In a fiery speech on the Arizona Senate lawn, Sen. Sylvia Allen said she would will kill her controversial sex education bill – but vowed to bring the matter back in another piece of legislation.
Allen blamed “gossip” about what the bill intended to do as part of the main reasoning behind killing the bill.
“Why was the bill held? Because it’s tainted,” Allen told a large crowd of supporters who had gathered to support her measure. “But, ladies and gentlemen, there can be more bills introduced, and there will be.”
Allen’s bill, Senate Bill 1082, would have disallowed Arizona students from discussing sex education until the seventh grade. Part of the bill also banned classroom discussions of homosexuality.
Allen has said she did not intend for the bill to do that, and later said she would remove.
“We should’ve had the opportunity to debate the merits of this bill,” Allen said. “Instead, it becomes about, ‘Sylvia Allen is a bigot.’”
Allen said she is not against any community, and claimed the “hate is coming from other organizations” that are opposed to her bill. She then compared the plight of European Jews during World War II to Christians in the United States.
Allen encouraged those present to speak to Gov. Doug Ducey and their legislators, and a table was set up to help attendees sign up to speak at Tuesday’s Senate Education Committee hearing.
Ducey last week said he doesn’t see a problem with Arizona’s sex education programs.
Sharon Slater of Family Watch International, a group that was a stakeholder and has been instrumental in helping Allen create her legislation, said that dozens of people still want to speak before the committee, even though SB1082 won’t be heard. She added that two experts had been flown in to discuss the “dangers of comprehensive sex education.”
After the rally, Allen told reporters that some version of her bill is necessary, as schools are not following state law that requires parents to grant permission for students to receive sex education instruction. When Allen was asked for examples, she refused to answer and walked away.
Another bill of Allen’s, Senate Bill 1061, is still being heard and would make schools provide a parental bill of rights that includes information on how they can keep their children from receiving sex education instruction and vaccinations.