Abstinence-only education bill passes Utah senate

Utah lawmakers passed a bill today that bans public school teachers from discussing sexual intercourse, contraceptive methods, sexual activity outside of marriage or homosexuality in sex education classes, USA Today reported.

What the bill does allow schools to teach: abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage. Or schools may drop sex education from their schedules entirely, the bill allows, according to Salt Lake City Fox affiliate KSTU TV.

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Currently, some Utah schools offer slightly more thorough courses in sex ed, and parents may opt to keep their children out of the classes, KSTU TV reported.

The bill passed 19 to 10, with most Republican lawmakers voting for it, USA Today reported. “My problem is that we’re having essentially complete strangers teaching our children, who frankly we don’t know who they are and exactly what they’re teaching, with the most sensitive issues that do belong in the home,” one Republican Senator said during the floor debate today, KSTU TV reported.

Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, is expected to sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk, USA Today reported.

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