Skip to comments.Ex-Gay's file Lawsuit against Virginia School District
Posted on 05/07/2007 3:56:25 PM PDT by Jose Pen
McLEAN, Va. -An organization that provides support for people who renounce their homosexuality is suing a northern Virginia school system for refusing to distribute its fliers to students.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), accuses Arlington Public Schools of infringing on its First Amendment rights by arbitrarily refusing to allow distribution of PFOX materials.
Fairfax County-based PFOX alleges in the lawsuit that other community outreach groups are routinely allowed to distribute material through the school system, but that Arlington school officials repeatedly ignored PFOX's request for similar access.
The two fliers submitted by PFOX for consideration essentially spell out the organization's goals and beliefs and provide contact information for students with questions.
"PFOX believes that no one chooses same-sex feelings or asks for them _ but ex-gays demonstrate that those with unwanted same-sex attractions can seek help and information in overcoming those feelings," one flier states.
PFOX's attorney, Steven Aden with the Center for Law and Religious Freedom, said the school system's refusal to allow PFOX fliers stands in contrast to the schools' relationship with PFLAG, or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a gay-rights organization that opposes efforts to "convert" homosexuals.
"PFLAG in Arlington seems to have pretty open entree into the school system," Aden said.
The school system has never explained its refusal to distribute PFOX materials, Aden said; he assumes it is because they oppose PFOX's views. Aden said PFOX has faced similar problems in other school districts and is considering its legal options.
Arlington schools spokeswoman Linda Erdos, who is named as one of the defendants in the lawsuit, did not return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday.
The lawsuit cites a written policy from the school system that "approval is normally given to materials from nonprofit organizations in Northern Virginia." Another policy statement on the school system's Web site states that "No political, commercial or religious materials ... may be distributed at the schools ... except as authorized by the Superintendent."
The distribution of materials from outside groups within public schools frequently can prove vexing to school officials.
Earlier this month, an evangelical group sued the St. Paul School District in Minnesota for refusing to distribute information about its Bible studies but allowing fliers from organizations like Little League and the Boy Scouts. Last year, public schools in Albemarle County rescinded a ban on distribution of all religious materials after receiving complaints from a legal group led by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.
And in 2006, a federal appeals court struck down the policy for distributing fliers in Montgomery County, Md., after a religious group challenged the restrictions.
Kent Willis, director of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the legal rules surrounding schools' distribution of outside materials can be vague, but that generally a school system can't ban certain organizations if it allows others. Wholesale bans on the distribution of religious material also have been ruled unconstitutional by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Virginia, Willis said.
"If you allow fliers, the same rules have to apply to everyone," Willis said.
(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
List of a few Ex Gay Referrals http://www.pfox.org/ http://www.narth.com/ http://www.loveinaction.org/ http://www.peoplecanchange.com/ http://www.lovewonout.com/ http://www.exodus-international.org/ http://www.jonahweb.org/ http://www.witnessfortheworld.org/enter.html http://couragerc.net/ http://www.stonewallrevisited.com/index.html http://www.ha-fs.org/
I agree that it is their First Amendment right to believe this and to distribute materials educating others about this belief. However, that’s not the same thing as saying that any given government funded agency is obligated to serve as a conduit for same. However, if the school does refuse, then it means they have no right to be disseminating the leftist garbage they probably have no problem with. Of course, they HAVE no right to be disseminating the leftist garbage they probably have no problem with...
A delicious blind-side hit to most weenie liberals.
Why is this Not surprizing? The Gay rights organizations are one way only, it seems.. No right for reversal for the road to Hell..
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