Child Pubes, Lesbian Perpetual Virgins, Gateway Sexual Activity: HB3621 is NSFW

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I read through HB3621, which I thought was going to be just another nonsense bill about how we're going to prevent teen pregnancy by insisting, even more loudly, that teens just don't have sex, and I am now in need of a good brain-bleaching. If this is what Jim Gotto and Jack Johnson sit around collaborating on, I have some questions about their character.

First, there's the skeevy fact of them including a definition of puberty that forces any reader to think about the genitals of children: "Puberty is indicated by bodily changes that include, but are not limited to, hair growth around the genitals, menstruation in girls and sperm production in boys." Yes, please, let's codify into law discussion of children's pubes. Seriously, you can rightly accuse the Democrats of a lot of stupidity, but I don't think that I've ever had to picture any of them sitting around dreaming up a way to work child-pubes into state law. But Gotto and Johnson? Let us forever imagine them sitting around discussing child-pubes.

Then there's the whole fucked-up treatment of sexual activity like it's bad for you, like drugs or alcohol or cigarettes. (Seriously, according to this bill, teen smoking leads to sex.) From the whole use of the "gateway" metaphor — as if some sexual activity will of course lead you into all sexual activity — to the idea that we must never tell kids about things they can do with each other that are pleasurable that aren't intercourse. " 'Gateway sexual activity' means sexual contact encouraging an individual to engage in a non-abstinent behavior. A person promotes a gateway sexual activity by encouraging, advocating, urging or condoning gateway sexual activities."

Obviously, Gotto and Johnson don't remember what it's like to be teenagers, because just about anything at that age feels like sexual contact. Hell, reading this legislation and remembering how fucking hot Tim Boblitt looked in his football uniform, I'm not sure it'd be legal for teachers to encourage young straight women to go to football games. The definition of gateway sexual activity is so vague it's hard to tell if we can even allow young people to sit together on school buses. What if their thighs touch? Their hands brush together? Their heads bonk into each other as they cross railroad tracks?

But it gets weirder:

Beginning with the 1991-1992 school year, if the most recent, annual data maintained by the department of health, state center for health statistics, indicate that pregnancy rates in any county exceeded nineteen and five tenths (19.5) pregnancies per one thousand (1,000) females aged eleven (11) through eighteen (18), then every LEA within the county shall locally devise, adopt, and implement a program of family life education in conformance with the curriculum guidelines established for such programs by this section.

Children who are 11 years old who are getting pregnant are being raped. Many of the youngest girls who get pregnant are being raped (and some percentage of the older ones). And Gotto and Johnson's response to high pregnancy rates among this population is to institute a program that teaches them more explicitly the joys of abstinence? Gentlemen, 11-year-old girls aren't getting pregnant because they don't know how groovy abstinence is. They don't need a schoolwide program about family life. THEY NEED THE POLICE. Jesus Christ.

And then, it gets really weird. They want to codify the Lesbian Loophole into law. I mean, people, when I invented it, I invented it as a joke. I meant for people to find it hilarious that legislators who are so hung up on the evils of gay sex don't seem to even know that God's favorite type of sex even exists.

But if this bill passes, lesbian sex actually won't exist! " 'Sexual intercourse' means that a penis is inserted into a vagina, mouth or anus." The implications are staggering. There's literally nothing two cisgendered women can do with each other that qualifies as sex. You could be with your partner for 32 years, and you're both legally virgins! You could go out and bang every gal who will have you and you are still in the moral and legal clear. You did not cheat on your girlfriend with those seven strippers because nothing you did meets the legal definition of sex. Gotto and Johnson are handing lesbians across the state an incredible "get out of jail free" card. It's enough to make you wonder if there's some secret powerful lobby of lesbian cheaters in this state.

Mostly, this legislation just convinces me that the reason Republicans don't want anyone teaching kids about sex is that Republicans have some really hardcore ideas about it. Once you realize that, for them, sex is what happens at the end of a long evening of smoking, drinking, drugging it up and using "gateway" activities to pressure each other into having sex, it does make two people who like each other groping in a car seem almost quaint.

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