TOLERANCE FOR EX-GAYS
Each year, thousands of men and women with same sex attractions make the personal decision to leave homosexuality. Their choice is one only they can make. However, there are others in society who refuse to respect that choice, and endeavor to attack the ex-gay community. Media dealing with tolerance and hate issues generally fail to discuss the discrimination faced by ex-gays and their supporters. Consequently, many Americans are unaware of the widespread intolerance practiced against homosexuals who choose to leave homosexuality:
- The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN) has spent thousands of dollars distributing a school booklet accusing ex-gays of "harassment" because ex-gays want the same access to schools as gay affirming groups. GLSEN also urged the Seattle school district to stop renting space to a church because the church supports ex-gays. GLSEN’s local Education and Training Director equated the ex-gay “message on campus” to “bullying and harassment” of students.
- The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) demanded that a contributor (AOL’s Mrs. Steve Case) reconsider her sizeable donation to a children’s school merely because it had indirect ties to an ex-gay ministry.
- Tim Wilkins was fired from his job as supervisor at the Raleigh News & Observer for daring to “come out” as a former homosexual.
- An episode of the NBC TV show “Will and Grace” condemned ex-gays as “freaks,” “self-loathing closet cases,” and “morally wrong.”
- Police were forced to escort former lesbian Yvette Schneider off the Dartmouth University campus when angry homosexuals disrupted her speech.
- Harvard University conducted two separate investigations against employee Larry Houston because he discussed his former homosexuality on the school campus.
- After receiving complaints from gay activists, the Michigan State Medical Society abruptly revoked its grant of continuing education credits for an ex-gay conference sponsored by the Catholic Medical Association.
- TV station KBYU, Salt Lake City, Utah yanked a scheduled segment on reparative therapy in response to calls for censorship of ex-gay programming by the state’s gay political action committee.
- Cornelius Baker, the executive director of an AIDS clinic (Whitman-Walker) that receives federal funding, labeled ex-gays as “political extremists” who “tortured and brainwashed” teens, although he endorses gay outreach to questioning youth.
- After receiving “threats, insults and brutal letters” for running an advertisement for an ex-gay book, Psychology Today Editor Bob Epstein acknowledged the “dark, intolerant, abusive side of the gay community.”
- Sticker Guys of Reno, Nevada refused to accept an ex-gay printing order.
- In his inaugural address, the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national President stated that the lives of ex-gays served to “terrorize” gays and “deny them civil rights.”
- Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint against the National Education Association (NEA) for prohibiting ex-gays from exhibiting at NEA conventions. The NEA, which allows gay booths, is the nation’s largest teachers’ union, and in some areas membership by educators is mandatory. Although the NEA has condemned the Boy Scouts for excluding gays as scout leaders and urges public schools to refuse use of their facilities for Boy Scout meetings, it consistently discriminates against former gays. The NEA claims it can legally exclude ex-gays from its facilities because it is a private organization. Ironically, this is one of the same arguments used by the Boy Scouts in its successful Supreme Court case, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. However, unlike the Boy Scouts, the NEA has issued resolutions calling for sexual orientation tolerance and diversity, so it cannot claim that it has asserted views opposing sexual orientation.
- Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan denounced her fellow commissioner for issuing a proclamation honoring an ex-gay organization even though she herself freely makes proclamations celebrating “Gay Days” every year at Disney World. Ms. Sheehan, an open lesbian, went so far as to compare the ex-gay organization to the KKK, thereby demeaning African-American ex-gays.
- Equality Virginia and other gay activist groups demanded that DC Metro remove PFOX’s subway billboards advocating tolerance for ex-gays. As a result, the District of Columbia Metro system voted to eliminate the non-profit billboard rate for all charities.
The list is endless because every day brings new hostile acts against the ex-gay community simply because we dare to exist. The demonization of ex-gays by gays themselves is a sad end to the long struggle for tolerance by the gay community. That ex-gays and their supporters are now oppressed by the same people who until recently were victimized themselves, demonstrates how far the gay rights movement has come. Indeed, a new chapter in the movement has begun – the right of homosexuals and lesbians to leave that lifestyle.
Although gay organizations advocate for the rights of homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders, they do not add “ex-gay” to that list. Therefore, if it were not for ex-gay organizations like PFOX, former gay men and women would have no support in an increasingly hostile environment.
Americans need to face the real issue of bigotry -- oppression of ex-gays. Gay activists cannot claim sympathy as victims when they victimize their own.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is a non-profit organization supporting the ex-gay community. PFOX believes that all people should be treated with dignity, gay and ex-gay. We respect the opinions of others, even if they disagree with us. Indeed, we do not ask for their approval – only their tolerance.