PROVO, Utah – The state of Utah is striking down anti-gay curriculum in schools and advocating for the rights of all students. The new sex education curriculum now brings awareness to the LBGTQ+ community.
Just last week, Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill into law which encouraged teachers to use more neutral language. This created a change in Utah’s current sex-ed curriculum.
Advocates said the previous law prevented teachers from allowing supportive discussions and positive portrayals of homosexuality in school. This angered several non-profits, including the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Equality Utah. The executive director of Equality Utah, Troy Williams, said people have to look at institutions for how they create their culture.
Brigham Young University student Gregory Ballif, who grew up in Utah, said he believes the law will definitely help.
“I think it’ll help (LGBTQ+ students) to feel less marginalized from the rest of society, especially maybe here in Utah where those kind of lifestyles aren’t as common or aren’t as celebrated,” Ballif said.
The development director for Encircle, a Provo LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center, said it’s a step in the right direction for community acceptance and community understanding.
Utah Senator Stuart Adams said he believes all children need lessons in sex education, regardless of their sexual orientation.
The CDC recently came out and stated LGBTQ+ youth are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Equality Utah re-iterated this. Williams said LGBTQ+ are at high-risk for suicide, and they’re hoping this law will help students.
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