First ex-gay legislation
Media Advisory April 11, 2005
Ex-Gay Legislation Introduced in Hate Crimes Bill
From: Regina Griggs, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) Executive Director, 804-453-4737, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annapolis MD – Many thanks to Maryland state senator Alex Mooney for introducing an amendment to include "former homosexuals" to the Maryland sexual orientation hate crimes bill. Sen. Mooney's speech to the senate can be heard at http://mlis.state.md.us/asp/listen.asp Under "Listen to Prior Senate Proceedings," select Wednesday, April 6, Session #2 and when the audio comes on, fast forward to 1 hour and 22 minutes (1:22) to hear the ex-gay speech. PFOX believes this is the first time ex-gay legislation has been introduced anywhere in the country.
Although the ex-gay amendment was rejected by a vote of 15 - 28, it alerted the Maryland State Senate to the intolerance ex-gays face in Maryland. For example, the PFOX representative on the Family Life Committee of the Montgomery County Maryland Board of Education had her ex-gay materials rejected by the Committee.
Instead, the Committee and the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education approved materials published by gay activist organizations as school resources, even though some of these gay materials contain hateful claims about ex-gays. This was not considered "hate speech" because the hate was directed against ex-gays and not against gays.
Last year PFOX’s ex-gay billboard in Rockville Maryland was interpreted as “hate” against gays by lesbian protestors and Equality Maryland, a gay rights organization.
The Prince George’s Sentinel, a Maryland newspaper, refuses to accept PFOX news releases because it considers ex-gay press releases to be “hate mail.”
The list is endless because every day brings new hostile acts against the ex-gay community under the justification of fighting “hate” against homosexuals. In this climate of intolerance against ex-gays due to their very existence, support for the ex-gay community is interpreted as bigotry against homosexuals.
Claims of hate based on sexual orientation should not be used to silence the ex-gay community and their supporters. Nor should sexual orientation hate crime laws be misused to legitimize intolerance against ex-gays. To give sexual orientation protection to one group while excluding another is discriminatory.
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