- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SEASIDE, Ore. (AP) - The Seaside City Council has decided not to stop a conference on teenage sexuality at the municipal Civic and Convention Center.

The annual conference is held in April by the Oregon Teen Pregnancy Task Force. It has drawn criticism from social conservatives who demonstrated at the center during the last one, and from Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin.

The council held a closed-door meeting Monday on whether to cancel a contract for the organization’s upcoming conference, the Daily Astorian reported (https://bit.ly/1vAvLfc ).

“On the advice of legal counsel, the council is taking no further action,” Mayor Don Larson said afterward. He and other council members wouldn’t comment further.

The organization says it helps educators and parents discuss sexuality with students and children.

It says in a post on the conference website that the conference complies with Oregon sex education requirements that call for emphasizing abstinence, but not to the exclusion of other methods of birth control and disease prevention. Representatives did not immediately respond Tuesday to a call for comment about the City Council’s action.

The conference’s critics say they fear it may encourage young people to break the law through the distribution of sexually explicit materials and graphic workshops. They told the paper Monday night they would continue to protest against holding the conference at Seaside, a prominent venue in Oregon for gatherings.

Bergin has been particularly critical, but he has told the Daily Astorian he doesn’t have evidence of illegal behavior and doesn’t have an investigation underway.

The district attorney, Josh Marquis, says his office won’t be involved with issues surrounding the conference unless there is evidence of illegality.

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Information from: The Daily Astorian, https://www.dailyastorian.com


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