Washington Lawmaker Needs To Know If Visiting Students Are Virgins

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Mary Dye
Mary Dye

Washington State Rep. Mary Dye of Pomeroy seems to have a curious interest concerning students visiting the state capitol–they should be questioned as to their virginity.

As part of a visit to the Washington State Capitol, Planned Parenthood’s annual Teen Lobbying Day participants met with Representative Dye to advocate bills proposing the expansion of insurance coverage for birth control. But it seemed that our representative wanted a little more information than expected.

It apparently was necessary for these teenagers to disclose their sexual activities to Washington’s self-appointed Virgin Tester.

It was not enough that our representative wanted to know these student’s sexual history, but she went even further to accuse one of them of actually not being virgin, according to the students and Rachel Todd, a Planned Parenthood worker accompanying the teens.

Todd stated, “after [Representative Dye] made the statement about virginity, all my teens looked at me. And I said you don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that.”

From there Representative Dye began to lecture the students about sex and making the right choices. This was overheard by others in the room.

After the controversy Dye provided the following information.

I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for. Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices– opinions shared by my mother and being a mother of three daughters.

In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly then what they would expect from their state representative. If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.

Erik Houser, Spokesman for Planned Parenthood’s advocacy arm in Washington, did not take lightly to the remarks offered by this representative.

I’ve never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens where an adult, especially an adult legislator, who was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate. Our teens, many of them who are lobbying for the very first time, expect a certain amount of professionalism in these meetings.

Given the perennial controversy manifest in many legislative bodies with regard to sexual adventurism, I tend to think that it should be the students asking such questions. I also find it rather arrogant that this representative chose to describe which she termed a “motherly” relationship with one of her constituents. It is not the place of elected officials to dictate moral parenthood over any citizen. But then again,  it seems that  many of them have an insatiable need  to know everything about each of us.

By Darren Smith


The Seattle Times

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

31 thoughts on “Washington Lawmaker Needs To Know If Visiting Students Are Virgins”

  1. What a horribly written article. We have no idea except our rampant imaginations as to exactly what Representative Dye actually said. All we have are innuendos and hearsay and unfactuated (is that a word?) terms like “virgin tester” etc.

    Give us facts, or don’t bother-unless it’s just to get a titillating rise out of the blogosphere, which is worse than what the article purports.

  2. And the crowd goes nuts!

    It doesn’t matter what party affiliation! Pay no mind to that man behind the curtain! Republicans and Democrats are the same, even though Republicans only ever do things for the super-rich or pander to their religious extremist voters!

    You should pay for wars you don’t want, and weapons you don’t want, and trad agreements you don’t want, but god help you if I have to pay for birth control as a public good! Insurance dollars should go toward heart disease for the obese, for cancer treatment for meat eaters, but not for oh-my-god young women having sex!

    The Puritans are alive and well, or should I say, as sick as ever, in America.

    Thanks for the Saturday laugh.

  3. She was inappropriate and wrong to question them about their personal sexual history. That would have also opened the door for them to grill her about her own premarital history and current sex life.

    Discussions about teen birth control would very likely lead into topics like teens having sex too early, before their ready, and at what age minors having sex would be OK. If she had kept it at that, it would have been just one of many such conversations taking place. But she crossed the line by getting personal.

    Humiliation is a poor teacher.

    This is also a good example of how government intrusiveness is a bad thing. If you don’t like government poking its nose into your personal business, then be sure to rein in the bureaucratic sprawl. Because another apt cliche is that government makes a poor parent.

  4. neighbordave

    That’s just Paul, the Constant Contrarian. Ya gots ta have em.

  5. “It is not the place of elected officials to dictate moral parenthood over any citizen.” Of course not. How did we get here?

    Consider: “Planned Parenthood’s annual Teen Lobbying Day participants met with Representative Dye to advocate bills proposing the expansion of insurance coverage for birth control.” If you lobby government to take the place of your parents, boyfriends or self responsibility, what should you expect?

  6. Call em’ statists. Doesn’t matter whether they have an R or a D in front, if they opt for growing the size and scope of government power, they are the enemy.

    Statists, collectivists, Zerg. For the glory of the Overmind.

  7. Paul, REALLY, or is that sarcasm I can’t read?
    The “skin in the game” reflects you like Washington’s proclivity to avoid the next step when it doesn’t fit their view. Stopped in the path.
    As with the question about the reps past, the personal status of the participants is not dispositive of the issue involved, as it applies across society and has benefits (or, I guess some would argue, a detriment), which are not dependent (even though affecting) individuals.

  8. I argued a couple of interesting issues of first impression a couple of decades ago, in two different jurisdictions both issues. During research, both issues, Washington law stood out for a view that could be characterized as supporting the established establishment, at the expense of a key logical argument. Well done the path, but stopping before running the path to it’s last step. Since then, my reading, as today, reinforces that the “Powers that be” should prevail in all things, and the behavior here reflects that limitation of thinking (and applying the results of the thinking).
    One last thought: asking her for her status is a step down a faulty path, as that issue has no determinative effect on the issue, and opens a door to a room that is a diversion – plus one she doesn’t mind entering.

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