Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Specter Dumping Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs?

The ACLU’s Clara Bell Duvall Project has long been battling the tidal wave of abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in public schools. Until very recently, the federal government had been battling right back by funding them. These programs have been proven to misinform students about the realities of sexuality and sexual health, often using religion instead of science and discriminating against LGBT youth.

Here in PA, our very own Sen. Arlen Specter has been a master at securing earmarks for these disastrous programs. In 2003, Specter was the first (later becoming the only) senator to earmark funding for AOUM as state after state slashed funding. In fact, from 2005-2009, Specter earmarked nearly $8 million dollars, only fueling the raging storm.

This year, after Specter switched parties, we wondered what would happen to his appropriations requests. After doing some digging, we discovered that Sen. Specter (D-PA) was not planning to earmark any of his FY2010 appropriations money for the same AOUM programs that Sen. Specter (R-PA) had so eagerly given in previous years. A call to his appropriations staffer in D.C. confirmed our find. She explained that due to the declining economic situation, Specter had received an increase in the number of requests for appropriations. Apparently, the Senator needed to shift funding over to hospitals and universities. Hmm. Well, whatever the reason, we’re happy he’s moved on…

We hope this isn’t a mere dalliance, but actually a commitment to a new relationship. Perhaps he’ll start his wooing by co-sponsoring the REAL (Responsible Education About Life) Act, which calls for sex ed programs that are medically accurate, age-appropriate, and scientifically based. After all, President Obama has already cut abstinence-only-until-marriage funding out of his proposed budget for next year. Maybe this time around, our legislators will start adding programs that do work instead of just eliminating those that don’t.

Ruth and Dina in Philadelphia

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5 Comments:

Anonymous End the Hate at Penn State said...

Pa is so backward! Check this out!(see below)
And Penn State "Still does not allow PSU students to openly and safely study LGBTQ culture. At PSH I was told that by asking to study LGBT issues I was "asking for special rights."

Pennsylvania Senator Eichelberger has found himself in hot water after remarks suggesting he "allows gays to exist" when interviewed about his legislation to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

21:15
Leach: How would he [Eichelberger] want to encourage stability in gay couples?

Eichelberger: I wouldn’t. I mean they can practice whatever sexual activity they like to practice, but there’s no reason to give them special consideration. We don’t give them special consideration in Pennsylvania for any reason. Why in the world would we allow them to marry?

22:05
Leach: How would he want to encourage stability in gay couples?

Eichelberger: There is no reason to encourage that type of behavior in Pennsylvania.

24:20
Eichelberger: That comes back to the definition of family and that’s where we differ. We can call all kinds of things families. I mean, we can say a 3 party marriage is a family, or 7 or 8 people or marrying younger and younger children these days .

25:00
Host: Are you saying that by their very nature homosexual relationships are dysfunctional?

Eichelberger: [Pause] Ummmm. I guess I would say that. I would say that.

38:50
Eichelberger: This changes the definition of marriage, allowing same-sex, and then like I said, 5-10 years from now it’ll be polygamy, marrying younger people, it’ll be whatever…It won’t be a 6 year old, it’ll be a 15 year old, then it’ll be a 14 year old, then it’ll be a 13 year old.

49:40
Leach: Should our only policy towards [same-sex] couples be one of punishment, to somehow prove that they’ve done something wrong?

Eichelberger: They’re not being punished. We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation.
You can listen to the whole debate at: http://www.whyy.org/91FM/radiotimes.html

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The Senator needed to shift funding over to hospitals and universities.
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