March 16, 2012

Utah State Legislature Strikes Again

I have to admit that as much as I should be involved in the political process I am not as comfortable navigating in the mess that appears to be a legislative session in the State of Utah, but it doesn't take a genius to know that some of the laws that passed this session are just a little far-fetched. 

That's the case of House Bill 363 which basically teaches abstinence as the only recommended form of sex education and prohibits teachers to teach anything else. Not to be a negative voice of the people here, but I understand that the primary job for teaching children about sex belongs to the parents and I don't think anyone disagrees with me. However where I have a problem is that a lot of Utah parents are not interested in discussing sexual topics with their children--in any context and it could very well be that the parent chooses to call themselves conservative, but at least from my point of view (where I have teenage children myself) I don't think that a parent can afford to dig their head in the sand not address all of the good and bad issues of sex and hope that their kids will somehow choose to make the right decisions based on morals or what's being assumed as the popular belief. 

There's an online petition going around that has surpassed 40,000 signatures in which people are asking the governor to veto the bill, which might or might not make any difference because 1. The governor may ignore everyone's opinion and sign it into law, or 2. He might veto it which only means that the legislature might reconvene and override it--which leaves everyone pretty much in the same place

I think the state of Utah (or is it just the legislators?) must seem really backwards in this regard to the rest of the world when in reality is a pretty amazing place to live, great opportunities for outdoor recreation pretty much year around and great diversity---we just need to make the people who really help move all the crazy stuff die off fast and have the more open-minded folks take over; or simply involve more people in the political process and make it a more balanced system. 

I hope that at least those who dare make a statement show that slowly but surely Utah is starting to turn things around and becoming more than one-sided, right-wing, red state....until then, we may just have to be patient!!!