As part of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the Mississippi Department of Human Services holds an annual teen abstinence summit each May. Using taxpayer dollars, the 2009 summit featured religious themes and overtly Christian messages. Among the presentations a local judge offered a lengthy presentation about the Ten Commandments, in which he implored the audience, “Abstain, God says, from promiscuous sex – thou shall not commit adultery. But why? Is not God being a killjoy? Did He not create this great gift which is so good and wonderful? Why would He tell us not to do it? He’s not. He’s telling us that He created this great and wonderful gift for a special and unique committed relationship that is to last forever.” The program also included several prayers and a performance to gospel songs by the Pilgrim Rest Mime Ministry.
> BLOG: God and Abstinence (Huffington Post, 10/9/2009)
On September 9, 2009, the ACLU and the ACLU of Mississippi asked a federal court in Mississippi to end government funding of religion in the state’s abstinence-only-until-marriage program. The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District on behalf of a teen and two community members who attended the annual abstinence summit.