Arizona repeals Section 28-style law banning the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools

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The repeal comes just weeks after a legal challenge was mounted against it.

Governor Doug Ducey has signed into law a bill which repeals the state’s No Promo Homo laws. The previous law had also banned “depicting homosexuality” as a positive lifestyle, and teaching about safe methods of gay sex.

The repeal came after Equality Arizona, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Lambda Legal launched a legal challenge against the bill.

The law managed to pass both houses with large majorities in just a couple of days. It passed the House of Representatives by 55-5 votes on Wednesday (April 10), before passing the state senate by 19-10 votes the day after. Governor Ducey signed the law into effect on the same day.

Republicans in the state had resisted moves to repeal the law for years, but a bipartisan push from Democrats and GOP leaders eventually got the law repealed.

Speaking after the repeal of the law, Daniel Hernández Jr., an openly gay lawmaker in the state, said: “The repeal of No Promo Homo is not a victory for one person or for one group.

“This is something that all of us share in because we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to ensure that Arizona students never have to feel like they stigmatized for who they are.”

TJ Shorpe, a Republican representative said: “I was proud to be a part of a positive effort to change Arizona law in order to make all students feel more welcomed in Arizona’s classrooms.

“We have not only moved our state forward, we have also saved our state’s taxpayers countless amounts of dollars defending the indefensible.”

He added: “I was proud to work on this with my friend, Rep. Daniel Hernandez, and I hope this leads us to more bipartisan efforts in all of the issues we face as a state.”

LGBTQ campaigners also celebrated the repeal of the law, with Puneet Cheema, the attorney for Lambda Legal, saying: “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.”

And Zeke Stokes, the Chief Programs Officer for GLAAD said: “Arizona students should never be taught to hate a marginalized group, and LGBTQ youth should never be subject to harassment, discrimination, or erasure just because of who they are.

“We applaud today’s strong, bipartisan action that sends a message of love and acceptance to LGBTQ youth.”

No Promo Homo Laws are still on the statute books for six US states. Those states are Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

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