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'Absolute Sex' Rally Staged in Boston

By Elizabeth S. Zuckerman

In a show of support for sexual abstinence at the Statehouse Tuesday, the Pure Love Alliance (PLA) hit Boston on their Absolute Sex National Tour calling for premarital chastity and marital fidelity.

Three hundred college and high school students from across the U.S. comprised the bulk of the group which rallied on Boston Common after demonstrating on the State-house steps.

With chants of "Love is good / sex is great / if you care / you'll wanna wait" and waving signs with slogans including "Condoms Can't Protect The Heart" the demonstrators spoke against premarital sex, abortion and birth control while other volunteers urged passersby to sign a sexual "purity pledge."

"The sexual revolution has run its course. Sex is not free. It never has been no matter how you call it," one speaker said, to the cheers of ralliers.

Boston was the 18th city for the group, whose tour originated in Los Angeles in late June.

"We decided if we really wanted to make a public impact then we'd have to take to the streets," said Michelle Myers, director of public relations for the PLA.

But Myers said the group is not exclusively for the life-long chaste.

"Not all of us are virgins," she said, explaining that some ralliers have "renewed their virginity."

Members of Absolute Sex are committed to advocating abstinence and each put out a $1,000 fee to defray the expenses of the 21-city tour, 45-day bus trip, Myers said.

Tour member Jessa Stadelhofer, 17, of Malden, who will begin her first year at Boston University in the fall, said she believes abstinence is "the key to happiness" for the unmarried.

"I'm an advocate of true love," she said.

The PLA, founded in 1995, garnered attention this year when it protested against the movie "The People vs. Larry Flynt" at the Academy Awards.

The non-sectarian, non-profit organization has been endorsed by groups including the Christian Coalition of Sacramento and the National Federation of Republican Women.

No counter-demonstrators were in attendance at the Boston rally, but the PLA has been opposed by gay and lesbian groups in the past, according to tour member Catherine Wright.

Although president Robert Kittel said the group does not have an official position on homosexuality, PLA literature defines the appropriate context for sex in exclusively heterosexual terms. One of the group's popular slogans is "One man / one wife / one love / one life" and according to one pamphlet, "Sex is for procreation and more--building an unbreakable bond of love between husband and wife."

"We're not here to condemn anything," Kittel said. "We're here to be pro-solution."

According to Kittel, the PLA grew out of "a deep conviction that the sexual practice of America needs to have a new moral compass."

The PLA also rallied in Bridgeport, Conn. and New York City this week. The tour will conclude with a rally in Washington D.C.

--Material from The Associate Press was used in compiling this report.

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