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Utah faith leaders sound off on sex education
Education » Diverse religions offer diverse views on whether the topic belongs in schools.

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The Rev. Tom Goldsmith, of the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, said the vast majority of his congregants would likely agree that sex ed should be offered in public schools.

He said the instruction is "one of the greatest gifts and educational tools" schools can provide to young people.

In fact, the Unitarian Universalist Association partnered with the United Church of Christ to create sex-ed curricula for kindergartners through adults, called "Our Whole Lives." The program includes lessons about contraception, STDs, relationships and homosexuality.

"We feel that knowledge about sexuality actually helps children and prevents them from making some horrible mistakes," Goldsmith said. "I think knowledge gives them power, gives them confidence, and they will know how to act more responsibly in whatever situation they confront.

"Denying kids access to this kind of knowledge and information," he said, "is really ignoring life’s realities."

Goldsmith said he can’t speak for all Unitarians, but they generally do not advocate for abstinence before marriage. He said such a stance would be impractical and unrealistic.

"I would hate to think that they were getting married just to explore their own sexuality and sensuality because that might be a great mistake."

Last Sunday, from his pulpit, Goldsmith publicly thanked Herbert for his veto. His congregation burst into applause.

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