A Hawaii state lawmaker is waging a campaign against his state's comprehensive sexual education program, in part by publishing a report citing conservative figures like Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer.
Pono, named after a Hawaiian word meaning "the right way," is designed to be taught to students between the ages of 11 and 13 as a 10-hour curriculum incorporating what it describes "medically accurate teen pregnancy and STI prevention terminology" appropriate for the age group.
However, McDermott alleges in a 21-page report that the program is inappropriate because it "normalizes a homosexual lifestyle and anal sex, while failing to warn students of the extreme dangers of anal sex."
McDermott's report, called "Sexualizing The Innocent," cites physician John R. Diggs, Jr. and the medical resource site WebMD to argue that anal sex is unnatural because the anus is not a genital.
However, McDermott does not mention Diggs' background as a religious conservative. Nor does he cite a 2002 report from the Sinclair Intimacy Institute which notes that "despite religious and legal prohibitions to anal sex, many people, regardless of their sexual orientation, regard it as a legitimate form of sexual expression and as one of the fulfilling ways in which people can express their desire and affection for each other."
The report also criticizes Pono for presenting scenarios involving gay and lesbian couples as regular relationships, saying same-sex relationships are "an anomaly among the general population," while citing a 1993 Seattle Times column by Krauthammer arguing that parents naturally steer their children towards heterosexuality, in part because "gay life is particularly hard. One wishes to minimize, to the extent that one can, the burdens one's children will have to bear."
[Image via state Rep. Bob McDermott official Facebook page]