Positive Sex Ed, Federal Lands and the Utah Vote | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Positive Sex Ed, Federal Lands and the Utah Vote 

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Positive Sex Ed
Maybe we should start with the Legislature and its prurient interest in sex. Despite two-thirds of Utahns really, really wanting comprehensive sex education in the schools, the Legislature just won't go there. Abstinence-only is the creed. And teaching human sexuality is frankly fraught with problems, if fear. So it's not surprising and perhaps expected that Equality Utah filed a first-in-the-nation lawsuit to push sexuality into the curriculum. Specifically, it announced at its annual fundraiser that it's suing the state education office to get rid of the "no promo homo" law prohibiting positive discussion of homosexuality and contributing to an atmosphere of fear, bullying, confusion and many cases of suicide. The National Center for Lesbian Rights calls it a First Amendment issue. It's also an issue of sexual denial, and educators should hope for a successful outcome.

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Federal Lands & Lawsuits
Speaking of lawsuits, congressional candidate Doug Owens is getting the what-for over the long-settled Legacy Parkway dispute. Owens was the attorney, joined by then-Mayor Rocky Anderson, the Sierra Club and Utahns for Better Transportation in advocating for a safer distance from the Great Salt Lake and its wildlife habitat. You can probably thank Owens and Co. for FrontRunner, too. But the state Republican Party in a fundraising letter emphasizes that Owens cost taxpayers $250 million. One letter said $3,000 per family; The Salt Lake Tribune quoted a letter saying $500 per family. Whatever, it's kind of silly when you consider how much the GOP is costing Utahns by pursuing a dubious lawsuit to take over federal lands from the federal government—at a likely cost of $14 million to start. And then you've got to manage the lands. What's missing in all of this is that it's not Utah v. the feds, or Owens v. taxpayers. It's about the environment and the lands we've come to cherish.

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The Utah Vote
Oh, James Evans, what have you wrought? There he was, alongside Democratic Chair Peter Corroon, talking to CNN's Carol Costello when he just couldn't help himself. Asked about why Utah voters are gravitating to candidates other than Republicans, well, GOP Chair Evans sat stone-faced while thinking up ways to defend Donald Trump. Yes, he said, there was some "interplay" between Trump and Romney supporters, but then he said, "I'm looking forward to the interview you're going to have with Bill Clinton's illegitimate son." Costello called that "rubbish," which it is—according to DNA tests, and shut down the interview. Blame social media and the fact that people—and Evans—don't check their sources before claiming the truth.

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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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