Thursday, February 09, 2012

School superintendent stands up to 'ex-gay' group

The recent controversy regarding an ex-gay group, PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) distributing flyers to students at a Maryland school district just took an interesting turn.

Montgomery School Superintendent Joshua Starr expressed his opinion about the controversy and he didn't mince any words. According to Pink News:

Superintendent Starr said the school was legally bound to allow the group to spread their message, as it is with all non-profit organisations, even though the group’s message that sexuality can be changed is rejected by medical professional bodies.

He reportedly told students: “This group has figured out how to use that law to spread what I find to be a really, really disgusting message, frankly.”

Needless to say, PFOX officials were angry at Starr's words. They are demanding that Starr be censured:

Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX said: “We call on the Montgomery County Board of Education to enforce its Nondiscrimination Policy and censure Starr immediately.

“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.

“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.”

I frankly think that Griggs is full of it. Starr has not stopped the schools from distributing the flyers so I fail to see where there is any discrimination.

Truth Wins Out, an organization dedicated to fighting  the lies of "ex-gay groups" also points out the irony of PFOX officials whining about Starr's statement:

The president of PFOX, Greg Quinlan, refers to LGBT people as “flaming faggots” and a board member, Peter Sprigg, supports imprisoning LGBT people and once claimed we should be “exporting” homosexuals. The despicable organization even has a “prayer” on its site that says: “Father, I want to thank you for the awesome change you have wrought in MY life. How you allowed me to survive while I was trapped under the deception of homosexuality, that it even resembled ‘life’.”

PFOX’s former President, Richard Cohen, was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association for multiple ethics violations. Prior to his stint at PFOX, Cohen was a Moonie and once even belonged to the Wesleyan Community Church, a Vashon Island cult that practiced naked “therapy” in churches. Cohen’s therapy outfit, The International Healing Foundation, sent a representative to Uganda to speak alongside a holocaust revisionist at a conference with the goal of “wiping out” homosexuality.

In my opinion, Starr's comments about PFOX's message being disgusting was on the mark, if rather a bit too nice for my tastes. He should have made comments about the organization's cast of characters.

Hat tip to Truth Wins Out.

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'Gays will lose because they are perverts' and other Thursday midday news briefs

Editor's note - It is rare that I receive negative comments on my posts and it is even rarer that I feature these posts. However a comment today on my Chai Feldblum post deserves a spotlight. A certain anonymous (funny how they are always anonymous) commentator wrote me the following:

Sorry, guys, but you will loose in the end. Last time I checked, the Sun was still coming up in the East. You are perverts not because of your sexual proclivities but because of your mentality. Zero sum game, as Chai said. Normal people win, you loose.

Of course I had to answer him/her back. To read what I said, go to the post in question. And if you feel the need to respond to him/her yourself, by all means please do. Don't be too mean (no threats or vulgar language) or try to totally annihilate the child.. Save some for other commentators.

In other news:

Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Illinois - In 2004, anti-marriage equality bills hit the country like a tidal wave. I think it's time for us to have a tidal wave of our own.

Eye doctor warns of dangers 
of political protest 
on gay 
marriage - Stop this glitter-bombing shit now!

Uganda gov’t says it does not support anti-gay bill reintroduced to parliament this week - Let us pray that this awful bill does not succeed.

Truth Wins Out to Slam Newt Gingrich for Hypocrisy on Marriage Equality in Thursday Roll Call Ad - Pluck that turkey, Truth Wins Out!

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Another religious liberty fraud bites the dust

Marcia Walden
In the middle of all of the controversy about Roland Martin, Proposition 8, and Washington state, I almost missed this positive strike against the fraudulent talking point of "religious liberty:"

The federal appeals court in Atlanta has rejected claims by a former counselor for the CDC who said she was was fired for refusing to advise employees in same-sex relationships because of her religious beliefs.

The court said it accepted Marcia Walden's sincerity that her devout Christian beliefs prohibited her from counseling clients in same-sex relationships. But it found Walden was laid off because her superiors disapproved of the way she referred a lesbian client to another counselor and were concerned how she would handle future referrals.

Walden's lawyer, Byron Babione, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, expressed disappointment with the ruling. "It is unlawful to punish a Christian for abiding by her faith, particularly when she made every effort to accommodate the interests of a potential client," he said. "... We are determining next steps to ultimately vindicate Marcia and the freedoms for which she’s fighting."

Walden's lawyer and those whining about the supposed violation her "religious liberty" conveniently omit the entirety of the case.