Out of line

GOP lawmaker asks teens whether they’re still virgins

Mary Dye (via Washington State House Republicans on Flickr [CC BY-ND 2.0])

“Teen Lobbying Day” in Olympia, Washington, took a turn for the weird and wildly inappropriate when Republican representative Mary Dye asked a group of teenagers about their virginity. The Seattle Times reports that the teenagers, part of a council chapter of Planned Parenthood, were advocating for bills that might expand insurance coverage for birth control when Dye inquired whether the teenagers were still virgins, implying one of them was not. “After she made the statement about virginity, all of my teens looked at me,” said Rachel Todd, an education specialist for Planned Parenthood who accompanied them. “And I said, ‘You don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that.'” One of the students in the room, 18-year old Alex Rubino said the question came completely unprompted, telling the Seattle Times, “it seemed kind of insane for her to say that, especially on the record, to constituents.”

After the awkward interaction, Dye reportedly gave her opinions to the students about sex and “making the right choices.”  A spokesman for the House Republicans did confirm that Dye asked about virginity, and the legislator has since then released a statement with an apology. “I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for,” Dye wrote. “In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative. If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.” Todd told the Seattle Times that she had never experienced such an encounter before, calling it “incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate.”

Read the full story at The Seattle Times.

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