AZ Governor Signed Bill to End Ban on HIV Education

Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona signed a bill that would repeal a law that banned teachers from talking about HIV instruction. Image by Gage Skidmore from National Review

A law in Arizona that banned teachers from discussing HIV in fear that it would promote homosexuality has been recently repealed after governor Doug Ducey signed a bill early this month, according to AP News.

The decision came about after a lawsuit was filed by Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights which claimed that the 1991 law was discriminatory against LGBTQ people. The bill that was designed to repeal the law passed within the Republican-majority Senate House by a wide margin, with only 10 Senate Republicans being opposed to the repeal. One mentioned that she is not comfortable with sex-ed being taught and another said that gay men are more prone to contracting HIV. The latter point seems like it can also be used to promote HIV education in schools so that fewer people contract the virus but maybe that’s just me.

Ducey signed the bill less than an hour after it was approved by the Senate, which made the repeal official. Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said that by passing the bill the lawsuit will end. Kathy Hoffman, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, said that the law banning HIV instruction, which many believe stigmatizes LGBTQ students banning, created a myth that “even mentioning LGBTQ relationships in your classroom could result in punishment or firing.” Granted, even growing up in a state as liberal as New Jersey I never received HIV education but I am very certain that there are now laws preventing teachers from discussing it in the classroom, so I commend the Arizona state Senate and House for the repeal.

Stigmatization can lead to a wide range of problems, such as increased bullying and harassment by their peers which can lead to the victim of such acts to develop depression and/or low self-esteem, so by passing a bill that would repeal a law that stigmatized LGBTQ people, who already suffer disproportionately from bullying and harassment, Arizona is one step closer to equality.

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h/t: AP News

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