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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

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April 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill Tuesday that would require parents to opt into any instruction involving “sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression” in addition to any formal sex education.

“Clearly, this bill gets in the way of the political agendas of some,” said Republican state Senator Nancy Barto, who introduced the legislation. “The left has long used sex-ed as a vehicle to sneak in their agenda, but they rarely admit it.”

“In an interview on my bill, a spokesperson for Human Rights Campaign Arizona said, ‘Sex education is a logical venue to help all youth learn about and encourage acceptance for LGBTQ people and families.’ When Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the Secular Coalition oppose a measure, that is a telling indicator of what’s really going on,” Barto continued.

Barto noted that 23 of the largest school districts in Arizona teach sex-ed to children in kindergarten through fourth grade, and insisted that “at that age, students should be focused on foundational subjects, not be exposed to sensitive topics that most aren’t yet ready to, or need to handle.”

In addition to prohibiting the teaching of sex-ed from kindergarten through fourth grade, Bill SB1456 would have prohibited schools “from providing sex education instruction” unless the pupil's parent provides written permission for the child to participate in the sex education curricula.”

The part of the bill that drew the most anger from liberals attempted to shield students from indoctrination into acceptance of homosexual lifestyles.

The bill specifically would have created “procedures by which parents will be notified in advance of and given the opportunity to opt their children into any instruction, learning materials, or presentations regarding sexuality, gender identity or gender expression in courses other than formal sex education curricula.”

“Just as any other child, LGBTQ children should be able to see themselves in school curriculum, be affirmed, and have the opportunity to learn about themselves,” commented Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a left-wing LGBT lobbying giant.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, noted, “Today’s sex-ed has morphed into sex indoctrination.” He also maintained that what is touted as “scientifically correct” sex ed is more concerned with what is “politically correct.” 

“At the end of the day, it’s the parent’s right or not to include their child in whatever type of curriculum they want to do for them, based on the values of their home,” he said. 

“Why is it, as a parent, I am forced to do something that I see differently in my family?” said Rep. Walt Blackman, R-Snowflake.

Instead of signing SB1456, Gov. Ducey issued his own Executive Order that merely “requires all sex education curriculum to be posted online for parents to review, without exception.” A press release from his office stated that the order “includes more aggressive transparency requirements than Senate Bill 1456,” because “under that bill, posting sex education materials online would have been optional.”

The executive order also requires the State Board of Education to hold “at least two public hearings” before the governing body approves any sex education course of study.

The governor’s press release insisted that Ducey “called the legislation overly broad and vague, which could lead to unintended consequences, including concerns it could put vulnerable children at risk by limiting discussion around sexual abuse prevention.”

While the release says that “Arizona already has among the most pro-parental choice laws in the country around sex education,” the governor failed to address concerns about sexuality and gender indoctrination, now common in schools, upon which Americans are deeply divided.

The Family Research Council’s Cathy Ruse documented the sexualization of children and LGBT indoctrination found in public school education in a 2020 pamphlet on the subject. She noted, “Many public schools are beginning to teach the radical, anti-science proposition that biological sex is meaningless, that some kids are born in the wrong body,” and that “The American College of Pediatricians calls this psychological child abuse.”

She also noted that sex education today is now “saturated with LGBTQ sexuality” and that “Lessons can be highly manipulative — carefully designed to get children to approve of the concept of sexual rights and fluid sexual ‘identities,’ and to reject their religious beliefs, the authority of their parents, and even physical reality itself.”