13 Jun Maintain Abstinence Education Funding, Oppose Hate Crimes Legislation
Maintain Abstinence Education Funding, Oppose Hate Crimes Legislation
June 13 , 2007
Dear Friend of the Family,
We are highly concerned about two matters presently before the United States Congress which could be detrimental to families. Federa l funding for abstinence education is about to expire, and the Democrats controlling Congress do not intend to re-new it. The congressional majority is also pushing for a new hate crimes bill, which we oppose. I will address each of these topics below.
The federal government’s Title V program has provided $50 million annually in federal funds that are distributed on a formula basis to states. States that accept these funds must match every four dollars with three state-raised dollars and are then responsible for using the funds or distributing them to community-based organizations, schools, county and state health departments, media campaigns or other entities the state deems appropriate.
Abstinence-centered sex education focuses on the root issue by seeking to reduce adolescent sexual activity rather than attempting to deal with the consequences after the fact. It treats abstinence as the healthy lifestyle choice–not just another option. A study published in Adolescent and Family Health said that 67 percent of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate since the early 1990s can be attributed to teen abstinence, while contraceptive use was responsible for the remainder. Reports from states all over the U.S. reveal that abstinence education is making a positive impact. In fact, when abstinence is practiced, it has a 100-percent success rate.
Comprehensive “safe-sex” education had a decades-long head start on abstinence education. From the time comprehensive sex education began in the late 1960s, teen pregnancies, STDs and abortions skyrocketed. In more recent years, abstinence education has become more and more popular, reducing these social ills and attracting government funding.
Democrats in Congress have long wanted to de-fund abstinence education. Now they are in position to do just that. The Democratic leaders of the House Energy & Commerce Committee may opt to kill the abstinence education program this year by allowing it to end June 30. The Democratic Party website currently states the majority’s opinion on abstinence education funding:
If the Bush Administration wants to seriously address the problems that result from unwanted pregnancies particularly amongst teenagers, then it must redirect the millions of dollars already spent on ineffective single issue programs such as the “abstinence only” sexual education program. The “abstinence only” program limits the scope of teaching sexual education to a discussion of abstaining from sex, rather than focusing on teaching preventive measures that are more likely to be utilized by both male and female teens.
The Consortium of State Physicians Resource Councils disagrees with the Democrats: “Programs in safer sex education and condom distribution have not reduced the out-of-wedlock birthrates among sexually experienced teens. It appears possible that programs aimed at producing abstinent behavior have been more successful than programs aimed at increasing safer-sex practices in reducing unintended births to adolescents.”
Hate Crimes Legislation
Americans are kind, tolerant, and generous people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement of any kind, and we wish to avoid hurtful disregard for the feelings of all people. Hate crime legislation does not address this concern, though some have been led to believe it does.
Last month, a majority of members in the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1592). The Senate then introduced its own version of this hate crimes bill and named it the “Matthew Shepard Act.” Shepard was beaten by two men and left to die in Wyoming in 1998. In a 2004 ABC “20/20” interview, convicted murderer Aaron McKinney said that Shepard “was pretty well-dressed, had a wallet full of money. All I wanted to do was beat him up and rob him. … Seemed like a good idea at the time.” McKinney said he wanted the money to buy methamphetamine. Nevertheless, homosexual activist organizations still portray the motive for the murder as related to Shepard’s homosexuality and advocate for hate crimes laws in order to protect homosexuals.
UFI believes that hate crime legislation is unwarranted for a number of reasons:
UFI is in existence because of a devotion to families and championing the message that strong families contribute to the peace and vitality of communities. When family structures are healthy, crime is less prevalent. The social cost of broken families is enormous. Thus, marriage protection should be a higher priority than hate crimes laws;
In jurisdictions where hate crime laws are in place, constitutional freedoms and religious liberties are curtailed;
HR 1592 aims to protect people’s “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” — “either actual or perceived,” as classes of individuals receiving special protection by federal law. Gender identity includes people claiming to be gender confused, along with cross-dressers, drag queens, transvestites, transsexuals and transgendered individuals;
The bill exaggerates the incidence of hate crimes. According to a 2005 report by the FBI, there were 1,017 crimes attributed to sexual orientation, and 28 percent of those were classified only as “intimidation.” In 2004, one murder in the United States resulted from a bias against homosexuals — out of nearly 17,000 murders;
Fake hate crimes are numerous throughout the U.S., often with the intent to defraud insurance companies, promote social change and political gain or to persuade universities to create new tolerance programs; and
This bill will create inequality among the victims of crimes.
We have read chilling stories of how Canada, Australia and Sweden used hate crime laws to punish citizens who opposed the homosexual agenda. These laws are harsh and they are intolerant.