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Ohio House Drops "Gateway Sexual Activity" Amendment from Budget Bill

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Mister Asta / Flickr

Boy, that was quick.

A provision to promote abstinence-only education inserted into Ohio's state budget earlier this week was stripped out yesterday.

The Ohio House voted 76-19 yesterday to drop the provision from the budget.

The amendment to the state budget bill was sponsored by Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon). It would have directed teachers to emphasize abstinence in sex education and prohibited mention of any “gateway sexual activity,” defined as:

Any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if the person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.

Teachers who didn't comply, or accidentally slipped a reference to a banned topic, could have fines of up to $5,000.

An abstinence-only education advocacy group called the provision "very, very wise."

The Ohio Education Association called it "ludicrous:"

“This proposal is likely to cost school districts across the state many thousands of dollars just to make an ideological point,” [spokeswoman Michele Prater] said.

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