As far as we know, our Sexuality Education Advocacy Training (SEAT) is the only national, multigenerational interfaith advocacy training focused on supporting comprehensive sexuality education. It started in 2006 as a partnership between the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and Advocates for Youth. Currently the United Church of Christ, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice are also cosponsors. The great news is that SEAT is paying off! Here are some highlights:
First, many of the Congressional Offices visited by 2010 participants remembered SEAT visits from previous years—and had positive things to say about them. This recognition is incredibly important, because even if they don’t agree with our position they know who we are, and that we’re strong advocates for what we believe. Thanks to our SEAT lobby visits–and there were over 60 this year alone–not a single one of those offices can say that they “never hear from religious people who support comprehensive sexuality education.”
Second, one office reported that their boss—a member of the House—decided to become a REAL Act cosponsor as a direct result of last year’s SEAT lobby visit. Even better, I just heard—literally as I was writing this blog—that another Representative decided to cosponsor as a result of this year’s visit!
Third, more than one lobby team reported that, as they were sitting an office lobby waiting for their visit, calls were coming from folks back home participating in the Sex Ed Call-in Day! This combination of in-person and grassroots action is exactly what we hope for, so many, many thanks to everyone who made a call!
We usually stop at three in stories like this, but one more point is necessary. For SEAT to be properly called a success, it must also help participants spread the word outside of Washington, DC. Hence this final highlight: