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Hundreds Protest Planned Parenthood Bill to Cut Religion From Sex Ed

On Wednesday, Colorado citizens spent eight hours debating a new Planned Parenthood-backed sex education bill that endorses LGBT lifestyles and forbids any religious or abstinence-first perspective. Hundreds crowded the Colorado State Capitol, mostly in protest of the bill. Some slammed it as an attempt to exile religion from the public square.

"There's a larger effort to remove the faith community from the public square and this is symptomatic of that," Jeff Hunt, director of the Centennial Institute and chair of the Western Conservative Summit, told PJ Media.

Hunt tweeted videos of the crowd and told PJ Media that at least 300 were scheduled to testify, mostly against the legislation.

Fox 31 Denver reporter Joe St. George also shared a video of the crowd.

The hearing centered on H.B. 19-1032, which "clarifies 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."

The bill also explicitly demands that teachers "not endorse sexual abstinence as the primary or sole acceptable preventive method available to students. Such instruction is not comprehensive and is inconsistent with the requirements of this section." The bill does not require schools to teach this sex ed, but it prevents them from teaching alternatives. At the current time, public schools can teach abstinence-based sex ed with public funds. The bill removes this possibility.

The bill's main sponsors — state Sens. Don Coram (R) and Nancy Todd (D) and state Rep. Susan Lontine (D) — did not respond to PJ Media's requests for comment.

Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, endorsed the bill, as did the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a group increasingly focused on liberal activism more than key American civil liberties like its hallmark issue, free speech.

Hunt argued that the bill "has one purpose, and that's to ban traditional family values from being taught in comprehensive sexual education."

"Only the pro-LGBT perspective is allowed to be taught. You almost have to pretend that a religious viewpoint on human sexuality doesn't even exist — we have to put our heads in the sand," the Centennial Institute director said. "It doesn't just ban the endorsement of religious views, it bans the teaching of them."