Saying she may have come off more "motherly" than she intended, a Washington state lawmaker admitted she asked visiting students if they were still virgins during a visit to her office, reports the Seattle Times.
While visiting lawmakers' offices in Olympia with representatives from Planned Parenthood during Teen Lobbying Days, the group of Eastern Washington teens were stunned when State Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) quizzed them over whether they had ever had sex.
Rachel Todd, a Planned Parenthood worker accompanying the kids, said that Dye asked them if they were virgins and indicated that one of them might not be.
“After she made the statement about virginity, all of my teens looked at me,” said Todd. “And I said, ‘You don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that.’”
Failing to get a response, Dye shared some of her own views on marriage and sex.
The lawmaker, who was appointed to her seat last year when her Republican predecessor stepped down over allegations of ethics violations, stated that she may have gone a bit overboard in her questioning.
“I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for,” Dye said in a statement. “Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices — opinions shaped by my mother and being a mother of three daughters."
“In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative,” Dye added. “If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.”
According to Todd, she had never seen anything like it.
“I’ve never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens,” Todd said, “where an adult, especially an adult legislator, was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate.”
One student at the meeting, Alex Rubino, called her conduct "insane."
“It seemed kind of insane for her to say that, especially on the record, to constituents,” said Rubino, who noted that her lecture to the students came "unprompted."