Back in March, Minnesota Rep. Todd Lippert (D-Northfield) introduced a bill with a simple premise. The way Minnesota schools teach sex ed is “inconsistent” and “inadequate.”
“The main ways we were educated about sexual health were through fear tactics instead of information that could actually be useful,” Northfield High student Grace Muth said in her testimony for the bill. There wasn’t much on, say, getting consent, or getting yourself checked out for STIs, or how you’d go about having a healthy sex life if you were anything other than straight.
So Lippert and his allies wanted the Department of Education to develop a curriculum with “developmentally appropriate” and “medically accurate” information about consent, sexual orientation, gender, and having control over your body. Districts or charters could opt out if they wanted, so long as they replaced it with a program the department could sign off on.
It had significant Democratic support in the House, but when it got tacked onto an education bill, Republicans in both chambers fought to have it removed. State-mandated sex ed, Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton) said, should not include “diverse sexual orientations and gender identities” because, cryptically, “that’s not biology.”
The bill was sacked. Yet some still stand vigilant against its return. The Minnesota Child Protection League – which mostly “protects” children from sharing bathrooms with trans classmates and being “brainwashed” into tolerating gay people – is holding a rally at the Capitol next Sunday against comprehensive sex ed (CSE).
“CSE removes all natural and protective boundaries for children and teens, encouraging early sexual exploration in graphic detail,” the league’s website warms. That includes “porn-like images,” and letting “unlicensed Planned Parenthood and gender activists into your child’s classroom.”
The league didn’t respond to interview requests, but on its Facebook page, people are getting pretty fired up.
“This is child abuse,” one commenter said.
“Total depravity,” another added.
“This could probably be propaganda to get fetal tissue from abortions,” another speculated.
Even Breitbart got in on the action, publishing an article on the rally. If you want an even wilder comment section, you can check that out at your own risk.
To be clear, this curriculum doesn’t technically exist yet, and Planned Parenthood appears nowhere in the legislation. The reproductive health organization does, for the record, think CSE is a good idea. But so do a lot of people – like the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault and dozens of researchers.
Multiple studies have shown that giving students ongoing education about sex actually makes them less likely to have sex at a young age. It also decreases the rates of diseases, unplanned pregnancies, and unhealthy, abusive relationships. Condom usage, however? Way up.
There’s a simple reason for why that may be. Keeping kids in the dark about sex doesn’t make them any less likely to have it. It does, however, make them more likely to mess up.
“I think this legislation is simply about the health and safety of our youth,” Lippert says. It’s about teaching them to treat their own bodies and the bodies of others with respect. And yes, he says, his bill is coming back next session.