OUR VIEW: Pols' sexual hang ups

Friday , February 24, 2012 - 3:38 PM

Editorial Board

If Utah state Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, and 44 of his House colleagues have a problem dealing with sex, can't they find counseling for their hang ups? We don't care what they do to themselves, but why do they have to inflict their dysfunctions on Utah teens in public schools?

In a legislative event that was both farcical and tragic, the House passed House Bill 363 with a 45-28 vote. Wright's folly allows schools to drop sex education and prohibits talk of contraception in Utah schools, although teachers might be allowed to mention it if a student asks. With all the economic problems facing Utah families, concerns over jobs, getting food on the table, dental and health care, saving for retirement, etc., Utah's GOP House decided to be sex cops for parents.

What Wright and his cronies don't get is that responsible parents talk about sexual issues with their children. These parents will continue to talk with their children even if Wright's inane HB363 becomes law. Public schools, through sex education classes, educate many students who would otherwise never learn the facts of life, or worse, learn it from bad influences in the streets.

Does Wright and 44 other pols, who are supposed to represent us, actually believe that Utah schools' providing sex education are a bad influence for kids? Are they so threatened by mention of contraception that they want to pass a law denying its being taught in schools? Utah law already prohibits advocating contraception, which is appropriate. To ban it from classrooms is both ignorant and malevolent, because denying this education to teens without responsible adults to educate them is cruel.

We have a message for the Utah State Senate. HB363 needs to die a painless death. Whether it's defeated by a vote or time simply runs out, this bill needs to fail. We also call on Gov. Gary Herbert to make it clear that he opposes the bill.

Finally, we'd like to congratulate these Top of Utah legislators, who by opposing HB363, demonstrated values better than Savonarola's. They are: Gage Froerer, Brad Wilson, Richard Greenwood, David G. Butterfield, Stephen Handy and Becky Edwards.

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