Texas gives OK to sex-ed program ignoring LGBT and consent education

Everything is bigger in Texas — even the sexual-education gaps.

The Texas State Board of Education’s revamping of its own sexual-education curriculum — the first since 1997 — affects how middle-school students will be taught sex, reported The Texas Tribune.

Subjects that won’t be addressed are gender identity, sexual orientation and sexual consent.

Educators and advocacy groups offered input on what the sex-ed lesson plans should include.

In September, the 15-member board gave the OK to include information about birth control but skip sexual orientation education, reported the Tribune.



a dining room table: The Texas State Board of Education has voted to not include sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual content in the education of middle-schoolers.


© Shutterstock
The Texas State Board of Education has voted to not include sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual content in the education of middle-schoolers.

The Texas State Board of Education has voted to not include sexual orientation, gender identity or sexual content in the education of middle-schoolers. (Shutterstock/)

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The Republican-controlled panel voted on Wednesday to reevaluate the bare minimum that students should learn about sex and health.

The Tribune reported that Republicans have been vocal backers of an abstinence-only curriculum involving sexual education. They assert that talking about engaging in sex prompts kids into having it.

The idea that consent discussions could pressure teens into sex could play a factor in Texas having one of the highest state birth rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas’ teen pregnancy rate is 25.3%, nearly double that of New York and more than three times Connecticut’s rate.

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Board member Marisa Perez-Diaz, a Democrat, supported adding more specific language to the sex-ed lesson plans, reported the Tribune.

“[LGBT and consent consent-oriented] language is nowhere to be found anywhere else, and again there’s this lack of awareness and lack of attention to this specific issue, argued Perez-Diaz. “I think that the language needs to be more explicit, especially at the middle-school area and at a time where our adolescents are experiencing a lot of changes.”

Even talk about sexual consent was kiboshed. Instead, Republicans voted to have teachers instruct about “sexual bullying.”

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ANALYSIS-Trump woos LGBT+ Americans as polls hand gay vote to Biden

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Supporters say Donald Trump is the most gay-friendly president in history yet U.S. policy experts point to his record and polls show much stronger LGBT+ support for Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have traditionally voted Democratic in greater numbers and polls suggest Tuesday’s presidential election will be no different, despite efforts to woo the LGBT+ community with a run of “Trump Pride” rallies and gay-friendly speeches.

Far more striking, analysts say, is the fast-rising acceptance among conservative Americans of LGBT+ rights, nudging the right to rethink its long-held views on sex, sexuality and gender identity.

“What is historic is this shift in attitudes towards LGBT attitudes in the U.S. in such a short span of time, which forces Republican candidates and the Republican party to reconsider its position,” said Gabriele Magni, a professor of political science at Loyola Marymount University.

“It’s not just about LGBTQ people, but about people who care about lesbian, gay and transgender rights and who care about equality,” Magni told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Support among Americans for same-sex marriage, largely seen as synonymous with backing wider LGBT+ rights, has risen to 62% from 36% in 2007, according to the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

Democrats still back same-sex marriage in greater numbers, the PRRI found, but positive sentiment has risen much faster among Republicans than among Democrats in the past decade, albeit from a lower base.

And the White House knows that could translate into more Republican votes among LGBT+ Americans come election day.

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An estimated 9 million LGBT+ adults are registered to vote in the United States, according to the Williams Institute, a research center at the University of California.

Roughly three in four LGBT+ registered voters said they were voting for Biden, against 17% who said they backed Trump, according to a recent report by U.S. LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD.

The findings were consistent with exit polls from the past half century of presidential elections, where Republicans won about a fifth of the LGBT+ vote.

Yet the White House has gone out of its way to court the gay vote this year, holding half a dozen rallies in marginal states in the past several weeks.

It is a daring break with past presidential politics, say analysts, as U.S. conservatives have largely avoided – or at times actively targeted – LGBT+ Americans to appease the ‘family values’ beloved by many Christian conservatives.

Things have not always gone swimmingly with the new move.

At a “Trump Pride” event last week, his daughter Tiffany Trump was the headline speaker yet stumbled over the LGBT+ acronym – mangling initials and missing out the ‘T’ for transgender – even as she trumpeted her father’s credentials.

“I know what my father believes in. Prior to politics, he supported gays, lesbians, the LGBQIIA+ community,” the president’s fourth child said.

“My father has always supported all of you,’” she

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