MI Joins Hawaii’s Fight Against Pono Choices

Written by: Joe McIlhaney, MD, founder of Medical Institute for Sexual Health

Hawaii—Visions of peaceful and beautiful beaches with ukuleles strumming in the background spring to mind at the mere sound of its name. But all is not so calm and safe for children and families there. Though it is far away, what is going on there presents a clear and present danger to all of us in the contiguous United States, of which we need to be aware. For what starts there, with its malicious goals, if successful, could sweep across this entire country.

The Medical Institute office was called by State Representative Bob McDermott for help. He is fighting powerfully influential sources – Planned Parenthood, The University of Hawaii, some in the State Legislature and other groups and individuals. I raced to Rep McDermott’s help on April 14, returning to Plano, Texas, on April 18. During the short two weeks I had to prepare, I studied the Hawaii situation as thoroughly as I could. What I found was that these groups and individuals that Rep McDermott is fighting are attempting to mandate through state legislation the imposition of their philosophy of sexuality education from kindergarten through the 12th grade throughout the entire state. Since there is only one school board and one legislature, their efforts, if successful, would affect every child in the public school system, and could be used by these groups and those who support them to force their form of sex education on every school district in the nation.  Two problems with their attempted mandate:

  • Pono Choices is the name of the program partially developed by the University of Hawaii and which is being urged on the Hawaii schools. It is based on a program called Making Proud Choices. The only positive outcome found from a careful study of that program was that kids who were already sexually active when they came into the program were more likely to use condoms than kids who did not go through the program. Even worse, since that program was changed into Pono Choices and recently further changed from the original design of Pono Choices, impact on adolescent behavior has not been studied. This means that if instituted, every child in the Hawaii public school system would in essence be a “guinea pig” for this new and untried program (which in its original form was not even evaluated for the problems it is supposed to solve—pregnancy and STI)
  • A more insidious element, has been added to this program; the inclusion of gender education, even down to the young age of kindergarten. THE reason these groups say Hawaii MUST implement this program is because the rates of adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection are so high in Hawaii. It appears they are using the issues of pregnancy and STI as a “Trojan horse” in which to hide elements of education that Rep. McDermott labels “indoctrination”. He states that the effort is to promote “the politically correct view that homosexual behavior and transgenderism are healthy, wholesome, natural behaviors on par with male-female reproduction”.

Next month, I will conclude my report by pointing out the six distortions these people are using in Hawaii to attempt to justify their efforts. You will find these familiar because in one form or another they have been using these distortions for years. And it makes me (one who is generally SO even tempered) really, really furious that so many people actually believe these lies..
In the meantime, State Rep Bob McDermott and his staff, Keith Rollman and Paul Kanoho and their supporters, Susan Duffey and Art Hanneman and many others should be considered true heroes for their valiant efforts in protecting the children and families of Hawaii and serving as warning beacons for the rest of us.