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Utah won’t say ‘gay’
The US state of Utah has passed a bill that makes teaching sex education optional for schools and prohibits any instruction about homosexuality or the use of contraception.
Parents will now have to opt their children in to such classes as opposed to having the option to opt-out, and the classes can only teach abstinence.
During the bill’s short debate in the Senate, Democratic senator Ross Romero said the legislation will likely deprive many young people of sex education if they don’t have parents who provide it at home.
Republican Senator John Valentine said homosexuality should not be a subject discussed in schools.
“I recognise 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,” Valentine said.
Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District, which had a similar ‘Don’t Say Gay’ policy in place, was the subject of a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation over marginalisation of LGBT students.
The DOJ concluded that the district was indeed negligent in its handling of student harassment.
They filed a complaint against the district, joining two private student harassment lawsuits so it could help facilitate a consent decree settlement agreed to last week.