A story has been going around the blogs and hopefully into the mainstream press more and more about an organization disseminating literature that promotes gay to straight therapies (ex-gay) to high school students and their families.
What did some students in Maryland bring home to their families along with their report cards? Oh, just a little literature from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, which wanted high school students to know that homosexuality can be cured through therapy. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
Unless you can convince a judge the fliers constitute “hate speech.” That’s because, based on a 2006 court ruling, public school districts are required to distribute, four times a year, any literature from a registered non-profit. Which makes PFOX’s material qualify for mandated distribution. Even if America’s leading psychological groups think such “therapy” isn’t just ineffective, but harmful.
- Does NOT work (no one really changes from gay to straight–they simply alter their identity and some behavior often by suppressing whole parts of themselves)
- Is NOT necessary
- In most cases is destructive
This is not funny any more. Some students are going to get this flyer and believe, for instance, that there really are people out there who have decided not to be gay any more. Amanda Hess at the Washington City Paper advertised for weeks, trying to find one ex-gay person in the DC area, and couldn’t find one. But Montgomery County Public Schools is distributing flyers to thousands of schoolchildren, convincing them that there is an “ex-gay community” that is persecuted and treated unfairly, and making gay students believe that they can stop being gay by hooking up with this pitiful group of hucksters.
The assertions in this flyer are the exact opposite of what the district teaches in its health classes, which are based on current knowledge as it is understood by the major scientific and medical organizations.
Perhaps … I am the face of one of your fears. Because I am a woman, because I am Black, because I am a lesbian, because I am myself — a Black woman warrior poet doing my work — come to ask you, are you doing yours?”
The [fundamentalist] doth protest to much methinks.
It is indeed the fundamentalist (Christians in this case) who has the “agenda” to entice and coerce children into the so called ‘christian’ “lifestyle.” They need such programs, methods and techniques in the absence of a God to support their ideas.
I am posting the Audre Lorde quote in many places. I need to be reminded of that.
Quote early and often!
Thanks Peterson for the kind comments and for your work – you’re an inspiration. Even though you are pursuing other areas of human rights work, I do hope you keep a close eye on ex-gay developments!
One thing I am particularly impressed by, is your determination to fight other people’s causes. I think LGBT people should lead that – we know what it’s like to be downtrodden; we should be standing alongside the students of Iran (especially today), the women in Afghanistan, just as much as we should be attending pride rallies. More of us should take a leaf out of your book.
Anyway, when you are next in London, I hope I have the opportunity to buy you a beer or two!!
Odd to be reminded that people might actually believe such ridiculousness. I was thinking “what, like they’re actually going to believe the fliers? Why would anyone believe something so silly? Oh…right…”
Find it annoying that so many of what these type of folks say could be refuted by a 4 year old saying “well that’s silly.” “Gays are bad” “well that’s silly, they’re not hurting anyone.”
It took a child to point out that “The Emperor has no clothes!”
And the truth spread like wildfire. We just need to keep speaking the truth, over and over again.
Thank you, Peterson. <3
hehe On topic of children being truthful: http://notalwaysright.com/from-the-mouth-of-babes/4255