In a supersonic pace (sparked by a federal lawsuit) that normally is not seen in the political process, the Arizona State Legislature passed and Governor Doug Ducey signed a law repealing language, commonly known as “No Promo Homo.” that had been codified since 1991 that restricted what teachers could instruct, and what students can learn, with respect to same-sex lifestyles and illnesses.
This is a huge step in the right direction and puts our political landscape, as well as our school curriculum, with regards to how we treat homosexuality in the classroom, finally in the Twenty-First Century.
In the State House, the vote was 55 to 5 in favor of repeal. In the State Senate, it was 19 to 10. It is unsurprising that among the no votes were “public servants” who have come under scrutiny for their extreme- reactionary views. These include all of LD 11’s representatives (Vince “Dark Money is Good” Leach, Mark “The Invasion is Coming” Finchem, and Bret Roberts) as well as members like Anthony “Get Me off the Bad Cop List” Kern.
Commenting on the repeal, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman stated that:
“Today, the state legislature fully repealed anti-LGBTQ legislation regarding HIV/AIDS curriculum, sometimes referred to as the “no promo homo law,” with strong bipartisan support, and the Governor signed it into law minutes later. This repeal means students will no longer be denied access to medically accurate, science-based information regarding HIV/AIDS.
More importantly, after nearly three decades of this law placing a stigma on our LGBTQ community, the repeal sends a signal to every student, teacher, and family in Arizona that they are welcome in our schools – regardless of who they are and who they love.
I ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction because I saw firsthand the impact of these laws in our classrooms. I knew we could no longer stand by and allow discriminatory practices to be our status quo. Equality Arizona, GLSEN Phoenix, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood Arizona, one n ten, ONE Community, Human Rights Campaign, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Education Association, Arizona Students’ Association, and many more groups have long fought for this bill’s repeal. I also want to thank Senator Martín J. Quezada for his tireless leadership on this issue.
I applaud my colleagues in the legislature for taking this important step toward building a better and more equal state. Today, and every day, we say: all are welcome in our schools.”
Among Arizona’s Legislators, Legislative Three State Representative Andres Cano offered that”
“No longer will LGBT children and youth in Arizona have to go to school fearing who they are or who they love. This repeal is a long-awaited victory for Arizona, and all of her beautiful, diverse– and yes, LGBT– people.”
LD 18 State Representative Mitzi Epstein, on her Facebook page, called the House passage of the repeal:
“Today is a very good day. One bipartisan step forward for equality. Oh, happy day!”
Hopefully, the zeal and dedication to serving the public with correcting this near 30 year wrong will carry over into the upcoming budget negotiations where the state’s children will be cared for further.
The people would certainly welcome that.