Sex-ed restrictions stripped from Ohio budget

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House has removed a pro-abstinence sex education provision that was added to the state budget.

The proposal, sponsored by House Health Chairman Lynn Wachtmann, would have barred educators from promoting “sexual gateway activity” or distributing contraceptives on school property.

It would have required instructors to endorse abstinence from sex as the only way to remove all risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Violators could have been sued and faced civil penalties of up to $5,000.

Ohio lawmakers voted 76-19 Thursday to drop it from the budget.

The provision mirrors a Tennessee law enacted last year that was spurred by a classroom demonstration involving a sex toy. It became nicknamed the “no holding-hands bill” because of difficulty among Tennessee lawmakers to define “sexual gateway activity.”

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