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Michigan Lawmaker: Hold Pro-LGBT Schools Liable for Student STDs

Michigan Lawmaker: Hold Pro-LGBT Schools Liable for Student STDs


Antigay State Rep. Gary Glenn wants school officials who tell students it is OK to be gay held financially and criminally liable if the student contracts an STD.

Controversial comments by Michigan state Rep. Gary Glenn, a first-term Republican state legislator and head of the American Family Association of Michigan, have been revealed in a recently released documentary film.

Glenn, a longtime antigay advocate who was filmed prior to hs election in 2014, said he believes school officials who tell kids that it's OK to be gay should be held liable if they contract a sexually transmitted disease.

"If some young person hears at school that it's OK to be gay and then comes down with a fatal disease as a result, school officials should be held legally liable, individually and in their official capacities, financially and maybe even criminally," Glenn said in the film.

Glenn, who coauthored the state's anti-marriage equality amendment currently before the Supreme Court, was interviewed for the film Light Wins: How to Overcome the Criminalization of Christianity. The film was released in April and is available for purchase online. It features other conservative political and religious leaders, including Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Right Wing Watch first reported on Glenn's participation this week after a clip was posted to YouTube.

"Knowledge is power. As long as we keep our children in the dark about safer sex practices through 'abstinence only' education, we only do them a disservice," said Yvonne Siferd, a spokeswoman for Equality Michigan, in an interview with MLive, a website for several Michigan newspapers. "Teaching love and acceptance is more fruitful than pandering to fear."

When contacted by MLive, Glenn said he has no plans to introduce legislation to enforce his radical idea, but he is sticking to his guns.

"If the school environment is teaching children that homosexual behavior is normal and healthy, and children, in reliance on what they're taught from authority figures, decide to experiment or engage in such behavior and suffer negative health consequences, somebody ought to be held accountable," said Glenn.

When asked if schools should teach safe sex to lower the risk of students contracting STDs, he said he is "old-fashioned in that regard" and had no intentions of supporting the idea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges schools to welcome and support LGBT students, noting that adolescents who feel unsafe or unwelcome have a higher likelihood of depression, substance abuse, and risky sexual behavior that place them at risk for HIV and other STDs.

The CDC also recommends that students be taught about sexual health in a culturally competent manner that also addresses the specific needs of LGBT youth.

Watch a clip from the documentary showing Glenn's statements below.

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