will continue to work to educate our community about the positive benefits of inclusive policies for all Arizonans, including LGBTQ Arizonans.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis also spoke out today: “Phenomenal LGBTQ leaders like ONE Community and local elected officials made sure Republican State Senator Sylvia Allen’s shocking anti-LGBTQ bill had no place in Arizona’s legislature. State Senator Allen had no business introducing a poorly researched and irresponsible bill to the state legislature, and it’s a relief that LGBTQ Arizonans will not be placed in jeopardy due to one person’s selfish, and ill-informed agenda.”

Previously, Arizona State Representative Daniel Hernandez and State Senator Tony Navarrete both spoke out against SB 1082 in a video released on Twitter:

In 2019, Arizona elected leaders came together in a bipartisan fashion to repeal the harmful and discriminatory “no promo homo” law, a decades-old law that prevented LGBTQ students from receiving accurate information in health education classes and banned schools from sexual education that “promoted a homosexual lifestyle.” Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed the repeal into law.

The 2015 Arizona Youth Risk Behavior survey by the Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law found that 47% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students in Arizona had seriously considered suicide compared to 15% of non-LGB students in the prior year. SB 1082 would ban potentially life-saving information from reaching at risk students.  

According to ONE Community, parents in Arizona already have the right to see all educational materials that will be used in their children’s classrooms.  All parents in Arizona can keep their own children out of sex education classes because no student participates in a sex education curriculum unless their parents give written permission. SB 1082 would ban education for other people’s children.

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen has a long history of opposing equality for LGBTQ Arizonans and spouting controversial rhetoric about other marginalized communities. She was a staunch opponent of the successful repeal of Arizona’s “no promo homo” laws last year. Prior to that, she advocated for a state constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality, writing: “same sex marriage is about forcing all within our society regardless of religious or traditional beliefs to accept radical changes which will have far reaching consequences. Consequences that change the very core of our society and how it functions. The loser will be the children who must endure the selfish desires of adults.”

During a 2015 debate on a bill allowing people to bring concealed weapons into public buildings, she attracted national attention for suggesting: “Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday.” Last year, State Senator Allen apologized following widespread criticism for a speech she gave in which she spoke about the “browning” of America and said “we’re going to look like South American countries very quickly.”