Hundreds show up at Colorado Capitol to testify on sex education bill

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DENVER —  How should Colorado’s public schools teach students about sex? Democratic Rep. Susan Lontine believes the state can do better.

“They are curious, and I don’t think not talking about sex in an honest way is going to make that curiosity go away,” Lontine said.

Lontine is the author of House Bill 1032, which would do the following:

  • Reinforce a ban on schools from endorsing abstinence-only education or religious ideologies
  • Require teachings on the experiences of LGBTQ individuals
  • Require discussing abortion and adoption if teachers address pregnancy
  • Define “healthy relationships,” contraception and signs of relationship problems

Hundreds of people both in favor of and against the bill showed up Wednesday during a Capitol hearing. One person who testified was Candace Woods, a youth minister who is supportive of the bill.

“Empowering them with medically accurate information about sexuality is preparing them to be responsible participants in our society,” Woods told the committee.

But many others are against the measure.

“Let kids be kids,” one parent told the committee, arguing students would receive too much information.

Representatives from a number of religious groups were at the Capitol Wednesday as well.

“It tells schools you can teach it our way or not teach it at all,” said Stephanie Curry with the Family Policy Alliance, which is associated with Focus on the Family. “I think what is most upsetting is parents do not have a choice.”

The bill’s sponsor emphasized to FOX31 and Channel 2 that parents and school districts could opt out of the sex education curriculum.

The measure is expected to advance Wednesday. Lontine is chair of the House Health and Insurance Committee.

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