Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education Legislation 2007 Action of Immediate Witness

BECAUSE our Unitarian Universalist principles call on us to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity and compassion in human relations, and the goal of world community with peace and justice for all;

WHEREAS the PATHWAY Act (Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women And Youth) will remove the requirement in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that one-third of United States foreign aid for AIDS be spent on abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, and wil1 require the President to establish a comprehensive and integrated HIV prevention strategy to empower women and girls to negotiate and demand safe sexual practices both within and outside marriage while addressing their vulnerable situations;

WHEREAS the REAL Act (Responsible Education About Life) will establish the first ever federal funding stream for medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education;

WHEREAS Congress is poised, for the first time in years, to make definitive decisions on these issues;

WHEREAS more than 40 million people worldwide suffer from HIV/AIDS, an increase of 2.6 million people in the past three years;

WHEREAS African women between 15 and 24 account for 75% of new HIV infections; and married women are the majority of those infected with HIV worldwide with more than 80% of new infections in women resulting from sex with husbands or primary partners;

WHEREAS in the US, black women and Latinas account for about 75% of all HIV infections among 13 to 24-year-old women in the United States although they represent only 26% of women in this age group;

WHEREAS by current federal law, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs do not affirm or acknowledge gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer identities or relationships;

WHEREAS an essential approach to reducing sexually transmitted infections such as HIV and unintended pregnancy is to provide young people with medically accurate, comprehensive information regarding sexual health and recognizing that cultural and economic forces may negatively impact sexual;

WHEREAS eight out of ten American adults, including conservative Christians, support junior and high school sexuality education to prevent disease and unintended pregnancy;

WHEREAS abstinence-only programs are not proven to be effective and may contain medical inaccuracies and do not address the reality that young people are sexually active and at risk of infection and pregnancy;

WHEREAS Unitarian Universalist congregations provide Our Whole Lives. a comprehensive lifespan sexual education program that teaches abstinence and medically accurate safer sex information:

WHEREAS support for the REAL and PATHWAY Acts will:

  • Improve the ability of every person to make informed decisions regarding sexual health;
  • Enable programs to address the unique and urgent needs of women and youth including comprehensive, medically-accurate information; and
  • Stop the United States government from imposing perceived theological values on United States communities and other countries.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the delegates of the 2007 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association call upon Congress to support passage of the REAL and PATHWAY Acts and urge member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists to immediately petition congressional representatives to co-sponsor these bills; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that all UU congregations and individuals are encouraged to use the resources of the UU-UNO, the Washington Office for Advocacy and the UU Global AIDS Coalition to mobilize interfaith support for passage of the REAL and PATHWAY Acts.