#DontEraseUs: State Anti-LGBT Curriculum Laws

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Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

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Alabama

“Course materials and instruction that relate to sexual education or sexually transmitted diseases should include . . . an emphasis, in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state.”  Ala. Code § 16-40A-2.

Arizona

“No district shall include in its course of study instruction which:
     1. Promotes a homosexual life-style.
     2. Portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style.
     3. Suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”  ARS § 15-716.

Louisiana

“No sex education course offered in the public schools of the state shall utilize any sexually explicit materials depicting male or female homosexual activity . . . The major emphasis of any sex education instruction offered in the public schools of this state shall be to encourage sexual abstinence between unmarried persons and any such instruction shall: . . . Emphasize abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age children.”  La. R.S. § 17:281.

Mississippi

“Abstinence-only education shall remain the state standard for any sex-related education taught in the public schools.  For purposes of this section, abstinence-only education includes any type of instruction or program which, at an appropriate age . . . [t]eaches the current state law related to sexual conduct, including forcible rape, statutory rape, . . . and homosexual activity . . . and teaches that a mutually faithful, monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the only appropriate setting for sexual intercourse.”  Miss. Code § 37-13-171.

Oklahoma

“AIDS prevention education shall specifically teach students that: 1. engaging in homosexual activity, promiscuous sexual activity, intravenous drug use or contact with contaminated blood products is now known to be primarily responsible for contact with the AIDS virus; 2. avoiding the activities specified in paragraph 1 of this subsection is the only method of preventing the spread of the virus.”  70 Okla. Stat. § 11-103.3.

South Carolina

“The program of instruction provided for in this section may not include a discussion of alternative sexual lifestyles from heterosexual relationships including, but not limited to, homosexual relationships except in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases.”  S.C. Code § 59-32-30(A).

Texas

“The materials in the education programs intended for persons younger than 18 years of age must: (1) emphasize sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity in marriage as the expected standard . . . and (2) state that homosexual conduct is not an acceptable lifestyle and is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.”  Tex. Health & Safety Code § 85.007.  “Course materials and instruction relating to sexual education or sexually transmitted diseases should include: emphasis, provided in a factual manner and from a public health perspective, that homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under Section 21.06, Penal Code.”  Tex. Health & Safety Code § 163.002.

Utah

“[T]he materials adopted by a local school board . . . shall be based upon recommendations of the school district’s Curriculum Materials Review Committee that comply with state law and state board rules emphasizing abstinence before marriage and fidelity after marriage, and prohibiting instruction in:  the advocacy of homosexuality.”  Utah Code § 53A-13-101.

Note:  North Carolina’s statute regarding sexual health education was amended in 2006 to remove a requirement that any instruction concerning the causes of sexually transmitted diseases must include the current legal status of “homosexual acts” that are purportedly a significant means of transmission of STDs.  However, the statute continues to exclude LGBT students by requiring that schools teach that “a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.”  N.C. Gen. Stat. § 115C-81.