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'No Politics in AIDS Education'

September 04, 1987

I am amazed that state Sen. Gary K. Hart's bill to require junior and senior high school students to be given information on AIDS has been opposed by many Republicans in the state Legislature and is likely to be vetoed by the governor.

Assembly GOP Leader Nolan opposes the bill because it would give students a "how-to lesson in homosexual sex." This same prudish, short-sighted logic has been used to oppose teaching of sex education.

Not providing education in these areas has not prevented premarital sex or gay sex--it has just mandated that sexual activities be practiced in ignorance. Thousands and thousands of teen-age pregnancies and cases of AIDS are the result of such an approach.

Fifty percent of California teen-agers are sexually active. Rather than hiding our heads in the sand and pretending that is not the case, let's provide them with the information they need to protect their health and their lives.

Hart's bill mandates that abstinence from sex must be stressed as the primary means of preventing the disease. If anything, it is likely to reduce teen-age sexual activity.

Passage of this bill is a matter of life and death. Why should our state's children not be armed with the information they need to avoid this deadly disease?

PAUL KORETZ

West Hollywood

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