The Utah Legislature passed a historic bill on Wednesday this week repealing a state law prohibiting supportive discussions of “homosexuality” in public and charter school curricula and classrooms. This victory has been months in the making. Equality Utah and three students filed a federal lawsuit last October challenging state laws that ban supportive speech about LGBTQ people in Utah public schools. Equality Utah and the students were represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP.
The legislation passed with bipartisan support by a 27-1 vote in the Senate and a 68- 1 vote in the House. The bill now goes to Governor Gary Herbert for signature.
“This is a historic day for LGBTQ students in Utah,” said Equality Utah executive director Troy Williams. “We commend Senator Adams and the Utah Legislature for recognizing that LGBTQ students should be treated with the same respect and dignity as other students. The removal of this discriminatory language from the school curriculum laws will send a positive message that all students are valued in Utah.”
Commonly referred to as “No Promo Homo” or “Don’t Say Gay” bills, Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas still have similar laws on the books.
Equality Federation applauds Equality Utah for their history victory and looks forward to the repeal of similar laws across the country!