Arizona has passed new sex education rules that would require parents to sign off on their children learning about LGBT issues.
It "requires the school governing board to develop procedures by which parents will be notified in advance, and given the opportunity to opt their children into, any instruction regarding sexuality, gender identity or gender expression,” according to the text of the bill, which passed the state House on Wednesday after previously clearing the Senate.
Schools may also not teach students about AIDS or HIV without the consent of the parents.
The legislation was voted through along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor of the bill and Democrats voting against, the Associated Press reported. It now heads to Republican Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyJuan Williams: GOP infighting is a gift for Democrats Mace chief of staff steps down during turbulent week Trump to attend fundraiser for Arizona GOP Senate candidate MORE.
“The purpose of Senate Bill 1456 is to look out for parental rights, to ensure that parents have access to learning materials, that parents have the opportunity to opt their child in to classes dealing with human sexuality,” said Cathi Herrod, the Center for Arizona Policy’s president.
Democrats argued that measure bill is harmful to LGBT students and could potentially be unconstitutional, AP noted.
“In a way, it’s a subliminal way of trying to get anti-homosexual legislation put in, by saying you can’t speak or talk about it in schools,” said Alison Macklin, a senior policy adviser at SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change. “We would never make that type of legislation around other historical movements.”
Multiple other Republican-led states that have passed rules requiring parental consent before they are taught about LGBT issues or sex education.