Christian Action League
The House Committee on Health took up HB 88 – The Healthy Youth Act on Thursday, April 4.
The bill would supplant the standard of Abstinence Until Marriage (AUM) sex-ed for North Carolina’s children with Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE). Proponents of the legislation argue that it creates a two track system where parents can choose between the two curriculums. However, what is often not highlighted is that CSE would replace AUM as the current standard and should parents desire their children take AUM, they would need to intervene by filling out a form that requests it for their child.
Otherwise, all children in seventh through ninth grades would go directly into CSE.
The North Carolina Family Policy Council summarizes the proposal, arguing: “Current law requires that students be taught that “a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases” as a part of their AUM program.
Local school boards may offer an expanded CSE program only after receiving parental input at a public hearing and making the proposed curriculum available for public review for at least 60 days. To date, fewer than 14 of North Carolina’s 115 school districts have opted for such a change. HB 88 would require all 115 school systems to change their standard sexuality education program from one focused on abstinence to one focused on contraception.”
“The sad thing about all this, in my opinion,” said Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, “is that the current AUM program is maligned by remarks that portray it as medically inaccurate and ineffective. That’s just not true when the curriculum is taught properly.” He added, “AUM does provide information about contraception, but it does so in the context of effectiveness and failure rates. This proposed legislation, however, touts a repackaged CSE program calling itself ‘abstinence-based,’ which essentially just casually references abstinence while at the same time placing the vague and subjective concept of ‘committed relationships’ on equal footing with traditional marriage. Is that what we want as the standard for North Carolina’s children – a curriculum that focuses on contraceptives and addresses homosexual, bisexual, and multi-partner relationships as equally valid to traditional marriage? That’s what you get with this bill!”
During the Committee’s hearing of the measure, debate and discussion were severely limited. Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) was so disturbed by the process and frustrated that he was not allowed to run any amendments that he loudly protested while Chairwoman, Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange), frantically pounded the gavel for Dollar to be quiet.
Rev. Creech gave a passionate speech against the measure, while persons from various liberal groups present laughed at him and muttered heckles loud enough for others to hear. Later, Creech explained his remarks had obviously deeply offended certain lawmakers who told him they didn’t appreciate the strict moral tone of its content. “I cannot control how people perceive me”, said Creech. “And I dare not be more concerned with offending men than I am with offending God by my silence.”
The House Health Committee passed HB 88 by a 17 to 9 margin. But there were so many complaints about the limited discussion, debate, and opportunity for amendments that the Chairs of the Committee have agreed to hear the bill again.
Read Rev. Creech’s speech to the Health Committee by clicking here