Scared Republicans across the nation have been passing a steady stream of laws that lessen the reproductive rights of women. Republicans in Utah have taken things a step further.
The Utah Senate passed a law Tuesday that will prevent public school children from gaining knowledge about sexuality and how to use contraceptives in their schools.
According to the text of the bill, “human sexuality instruction or instructional programs may not include instruction in, or the advocacy of…the intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation or erotic behavior; homosexuality; the use of contraceptive methods or devices; or sexual activity outside of marriage.”
We should not be surprised that Republicans are taking their fight against women and reproductive health to public schools. Children are impressionable and easier to indoctrinate than adults.
What is surprising about this piece of legislation, however, is the addition of homosexuality to the list of illegal discussion topics.
According to the text of the bill: “At no time may instruction be provided, including responses to spontaneous questions raised by students, regarding any means or methods that facilitate or encourage the violation of any state or federal criminal law by a minor or an adult.”
This means that if a Utah student asks a teacher a question about a prohibited topic — like homosexuality — it is illegal for the teacher to answer the question.
Many gay teens are afraid to discuss their orientation with their parents because they are scared of losing their support. Gay students should be able to get advice and support from teachers and administrators at their schools.
We cannot erase homosexuality by making it an illegal discussion topic. Gay students will continue to go to school in Utah. If the suicide rate of gay teens increases in Utah, we will know who is to blame.