Colorado Legislature Considers Bill to Ban Religious or Values Oriented Approaches to the Teaching of Sex Education
The bill is supported by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
A sexual education bill recently introduced in the Colorado state legislature, and supported by abortion-provider Planned Parenthood, would mandate the teaching of a supposedly “comprehensive” left-leaning sexual education curriculum in public schools while banning schools from teaching any religious or values-oriented approach to the subject. The bill further bans public schools from teaching that there are two genders.
According to its legislative summary, Colorado House Bill 19-1032 “clarifies content requirements for public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals.”
The bill also establishes an “interagency youth sexual health team,” also described as an “oversight entity” to assess the availability of federal and state monies to fund the program and to oversee the process of giving grants to various public schools to institute the new sex-ed curriculum. The bill further mandates that at least seven members of this “oversight entity” charged with implementing the bill must be “members of groups of people who have been or who might be discriminated against because of disability, race, creed, color, gender, gender expression, immigration status, sexual orientation, national ancestry, marital status, religion, or age.”
While the bill claims to provide Colorado students with a “comprehensive” approach to sexual education, the prohibition against providing any religious or values-based rationale for sexual behavior or ethics ensures that it is the opposite of comprehensive, and adopts an approach that is in direct opposition to Christian and other religious beliefs.
An online letter-writing campaign organized by the conservative Centennial Institute, which is affiliated with Colorado Christian University, states:
“A vast majority of the world's population understands human sexuality within the confines of a religious worldview. While claiming to be ‘comprehensive,’ this bill is anything but comprehensive. It prevents educators from informing students that religion or values can guide sexual activity.”
The letter continues, “This bill violates its own attempts to be ‘comprehensive’ and ‘culturally sensitive.’ It will force schools to promote a liberal understanding of human sexuality while banning all others. HB19-1032 is an attempt by the state of Colorado to expose all kids to a pro-LGBTQ sex education agenda while banning traditional family values.”
The bill’s main sponsors are Sen. Don Coram (R), Sen. Nancy Todd (D), and Rep. Susan Lontine (D). Democrats now control the governorship, the state legislature and state senate in Colorado.
“What this language is really saying is that people or families with certain beliefs and teachings about sex, relationships and gender (like those of the Catholic Church) are basically wrong in their beliefs and teachings,” explained Jennifer Kraska, executive director of the Colorado Catholic Conference, in an interview with the Catholic News Agency. “The likely result of this type of language will be to stigmatize kids and their families that do hold beliefs that are different from what will be taught in this type of ‘comprehensive sexuality education.’”
According to Kraska, parents may not have the option to exclude their children from these lessons in radical gender theory and sexuality. The text of the bill states explicitly that schools are not required to provide notice or consent forms to parents for “for programming on gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, or healthy relationships that occurs outside the context of human sexuality instruction.”
“This means that parents likely wouldn’t be notified regarding this type of instruction and would not have the ability to opt their child or children out of this instruction,” Kraska said.
The bill is supported by both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
On January 30, the bill was passed out of the House Health & Insurance Committee after a 7-4 party line vote (Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed). It will now proceed to the House Appropriations Committee before facing a vote before the full House.