Beware the Sex Ed | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Beware the Sex Ed 

Yet another example of Utahns who freak when it comes to sex ed. A look at how the LDS church doesn't really want you to identify as LGBTQ. Plus, the city's homeless numbers and fixes aren't adding up.

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Beware the Sex Ed
Never mind—we all know what Gayle Ruzicka thinks about sex. What's unclear is how Utah, with its birthing-many-spirits doctrine seems to want to keep all that sex talk in the dark. Throw in anything LGBTQ and it's like you've just yelled "Fire!" in a movie theater. So it's not surprising that an anonymous group sent an oh-my-God-stop-now letter to the Park City School District because of a professional development session—for teachers—called "Embracing Family Diversity" where they focus "on embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ- and gender-inclusive schools and preventing bias-based bullying." The lawyers for the group, according to The Park Record, say yikes, this is teaching sex ed, and parents should be doing that. No mention of what parents should do when their child is harassed or bullied about being gay.

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Asking Good Questions
It's hard to overestimate how much The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really doesn't want you to identify as LGBTQ. The Salt Lake Tribune devoted its entire Sunday front page to the issue. Starting with the Boy Scout issue, the Trib followed a family that opted for a nondenominational program—whatever that is. The LDS church doesn't like how the Boy Scouts embrace gay Scout leaders—because gay leaders set a bad example and predatory leaders don't? Then the Trib wrote about the church's "motives" for opposing conversion therapy. That's a good question to ask. The answers—from therapists—were heart-wrenching. "You're asking God to help you. And then nothing happens," one therapist said. "That harm doesn't just come from having somebody shock you. Harm comes from receiving and internalizing the message that there is something fundamentally wrong about you."

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Not Adding Up
Homelessness. If you think the inland port issue is a tough one, try the homeless diaspora. Yes, it was obvious The Road Home, its bulging and drug-drenched population, was a problem. But the state just can't seem to get a good grasp of how to handle dispersing, monitoring and assisting the homeless. The Deseret News gave a little good-news report on how providers and charities offered food, clothing and medical services for a day in the Rio Grande district. In the meantime, the new women's shelter is already too small. As everyone is pointing out, the math doesn't work. Now some rethinking needs to be done and politicians need to leave The Road Home open until they can get their act together. Otherwise, we'll need some tents and space heaters at the encampment on the grounds of the Main Library.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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