As if more proof were needed that fundamentalist Christianists have taken over our government, there comes the launch of a new government-funded website that discourages young people from using condoms, thereby endangering the health and even the lives of millions of kids whose parents are “embarrassed” to talk with them about sex.
Critics say the Web site, 4parents.gov, stresses the promotion of abstinence while branding LGBT youth as pursuing “alternative lifestyles.”
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, 145 advocacy groups charged “4parents.gov presents biased and inaccurate information as fact and does not address the needs of many youth, including sexually active youth, youth who have been or are being sexually abused, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.”
The letter also criticized the way LGBT youth were described. “For example, in the section of the Web site where sexual orientation is mentioned, it repeatedly uses the terms ‘alternative lifestyle’ and ‘homosexuality.’ This language assumes that being lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) is a choice and also reduces LGB people to the mere equivalent of their sexual activity.”
The site also offers inaccurate information about condoms – focusing on their failure rates without providing how-to information on using them. “This is like discussing how seatbelts can kill when used improperly, without also discussing how to properly use seatbelts,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a leading national gay rights organization.
The site advises parents: “If you believe your adolescent may be gay, or is experiencing difficulties with gender identity or sexual orientation issues, consider seeing a family therapist who shares your values to clarify and work through these issues.”
“That’s really a loaded statement,” said Beth Beck, director of health programs for National Youth Advocacy Coalition. “There’s no discussion for parents to express love if their children come out to them. LGBT youth are being stigmatized. I think the Web site is presenting a very ideological way for parents to talk to their kids about sex and sexual health.”
Three guess who’s really behind this disinformation. Yup, the Neanderthal wing of the Taliban party, in the guise of the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, which has close ties to Focus on the Family.
But here’s the best part: “Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt defended the site to USA Today, saying it was designed to help parents who are ’embarrassed.'”