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The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to sue the state of Louisiana because a state website promoting abstinence mentions God.
In a six-page letter, the ACLU claims the state abstinence program has violated a 2002 court settlement by invoking the name of God and quoting biblical passages on the program’s taxpayer-funded website, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
The legal group says it will take the Governor’s Program on Abstinence back to federal court in 30 days if religious references are not removed from the site. Even so, the site, AbstinenceEdu.com, continues to mention God, with one personal testimony from a girl who said she thanked God after she chose not to have sex.
“We’ve been monitoring the website for a while,” Joe Cook, the executive director of the Louisiana ACLU, told the New Orleans paper. “We thoroughly researched it, and we made the determination that the GPA had not only failed to correct the errors of its ways, as pointed out two years ago in the settlement, but in fact had gone out of its way to use taxpayer money to layer religious content upon religious content.”
A spokesperson for Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s office, Roderick Hawkins, said the website was being reviewed.
“Our concern is that the site comply with the agreement and the settlement of 2002,” Hawkins told the paper. “That’s what we’re doing right now – making sure the site complies.”
On the site’s message board, one teenager poster mentioned God in her testimony:
“Virginity is something very special which we have been given by God and we can only have it once. When you give it to someone It’ll be gone and you can never get it back no matter how rich you are. I’m so thankful to God for being with me and giving me the wise choice – to abstain. I’m 15 and so proud to be a virgin and I won’t be sorry for that. I think one day my future husband’ll be very happy for the decision which I made and he’ll respect, trust me and feel secure with me.”
AbstinenceEdu.com and the governor’s program is financed with federal money.
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