Religion in Society

Georgia Pol Wants 'Immoral' Sex Classes Axed

| by Baptist Press

ATLANTA (BP) --- Charlice Byrd, a Georgia state representative, is leading a charge to stop public universities from using taxpayer funds to teach students about sexual perversions, The Christian Index state Baptist newspaper has reported.

Byrd, a Republican and a member of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, wrote an open letter asking Georgia Baptists to contact the board of regents at the University of Georgia as well as their legislators, urging the discontinuation of funding for courses and faculty who focus on immoral behaviors.

At UGA, one course in question is called "Queer Theory," which the university says studies "the representation of homosexuals in literature and the world" and "is a respected course of study throughout the nation."

Calvin Hill, another Republican representative from Cherokee County, has joined Byrd in calling for an end to the misuse of taxpayer dollars. Hill found in a media guide for Georgia State University entries for one professor listed as an expert on male prostitution and another credited with an academic expertise in oral sex.

The latter professor, according to the GSU website, teaches sexuality and society, including the social meaning of oral sex and how it is defined in American culture.

"Teaching an entire semester on this, my taxpayers, my constituents, believe that is a total waste of their money," Hill said.

Byrd and Hill are facing a public backlash of sorts. An editorial in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, written by Maureen Downey for the editorial board, called their efforts an "ill-informed and embarrassing campaign" that "combines ignorance with political grandstanding."

Downey argued that the experts listed in the media guide at Georgia State are meant to inform reporters who are covering vital health issues such as the spread of the AIDS virus or the effects of oral sex on the spread of other STDs.

"Studying such problems -- and telling others what they have discovered -- is a legitimate academic function," Downey wrote.

Even so, Byrd and Hill don't believe students need to spend class time discussing the intricacies of perverse behaviors at taxpayers' expense.

"In this tumultuous economy with drastic budget changes, we are seriously evaluating all government spending," Byrd said.

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