Skip to comments.Sexual Orientation Consensus Guidelines Include Ex-gays
Posted on 03/30/2006 12:27:50 PM PST by scripter
WASHINGTON, DC The First Amendment Center has released the first consensus guidelines to help public schools develop sexual orientation policies. The new guidelines advise school officials to include the viewpoints of all participants in order to develop policies that promote fairness for all. According to Charles Haynes, a primary drafter of the guidelines and Senior Scholar at the First Amendment Center, the ex-gay viewpoint in public schools is protected by the First Amendment and should be heard.
Haynes explained that incidents such as the one last year in Montgomery County, Maryland, might have been avoided had guidelines like these been in place. In that case, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) successfully sued the Montgomery County School Board for failing to include the ex-gay viewpoint. Haynes said, Americans are deeply divided over homosexuality in our society. But if public school officials and community leaders use the ground rules of the First Amendment, they can reach agreement on how public schools can guard the rights of all students in a safe learning environment.
One of the endorsers to the guidelines also agrees that school officials should consider the ex-gay viewpoint. The strength in the framework of the guidelines is that all sides should be heard and this does include the ex-gay perspective, said Finn Laursen, director of Christian Educators Association International (CEAI).
As PFOX continues to work for inclusion and respect of the ex-gay viewpoint in public schools nationwide, we are assured by the consensus guidelines that the ex-gay viewpoint is protected by the First Amendment, said Regina Griggs, PFOX Director. In too many schools, the ex-gay viewpoint is censored or marginalized. Now school districts are held to a standard of respect. According to the new guidelines, actions by educators to exclude some views merely because they disagree with them constitute viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.
The guidelines have also been endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), American Association of School Administrators, and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
PFOX is a non-profit organization supporting families and the ex-gay community. The First Amendment Center is associated with the Newseum and Freedom Forum. The guidelines are available at www.firstamendmentcenter.org
A copy of this press release is available online at http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=62361
A Message from PFLAG's Executive Director, by Jody M. Huckaby
A PFLAG member who recently heard me speak about my background asked me if I still consider myself to be a religious person. I responded that I consider myself to be a spiritual person. I think that I am part of a larger picture or universe in which a force or spirit much greater than me exists.
We had a lengthy discussion about what that means and what my thoughts are as we encounter an ever- growing amount of anti-gay rhetoric coming from religious groups.
And earlier this week, Parents and Friends of Ex- Gays and Gays - PFOX (another group with a name strikingly similar to our own) issued a press release on a set of guidelines that was produced by GLSEN and the First Amendment Center that helps educators develop local polices and practices to address issues involving sexual orientation in public schools.
The intent of the GLSEN project was to help educators and administrators create ground rules for discussing GLBT-issues. Boiled down, it affirms the importance of inviting all points of view to the table out of respect for the First Amendment and making clear that civility is a shared value and name-calling is not acceptable. It is a statement that provides guidelines for discussion and deliberation leading to decisions about such matters as policy and curricula content, but does not go so far as to say all opinions are of equal merit and deserving of equal treatment and standing in policy and curricula.
PFOX, however, had something else in mind.
They've utterly twisted the intent of the document to claim that it is an endorsement of the inclusion of their "ex-gay" views on GLBT issues in schools and that including "the `ex-gay' viewpoint in public schools is protected by the First Amendment and should be heard" apparently regardless of whether they are on par with legitimate, science-based research. Should this viewpoint be heard during deliberations? Yes. Decision makers should be able to hear for themselves how absurd their claims are. But do these views warrant the stamp of legitimacy? No.
Once again, PFOX is sidestepping the point and is trying to bend the situation to fit their misguided and harmful crusade. Certainly, no one has suggested that their viewpoint be censured in fact, the situation in Montgomery County Public Schools proves that PFOX's voice and all voices are allowed into the conversation. However, these guidelines suggest a level of respectful dialogue which results in a sensible, effective and productive educational environment. PFOX has taken a dramatic leap and insists that they now have justification for insisting that their rhetoric based on junk science actually be included in school curricula. Clearly, PFOX has completed misconstrued the document to advance their anti-gay agenda, and we at PFLAG won't let them get away with it.
We are working closely with GLSEN to ensure the creators of these guidelines take appropriate steps to clarify the scope and intent of their work and that it is not allowed to be hijacked by groups like PFOX.
Let us use these new examples of the damaging missions of groups like PFOX, CFLAG, and others to understand and educate about the harm that they cause. You can learn more about this issue in a comprehensive new report from the Gay and Lesbian Task force.
Take this time to recommit efforts to exercising your First Amendment right to speak out against them in your community, on your school board, and in your places of worship. Do it for your loved ones, and do it to continue moving equality forward.
PFOX note: Keep talking positively about ex-gays at your job, church, and school. Jump out of the closet and mention ex-gays everywhere you go. Ex-gays deserve the same respect as gays at every level of society. Homosexual groups should not be the only participants developing sexual orientation policies for our children.
Related article: Cancel "Diversity" Days by asking for ex-gay inclusion
Apparently PFLAG and GLSEN are afraid of the message that ex-gays exist.
Ex-gays, their eloquent testimonials, and the screamingly intolerant reactions they get from the GLSENs and PFLAGs of this world, are the magic bullet for killing the homo-promo movement.
There are many issues from which to argue against homosexuality and it can be overwhelming. I've tried to concentrate on the message of ex-gays for the very reason you list... The message of ex-gays brings light to the subject. Yes, they can leave the lifestyle!
But there are some people who are suddenly skeptical when one claims to be ex-gay. They don't believe the ex-gay claim, they don't believe the ex-gay testimony nor their declaration that they are ex-gay.
When somebody uses a certain standard to measure the credibility of what one group says, but then refuses to use the same standard to measure the credibility of what another group says--thereby ignoring the claims of the second group (ex-gays)--he should ask himself why he believes one group and not the other... This is a double standard.
A Catholic perspective would stress more the call to chastity than orientation change therapy. I wonder if that perspective would be represented -- probably not.
I wonder if an ex-gay woman is more readily acceptable to the pool of available men, than an ex-gay man is to the ladies?
Since I can't even remember what being single was like, any single folks want to comment?
They certainly are! So while they must give the ex-gays their first amendment rights that does not mean that they hold their opinion as equal.
In their own words:
...insisting that their rhetoric based on junk science actually be included in school curricula.
And any attempt to prove the gay lifestyle is normal using science is pure "junk science".
Thanks. There is so much more to go on the blog... Unfortunately I just don't have any free time to make the blog what I want... yet. Eventually there will be much more to read, reference and pass along.
Bigger question.....why do we need a public school policy on sexual orientation. This is an issue best left for at home conversations. When are we going to begin to focus on academics rather than all this non-education stuff.
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