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Second stay sought in ‘no promo homo’ lawsuit pending school rule changes

First Published      Last Updated Apr 17 2017 11:58 am


Schools » Lawsuit expected to be dropped once implementation rules are adopted.

A federal judge on Friday was asked to extend the hold on a lawsuit that challenged Utah's sex education laws barring the advocacy of homosexuality so the state school board can amend its policies.

Utah lawmakers overturned the so-called "no promo homo" laws during the legislative session that ended in March. SB196 removed language prohibiting the discussion of homosexuality from state laws.

The bill was proposed in response to an October 2016 Equality Utah lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City's U.S. District Court that claimed the laws were unconstitutional and promoted discrimination against LGBTQ students and others.

In the wake of SB196's passage, Utah's State Board of Education, which was sued alongside the Cache, Jordan and Weber school districts, is now set for a May 5 vote on proposed cleanups to administrative rules and policies, new court papers say.




Additionally, the sides are working to resolve the plaintiff's claims for monetary relief outside the court and want more time, the joint petition filed by the Utah attorney general's office states.

"A stay of this case until May 15 may enable the parties to resolve all claims without judicial intervention," Parker Douglas, Utah's solicitor general wrote.

It wasn't immediately clear Friday whether U.S. District Judge Dee Benson would grant the stay.

The Equality Utah lawsuit was the first of its kind to tackle state statues that ban positive discussion of homosexuality in schools.

At least seven other states have similar laws on the books. LGBTQ advocates say the statutes unfairly label homosexuality as wrong and leave LGBTQ students at risk for harassment and discrimination.

jdobner@sltrib.com

 

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