How’s this for a surprise? Louisiana, where abstinence-only sex ed is mandatory and schools are actually forbidden by law from teaching about contraception and STDs, has the cities with the highest and second-highest STD infection rates in this great nation of ours. Cosmopolitan New Orleans is actually #2 in that competition, with the top prize going to Baton Rouge, which is of course French for “Pustulent Crimson Infected Stick.” But Think Progress brings us an inspiring profile of a man who’s trying to change that: State Rep. Wesley Bishop, who has the daffy idea that maybe if New Orleans schools adopted comprehensive sex education, the city might actually scream a bit less frequently when it pees.
Rep. Bishop (guess which party, just guess!) introduced a bill in this year’s legislative session to mandate comprehensive sex ed, and while it failed, he plans to keep trying in future sessions. Why not try to pass a statewide change? Bishop knew better than to try anything that radical just yet:
“Since I figured it wouldn’t pass statewide, I thought we had a better chance to do it just in the city of New Orleans,” Bishop told ThinkProgress from his office at Southern University New Orleans, where he is associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We have a lot of exceptions in Louisiana law just for the city of New Orleans.”
How true this is. New Orleans is also the one place in Louisiana that insists that biology classes actually teach real science, while the rest of the state allows — hell, encourages — teachers to “supplement” textbooks with whatever Bible stories or Flintstones cartoons they find most scientifically relevant.
Bishop’s bill had a lot of support from sane, rational people and groups like the New Orleans City Council and School Board, and Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, not to mention all the empirical evidence that abstinence-only sex ed leads to higher teen pregnancy and STD rates. So of course it failed, because didn’t you see what state we’re talking about here? Even so, Bishop plans to keep trying, because you can’t make an omelet without fucking that chicken, as long as you wear a condom.
“If the rest of the state wants to stick their head in the sand and doesn’t want to move on it, that’s one thing,” he said. “But we think that this is what we need to try to move forward. So as a city we stepped out there to try to get that done. It did not work, but we’re going to try again and again and again. Because something has to give.”
Hey, if your city has U.S. America’s second-highest STD rate, we’d say that something already gave, if you know what we mean, and we think you do.
Not surprisingly, Bishop’s efforts have been opposed by all the Jebus People like the “Louisiana Family Forum” and Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has actually cut funding for STD prevention, presumably on the principle that people who get peen and vag diseases deserve them; Jindal also signed a 2014 bill banning any Planned Parenthood employee from teaching sex ed in a school since they might get abortion germs all over the younglings. Not surprisingly, Rep. Bishop finds the governor’s attitude just the teensiest bit counterproductive:
“There are governors around the country now who support sex ed and their numbers are a whole lot better than the numbers in Louisiana,” Bishop said. “We should follow someone else’s lead, but unfortunately our governor decided not to do that.”
Well, sure, but other states also insist on teaching real science in their science classes, and Louisiana has no intention of hopping on Satan’s Bandwagon. Sounds to us like Rep. Bishop doesn’t believe in Louisiana Exceptionalism. After all, just look at his terrible ideas on parenting — he has two sons who are 5 and 17, and says he hopes that he’ll be able to get comprehensive sex-ed into the schools by the time the younger one is in school (which seems awfully selfish of him):
“I want to make sure my son has that kind of information because when he gets to be 16 or 17 and decides to be sexually active, I want him to know the consequences,” Bishop said. “It would be great if we were able to have a father-son talk, but that might not be the case. But I at least want him to have the basic information that he needs to make proper decisions.”
You see? If he were a good parent, he’d just scare the boy with tales of how condoms break and impress upon him the fact that anyone who has sex before marriage is eternally tarnished, like they do in Texas. Sure, maybe the kid will get chlamydia, but at least he’ll have been brought up right.