By Rosemary Pollock
LDS Woman, Miss Nevada, Teaching Abstinence
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Miss Nevada, Ashley Huff, will take the center stage on
September 22 at the Miss America 2001 competition and promote sexual
abstinence among teens. The former Georgia native and member of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints moved to Las Vegas two years ago to
attend UNLV and major in communications.
"I have parents that taught me morals and values, and I realize not everyone
has that," Huff said. "I think I have an advantage. I am not any different
than anyone else, I just have a title that allows me to reach more people."
Huff has been working for the past month with the governor on a federally
funded program called Abstinence Works. She is planning to air public
service announcements within the next month.
"I was a little worried with how the younger kids would react to her stance,
but they are very receptive," said Linda Cross, executive director of the
Miss Nevada Scholarship Foundation. "To be a young lady today and step out
and take that issue on, I was in awe that she decided to do that."
Huff's stance stems from her religious beliefs, however she does not bring
up her faith when speaking to people about the issue. She believes there are
many other reasons to choose abstinence. She first became involved in the
issue when she observed how acceptable sex among teens had become.
"You can see abstinence as a faith choice or a health choice," Huff said. "I
have no guilty feelings, I don't have to worry about getting pregnant or
catching STD's." "It is not an easy choice, and I didn't get a lot of dates
in high school." Huff is also concerned with the image of Las Vegas as "Sin
"Vegas is like a mixed salad; there are a variety of people from all over
the world here," Huff said. "This will turn people's heads and help them see
there is more depth to Nevada," Cross added. "I don't think we will be
bringing her back. I think we will be leaving her there as Miss America."
The Miss America 2001 pageant will air on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Miss Nevada carries abstinence message to nation's teens
Las Vegas NV Sun 6Aug01 P2
By Rebecca Malone: Las Vegas Sun