Bill to ban abstinence-only sex education advances after hours of debate

DENVER -- A measure to reform sex education moved forward after more than 10 hours of debate and testimony in front of a House committee on Wednesday night.

The House Health and Insurance committee approved house bill HB19-1032 on a 7-4 vote just before midnight.

Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education would require schools that teach sex education to teach it comprehensively, meaning more options for students other than abstinence, or opt out of teaching it all together.

That means reinforcing a ban on schools from endorsing abstinence-only education or religious ideologies.

It would require teachings on the experiences of LGBTQ individuals. And if teachers address pregnancy, abortion and adoption must be covered.

Hundreds of people in favor and against the bill showed up during the hearing at the State Capitol.

Several speakers said they worried if the bill becomes law, school districts could begin teaching children about sexual acts and lifestyles that are against what their faiths believe.

"We want to make sure kids understand that there are different relationship models beside just heterosexual, that there are people who are lesbian, gay and bisexual," said Rep. Susan Lontine, D-Denver, one of the bill's primary sponsors.

The bill next heads to the House Appropriations Committee.

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