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DENVER (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Colorado bill forcing LGBT ideology into sex education curricula is moving forward in spite of an outcry from conservatives.
After 10 hours of public testimony and debate on Wednesday, a Democrat-led state legislative committee voted 7-4 to approve House Bill (HB) 1032. The measure is being called a threat to parental rights, as it would ban abstinence-based curricula and compel schools to incorporate gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relationships as part of "comprehensive" sex education.
Speaking with Church Militant on Thursday, Catholic clinical psychologist Elizabeth Walker, a Colorado resident, described HB 1032 as "diabolical." It poses such a threat, she noted that hundreds of "faithful, like-minded people" attended the legislative debate on Wednesday to "stand up for the truth" and reject the bill's radical concept of sexuality and gender.
"I would like to know where the research is that supports this type of curriculum," said one Catholic student to committee members Wednesday.
"Will each school be required to present up-to-date scientific evidence that the curriculum they use is actually supported by the research?" he asked. "What's the goal? To reduce pregnancy? Reduce STDs? Reduce sexual violence and depression and emotional problems often linked to sex before marriage? Where's the irrefutable and consistent proof that these types of comprehensive sex ed programs actually work?"
"My family looked," he added, "and we couldn't find any."
Denver Abp. Samuel Aquila has joined faithful Catholic laity in speaking out against HB 1032. In a public letter last week, Aquila denounced the measure as a threat to Colorado families and their faith:
The surrounding culture has become increasingly challenging for Christians, particularly as Colorado's legislature looks to pass House Bill 1032, which will require public and charter schools to either use a comprehensive sex-ed curriculum that contradicts human nature and is inconsistent with Christian values, or to provide no instruction on sexuality at all. We know that God made us male and female, in his image and likeness, but the comprehensive curriculum route which most schools will likely adopt teaches innocent children this is not true. Specifically, public schools would have to promote abortion as an equal option to life, and parents wouldn't be notified before lessons were presented on gender-identity and sexual orientation. Each of us must do our part to fight this legislation.
Worries over HB 1032 extend beyond curricula content. Writing in Townhall last week, Colorado Catholic Brianna Heldt explained that the bill poses a deeper threat, as it "prohibits the state board of education from waiving the content requirements for any public school that provides comprehensive human sexuality education."
"While technically still public schools, charter schools in Colorado have their own respective governing boards, and choose their own curriculums," said Heldt. "Historically, these schools have had the ability to apply to the state board of education for waivers exempting them from various state requirements related to curriculum and governance."
"In order to obtain such a waiver," she noted, "the school must demonstrate how they will meet the requirement in an alternative way. But if HB-1032 passes, Colorado charter schools will no longer have that option when it comes to sexual education."
Walker echoed Heldt's concern.
"To be clear, our oldest two children attend a charter school that currently waives out of comprehensive sex education requirements," she told Church Militant, "but this bill would make it nearly impossible to waive out in the future."
Having survived Wednesday's vote, HB 1032 is on its way to the House Appropriations Committee for another hearing, where faithful Catholics are vowing to continue the fight.