Sex Ed for All! Finally An Education Bill That Includes LGBT Students
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A new sex education bill would provide grants for programs that incorporate lessons on LGBT issues and progressive gender concepts.
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act of 2013(H.R. 725) was introduced by Rep. Barbra Lee on Feb. 14 and is currently under congressional committee review. This is the first federally funded sex education program that is LGBT inclusive to be seen in Congress — though this is the second time this bill has been introduced. It was initially proposed in November of 2011 but didn't make it beyond the committee review.
The bill would provide five-year, sex-education grants to state and local education and health agencies, nonprofit organizations and public institutions of higher education.
"I believe strongly [in] LGBTQ equality - and that includes in schools," Lee told Campus Progress. "It is just as important for our LGBTQ students to receive information that will help them to achieve healthy relationships and overall well-being, and it is important that we foster environments that develop healthy attitudes and inclusion."
The text of the billstates that programs will cover “medically accurate, complete, age and developmentally appropriate information about all aspects of sex needed for a complete sex education program.” This includes “the development of healthy attitudes and values about such topics as adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles and gender identity, racial and ethnic diversity, and sexual orientation.”
"I believe when you empower young people with the resources and tools they need to make wiser and healthier decisions, they do just that," Lee said. "As a result, we can expect to see fewer unintended pregnancies, reductions in sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and healthier relationships."
Lee believes the main obstacle for gaining support will be informing representatives about the necessity of the bill.
“We need to educate members of Congress—both sides of the aisle—about the importance of comprehensive sexual education, and that’s a big task.”