Sex ed mandate sparks bitter Washington state ballot fight

SEATTLE (AP) — Democrats in the Washington state Legislature thought they had passed a routine sex education requirement for public schools. But a coalition of Republicans and religious conservatives launched a swift backlash that’s led to a bitter partisan fight and an effort to overturn the measure on the November ballot. Democrats in the famously liberal state say they want to protect young people from sexual abuse and disease. But the outnumbered and aggrieved Republicans have taken issue with the content of the standards as they rally for local control. The resulting referendum marks the first time in the country that such a decision on sex ed will be decided by voters.