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The Youth Wellness Act, HB 19-1032, just passed out of the House and Senate and is on the way to the desk of Governor Polis who is expected to sign. 

Since the bill first started getting discussed, there have been a lot of ups and downs. At one point, it looked like it was going to advance through the steps to become a reality, at another, like it was going to get axed

 

Now, it looks like the Youth Wellness Act is well on the way to being signed. This act is important because it would move sex ed away from abstinence-only education to include talks about safe sex and consent, and it would also include queer-affirming language about how sex can manifest in many different ways between different folks. 

“This important bill gives students age-appropriate information that will help them lead healthy lives,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a press release. “This bill does not change the fact that Colorado does not require sex education, but it does require that when schools decide to teach sex ed, they provide students with complete, truthful, medically-accurate information, a win for Colorado students.

“What does not belong in public school sex education is instruction that is punitive, shaming, or that promotes a particular religion’s approach to human sexuality,” she added. “Tolerance begins with knowledge about both our differences and similarities, and this bill is an important step in ensuring all Colorado students are respected in their classrooms.”

Parents can still opt out of sex-ed all together, but when it is taught in schools, parents can now rest assured that there will be no slut shaming, fear-based teaching, or anti-queer messages. 

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains have long been proponents of a new approach to sex ed. Their program, In Case You’re Curious, goes into schools to provide information similar to what will be taught under the Youth Wellness Act, and even provides texted answers to students with sex-ed questions. 

Stay tuned for more updates about the passing of this act and how it will impact our queer youth!