I pulled quotes in the following post from an article in the Salt Lake Tribune. Here's the whole article - thanks to the Tribune for including both sides of the issue.
Utah Governor Herbert vetoed the sex-ed bill on his desk today...the bill that would have eliminated any education about actual sex, contraceptives and homosexuality, and replaced it with mandatory "abstinence-only sex education". There's an oxymoron for you.
Current sex ed in Utah requires written permission from parents - so it's an opt in situation. If there is anything parents object to their kids being informed about (supporters of the bill call it "exposed to") they can simply opt out, keep little Johnny home and call it a day. But that wasn't good enough. Nope. Abstinence-only sex ed was what they wanted to mandate. And I do mean mandate...because the abstinence-only sex ed was not an opt-in choice for parents. It was compulsory.
Governor Herbert vetoed it for the right reason - "I cannot sign a bill that deprives parents of their choice.” The 40,000 signatures delivered to his desk may have had something to do with it. Or perhaps the hundreds of people demonstrating at the state capitol. The silent majority became quite loud. Still...good choice Governor Herbert.
Sen. Margaret Dayton, co-sponsor of the bill, said she was disappointed the governor hadn’t contacted her to discuss his concerns and said teaching children about contraception is comparable to telling kids not to do drugs, then showing them how to "mainline" heroin.
Okay...did a United States Senator actually just compare contraception...to heroin? Seriously? Right, because contraception is so fucking addictive that hey, once you start you will never be able to kick the habit so why even go there? Just say no!
Actually I really take issue with this part, "...teaching children about contraception is comparable to telling kids not to do drugs..."
No, Senator Dayton, I would actually like my teenager to have sex, thank you very much. Ensuring she has all the information about contraception means that I am encouraging her to have sex responsibly, not to abstain from having sex at all. I would like her to be fully informed about sex between two consenting adults and how wonderful it can be...but also how to have sex safely, and why it is important to be safe.
I completely and totally reject this sex-negative attitude that Senator Dayton is trying to fucking legislate! Keep the fucking government out of the bedroom!!! Especially my bedroom because we all know the stuff that goes on there would make Senator Dayton pee her pants or something. At least I don't need contraception...but I digress.
Here's another gem from Senator Dayton:
"By vetoing this bill, he (Governor Herbert) just sent the message that Utah’s stamp of approval [is] on teaching children how to have sex, teaching contraception and saying this is the safest way to have sex."
Umm...I think using contraception actually is the safest way to have sex. Does she know of a safer way to have sex? Inquiring minds would like to know.
Last but not least:
She said the bill would have allowed students to be taught the biology of reproduction, but not contraception, abortion, alternative lifestyles and stimulation, things she said that Planned Parenthood was offering to students.
Did anyone else notice the word "stimulation" in there? Pardon me while I roll around on the floor for a moment, laughing hysterically. Goodness me, what kind of 'stimulation' could she be talking about...or to be more precise, could she be avoiding talking about?
Because there are indeed lots of kind of sexual 'stimulation'. Blow jobs, hand jobs, cunnilingus, masturbation to name a few. Speaking of masturbation, a nod is in order at this juncture to the lovely and ahead-of-her-time Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders, who was crucified for suggesting we include masturbation information in sex ed classes, even with the purpose of discouraging early sexual activity.
Oh, and about the actual effectiveness of the abstinence-only sex ed?
In 2009, a task force working with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed studies of 83 comprehensive sex education programs. They found that such programs reduce adolescent risk factors such as engagement in any sexual activity, frequency of sexual activity, number of partners and frequency of unprotected sexual activity. The programs also increase the use of protection against pregnancy and STDs, and reduce the incidence of disease.
Take that, Senator Margaret Dayton.
I really think that there must be completely alternate realities in other states...like Utah. Why do I think that? Because this is from Senator Dayton's website bio:
She makes her own bread from wheat she grinds herself. She enjoys cooking, has taught occasional recipe planning classes, and was an ardent scrapbooker even before scrapbooking became cool.
On the Utah State Senate Website, Senator Dayton actually lists her profession as "homemaker". Damn. Where I'm from, homemakers do not get elected as Senators. And they don't talk about grinding their own wheat, being a full-time mom and scrap-booking. See? Alternate reality.
But, Senator Dayton, I've been bagging on you a little much in this post, so let me dedicate a song to you...to make up for it.
"Every Sperm is Sacred" - Monty Python