Bill to nix ‘no promo homo’ law indroduced

Stuart AdamsA Utah lawmaker is taking steps to undo a law that forbids discussion of homosexuality that could be seen as “advocacy” in sex education classes.

Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton, is sponsoring SB196, which removes a prohibition “advocating” homosexuality in sex education in Utah. The official policy for Utah sex ed will be emphasizing abstinence, but the so-called “no promo homo” restrictions will be removed.

“We need to protect all of our kids,” explains Adams. “We want to make sure everybody is treated equally in our schools.”

In October, several LGBT rights groups filed a lawsuit against the Utah State Board of Education over the law, which bans talk about homosexuality that could be seen as positive.

Stewart acknowledges that the lawsuit is a prime motivator for his bill.

“We need to deal with that issue,” he says. “We have put together a great policy on sex ed here, but we have to make sure that everyone is treated equally.”

Discussion of sex ed in Utah can be a highly charged subject. Earlier this week lawmakers voted down an effort to allow parents to opt-in for their kids to take comprehensive sex ed classes, leaving the abstinence-based curriculum in place. Adams says he’s expecting some pushback on his proposal.

“There are very strong emotions on both sides of this issue,” he said. “I just hope we can stay focused on what we’re trying to do here, which is make sure none of our kids are harmed.”