After nearly 30 years an incredibly harmful law for Arizona students is repealed!
VICTORY! No Promo Homo, the prohibition about addressing queer sexual safety in educational instruction, has been REPEALED and signed by the Governor! In the post below our Executive Director, Michael Soto, reflects on the importance of this win.
I grew up here in Arizona and attended Mesa public schools from kindergarten through graduating from high school. I still remember the “sex education” that I was taught. In 1992, I was not taught medically accurate things about HIV and AIDS, due to fear, misinformation and the political priorities of the adults making those decision here in Arizona. There was also no mention at all of lesbian gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer people. Growing up LDS and in the very conservative community of Mesa, Arizona, it took going to college for me to realize that LGBTQ people existed in this world. I can’t imagine how knowing that earlier, going to schools where every child was safe and able to thrive and be supported, would have change my adolescence. I know for certain it would have alleviated endless hours of fear and isolation. That’s why EQAZ has supported this work for so many years, and why we signed on to the lawsuit when our brave student members approached us. Every student deserves medically accurate and age appropriate sex education. Every student deserves a safe and inclusive educational experience and we won’t stop until that is unequivocally true. No Promo Homo, was an outdated and dangerous law. It created a separate and unequal environment in AZ schools. And now, that law is gone.
Every student deserves medically accurate and age appropriate sex education. Every student deserves a safe and inclusive educational experience and we won’t stop until that is unequivocally true.
The lawsuit was just one strategy, in many years of work. GLSEN, Planned Parenthood Arizona, 1n10, Aunt Rita’s, One Community, the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, The Arizona Democratic Party LGBTQ Caucus; HRC Arizona, and many elected officials – Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Senator Martín J. Quezada, Senator Tony Navarrete, Rep. Daniel Hernandez, Rep. Shope, Governor Ducey, and so many more for supporting and working towards SB1346.
In the lawsuit, we alleged that enforcement of Arizona Revised Statutes (“A.R.S.”) § 15-716(C) and Arizona Administrative Code (“A.A.C.”) R7-2-303(A)(3)(b)(v) violates the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment o the United States Constitution. The lawsuit that forced the Arizona legislature into action was only possible due to the teams at Perkins Coe, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the brave students and parents who decided to take a stand against this hateful law. This outcome is the result of large-scale collaboration with communities, organizations, and individuals who care about making Arizona schools safe and inclusive for all students – thanks to everyone who worked on this SB1346 repealed 15-716C on April 11th, 2019. The Arizona Administrative Code is the prevue of the Arizona State Board of Education. We’re pleased to announce that the board has agreed to repeal that regulation. The board started the process today by opening rule making processes to repeal it and the hearing is scheduled for May 20th!
Every law, that creates an unequal civil society for LGBTQ people of every gender, race, socio-economic class, ability, and legal status, is a barrier to justice and equality. Equality Arizona is here for that fight. Arizona schools are still not safe for LGBTQ students – we beat one harmful law, but now it’s time to work with the Department of Education and school boards to implement positive and affirming policy and to support them in building inclusive cultures for LGBTQ equality.