Mary Dye: State Rep Grills Teens About Their Virginity — Apologizes For Being ‘Motherly’

Mary Dye, a Republican House representative in the Washington State legislature, caught a group of high school kids off guard Monday when they showed up at the state house to meet with her as part of Teen Lobbying Day. Instead of getting a chance to state their views to the legislator, they found themselves on the receiving end of a bizarre and disturbing line of questioning from Dye, who demanded to know whether the teens were still virgins.

The “lobbying” event was coordinated by Planned Parenthood, and Rachel Todd, the Planned Parenthood education specialist accompanying the teens, said she had never experienced anything like Dye’s questions in a meeting with a legislator or government official — or any grown-up.

“I’ve never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens where an adult, especially an adult legislator, was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate,” Todd told the Seattle Times.

Todd said that when the 54-year-old Dye posed her highly personal questions, the teen students were at a loss for words and turned to her for guidance.

“I said, ‘You don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that,'” Todd recounted.

Nonetheless, Dye — a longtime local Republican party activist who was appointed to the legislature last May and has yet to face an election — not only quizzed the teens on whether or not they had retained their virginity, she even implied that one of the students, specifically, had not.

Dye received little support for her personal questions to the teens.

“Our teens, many of them who are lobbying for the very first time, expect a certain amount of professionalism in these meetings,” said Erik Houser, Washington State Planned Parenthood spokesperson.

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The teens were at the state house to meet lawmakers and “lobby” for expanded insurance coverage for birth control — a position that Dye did not appreciate. But when she issued an attempted apology for her questions later, she said that she was just being “motherly.”

“Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices — opinions shaped by my mother and being a mother of three daughters,” Dye said in the written statement.

“In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative. If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize,” she added.

One journalist noted that Dye’s apology fit a familiar pattern in which public figures apologize not for anything they had said or done, but only for provoking a reaction in the targets of their gaffes.

Dye, of Pomeroy, Washington, was appointed to her seat in May of 2015 after Republican Rep. Susan Fagan resigned amid a scandal in which she was accused of collecting reimbursements for phony legislative expenses and twisting the arms of her assistants to doctor her expense reports.

Mary Dye Virginity motherly
Mary Dye [Photo By Washington State House Republicans]

Dye, a wheat farmer, served as a delegate to the 2012 Republican national convention where she was co-chairwoman of the Agriculture and Environment plank for the Platform Committee. She had served on local Republican committees and was active in various Republican political campaigns for about two decades before receiving her appointment to the state house.

Planned Parenthood has been targeted by Republicans in Washington, who recently passed legislation that would cut off federal funding for the organization that provides women’s health services to women who may not otherwise be able to afford them.

President Barack Obama vetoed that legislation.

Late night comedian Seth Meyers provides an overview of the Republican campaign against Planned Parenthood in the following video.

After their encounter with Mary Dye, which one of the teens described as “kind of insane,” the student group went on to meet with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler who provided the teens with “an incredibly different experience, it was the complete flip,” according to Todd. One of the students praised Schoesler as “very respectful.”

[Featured Photo By Washington State House Republicans]

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