Utah Legislator Defends Abstinence-Only Bill: ‘Homosexuality Does Not Relate To Sexuality’

Utah State Rep. Bill Wright (R) (Photo Credit: Al Hartmann, The Salt Lake Tribute)

Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert (R) has not taken action yet on the recently passed abstinence-only/”don’t say gay” bill, but its proponents continue to defend it, even though it doesn’t enjoy popular support. Among other things, the bill prohibits “instruction in, or the advocacy of” homosexuality, but its sponsor, State Rep. Bill Wright (R), explained that homosexuality has “nothing to do with health,” except when it comes to abstaining from it:

WRIGHT: That has nothing to do with health. Homosexuality does not relate to sexuality. It’s a whole different thing… I can write the curriculum really simply. If you’re homosexual you have a high degree of [contracting] some STD. What else do you need to know? What else do I need to teach?

There are many answers to Wright’s question, but the most obvious lesson many young people need to hear is simply that “homosexuality is normal.” The entire goal of sex education is helping kids learn about their own bodies, the changes they’re experiencing, and how to make responsible decisions now that they’re being flooded with hormones. Wright wants an entire group of students — who are already stigmatized for what makes them different — to be deprived of the vital affirmation they need and deserve. If he honestly believes that “homosexuality does not relate to sexuality,” perhaps he’s not the best authority to be dictating sexuality curriculum.