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Utah Groups Challenge Law Curbing Discussion Of LGBTQ Issues In Schools

LGBTQ rights groups are challenging a Utah law that prohibits public schools from discussing issues relating to human sexuality under the theory that such lessons could be construed as “advocacy.”

The measure is part of a group of state laws that critics assert are anti-LGBTQ in character. Equality Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which filed the federal lawsuit in October on behalf of three public school students, argue that the laws violate the First Amendment rights of students and teachers, and that they run afoul of federal education laws.

The Final Repudiation Of Phyllis Schlafly

Last night around 9:40 I received an email with a curious subject line. “The Greatest American Woman, R.I.P.,” it read.

“Who could that be?” I wondered as I opened the message. Came the answer: Phyllis Schlafly.

“Today, Phyllis Schlafly died like she lived – with dignity and a smile,” wrote Ed Martin, president of the Eagle Forum, a group Schlafly founded. “Surrounded by her family, Phyllis passed away and entered her reward with the Lord. Her family, friends and staff will miss her. Her nation will be eternally grateful.”

Obama Seeks To End Federal Funding For ‘Abstinence-Only’ Programs

For the third time President Bar­ack Obama has put forth a proposed budget that slashes government funding for abstinence-only education programs.

Obama’s 2016-2017 budget, which was released in February, deleted $10 million for the programs. The abstinence-only approach is favored by the Religious Right, although polls show that most Americans favor comprehensive sex education. Given the far right’s support for such programs, Obama’s earlier attempts to cut their funding have failed, and the money was restored by congressional conservatives.

‘Chastity’ Expert Invited To Speak To Students In El Paso Public Schools

A self-appointed “chastity” expert who works for a traditionalist Cath­olic ministry was invited to speak in two El Paso, Texas, high schools last month.

Jason Evert runs an outfit called Chastity Project, which seeks to convince women not to use birth-control pills. The group also takes anti-gay stands and makes claims that are at best medically inaccurate. One video on Evert’s website makes a scientifically disproven claim that birth control pills cause abortions.

Sex (Mis)Education: ‘Abstinence-Only’ Programs Still Fail Public School Students

John Oliver is a comedian; his HBO show, Last Week Tonight, is satirical. But this week’s episode highlighted a real problem: Flawed sex education in public schools.

“There is no required standard for sex ed in this country,” Oliver pointed out. “In fact, only 22 states mandate that kids receive it, and only 13 require that the information presented be medically accurate.”

It’s a sorry state of affairs – “a weird patchwork system,” to quote Oliver – and it exists largely because of the Religious Right.

Ignorance Is Bliss?: Del. Pastor Proposes Excluding LGBT Definitions From Textbooks

Delaware’s Indian River School District (IRSD) is prepared to vote on new health textbooks this month. And if board member Shaun Fink gets his way, the books will exclude any mention of LGBT individuals. He’s also proposed excluding lessons on HIV/AIDS and contraception in favor of promoting an abstinence-only approach to sex education.

Religious Right Groups Ramp Up War On School Sex Education

Once again, the beginning of a new school year brings renewed debate over approaches to sex education in public schools.

In Arizona, for example, officials in the Tempe Union High School District have attempted to insert dogmatic views into a sex-education course to be launched this fall.

Improper Influence: NYC Public Schools Bow To Church Rules On Sex Ed

New York state law mandates that public school students receive sex education and instruction about HIV/AIDS. But some students in New York City can’t get that vital information in their classrooms and have to go elsewhere for it.

Why is this so? It turns out that in the Big Apple, some public schools are operating in buildings owned by the Catholic Church. And the church hierarchy won’t allow this instruction on site.

Troup, TX

AU received a complaint that a public high school in Texas was promoting (and effectively planning to operate) a Christian abstinence-only education program at two local churches. The seven-week course, entitled “True Love Waits,” requires students to commit to God and pledge sexual purity until they enter a Bible-based marriage.