State Rep. Richard Floyd (R-Chattanooga), the primary sponsor of a resolution against "Sex Week" activities at the University of Tennessee (currently in progress), was recently quoted in the Chattanooga Times as having said: "If those people who organize this thing want to have it, hey, let them get off campus. They can go out there in a field full of sheep if they want to and have all the Sex Week they want."
One might think Floyd was comparing human sexuality to bestiality if one didn't know that he is a conservative Republic with impeccable family values and a squeaky, clean mind, above such trash talk. Knowing these things about him, I can only assume he was advocating fresh air and outdoor recreation and not that other thing.
"Sex Weeks at the UT-Knoxville features such serious and timely subjects such as women's health, abstinence and the prevention of sexual violence. On a less serious but entertaining note, there will also be an aphrodisiac cooking class, a poetry slam, a drag show and a "Sexy Oscars Party."
More than likely, if the organizers had called the event something along the lines of “A Program for Abstinence Induced Procreative Good Health and Fitness,” they would have been assured no students would show up and the Republican conservatives would never have noticed and felt obliged to make an issue of it.
Of course, when the word “sex” pops up in a sentence, alarm bells go off if there is a conservative within 15 miles.
To a group of people dedicated to the proposition that sex education induces carnal thoughts in adolescents they would never have had without diagrams and teachers, it's hard to let go even when those children become adults and attend university.
Republican lawmakers are framing the matter as a simple issue of spending public money for a program many taxpayers find offensive. Of course, their recent nonbinding resolution that calls Sex Week “an atrocious event” clarifies that the money to fund it is from “student fees and grant monies.”
It is not tax revenue over which the Legislature has control, anyway – though of late those conservative ladies and gents have decided that the state should be able override any local jurisdiction about just anything they please – because to paraphrase Cornelius Vanderbilt when his lawyers told him he couldn’t legally have something he wanted. “Aint we got the power?”