Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Republican Utah governor vetoes ignorance-based sex ed bill

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Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT)
Gov. Gary Herbert (R-UT)

In one of those rare times I find myself applauding a Republican official, kudos to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert for rejecting the state’s broad-brushed anti-sex-ed bill, which would have banned any mention of homosexuality as well as pushed abstinence-only ignorance in public classrooms:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Friday vetoed a controversial bill banning public schools from teaching contraception as a way of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The bill, which also sought to bar instruction on homosexuality or other aspects of human sexuality other than the teaching of abstinence, would have been the first of its kind in the nation if it had become law.

It had previously cleared Utah's Republican-controlled House and Senate, and Herbert was widely expected to sign it.

It’s so nice when Republicans go against party expectations, given how far they’ve degenerated these days. And I also liked Herbert’s well-framed reasoning:

"If HB 363 were to become law, parents would no longer have the option the overwhelming majority is currently choosing for their children. I am unwilling to conclude that the state knows better than Utah's parents as to what is best for their children," he said.

"In order for parents to take on more responsibility, they need more information, more involvement, and more choice — not less. I cannot sign a bill that deprives parents of their choice," he added.

Of course, a plainer statement would be that kids need to be given reality-based information on how to have sex safely, period, rather than have adults stick their heads in the sand and pretend that their sweet little urchins won’t lose their clothes faster than their lunch money the first occasion they get. One has to wonder whether these pro-abstinence-only adults have completely forgotten about how they were when they were young, themselves – or whether they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that the new generation wouldn’t follow their example if only they were lied to even more.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)