Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila and the Colorado Catholic Conference are urging the faithful to contact their representatives and ask them to oppose HB 19 1032 ahead of its hearing date of Jan. 30.
HB 19 1032 is a legislative bill whose prime sponsors are Rep. Susan Lontaine, R, Sen. Nancy Todd, D, and Sen. Don Coram, R. The current language of the bill describes it as one that would “[clarify] content requirements for public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education and prohibits instruction from explicitly or implicitly teaching or endorsing religious ideology or sectarian tenets or doctrines, using shame-based or stigmatizing language or instructional tools, employing gender norms or gender stereotypes, or excluding the relational or sexual experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals,” according to the Colorado General Assembly website.
In a letter read at all Masses Jan. 27, which marked the beginning of Catholic Schools Week, Archbishop Aquila wrote that he stands with other “pastors, principals, teachers, staff, parents, students, and benefactors to say that our Catholic schools will stand firmly against all ideologies that defy natural law and contradict the truth that has been revealed to us about the human person through the teachings of Our Lord, Sacred Scripture, and the Church.”
“We know that God made us male and female, in his image and likeness, but the comprehensive curriculum route which most schools will likely adopt teaches innocent children this is not true,” the archbishop wrote. “Specifically, public schools would have to promote abortion as an equal option to life, and parents wouldn’t be notified before lessons were presented on gender-identity and sexual orientation. Each of us must do our part to fight this legislation.”
The main point of opposition to the bill by the Colorado Catholic Conference lies in its further inhibition of local school districts to decide content standards for comprehensive human sexuality education, their statement said.
“Local school districts, in conjunction with school boards and parents, are the best vehicle to determine what content standards should be adopted for instruction regarding human sexuality; these groups are the best resources to govern what values and standards should be reflected in this type of instruction,” it continued. “Parents are the primary educators of their children and education policy must be crafted in a manner that places the needs of the children and parents first.”
There are also concerns regarding the notification process for those parents whose children attend public schools and may want to opt their children out from learning the proposed content. Furthermore, the ability for a school to receive a waiver from teaching the content is unclear.
HB 19 1032 Will be heard in the House Health & Insurance Committee on Wednesday, January 30th at 1:30 p.m. in House Committee Room 107 (Note: time is subject to change). Anyone from the public is welcome to come testify regarding this bill.