DENVER -- A controversial, comprehensive sex education bill advanced late Thursday at the Colorado State Capitol, but not before hours of testimony in the State Senate.
The measure, which already passed the House, was heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. It is expected to be the last public hearing on the bill. The Comittee vote was 3-2.
Under HB 1032, the state reinforces an already existing ban on abstinence-only education while requiring that experiences of LGBTQ Coloradans be taught as well.
The bill makes clear that healthy relationships and consent must be part of any instruction and that if a teacher brings up pregnancy, the concepts of abortion and adoption must included.
Senators promised to pass several amendments to the bill Thursday, including removing language regarding religious ideology and clarifying that teachers are not to instruct about any specific sex act.
Lawmakers are also making clear that parents must be notified before any such instruction takes place, giving parents an option to remove their child from the classroom.
The hearing began with Sen. Don Coram, a Republican cosponsor of the bill, disclosing how he has been personally attacked for his support of this bill.
“My family has been accosted by people walking down the street, in stores and on social media,” Coram said.
Coram reminded those in attendance that rural Colorado is not “Mayberry.”
Throughout the evening, many conservatives testified about how they believe the bill violates their beliefs.
Meanwhile, State Sen. Faith Winter posted what she believed was a moving testimony in support of the bill on social media:AlertMe