Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Billboard Appears Near MCPS Offices

Once again, The Gazette story is too good to link to. I'm going to quote the whole thing. Please go to their site and buy a lot of stuff from their sponsors.
Billboard fuels homosexual discrimination debate.

Some area residents are crying discrimination after a billboard promoting the controversial idea that homosexuals can become heterosexuals was posted on Hungerford Drive in Rockville last week.

Visible from the southbound lanes of Hungerford (Route 355), the billboard located south of the East Gude Drive intersection displays a handsome man whose smile borders a caption that reads: "Ex-Gays prove that change is possible."

The towering advertisement is sponsored by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), a national group based in Virginia advocating the idea that homosexuals are not born gay and can choose, with counseling, their own sexuality.

<sarcasm>Wouldn't Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays be "PFOXG"??? It's almost like they forgot the "G".</sarcasm>
"I just think it's appalling, especially in a county as educated as Montgomery County," said Taryn Goodman, a former Damascus resident who saw the sign while driving to her job in Rockville. "It speaks to the fact when people are trying to convert gays into straights. People have a right to be who they are. This isn't a disease."

Say that again with me, people: it isn't a disease.
PFOX members hope the billboard, which they say pictures an ex-gay who has changed his orientation and started a family as a straight man, promotes the organization's message that such a transformation is possible.

No one is bashing gays over the head, PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs said. It is saying that those who want to go straight can, she added.

"All we want is children to know that change is possible," Griggs said.

That is so weird. Why would you want to tell people that? Every mental health organization in the country has declared just the opposite. It is considered unethical for some psychotherapists to try to change a patient's sexual orientation. Of course you can control your sexual behavior, we all do that, but sexual orientation -- even their "experts" stop short of saying you can change that. And why would you?
"There is no gay gene," she added. "Don't make excuses. If you are happy living a homosexual lifestyle, then I support you in that. If other people are unhappy, then they deserve a right to change and self-determination."

Quick biology lesson here. Of course there is no gay gene. There's no artistic gene, no sense-of-humor gene, no beauty gene ... there are not genes for most aspects of a complex human being. The relationship between the phenotype -- the observed characteristics -- and the genotype -- the pattern of alleles on the chromosome -- is often very complicated. It is common to say that the phenotype emerges through interaction of the genotype and the environment. This "no gay gene" statement is often used by certain groups to imply that sexual orientation is a choice. It's not, and everybody knows it's not ... really.
James Packard, a former Rockville resident whose 2004 San Francisco marriage to Erwin Gomez was invalidated by the California Supreme Court, is angered by the idea that homosexuals can become straight men and women through rehabilitation.

"There are those individuals and nutcases that believe homosexuals can be reformed," said Packard, who now lives in Laytonsville.

"We're supposed to be a community that comes together, and now we've got this group who says it's not right to be gay because of religion or their background. And that's kind of sad. I find it offensive," he added.

North Bethesda resident Ananda Jacob agreed.

"I am appalled by this whole ex-gay thing," he said. "If somebody was an ex-gay, they were probably not gay in the first place.

Woo-hoo! Nutcases! People speaking their minds! --The hammer hits the nail on the head.
"People who claim that this is something that can change are people that simply just have their heads in the sand," he added.

Griggs would not identify the man pictured on the poster, saying he has received death threats after participation with the group.

BS (he said politely). Here he is: Christopher Delaney. Why wouldn't they give his name?

Mmm, try this. Follow the links on this guy's site. Read about his lovely wife. Woops, it says: "This page is currently under construction." Ex-gay, huh?

Look, I wish the guy luck. If he wants to change, then go, man.

Just get your smirkin' face out of my neighborhood.

And lady, if you chose to marry a guy who "used to be gay," uh ... never mind.

Readers may wonder why the PFOX spokesperson felt the need to ... be obscure ... about this to the Gazette.
Ex-gay advocacy groups like PFOX are "universally rejected" by all major psychological and health organizations, said Dan Furmansky, executive director of Equality Maryland, a statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization based in Silver Spring.

"They're free to disseminate their information," he said. "But it's so far out of the mainstream it would be ludicrous if it weren't so sad.

"What is discriminatory is they use this messaging to try to deny rights to gay individuals and their families and to prey upon young people grappling with their sexual orientation and to push them potentially one step closer to suicide," Furmansky added.

PFOX members, who failed last year in their attempt to shape the content of sexual education in Montgomery County high schools more to their liking, say pro-gay advocates are the discriminatory ones.

"There's a complete intolerance on the other side," said Mignon Middleton, a self-described ex-lesbian member of the Prince George's County chapter of PFOX. "The billboard is up there and might have helped some people that need help. It's not showing hatred toward anybody.

"I see it as discrimination on the other end," she said. "If someone said, 'I have these feelings and I want to overcome it,' to deny them that right to me that's discriminatory."

Did you follow that? Did you see how they are discriminated against? Go back and read that again.

They tried to put their hoax literature into the MCPS curriculum. The committee looked at the material and voted against it. Now they're discriminated against.

The PFOX Web site holds that sexual orientation laws "legitimize intolerance against former homosexuals" by silencing the ex-gay community as bigots.

What? "The ex-gay community?" Both of them?
However, arguing ex-gays are discriminated against provides PFOX a sympathetic shelter of legitimacy from which to operate a veiled anti-gay program, Silver Spring resident Cliff Witt said.

Gays and their supporters contend that by denying any genetic predisposition to homosexuality, PFOX and other groups like it repudiate the very identity of the homosexual minority, undercutting the need for legal protections.

When it comes to sexuality, there is no choice, Witt said.

Which is not the same as saying there is a "gay gene."
"And if there were, why would anyone choose to be discriminated against? That is the major flaw in their thinking. What it is that they're up to is unclear," he said.

The billboard represents one step in the Christian Right's attempt to spread a message of intolerance in Maryland, Furmansky said.

"I find it very interesting that it is up the week of the presidential inauguration," said Ruth Hanessian, longtime Rockville resident and pet store owner. "It's a very extremist minority that has found the funds to put that up and I find that terribly, terribly disturbing."

PFOX has little funding and no large money backer, Griggs said. The movable billboard, she said, was not designed to pressure the county school board and was previously on display in Richmond, Va., in the fall.

Tweeeeet! For the record, let us note that PFOX is a creation of James Dobson's Family Research Council, which is in turn a subsidiary of Focus on the Family. The Focus on the Family organization, with a 49-acre campus, 1,300 employees, and its own zip code, was one of the powerhouses behind Bush's 2004 re-election, mobilizing the evangelical Christian right. Dobson is often referred to as a "kingmaker."

No large money backer?
That doesn't sway Hanessian.

"It is a classic example of why we have discrimination in this county," Hanessian said. "Because people don't respect the rights of others.

"It is the type of thing I see as I drive by in southern Bible-belt states. And I keep on driving," she said.

Some of these groups don't understand the difference between Montgomery County and, say, Alabama. This stuff might work down there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow JimK... you are filled with so much hatred. Why do you contstanty criticize others? This is really not good. It truly hurts you to see other people happy and do well in their lives, doesn't it? To change their own life by choice. How "low" of you to fault someone for this. Have you had a hard childhood too?... Could it be that you possibly can relate to his story so much you speak in hatred towards him and his family? There is a reason for why you hate others so much to the extent you have gone on some of your postings. You must be really, really unhappy with yourself and your life. You know you can see someone for this? You can get help. There is no shame in doing this. Should you need someone to talk to... I am here for you! I mean it... really. I'm serious. Sounds like you really need someone to talk to. Feel free to write me anytime. You know... "let off some steam"... to help you discover happiness within your own life.

Your friend,


Wishing you a world of true happiness and love! :O)

January 23, 2005 4:44 PM  
Blogger JimK said...


You sound like a really really nice, caring person. Thank you soooo much for your sympathy. I will write you ... no, wait a minute -- you didn't leave an email address. Hey -- is "Anonymous" really your name? You're not the same Anonymous who said those other things, are you?

Oh my. I fear you are being sarcastic.


January 24, 2005 11:42 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wow a dyke and a fag married to eachother. I bet the sex is hot. :P

January 28, 2005 4:10 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Too typical, Anonymous. You can't argue with the facts so you personally attack the author. Is that what they teach you at PFOXGAG?

January 29, 2005 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean "might work down there"? Are you implying that people in the south are stupid? I guess your so superior to people in the southern states with your pseudo intellectual bravado. So its bad to call homosexuals "child raping faggots", but its ok to call people in the south "ignorant rednecks"? Its just like you self righteous yuppie trash to pick and choose who deserves respect and who doesnt.

February 25, 2005 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this billboard a while back on my way to class and all I could think was how ridiculous it was. If people want to change then good for them, but a billboard such as this will only spark anti-gay movements. This billboard is going about things the wrong way, making a similar statement to those HIV posters on Busses. Just like how they say HIV doesnt mean the end... they say that being Gay isnt the end... Treating homosexuality like a horrible disease.

I am not sure if this billboard is still up but if it is then I want to get some people together and Deface it. We'll need paintball guns, balloons filled with paint, and anything else you can think of to show that we oppose such garbage. E-mail me if you want in on this.

February 26, 2005 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm... nevermind... looking into it further looks like that garbage was already taken down. Damn, guess I missed my chance to get rid of it with a bit more news coverage on the topic.

February 26, 2005 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, Anonymous, since you were so nice to offer help I'd like to return the favor. When you write, "I guess your so superior...," you've made an error. "Your" is a pronoun meaning "belonging to you." You meant to write, "I guess you're so superior...." That's a contraction of the words "you" and "are".

You're welcome, dear!

March 05, 2005 6:52 AM  

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