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Utah legislature approves bill to ban discussion of homosexuality, contraception in schools

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican dominated legislature on Tuesday passed a measure that makes teaching sex education optional for the state’s schools, and prohibits any instruction about homosexuality or the use of contraception.

Under the language of the new law, HB 363, parents will be required to opt their children “in” to sexual education classes as opposed to having the option to “opt-out,” and any sex-ed classes are mandated to only teach abstinence.

State Sen. Ross Romero (D-Salt Lake City) pointed out that the bill will likely deprive many young people of sex education if they don’t have parents who provide it at home.

Romero offered an amendment that would have allowed teachers to still answer questions about homosexuality, contraceptives, or sex outside of marriage so that gay teens are not deprived of vital information about their identities, but the amendment was defeated.

“We’ve been discussing this as if every child has the benefit of two loving and caring parents who are ready to have a conversation about appropriate sexual activity, and I’m here to tell you that’s just not the case,” said Romero.

Another Senate democratic, Pat Jones (D-Salt Lake City) called the bill “a mandate against reality.”

“I recognize that some parents do not take the opportunity to teach in their own homes, but we as a society should not be teaching or advocating homosexuality or sex outside marriage or different forms of contraceptives for premarital sex,” argued Sen. John Valentine (R-Orem).

The bill now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert (R), and if signed into law, Utah would become the first in the state to prohibit teachers from informing students about contraception as a way of protecting themselves from infections and unwanted pregnancies.

A spokesman for the State Senate’s Democratic caucus said that the effects of this legislation “will be disastrous for Utah’s young people.”

Additionally, LGBTQ advocates argue the restrictions on discussing homosexuality will lead to further anti-gay stigma.

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64 more reader comments:

  1. Stoooooooooopid!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:43pm
  2. Why? Because Utah is a Mormon state? Sheesh… Whatever happened to separation of church and state? So now there will be a surge in unwed pregnant kids throughout Utah… good thinking!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:44pm
  3. The “Moron” state…its not surprising

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:44pm
  4. In other words Utah legislature likes teen suicide and unwed teen mothers.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:44pm
  5. Ugh…

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:45pm
  6. @Beata. Don’t u know, they r supposed to abstain. Cuz that’s always worked.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:45pm
  7. :(

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:45pm
  8. Dislike! Teaching abstinence is NOT what kids nowadays need! This country cannot remain ignorant on the matter! They ARE having sex (and some don’t think it’s a sin) and therefore abstinence cannot and will not be the answer!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:46pm
  9. Dislike.. Whoever clicked “like” need to get a life!!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:46pm
  10. What a disservice to the children of Utah. Knowledge is power.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:46pm
  11. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:46pm
  12. Pardon the humor, but screw utah in the rear!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:47pm
  13. @ashley. Amen. Don’t forget, they probably won’t be teaching about STDs either.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:47pm
  14. hell yeah. yuk yuk

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:47pm
  15. Freak Alert.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:50pm
  16. Gee. I’m so surprised. NOT

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:51pm
  17. I live in Utah, am from Calif, and hope to leave this backwards state someday. Unfortunately separation of church and state does not exist here. Mormons are the majority in the legislature. Need I say more?

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:51pm
  18. This is proof positive that it is impossible to cure stupidity.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:52pm
  19. wow fucking ignorant

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:52pm
  20. Do they not pay attention to the level of lgbt youth that are homeless? This bill is not going to help. Omg. This is frigging heil Hitler crap. Let’s pass a bunch of moronic, anti-progressive bills America! That’s real impressive!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:55pm
  21. this will cause a great surge in the baby idiot population. that is not good. this must be stopped.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:55pm
  22. I live in Utah and there has been a huge backlash on this issue today. The governor has yet to sign the bill and make it official. Even some Mormon’s have disagreed with passing this bill. The governor is about to go live on the news in a few minutes and let us know if he is going to sign the bill. Church and state are the same thing here in Utah and I am really tired of it…how can it get worse….If Mitt Romney becomes president….just saying =-)

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:56pm
  23. Next headline: Teen Pregnancy, Suicide Sky Rocket in Utah. Idiots…

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:56pm
  24. Yup, this is my home: Utah. Where sex might as well be illegal; unless you’re married, and only having sex to bare children… just don’t enjoy the orgasm. This is the state which houses the church that funneled an exorbitant amount of money for “Prop 8″. This is the state in which one of its highest ranking church officials told his congregation on national TV that people should not even tolerate homosexuals. Welcome to Utah.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:56pm
  25. Im gonna marry a girl then move to utah and walk into every school holding her hand and throwing condoms everywhere. ARREST ME MOTHER FUCKERS

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:59pm
  26. lets not talk about slavery either. maybe diversity, uterus’ and individuality will just go away. idiots.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 8:59pm
  27. I don’t understand. Homosexuals don’t need contraception.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:00pm
  28. The higher they fly, the faster they fall. ;-{P}

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:00pm
  29. Bigot people….

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:00pm
  30. Mormons….If they did any different….Then I’d be surprised.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:00pm
  31. Yep~and the State of Utah~is the state with highest sale of internet porn and the sale of mail order adult toys..they just keep it all in the “closet”~~WTF

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:01pm
  32. As some one from Utah this does not suprise me…..and it’s a mistake.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:01pm
  33. They might as well be stuck underground and learn to survive down there if they are making choices like that. The world is changing more and more everyday. They just in denial of the world changing from the past.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:02pm
  34. Utah is a bunch of freaks.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:02pm
  35. President Boyd K. Packer of the LDS Church in Utah:
    “Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.”
    “There are those today who not only tolerate, but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality…”

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:06pm
  36. WTF

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:07pm
  37. It’s Utah…we’re surprised…?

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:08pm
  38. I guess the only good news is with the surge in illegitimate babies will come a surge of baby LGBTs too :)

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:11pm
  39. When did hate becoming the norm?

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:12pm
  40. omg … we’ll our next set of teen moms will be filmed in Utah

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:13pm
  41. Ignorance!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:15pm
  42. not surprised. utah bans a lot of things. lots of judgement and narrow-mindedness over there

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:21pm
  43. Socially conservative thinking belongs back in the 20th century. Moving forward that’s what the 21st Century is about.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:30pm
  44. And yet another state failing to keep up with MODERN TIMES!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:30pm
  45. That’s what happens in an ass-backwards state run by uptight social conservatives who don’t live in the real world. Denial doesn’t make these issues go away. Homosexuality and birth control will be around as long as there are people on this planet, deal with it.

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:32pm
  46. Another Church that should be taxed Morons!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:14pm
  47. Disgusting!!!! But not surprised!!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:16pm
  48. Goddess help this country, please!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:17pm
  49. Aaaand this is why I hate the state I live in. Welcome to the daily life in Utah…

    Posted on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 11:17pm
  50. let’s disallow discussion of gravity and the flat earth theories too lest someone hear it and become misled.

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 12:18am
  51. Utah is another backward state politically, like Arizonz!

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 12:19am
  52. Hey, let’s keep kids dumb. That way they’re easier to control___at least until they go online.

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 12:32am
  53. pfffft

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:01am
  54. I thought one of our inaliable rights was “free speech” and they are telling people what they can discuss….hmmm doesnt anyone see something wrong …. u cant have it both ways …. people

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:27am
  55. @tiffanie….. it could be worse….just let santorum get in office and see….. he will not only be thumping his republican bible redorick but he will set womens rights back 60 years ….

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:33am
  56. Just prove how stupid you are Utah…. Send your children out into the world just as blind and unaware of the true world as your forefathers…. Rolls my eyes…… Thank God I love My Children far more then that…. And tell them the truth about Tue world… So they aren’t surprised when they venture out in it!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 2:25am
  57. The World….

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 2:26am
  58. Wow! Thank fuck I live in the United Kingdom,and what a crying shame it is the great country that is the USA is a slave to religious madmen! There are a million and one things that are more important than who somebody sleeps with, the bible bashing republican zealots that seem to have a disturbingly profound influence on what is alleged to be the most proggresive and advanced nation on earth need to realise that THEY are ruining the USA,not gay people. Its sad,but worse than that its frightening.

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 2:38am
  59. Sometimes I think the religous zealots in the united states shld move to the middle east and join those religous zealots.

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 4:25am
  60. U said it george……

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 4:27am
  61. very good

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 5:47am
  62. The Idiocy behind these bans of hate is the fact that they truly do believe if it is not addressed homosexuality will just end.

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 5:48am
  63. It will end up OK as most education happens on the internet right?

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 8:26am
  64. Yes lets just not talk about these very important things as if they dont exist….note the sarcasm please

    Posted on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 9:55am