Utah governor vetoes bill to curb sex education in schools

SALT LAKE CITY Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:39am EDT

Utah Governor Gary Herbert talks to the media about the shooting death of a police officer and the shooting of five other officers during a drug raid, at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah January 5, 2012. REUTERS/George Frey

Utah Governor Gary Herbert talks to the media about the shooting death of a police officer and the shooting of five other officers during a drug raid, at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah January 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/George Frey

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SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Friday vetoed a controversial bill banning public schools from teaching contraception as a way of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The bill, which also sought to bar instruction on homosexuality or other aspects of human sexuality other than the teaching of abstinence, would have been the first of its kind in the nation if it had become law.

It had previously cleared Utah's Republican-controlled House and Senate, and Herbert was widely expected to sign it.

In vetoing the measure, dubbed HB 363, Herbert said that as a parent and grandparent he considered proper sex education in public schools an important component to the moral education youngsters receive at home.

"If HB 363 were to become law, parents would no longer have the option the overwhelming majority is currently choosing for their children. I am unwilling to conclude that the state knows better than Utah's parents as to what is best for their children," he said.

"In order for parents to take on more responsibility, they need more information, more involvement, and more choice—not less. I cannot sign a bill that deprives parents of their choice," he added.

Supporters of the bill argued that sex education was best left up to parents.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor)

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Comments (6)
reneec wrote:
I applaud Governor Herbert in his decision to veto HB 363. Being a leader is a really tough job. Mostly leaders deal with criticism and rarely get to celebrate a victory. This is a HUGE victory for the Governor and the young people of Utah, many of whom are my most sacred family. Thank you Governor for taking the hard road to protect our kids. You deserve a HUGE award for your work. Gratitude! ~ renee

Mar 17, 2012 2:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jway87 wrote:
The governor got it right. Abstinence-only sex education has been proven to make kids *less* safe and more incline to partake in risky sexual behavior, and who wants that for their kids? Now we have to look very closely at every legislator who voted for this awful law. Obviously they lack the skills and cognitive ability to do their job properly. It is people like this who keep adult marijuana sales illegal – resulting in 850,000 arrests every year for possessing flowers that are safer than coffee. Shame!

Mar 17, 2012 2:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Sounds logical, if you were talking about providing information to the parents. Unfortunately, this is about information provided to children. Is this guy up for re-election soon? Media and Dems are trying to paint Republicans as stupid, anti-science, knuckle dragging Neandertthals. Maybe this guy is just afraid of his image. It’s what poses as “leadership” nowadays.

Mar 17, 2012 6:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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