Monday, March 19, 2012

Utah Governor Vetoes Sex Education Bill

A number of media outlets report that Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has vetoed a "controversial" sex education measure which he had been expected to sign. The Deseret (UT) Morning News (3/19, Wood) reports that Herbert vetoed the "controversial sex education bill" last Friday, "turning back the legislative effort to eliminate classroom discussion tied to contraceptives, intercourse and homosexuality. 'Existing law respects the ability of Utah parents to choose if and how their student will receive classroom instruction on these topics,' Herbert said in a prepared statement. 'I am unwilling to conclude that the State knows better than Utah's parents as to what is best for their children.'" The piece notes that an "overwhelming" majority in the GOP-controlled legislature passed the bill, but that this margin was not sufficient to override Herbert's veto.


The AP (3/19) reports that the measure "would have required only abstinence education be taught in schools," and that Herbert "said the bill went too far in depriving parents the right to choose how their children learn about sexual activity. Herbert said public school instruction should supplement, not replace, lessons taught in the home." The bill's sponsor, the AP reports, "said the law was important to protect the innocence of students." Meanwhile, "Utah Democrats applauded Herbert's decision but criticized him for" not publicizing it more. Reuters (3/19) also covers this story, noting that the measure would have been unprecedented in the nation.

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