Utah gets closer to repealing its homophobic law

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The State of Utah plans to repeal the law banning the ‘advocacy of homosexuality’ at schools. The bill to repeal the law is headed for the desk of Republican Governor Gary Herbert, now it depends only on him whether to sign or to block it. Such a law used to cause a great resonance in part becoming the subject of a lawsuit by several students, Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The legislatures are now hoping that repealing of the bill will bring the conflict to the logical end. But the Senate in Utah on Wednesday passed a final version of a bill to replace the words “advocacy of homosexuality” with “advocacy of premarital or extramarital sexual activity.”It passed with 27 votes to 1, after passing in the House with 68-1. The terms are confusing, although the new name does no represent homosexuality as something illegal or immoral. GLSEN reports that at least seven other states have similar laws. They appear on the books of Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. The executive director of Equality Utah, Troy Williams emphasized on the importance of this day in the life of the LGBT students from Utah. He added: “We commend Sen. Adams and the Utah legislature for recognizing that LGBTQ students should be treated with the same respect and dignity as straight students. The removal of discriminatory language from school curriculum will send a positive message that all students are valued in Utah.”

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