HRC Praises Introduction Of Responsible Education About Life Act

The Human Rights Campaign praised the February 10th introduction of
the Responsible Education About Life Act in the U.S. House and Senate.
The bill would create a grant program through the Department of Health
and Human Services for comprehensive and age-appropriate sexuality
education.

"Science proves that teens need comprehensive sexuality education," said
HRC Vice President of Policy and Strategy David M. Smith. "Comprehensive
education can include abstinence but must also include science-proven
prevention education. The federal government has tied states' hands when
it comes to providing prevention education to teens. It's time to ensure
that at least one program gives states the ability to get the job done."

Currently, states can only receive federal funding for sexuality
education if they teach abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that
routinely exclude information about contraception and sexually
transmitted diseases. A recent study at Texas A&M University showed that
teenagers taking abstinence-only sex education programs became
increasingly sexually active, which is the exact opposite effect that
for which the program is designed.

"Without the right to marry in the vast majority of the nation, lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgender students are completely cut out of
prevention in the current system," added Smith. "School is supposed to
be about educating. It's time to present teens with the whole truth in
an age-appropriate way. We thank Representative Lee, Senator
Lautenberg, and all of the congressional supporters of this legislation
for their commitment to the health of our nation's youth. We urge
members from both sides of the aisle to cosponsor and support this
critical legislation."

The REAL Act was introduced Feb. 10, by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and
Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. It would create a grant program
administered by the Department of Health and Human Services that would
award $206 million per year to states for comprehensive sexuality
education. Previously, the REAL Act was called the Family Life Education
Act (FLEA). HRC and its health community allies, including the Sexuality
Information Education Council of the United States, Advocates for Youth
and the National Education Association, have all consistently supported
the bill.

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