Arizona Governor Signs Repeal of 28-Year-Old ‘No Promo Homo’ Law Banning Teachers from Promoting a ‘Homosexual Lifestyle’

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey today signed the repeal of a ’90s-era law which forbid teachers from “homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style” or even suggest that “some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex” in health classes.

KJZZ reported: ‘Arizona’s [law] was created in the throes of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and after a 1986 recommendation from the U.S. surgeon general that HIV/AIDS education start at an early age. Lawmakers in Arizona initially resisted that recommendation, but that changed in 1991. “Rather than opposing it, they began to say, ‘Well, if we’re going to teach teenagers about HIV, then we have to make sure that we’re not teaching them how to be gay or how to have gay sex or things like that,’” [University of Utah law professor Clifford] Rosky says.’

The repeal of the law ends a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of Equality Arizona and LGBTQ students.

Said Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Puneet Cheema: “The writing was already on the wall, considering that the Arizona attorney general had already signaled they were not going to defend the law in court. We are thrilled that state officials have moved so quickly to get this harmful law off the books and allow LGBTQ students – in fact all students – to get access to the medically-accurate information that literally could save their lives.”

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Attorney General William Barr Orders Probe into Allegations of Discrimination Against LGBTQ Justice Department Staff

Attorney General William Barr on Friday ordered an investigation into allegations of discrimination against LGBTQ staffers at the Justice Department following a March 27 open letter alleging the DOJ is “no longer the welcoming, inclusive environment for LGBTQ employees that
it once was.”

DOJ Pride Letter to AG Barr About Discrimination by towleroad on Scribd

NBC News reports: ‘In an April 4 letter to DOJ Pride released Friday, Barr said he was “troubled” by the group’s concerns, which were raised in a March 27 open letter. He said he directed the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons to “investigate and address allegations of discrimination.” … Along with his letter, Barr also released an overdue Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statement declaring that no department employee or applicant should face discrimination over race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability (physical or mental), gender identity, protected genetic information, pregnancy, status as a parent, marital status, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit-based factor.’

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Texas Senate passes ‘cruel and discriminatory’ anti-LGBTI bill

The Texas Senate in Austin

The Texas State Senate on Tuesday (2 April) gave preliminary approval to a sweeping ‘religious exemptions’ bill. It would allow professionals to cite religious beliefs when refusing services.

LGBTI rights groups have labeled it a ‘license to discriminate’.

‘This bill would allow state-sanctioned discrimination against many Texans, but would particularly impact the LGBTQ community’ explained Rebecca Marques, Human Rights Center (HRC) Texas state director.

Marques said it was ‘a dark moment for Texas’.

The Senate Bill 17 passed on a 19–12 initial vote. It requires one more vote in the Senate before it can be sent to the Texas House for debate.

It allows occupational license holders to use ‘sincerely held religious belief’ as a reason for taking discriminatory action.

The licensing agency that oversees the occupation would have no place to address that discrimination.

License holders cover a large number of professions from barbers to doctors.

Local LGBTI advocacy group Equality Texas warned that the ‘sweeping bill that would empower and protect discriminatory behavior across hundreds of professional activities’.

They said it would ‘open the doors to discrimination and to real harm to LGBTQ Texans’.

The bill does not protect police officers, first responders or doctors who refuse to provide life-saving care.

But, health professionals could deny non-life saving treatment.

Last week, leaders from big companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google came out in force against the bill, according to the Texas Tribune.

Democrats also recently re-introduced  a nationwide Equality Act to Congress.

It extends civil rights protections to LGBTI people across the United States and makes them consistent.

Author: Rik Glauert

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