Bush to gays: No soup for you!

News & Politics

Because LGBT kids just don’t have it hard enough in school, the Bush administration thought they’d heap a bit more indignity onto the pile. Think Progress has dug out some new guidelines from the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which effectively create a new, even stricter, definition of abstinence, to which any organization applying for grants much adhere, if they want any federal moolah for abstinence-only sex education programs.

The curricula must explicitly represent abstinence as "voluntarily choosing not to engage in sexual activity until marriage. Sexual activity refers to any type of genital contact or sexual stimulation between two persons including, but not limited to, sexual intercourse," and additionally define marriage as "only a legal union between one man and one woman as a husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." TP's Nico notes:

In other words, if you’re gay, the Bush administration has decided that you should be taught to never, ever engage in "any type" of "sexual stimulation" -- ever.
Setting aside the myriad of philosophical objections to this rubbish, I'm curious about how these restrictions play out in a state like Massachusetts, in which marriage is quite obviously not "only a legal union between one man and one woman" and the word spouse does not "[refer] only to a person of the opposite sex." It appears that Massachusetts can either forego all federal funding in order to teach comprehensive sex education, or must necessarily miseducate public school children about its own state laws.

The GOP's anti-gay agenda has butted up against a consternating reality. Having failed to pass their Federal Marriage Amendment which would supercede state marriage equality laws, they're now unable to create federal mandates--at least, federal mandates that make any sense--that are predicated on that agenda, ignoring as they do legalized gay marriage and civil unions in a couple of states.

If the Bush administration had even the remotest connection to the world in which the rest of us live, they'd be embarrassed by the cynical politicization of something like sex education. They'd actually care about the massive failure that abstinence-only sex education really is; they'd feel the hot blush of embarrassment at being caught doing something stupid and selfish and opportunistic when it was pointed out to them that their anti-gay bullshit fails to take into consideration there already are gay spouses in America. But they don't live in the same world we do, nor do they have any interest in it, aside from trying to wish it away with idiotic regulations and operating under the stubborn pretense that if they don't like something, if just doesn't exist. This latest DHS malarkey is the equivalent of sticking one's finger in one's ears and shouting, "La la la la--I can't hear you!" at the entire gay population and the every resident in states that have extended some version of marriage rights to the LGBT community. Quite a policy.

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