An organization that works in support of former homosexuals is seeking parity with promoters of homosexuality – and says this year’s “Day of Silence” is just exactly the right time for students to hand out information about those who seek to leave – or have left – the “gay” lifestyle.
The call to action comes from PFOX, or the group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays.
“April 20 is the annual ‘Day of Silence’ when student and teacher members of homosexual clubs in schools across the country remain silent for the school day in order to bring attention to intolerance against homosexuals,” the organization said in its announcement about its campaign.
“Since members of these gay affirming clubs agree to remain silent for the day, April 20 is the time to distribute ex-gay information without interference or harassment from any gay activist faculty or GSA clubs,” said Greg Quinlan, president of PFOX.
The “Day of Silence” is controversial in itself, as many parents object to their public schools being used as a campaign forum to promote homosexuality.
PFOX is calling on students to turn the event into something that would bring parity to those who choose to leave the homosexual lifestyle.
“PFOX is calling on students to distribute flyers promoting acceptance of ex-gays. Former homosexuals and their supporters are ridiculed and forced to live in silence. Our nation’s schools deny students with unwanted same-sex attractions any support or fact-based information that feelings can and do change,” said Quinlan.
“PFOX has distributed informative flyers in some of the largest school districts in the country,” said Quinlan. “PFOX’s one-page flyer gives students more complete information on sexual orientation and urges tolerance for all. Yet many GSA clubs have opposed our flyers even though they demand equality for gays. Equality exists when both gay and ex-gay organizations have equal access to students on the issue of sexual orientation. Gay groups should not be the only ones to have access to students on the issue of sexual orientation.”
The flyer, which can be downloaded from the organization’s site, explains that ex-“gays” can seek information on overcoming their feelings.
“Individuals deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the demands of others. PFOX supports tolerance for all.”
It lets people know that PFOX can offer resources for parents and students as well as ex-“gay” speakers for schools or clubs, books for libraries and other information.
“Every year thousands of people with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave a gay identity through non-judgmental environments or their own initiative. Their decision is one only they can make. However, there are those in society who refuse to respect an individual’s right to self-determination,” the brochure explains. “Consequently, formerly gay men and women are discriminated against simply because they dare to exist. Ex-gays and their supporters are denied equal access and support, forcing them to remain silent for fear of negative reactions and disapproval.”
The brochure documents that “there are no replicated scientific studies to support hat a person can be born ‘gay.’ No ‘gay gene’ or gay center of the brain has been found. No medical test exists to determine if a person is homosexual. Sexual orientation is based on feelings and is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. Some teens are labeled ‘gay’ or other names even though they do not have same-sex attractions. Appearance is not a reliable means to know what another person feels. No one should be labeled based on the perception of others. Name calling is wrong because the victim can begin to believe what others tell them about themselves, which may be completely false labeling and cause gender confusion.”
PFOX said the flyer should be reproduced and distributed at schools on April 20 “and whenever a gay event is featured in order to promote diversity and safety.”
“Our children deserve no less,” said Quinlan.
PFOX itself recently was blasted with discrimination for trying to offer its information to students.
But a spokesman for the school board in Montgomery County, Md., said the slurs against a minority group by the superintendent are not an “issue.”
Supt. Joshua Starr had told students that a flyer sent home by PFOX was “really, really disgusting.”
PFOX officials had utilized the school district’s services to outside groups that allow them to distribute flyers to students on occasion.
Students at a public forum then had asked Starr about the flyers, which provided information to students with unwanted same-sex attractions, discouraged name-calling and labeling, and urged tolerance for former homosexuals.
Starr’s response was that the flyers are “reprehensible and deplorable,” according to a report in the Washington Post. The Washington Examiner quoted Starr blasting PFOX.
“We can’t really do much about it unless we wanted to cut off all flyer distribution, which is an option,” he said. “This group has figured out how to use that law to spread what I find to be a really, really disgusting message, frankly.”
PFOX officials suggested that the board of education should reprimand Starr for violating the district’s nondiscrimination policy.
“We call on the Montgomery County Board of Education to enforce its nondiscrimination policy and censure Starr immediately,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. “The policy mandates that schools provide ‘an atmosphere where differences are understood and appreciated, and where all persons are treated fairly and with respect in an environment free of discrimination and … abuse.’ Clearly Superintendent Starr has violated the board’s policy.”
She continued, “Starr’s verbal abuse, disrespectful behavior, and slurs against the ex-gay community amount to hate and illegal sexual orientation discrimination, which are all forbidden by the policy.”
A spokesman in Starr’s office, Dana Tofig, said Starr’s position is that he “disagrees” with the statements made in the flyers but they are distributed because of a federal court ruling that the school could not discriminate based on content.
Tofig declined to say whether there are other subject matters that earn the scorn and vilification from Starr as the PFOX brochures.
“Starr does not respect diversity and is creating an unsafe school environment,” warned Griggs.
She noted the district nondiscrimination policy also requires training for students and staff to ensure its implementation.
“Starr’s flagrant violation of the policy demonstrates that all tolerance training and diversity education must include ex-gays, which is the only sexual orientation discriminated against in Montgomery County Public Schools. Its ‘Respect for Differences in Human Sexuality’ lessons promote tolerance of gays, bisexuals, transgenders, cross-dressers and the intersexed, yet fail to include ex-gays, which explains the appalling lack of respect for former homosexuals. The board must act immediately to remedy this blatant discrimination and include ex-gays,” Griggs said.
PFOX reported that it was just a year ago when officials met with Kevin Jennings, former assistant deputy director of the U.S. Department of Education, and he “affirmed the right of ex-gay organizations to have equal access in the nation’s public schools and agreed that former homosexuals should not be discriminated against during outreach efforts for students with unwanted same-sex attractions.”
PFOX also reported it met with Joseph Wheeler, attorney for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. He agreed with a 2009 court ruling that ex-“gays” are a legally protected class. PFOX had brought this lawsuit to ensure equality for the ex-“gay” community.