ALBANY, NY December 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A New York chapter of Planned Parenthood required teenagers to attend a gay pride parade if they wanted to work for the organization – as part of a program funded by the state’s taxpayers.
Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood in Albany recruits teens, including minors, as “peer educators” for its STARS (Seriously Talking About Responsible Sex) program.
The STARS program pays the youth $75 every other week to promote Planned Parenthood and its view of sexuality. In an online video, a STARS counselor describes the message the counselors deliver to their peers: “If you choose to have sex, that’s OK. You won’t totally die. So, it’s cool. I like it.”
The organization’s Facebook page tells teens, “When you join us for the clinic, don’t forget to grab a S.T.A.R.S. bag, which includes free male and female condoms, dental dams, lube, instructions for use, and information on services.” STARS employees promote a wide variety of contraceptives, including the IUD, the Ring, condoms, foam, the diaphragm, the birth control pill, and Plan B. In another STARS video a teen counselor tells a worried teen that while the Morning After pill is available in pharmacies, “you can get it at Planned Parenthood for less money, or even free.”
The online job application states, “As part of the interview process selected candidates are required to attend Capital Pride on June 12, 2011.”
The application states that the UHPP program, which covers Albany and Columbia counties, “is made possible through a grant from the New York State Department of Health Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention community-based initiative (CAPP).”
CAPP describes its purpose as “decreasing the incidence of adolescent pregnancy through the establishment of a comprehensive and coordinated approach to reduce the risk of initial and repeat pregnancies, STDs and HIV/AIDS rates among New York State adolescents.”
Carl Paladino, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor of New York, told LifeSiteNews.com that public funding of the program was ludicrous.
“I don’t think any non-adult should be compelled to go to a gay pride parade,” he said. “When they’re adults, they’re free to do as they want, but the nurturing minds of the youth shouldn’t be exposed to that kind of thing.”
During the campaign, Paladino contrasted himself with Democrat Andrew Cuomo, saying, “I didn’t march in the gay pride parade this year; my opponent did. And that’s not the example that we should be showing our children.”
Cuomo went on to sign a bill legalizing gay marriage. Paladino told LifeSiteNews, “I’m wondering why the Catholic Church still deals with Andrew Cuomo.”
On June 15, the STARS Facebook page lobbied teenagers to call state senator Stephen Saland “and tell him you support marriage equality.” Peer educators also advocate for local schools to teach “comprehensive sex education” in place of abstinence-only education.