With ‘No Promo Homo’ law eliminated, LGBT advocacy groups drop lawsuit

In this September 2017 file photo, guests at the "Discover Pride" event held at Town Square Park wear rainbow flags, St. George, Utah, Sept. 16, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Following the Utah Legislature’s repeal of a law that banned speech in schools by students and teachers advocating homosexuality, LGBT advocacy groups have dropped a lawsuit against the Utah State Board of Education.

In this September 2017 file photo, Rainbow balloons are released at “Discover Pride” at Town Square Park, St. George, Utah, Sept. 16, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The lawsuit was originally filed by Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of three plaintiffs from the Jordan, Weber and Cache school districts who said they had no recourse for harassment they experienced at school and were unfairly disciplined.

One of the plaintiffs, described as a lesbian teen, stated in the lawsuit that she was singled out in middle school and disciplined for holding another girl’s hand and became afraid to speak about her identity for fear of further punishment. Another plaintiff, an 8-year-old boy, was harassed for being a non-gender conforming boy.

Read more: LGBT groups sue Utah State Board of Education over ‘anti-gay school laws’

The bill repealing the so-called “No Promo Homo” law was passed in the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert in March.

The Utah State Board of Education submitted a letter to school districts Sept. 19 instructing them to revise any outdated policies to align with current standards set by Senate Bill 196, Health Education Amendments.

In this September 2017 file photo, guests attend the “Discover Pride” event at Town Square Park, St. George, Utah, Sept. 16, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“The Utah State Board of Education desires each student in Utah public schools to receive a high-quality education free from all manner of discrimination, which can take the form of bullying, based on religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity,” the letter reads.

Any districts and charter schools failing to follow the board’s rules are subject to corrective action and withdrawal or reduction of program funds.

“The law really created this chilling culture. It sent a message to teachers and young LGBT students that their impulse to love was something that was so shameful that it dare not be spoken of in the classroom – it needed to be censored, it needed to be erased,” Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said in a previous interview with St. George News.

Read more: Legislature repeals law prohibiting ‘advocacy of homosexuality’ in classroom

“So this law that has been creating this culture of silence in Utah public schools is now gone, and we believe that will create a more affirming, accepting, inclusive culture for young people,” Williams said.

St. George News senior reporter Mori Kessler contributed to this report.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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30 Comments

  • NickDanger October 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    “The law really created this chilling culture. It sent a message to teachers and young LGBT students that their impulse to love was something that was so shameful that it dare not be spoken of in the classroom.”

    Yes, the IMPULSES of teenagers must be protected.

    We should also do away with underage drinking laws, yes? We are denying our young people the ability to act on their impulse to get drunk, not to mention their impulse to discuss drinking binges in the classroom.

    I’m sure many teenagers also have the impulse to try heroin. How dare we have a law against it?

    Bottom line, I’ve trained myself to stop worrying about the fact that I am now living in a country that promotes homosexuality, even though Biblical evidence seems to indicate that as the turning point between God favoring one’s nation as opposed to wiping it off the face of the planet forever.

    But I won’t sit idly by while our schools are caving in to media pressure to accommodate the impulses of teenagers.

    I know a girl, know her very well in fact, who did a couple of porn movies when she was 18. She used the money to go to college, got a nice degree, got married, had a couple kids, settled into the American suburban lifestyle. Then one day her husband threw his hat in the ring for mayor of Roswell GA. I don’t have many details on the middle of the story, but the end of the story is that her porno movies became known to her husband’s opposition; they threatened to expose them, and her husband was forced to drop out of the race before he even had a chance to run.

    This real-world catastrophe came about based on the impulses of a teenager.

    Whatever these teenagers choose to experiment with based on their impulses is no concern of mine. I was a teenager once. But what we’re doing now is ENCOURAGING them to not only engage in homosexual activity, but also to discuss it in the classroom, whatever that consists of.

    Does it ever occur to anyone that maybe these teenagers are making mistakes? Take some young lad who can’t seem to make it work with any girls, which is usually the case with teenage boys. Him being the (let’s be honest) constantly-aroused young male that he is, maybe he’ll try something that’s slightly against his nature but does get him laid. Later, in the real world, he realizes he’s not a homosexual. But now he’s marked as a homosexual for life. I mean, the world is probably full of seemingly-heterosexual men who have had a homosexual experience or two in their lives. But I can guarantee you it was done in secret. There’s a reason for that.

    So why is it important for us to encourage teenagers to explore alternate sexuality? Because they might kill themselves if we don’t encourage their perversion? Sorry, that dog don’t hunt. There are enough homosexuals in the world around us right now for me to know that suicide isn’t the usual solution.

    We don’t encourage sexuality IN GENERAL for teenagers, and in fact for the most part, it’s against the law, period. We have an age of consent.

    Why is it different for homosexuality, or “gender identity” (LOL)? I’ll tell you why – because the liberal media is shoving the gay agenda right down our collective throat. No pun intended.

    • bikeandfish October 6, 2017 at 6:43 pm

      Consensual sex between minors of the same age is part of Utah’s “Romeo and Juliet” exemption to statutory rape. This is common in most states. Teenagers between 16-18, depending on sex, are legally allowed to have sex with others upwards of 9 years older than them. There are parents who persuade kids not to be sexually active but its not required by law.

      The fact is the state should not be able to decide how a child expresses their sexuality and a conservative state like Utah should inherently protect that right even if the religious majority disagrees. I would wager the state changed the law voluntarily because they knew a high level legal case could expand those liberties further than they want (like DCs recent choice with gun laws).

      Plus, “impulse” has multiple meanings. Its clear you interpret it as “a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act” while the quoted person intended the more positive meaning of “a driving or motivating force”. The “motivating force” to love is a healthy choice and should be applauded, even if it happens to go against your personal views.

      Lesson learned: even Utah is learning it doesn’t have a legal right to discriminate.

      • comments October 6, 2017 at 11:44 pm

        your arguments remind me of how muslims claim they are just expressing their religious freedom when they rape 9 year olds. It would be persecution or “islamophobia” to tell them they can’t

    • Chris October 6, 2017 at 9:54 pm

      “real-world catastrophe”??? really? a prospective politician is forced to drop out of a race and that’s a “real-world catastrophe”?

    • Chris October 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      I’m going to guess that you have some sexual issues, either expressed or repressed, of your own. Is it possible that you are one of the “seemingly-heterosexual men who have had a homosexual experience or two in their lives” and now seek to rationalize it?

    • NickDanger October 6, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      Very enjoyable comments, but all of you must know that true Christianity will never embrace homosexuality. The Bible is quite clear on two points which add up to one – homosexuality is an abomination to God (God [Elohim] himself), and holy matrimony is between one man and one woman (Jesus H. Christ).

      So as a Christian I’m essentially immune to the reasoning that I’m not entitled to an opinion.

      Some people choose their sexuality over their immortal soul. All choices have consequences.

      • bikeandfish October 7, 2017 at 10:27 am

        Some of us don’t believe in an immortal soul and know the Constitution protects us from discrimination based upon others’ religious views.

        • NickDanger October 7, 2017 at 12:59 pm

          Well Bike, as we both well know, you are entitled to your beliefs and I am entitled to mine. You don’t have to keep asserting your right to have beliefs, no matter how ridiculous your beliefs might be.

          Right now, my beliefs are predominant. That’s just the way it is, that’s how society has progressed through its thousands of years; my beliefs ended up on top, and your beliefs ended up marginalized. All of mankind’s collected wisdom and knowledge has led us to this pass, in which the supreme rulers of the planet (the USA) got here via adherence to a belief system. My belief system. Christianity.

          Now some people like yourself want to defy that belief system, and put yours on top, which of course you are Constitutionally entitled to do. You may even be successful, it appears you have the full backing of the mainstream media, which is the most powerful tool to have here in the Information Age. In the end, I’m sure we will all agree that it’s very important to promote homosexuality to our children, because the media will tell us so.

          And for no other reason. I understand that it’s hard to explain why anyone needs your beliefs, Bike. It’s not as if atheists/amoralists have some argument to present besides wanting to do anything they want, anytime they want, any way they want. “We can’t explain the origins of the universe via science, but we do know your ancient texts are wrong because they won’t let us do anything we want.” Or: “We realize that history clearly shows how Christian values have created this amazing society we live in, but we want to have public homosex now, soooo…” Or what about this one: “We demand that you pretend that everyone is equal to the Evil White Males who built all of Western civilization.”

          The best argument against liberalism is always just to let liberals keep talking.

          • bikeandfish October 7, 2017 at 2:15 pm

            I love the notion that our nation’s success is so directly related to white Christian men. The beautiful thing about a free society like we strive to be is you get the same freedoms that we are fighting to provide the groups you disparage. At the end of the day Christian white men are not the victims of anything. Losing the right to oppress others is not the same as being oppressed or being a victim.

            There is nothing to explain beyond what is in our Constitution which protects government intrusion on the liberties of all citizens. Even your God supported free will.

            Never called anyone an “evil white” so that is a strawman.

            Never claimed the bible was wrong, another strawman. I’m agnostic, which is a definition you clearly need to look up.

            This law doesn’t “promote homosexuality”, another strawman. It simply protects the equal rights of homosexual students from the oppression of being silenced by the school system. Students discussing their sexuality isn’t promoting homosexuality anymore than saying “i ate a burger” is promoting McDonald’s.

            These protections aren’t about “putting a belief system…on top” but about protecting minorities from discrimination by the state. That is why we have laws and a Constitution.

            At the end of the day you individually still get to be the racist, sexist and homophobic fear monger you are so comfortable being but you don’t get to use the state to enforce your views. Pretty simple actually.

          • comments October 7, 2017 at 4:26 pm

            homosexuals really are an anomaly. I think I heard a talk from richard dawkins (likely one of bikefish’s favorite people) about the evolutionary advantage of homosexuals. The main point is that not a whole lot of them are “true homosexuals”, and enough of them are able to pass on the “gay gene” to propagate homosexuality as a genetic trait. This means a huge portion of them are “bisexuals”, or generally just perverts and degenerates that basically take any opportunity. Women, men, goats? I’m not sure it much matters to them. You could likely classify them more as sexual opportunists than homosexuals (if you believe dawkin’s take on it). Makes you wonder.

  • Whatteverrr October 6, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Hey NICKD
    “Biblical evidence” is an oxymoron. (Ha, moron!)
    Just because you choose to believe what you choose to believe doesn’t mean there’s evidence. And just because these kids believe what they believe doesn’t mean you gotta agree with them either. Live your life and let them live there’s.

    AND QUIT RELEASING BALLOONS!
    IT WRECKS THE ENVIRONMENT!
    C’MON PEOPLE GEEEZ

    • Chris October 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      well said. once you start talking about “Biblical evidence”, you’ve marked yourself as a moron.

  • comments October 6, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Some of these homosexuals would have the entire world burn just to see their agenda pushed thru.

  • bikeandfish October 6, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    I know. How dare they want to have the same protections, rights and access as other citizens. Clearly the world will burn if the government no longer sanctions discrimination.

    #sarcasm

    • comments October 6, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      bikefish, since you are a hardcore moral relativist can you come up with any moral argument of why people shouldn’t be allowed to have sex with animals. Where do we draw the line of right and wrong, legal and illegal? Is there such a thing as depravity or are people just the same as wild animals? So, fish, would people having sex with animals be some form of rape since the animal can’t give consent? would it be animal abuse? Is the animal just a possession and has no rights? This is not a pleasant topic but it demonstrates that you leftists and your moral relativism is a very slippery slope.

      When two men (actual men with male anatomy) figure out a way to conceive a child together naturally then I’ll be more than happy to support homosexual marriages. There actually are some universal truths in this world, even though you leftists refuse to acknowledge them

      • bikeandfish October 7, 2017 at 12:49 am

        Your logical fallacy is:
        Slippery Slope
        You said that if we allow A to happen, then Z will eventually happen too, therefore A should not happen.

        The problem with this reasoning is that it avoids engaging with the issue at hand, and instead shifts attention to extreme hypotheticals. Because no proof is presented to show that such extreme hypotheticals will in fact occur, this fallacy has the form of an appeal to emotion fallacy by leveraging fear. In effect the argument at hand is unfairly tainted by unsubstantiated conjecture.

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope

        Only person flippantly talking about such depravity is you.

        • comments October 7, 2017 at 4:09 pm

          Well, aren’t you just the little master (de)bator. In my book two gay dudes doing what gay men do and calling it a marriage is right down there with doing things to a goat, horse, dog, etc and calling it a marriage. Only thing missing from going with the barnyard animal is the paperwork and the approval of the state. I know the minds of you little leftists, and you’ll defend immorality/amorality until it affects you personally.

          • ameliapond October 9, 2017 at 10:15 am

            Comments, how exactly is it affecting you personally? Also, consent, moron… that’s what makes the difference between a sexual relationship being ok or not ok.

  • utahdiablo October 6, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Where the heck are all the Transgender Restrooms in our Schools …..come on People, get involved

  • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 3:35 am

    A public school teacher and faculty should not discriminate against anyone.

    Having said that, I feel sorry for young people today. I feel sorry for parents that teach their children about God and then the whole world goes against their teachings. It’s gotta be tough to be a parent and a child raised in this society.

    • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 3:51 am

      I certainly would not want my child going to a school where they teach my impressionable child that homosexuality is ok and normal, and it’s ok if you marry the same sex. It’s frick’n school- teach them math, science, language and writing. Leave sex education to the parents. This is a penis, this is a vagina. The two meet and make a baby. Not this is a penis and this is a penis and 2 penises meet and where does the penis go? (cough cough) and they get aids and hepatitis.(oh, they leave that part out)

    • bikeandfish October 7, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Imagine what it must be like to have been oppressed by Christians and other religions for centuries? The change right now for Christians is nothing compared to the reality LGBTQi people have faced in America throughout our history. Being denied the legal right to oppress is not the same as being oppressed.

      • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm

        I’ve was oppressed for 40 years……I don’t have to imagine.

        I just broke free 5 years ago from the darkness…thank you Jesus! (And I’m not gay, and I’m white, and I’m female…. so yeah, the only way out is with God)

        You don’t know reality

        • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 5:56 pm

          Anyway, your statement is null and void. Christians were persecuted not oppressed. One is standing up for righteousness and what you talk about is standing up for in unrighteousness. One is a standing for God and the other is standing for your sexual preference. You can’t even compare the two. One is spirit and one is flesh. Two different things.

          • bikeandfish October 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

            The way in which Christians have oppressed sexual minorities is definitely not “null and void”. Your definition of righteousness is not the point as you have the liberty to live it however you feel. Its between you and your god. You are right in that they are not comparable but not in the way you imagine. Its not comparable because your vision of righteousness is subordinate to Constitutional protections for everyone, not just a religious majority. Law doesn’t deal with spirit but it does deal with protecting the physical existence of those you attempt to oppress.

  • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 4:19 am

    I don’t discriminate. When two lesbians came in to my work and applied for a credit card together as “partners” I ran the application. I treated them with respect. I didn’t deny a service.

    I don’t hate people because they are gay. I’m just sad that God is out of peoples hearts. I’m sad that the majority of people want to abolish God. And in doing so, evil is overtaking people’s souls. It always has been and always will be that way. The lake of fire was never meant for people, it was meant for Satan. But Satan isn’t going down alone, he is out roaming around seeking whom he can devour. And unfortunately, he is devouring a lot of souls. Choose Jesus.

    • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 5:10 am

      Of course, if your raised by parents like mine, a Jesus denying (hating) liberal and rich, go to church every Sunday, step mother and father then the only things they will teach you is:

      1. When you tell the truth, you will be called a liar

      2. How to pay off an attorney to pay off a prosecutor to have a court case thrown out.

      3. How to go to church every Sunday and have a pornography collection.

      4. How to not be accountable for actions.

      5. How to make a kick … meatloaf and potato salad.

      Don’t be like my parents. It was not easy at all! It was long, dark road.
      I’m surprised I’m still alive.

      Thank you Jesus!

      Ed. ellipsis.

      • .... October 7, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        Ha Ha ! you got edited lol ! way to go LBA

        • ladybugavenger October 7, 2017 at 2:37 pm

          I didn’t even use real letters haha. Best meatloaf and potato salad ever! So simple too!

  • youcandoit October 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    That’s why they added hormones to milk especially. Soy products are estrogen and if a boy drinks a lot of it he’s getting to much and throwing their hormones out of whack and vise versa. Get a clue people wake up. Keep God in your life he loves us all don’t forget about him he won’t forget about you.

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