Force Behind SB 1062 Using Conspiracy Theories to Fight Sex Ed in Tempe

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Although Arizona's Senate Bill 1062 ultimately did not become law, there's more where that came from.

We've detailed how the Center for Arizona Policy hasn't skipped a beat in pushing its Christian-right agenda at the state Capitol, with bills promoting tighter abortion restrictions, and additional tax exemptions for religious organizations. Meanwhile, another organization that worked on SB 1062, and has close ties to the Center for Arizona Policy, is fighting sex education in Tempe.

See also:
-Lobbyist Cathi Herrod Gets Special Access at the Capitol
-SB 1062 Protesters Demand Apology From Lobbyist Cathi Herrod

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Scottsdale-based organization, had a role in crafting SB 1062, as well as a similar proposal in Ohio. The organization's website describes its relationship with Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy:
Cathi Herrod is now in her fifth year as president of the Center for Arizona Policy, a family policy council whose legislative agenda includes a number of Alliance Defense Fund objectives. Her tireless leadership has helped secure the passage of 101 bills - many of them written, endorsed, and/or defended in court by ADF.
Now, the Alliance Defending Freedom is picking a fight over the proposed sex ed curriculum in the Tempe Union High School District, using what may best be described as conspiracy theories.

The organization has claimed that Planned Parenthood has too much influence over this curriculum. But the Alliance Defending Freedom has gone beyond that. First, the organization claimed that Planned Parenthood employees would be the ones teaching sex education to kids in Tempe. Surprise, surprise -- that bogus claim had a bunch of angry parents showing up to a meeting of the school board's sex ed committee.

See the Fox 10 report from January's meeting below:
Two months later, this battle is still going on, but the Alliance Defending Freedom has some new claims. Mainly, that this sex ed curriculum is just a plot by Planned Parenthood doctors to perform more abortions, thus making Planned Parenthood more money. Here's part of what they claim in a publicly released letter:
Fact: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates spend about $56 million per year on "public policy" initiatives, i.e., lobbying and efforts to gain access to the children of American parents so as to indoctrinate those children in Planned Parenthood's agenda.

Fact: Planned Parenthood Federation of America's business model (a model replicated by each of its affiliates, including Planned Parenthood AZ) is to create abortion customers and its marketing begins in elementary school.

Fact: Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates target children, lead them to experiment in sexual practices, use contraceptive devices and abortifacients, obtain STD tests, and then provide them with abortions when they inevitably get pregnant.
(Cross-reference those rants with the Merriam-Webster definition of conspiracy theory: "a theory that explains an event or situation as the result of a secret plan by usually powerful people or groups.")

The reality of the situation isn't as scandalous. Three Planned Parenthood employees were among the 14 people who developed one of the proposed sex ed programs. You can see that curriculum here. Another allegation that actually checked out is that two other programs were recommended on the Planned Parenthood website. How any of that leads to a conspiracy about pumping up the abortion industry remains a mystery.

Plus, as TUHSD superintendent Kenneth Baca wrote in a letter to parents, clearing up all these over-the-top rumors started by the Alliance Defending Freedom, parents have to give permission to the school for their child to get sex education anyway.

In addition to the rumor campaign, the Alliance Defending Freedom is calling on TUHSD board member David Schapira, a former lawmaker, to recuse himself from any decision-making in this sex-ed program selection because he has accepted campaign contributions from the head of Planned Parenthood Arizona.

Coincidentally, Schapira, the former Senate Minority Leader, is a big critic of the Center for Arizona Policy (Exhibit A, Exhibit B). He's also not even on the district's sex ed committee.

Above all, the Alliance Defending Freedom has been hinting at filing a lawsuit if the TUHSD ends up adopting this curriculum. They claim in a press release that it likely violates a state law passed in 2012, which says that Arizona schools can't give instruction "that does not give preference, encouragement and support to childbirth and adoption as preferred options to elective abortion."

You'll never guess which two organizations teamed up to write this bill and lobby legislators for its passage . . .

From Alliance Defending Freedom's magazine:
herrod-adf.jpg

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.




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21 comments
EgregiousPhilbin
EgregiousPhilbin

I swear, Kathi Horrid is such a theocratic prude, she showers with her clothes on.


Get out of my state you Talibornagain assholes!

Cheryl Perez
Cheryl Perez

why do Christians do things like this ? it doesn't help there cause.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

That organization needs to be eradicated.

Alan M. Kafton
Alan M. Kafton

Thank you for spreading some needed light on these organizations. Apparently their Christian zealotry finds it o.k. to lie over and over again to spread their world view and attempt to control others' liberty....all in the name of "liberty" and "freedom".

Marilyn Ostrow
Marilyn Ostrow

*I* don't (although to be fair, my kids are grown), but sad to say, I'm sure there are PLENTY of people in AZ who DO.

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

What is it with Cathi "Wh*reOfBabylon" Herrod and the rest of her trollish ilk at CAP and ADF and their obsession with other people's sex lives? My personal opinion is that their own lives are joyless, sexless and miserable and the are sick with envy that other people might actually be having sex and actually *enjoying* it, because they probably haven't had sex with their spouses in years. (Seriously, a lot of "good christian" women and even men, decide to "close up shop" as it were once they're done making babies, since you know, the bible says sex is only for making babies with your spouse anyhow.) Herrod and most of her minions probably wouldn't know what an orgasm was if they had one, and most of them (the women anyway) probably never even have. Their "good christian" hubbys tend to be "wham bam thank you ma'am" one-minute-man types, at least the ones that aren't foot-tapping in public restrooms in their free time....at least some of these "good christians" are homosexual, but so deeply sexually ignorant that they don't even know it, or they know, deep down, that they prefer their own gender but cannot admit it because they have been told all their lives that teh gays make jeebus cry. 

Basically these people are basically so repressed and sexually screwed up that they fear that the least amount of sexual freedom and knowledge and access to birth control would turn them into horndogs trying to f--k anything that moved. And they project their fears and ignorance onto others. They are hateful, miserable human beings who won't be happy until everyone else is as miserable, joyless and hateful as they are. 


It is past time for Arizonans to rise up and run Herrod and the rest of her nasty little bigoted, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic trolls out of this state on a rail. But I am not holding my breath it will ever happen.

Jukes
Jukes

What will it take to discredit these Tea Party organizations when their audience has no respect for science or even reality?  The business community that led the veto of 1062 has to realize that the right wing's on-going campaign to damage public education, combined with the fantasy view of life of some religions promote, has worked.  People here aren't capable of separating fact from fiction.  

What kind of businesses want to locate here and create employment in a place where the labor pool lacks reading comprehension, a basic knowledge of science, and fails to understand the principle of cause and effect?  Not to mention a place where their business might be damaged any day by capricious and absurd law-making from our legislature?

Warrior-X
Warrior-X

Just why do these extremist un-ameriKKKan conservative groups are desecrating the word--"Freedom"? Their treasonous policies they create is far from fighting for freedom.

Reggievv
Reggievv

How long are Arizonans going to let the Arizona Center for the Taliban run this State? How long are YOU going to let the the Goldwater Institute for the Koch Brothers run this entire State? These are the only groups the one party dictatorship in the Legislature listens to.

laurac414
laurac414

@getmeouttahere  Wow!  I wish I could have said it as eloquently as you have.  I continue to be baffled by those who CLAIM to want smaller government yet they make every attempt possible to legislate the morals of the citizenry.  They continue their attempts to create legislation that invades the most private and sacred parts of our lives.  They NEED to MYOB and stay OUT of my life, my house & my bedroom.  Those are MY DOMAIN and MY choices to make - just as they are for my neighbors and residents all over AZ and the rest of the country.  They know NO compromise.  I wish I could offer them a deal - I'll stay out of their gun safes if they stay out of my personal life!

TickledPink
TickledPink

Great, American Taliban. What's next, Sharia law? 

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@getmeouttahere  LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! i dont know if you had a bad day and needed to take out some aggression, or if you just had an epiphany.................but goddam did i enjoy that 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Jukes  

Don't falsely identify the religious right as "Tea Party" organizations.

There's a difference.


Reggievv
Reggievv

They have hitched their wagons together.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@laurac414 @valleynative@Jukes 

I don't have a party.

Now you seem to be lumping "conservative" "Tea Party" "religious right" and "Republican" together as a single entity.


The fact that you aren't willing to make the effort to understand people who disagree with you doesn't put any burden on us.


laurac414
laurac414

@danzigsdaddy @valleynative  Then by all means ... Your party has been hijacked.  PLEASE do whatever you can to reclaim it.  They've made ALL of you look bad.  Stop allowing that to happen because the line dividing the two is so thin, it cannot be seen by the human eye. 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Reggievv  

They have some overlapping areas of concern, but they are not the same people.  If you want to pretend to be smarter than them, you should at least make an effort to tell them apart.


Tea Party patriots believe in the separation of church and state.  Not all conservatives are alike.

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