I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
English biographer, critic, novelist, & poet (1887 – 1964)
Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Utah’s Legislature is moving forward on HB363, a piece of legislation that would effectively end any comprehensive sexual education in Utah schools. The Salt Lake City Weekly:
House Bill 363 sponsor Rep. Bill Wright, R-Holden, argued that teaching contraception only encouraged immoral behavior, so his bill would allow for schools to teach abstinence-only or to opt out of teaching sexual education entirely. Wright said teaching sexuality wasn’t a priority in education. “This is not like all our students are going to die if they don’t learn promiscuous behavior,” Wright said. (emphasis mine)
Yes. That’s what he said.
Anti-sex-education crusader Bill Wright would have loved me.
In seventh grade, I was just like the tiny blond granddaughter the Republican legislator from Holden hauled up to Capitol Hill last week as a prop for his legislative campaign, House Bill 363. I was the pristine product of a sex-free Utah public education and Mormon parents—innocent, naïve, clueless.
Then one day, I overheard a boy in the hall at school crudely describing the mechanics of copulation. In an instant, Troy rendered irrelevant my parents’ denial that we needed to have the talk and showed me the limits of my teachers’ silence. It was the end of innocence, delivered by a pimply teenage boy.
And that’s the problem with Wright’s (and my parents’) plan: It’s not rooted in real life.
American teens are shockingly misinformed about their bodies, birth control and pregnancy—Utah kids even more so.
A 2008 study by Self magazine and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found many young adults had “magical thinking” when it comes to sex—unsure of how often to take birth-control pills, unfamiliar with 28-day fertility cycles.
And that was among young adults with some level of sex education. In the information vacuum created by Utah lawmakers, sex ed ranges from abstinence-only programs in four school districts—Alpine, Canyons, Jordan and Nebo—to oblique references from frightened biology and health teachers in others.
When are we going to wake up to science and truth? High school students are having sex. Right now. Probably without condoms, birth control, and in Utah, without rudimentary knowledge of biological processes.
While this “teaching kids about sex causes them to have more sex” nonsense avoids the reality of the situation: as a society, we are ridiculously stupid about sex.
And if this bill gets through, that ridiculousness will be enshrined in Utah law.
A friend recently drew my attention to some of the similarities between the recently announced
KKK GOP Congressional candidate in Montana and some of the extremist members of the Republican Party in the Montana Legislature. I thought I’d share a few with you. So, just to catch you up:
John Abarr, a former organizer for the KKK, filed to run in the Republican primary for Montana’s congressional seat on May 25, 2011. (More info here: http://helenair.com/news/article_613dd194-8cdc-11e0-9dfc-001cc4c002e0.html)
“It’s not any different than the NAACP,” he says. “The Klan is basically a civil rights organization that stands up for the rights of white people. The Montana Human Rights Network likes to blow everything out of proportion.”
Gotta love the logic. Republicans, such as gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill have tried to distance themselves from this guy. However, after this legislative session in Montana, it’s hard to deny the fact that he is well within the extremist wing of the Republican party.
Abarr has also called for the deportation of gays, lesbians and Jewish people: http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/etc/Content?oid=1133942 And, as I’ve reported numerous times, the Montana Republican Party Platform calls for the re-criminalization of gay people in the state:
“We support the clear will of the people of Montana expressed by legislation to keep homosexual acts illegal.”
During the Legislative session, Republicans refused to remove language that had been ruled unconstitutional by both the state and federal supreme courts calling for the criminalization of gays and lesbians from Montana law. And they made disgusting comments on the bill :
Some Republicans even denied that the courts had struck down the statute.
According to the Human Rights Network, Abarr sent a flier to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in 2007, urging Bozeman residents to stay inside to avoid contracting HIV during the Montana Pride Celebration. He claimed that HIV could be transmitted by air.
During the most recent legislative session, Republican House Speaker Pro Tempe, Rep. Janna Taylor claimed people in prison were spreading HIV by blowdarts: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=igYKflAdzjo&feature=channel_video_title
“I’ve pretty much decided since I spent some time in California that it (a pure white Christian nation) is just not gonna be. I mean there’s so many of them (racial minorities),” Abarr says, adding that in Montana it’s easier to achieve an all-white society.”
Republican Rep. James Knox introduced a bill that would redefine what a citizen of Montana is and essentially ignore the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. This bill would have likely removed citizenship from Native Americans and the children of immigrants in the state.
Convinced? I’ll bet there’s more if you look.
The key to redefining politics in this state is to redefine politicians. We effectively tied the hands of the most effective tool (building relationships) by enacting term limits. There is no longer any reason for any of our state legislators to cultivate relationships for the good of the people of the State of Montana- instead, people are just interested in ramming their own crazy-ass agendas through the legislative process.
Reason will only prevail when we elect reasonable people- people who are interested in communicating, are not threatened by differences and will work to guarantee a future in this state for all its people- not just a few…
From Montana Democrats’ Mike Wessler:
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee heard Sen. Facey’s bill that seeks to remove language from our criminal code that seeks to criminalize homosexual acts in the state. This law was ruled unconstitutional years ago, however the law remained on the books.
This has got to be seen to be believed.
Via Intelligent Discontent, one ignorant legislator’s fear-mongering and ignorance about HIV:
Just to be clear she is WRONG.
HIV is a very fragile virus that dies within seconds outside the body. It is only spread by blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk- and there has to be enough virus to enter the bloodstream- it cannot penetrate healthy skin. An excellent resource is here.
On second thought, why don’t we all mail her the link?
Her email: email@example.com
And if you’d like to call to register your displeasure at her shameless behavior, 406-849-6096
Update: My letter:
Dear Ms Taylor,