Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What is PFOX doing in my child's classroom?

Call me crazy, but I think the people who should have the most say about what our children learn are the educators we hire for their expertise, the Board of Education, whom we elect, and the parents of Montgomery County's children. Now, you need only be a taxpayer in Montgomery County to vote for members of the Board of Education, so all MC citizens can have a say. And that's fair—you don't have to actually be a parent to have a vested interest in the education of our youth—you could be a grandparent, or simply a neighbor who cares deeply about children.

But I have a serious problem with a national organization with a clear right-wing agenda and very deep pockets insinuating itself into my child's classroom.

PFOX stands for Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and is a Christian-based national organization created by James Dobson's Family Reasearch Council. PFOX seems to primarily be interested in promoting the idea that gay people can change orientation, and that homosexuality is a psychological and psychiatric disorder.

Since 1973, the American Psychological Association has maintained that this is innacurate. And in 1999, a host of professional organizations debunked those theories.

I do not accept the belief that gay people are sick—I've known too many wonderful people in my life, who happened to be gay, to believe that. But whether or not they can change orientation is something I'm not concerned with right now (and if that is possible, whether or not it's desirable is another question altogether.) I'm not a scientist, and I'm nobody's expert on orientation. But, even if I give PFOX the benefit of the doubt, and assume that their premise may be true, that still would not explain to me...why are they in my child's classroom?

Why are they so intent on influencing what your kids and mine will learn?

One fact that really makes me suspicious of this group is that ours is not the only community where they have actively fought against tolerance for gays. (And it's really ironic that they fight against tolerance while portraying themselves as victims of intolerance.)

In 2002, PFOX planned a rally before a Fairfax School Board meeting to protest a proposed amendment to add homosexuality ("sexual orientation") as a category to Fairfax County, Virginia Public Schools' nondiscrimination code. According to the Concerned Women of America's web site, 2 of the planned speakers at the rally were Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX, and Estella Salvatierra, who is listed as a "civil rights attorney and vice president of PFOX."

So they're not just in Montgomery County, but in Fairfax County too, trying to influence educational policies and curricula.

PFOX has had a representative on the Citizens' Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development, the group that worked on this issue for 3 years and proposed the new curriculum. And lately, PFOX has been in the media complaining about "their views" not being included in the final curriculum. According to David Fishback, the Committee's Chair, the views that PFOX promoted and that the committee ultimately rejected were all predicated on the idea that homosexuality is sinful, or a disease.

So if I'm understanding this correctly, PFOX doesn't believe that gay kids deserve to be included in nondiscrimination codes, and they do think these kids should be told they have a disease—even though there is no scientific basis for such claims. Because of the religious beliefs of a few people who do believe that to be true, the Montgomery County Board of Education is now being bullied by a group who represents themselves (in a letter to the editor in today's Gazette) as "your neighbors, friends and fellow taxpayers seeking to halt a serious discrimination aimed at our families, cultural background, children and county."

But is that really an accurate description of who they are? If this group is truly who they say they are, then why is a national organization like PFOX publicly promoting their views, and posting messages on school-related listserves promoting the recall group's web sites?

And why is a local issue affecting our community, and our kids all of a sudden appearing on the web sites of national right-wing organizations—organizations who just happen to be friends of PFOX?

Here are just a few:

If you think it's just coincidental that soon after PFOX gets involved in this, all of a sudden numerous other right-wing organizations with no clear ties to our community start promoting the views of the recall group, then take a look at the connections.

According to this web site, PFOX and Concerned Women of America have close ties:

"It's time that people trapped in homosexuality know that they have a choice," said Robert Knight, director of CWA's Culture and Family Institute and a PFOX board member. "Homosexual activists have peddled the unsubstantiated 'born-that-way' notion and left people without hope. The ads feature real people and real hope."

And according to, a conservative web site, Dr. Throckmorton and PFOX also have close ties:

Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a professor at Grove City College, Pa., and a supporter of the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, or PFOX, said the coalition aims to correctly portray the current state of research concerning sexual orientation.

And NARTH, PFOX, and Dr. Throckmorton all seem to be quite cozy, as in this instance, in which Throckmorton talks about PFOX on NARTH's web site.

Now these groups and individuals have the right to have any opinion they want to about what happens in Montgomery County. But they DO NOT have a right to control what our children learn. But apparently, that won't keeping them from trying.

In this memo, PFOX spells out their legal strategies and explains how they plan to influence what other peoples' children will learn (pay special attention to the last list item):

From: PFOX
Date: October 21, 2003 12:40:48 PM EDT
Subject: Ex-Gay lawsuits

I am delighted to report that the ex-gay movement now has a "legal offense/defense arm" which wishes to work closely with each of our member organizations. The attorneys are eager to find and to litigate on behalf of individual clients (or class actions on behalf of groups) a series of legal cases, anywhere within the U.S.A., to challenge the notion that people are born gay and, further, to gain access for our message that a healing strategy exists for those with unwanted same-sex attractions. In each case, we need to show the harm caused and to identify an appropriate defendant(s).

To help provide some ideas for each of you to consider, the attorneys are looking for fact patterns where a patient's right to treatment may have been violated, or equal access for the "ex-gay" message has been
denied, or tort cases where a physical or emotional harm occurred to a client because of the fraudulent message that people are born that way.

Some examples of such fact patterns may include:

* HMO Discrimination -- client of therapist is denied insurance coverage for reparative therapy when same insurance company would cover gay affirmative therapy

* Emotional and Physical Harm -- individual receives hepatitis C, HIV, or other ailments because school counselors, psychologists etc. provide message that they should engage in gay affirmative sex. (Of course, if someone died, their estate or legal guardians may be an appropriate plaintiff).

* Emotional and Physical Harm -- Sue gay or porn magazines where message delivered about wonders of gay affirmative sex and an individual can be shown to have relied on such advice.

* Emotional and Physical Harm -- person undergoes sex reassignment surgery because of gay affirmative messages and subsequently regrets such action because of later acquired knowledge that reparative healing strategy for gender identity deficit existed and this alternative was not provided or actively discouraged as an option to consider.

* Endangerment of Minors -- cases where inner city at risk youth were improperly advised to engage in gay sex and suicide or lesser emotional and physicial harm occurred.

* Endangerment of Minors -- Sex education classes where advice given that anal sex is safe for receptive partner as long as condom is in use and individual contracted any one of the innumerable illness which are directly proximate to such activity.

* Equal Access Denied -- equal protection of the law cases where gay affirmative message is provided without corresponding gender affirming message being given equal time

* Endangerment of Minors -- actions on behalf of children who are placed with two mommies or two daddies (or a single placement) when a mother and father placement was available.

* Undue Economic Burden -- Where burden is placed on private business to provide domestic partnership benefits.

* Endangerment of Minors -- Inappropriate mentoring (gay affirmative message) cases in Big Brother/Big Sister programs where specific harm to an individual occurred.

* Equal Access -- Public School or other governmental environments where gender affirming process message is shut out and gay affirmative message is exclusively provided

The above are only illustrative examples. If someone has an idea for a case or an issue they feel may be appropriate, please do not hesitate to contact me, either by phone or email. Initially I am willing to serve as a liason to the attorneys. It is important to note that they will be working pro bono on these cases.

Best regards,
Arthur at
PFOX -- Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays
Box 561, Fort Belvoir VA 22060

If you believe that you have the right to decide what your children will learn, and not a national organization like PFOX, then please join us, and help us to fight for that right.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

PFOX has the same right as you do to be in that classroom. It's called freedom of speech. What are you so afraid of? Let the children hear all sides and let them make their own decisions. If you're going to be a bloody liberal, at least be honest enough to be a liberal all the time and stop trying to censor what you don't want to hear nor believe. I have strong same sex attractions which I am fighting because I know that these attractions are against nature. It's not normal what I feel. How dare you insinuate that my struggle is not valid! Don't be such a babboon if you can help it!

May 04, 2005 10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree mostly with g.e.
Actually, teachers are hired with my tax paying money. So I have a say in what an elitist wants to brain wash my kids into thinking.
You can have freedom of speech, as long as it doesn't intefere with my liberties, and pursuit of happiness. This goes both ways. Yea and prayer should be in the class room. Yea you can have rights, are you willing to give your life for the right? Just as my forefathers did! They fought and died, just to give some imbecile the right to be an imbecile. The truth is all that matters! And it is not one sided like most comprehend.

August 09, 2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your portrayal of PFOX is full of factual errors. This is either ignorance or deception but certainly not vigilance.

Where is your rant about the national organizations PFLAG and GLSTN being in thousands of classrooms? Both organizations deny the very existence of hundreds of thousands of homosexuals who have resolved their unwanted same-sex attraction...and deny those who struggle with SSA any hope or choice.

You are so tranparent. And phony.

August 18, 2006 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I again believe that there is help available for those of us who have struggled with same sex attraction through out our lives. Unfortunately, even if pro-gay material is banned from the classroom, kids can just turn on the t.v., flip open a magazine or go to the movies to see thousands of examples of same-sex promoting scenarios. Almost every sitcom and movie has a gay/lesbian character in it now and I don't belive that it is to give a fair representation of the real world, but rather to help reinforce our natural fascination with the unknown/forbidden. Unfortunately, not only is there an overload of pro-gay information out there now but also of instructional info (v.s. warning-help alternatives). Nowadays, it seems like people are actually encouraged to try everything before you decide what to choose just to make sure your not missing out on something. This just adds to the confusion and hurt. We were created as man and woman for a reason. Mothers and Fathers with children. The world view has made it so easy to get in and out of a marriage or end an unwanted pregnancy without forseeing the long-term effects individuals and our society as a whole is suffering from it as a result. Why are we setting up our kids for this from the beginning by giving them the impression that gay pride v.s. sexual orientation confusion (from ALL outside sources ie. parents, relatives and previously mentioned sources. Throw drug and alcohol experimentation and all the other pressures on kids growing up and you have a disaster mix! God help our teachers and parents to see what signals we have set up for our kids. There has never before been a time in history where prayer was needed more in the classroom than now! Start prayin'!

August 19, 2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a student at a Montgomery County high school, I must say that I am overwhelmed with joy that God has stepped into the classroom and has begun to help us make informed choices on homosexuality. The gays have made the conscious decision to engage in a homosexual lifestyle; however, it's high time that these individuals be exposed to the error of their ways. PFOX deserves so much praise for the rehabilitation that they offer these poor, obviously unhappy, and misguided souls. Many gays will gladly jump at the opportunity to turn their lives around and start over as a natural, normal, and knowledgable human being. May God's grace shine down upon all of His children, even those that have so apparently lost touch with reality.

February 01, 2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah, good luck with that, MAF.

February 01, 2007 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a student in moontgomery county schools and i was deeply disturbed when they gave me a PFOX flyer. i thought it was some joke that people could be so ignorant to actually think being gay is some kind of diseas. but i geuss you people have proved me wrong.

February 03, 2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear G.E.

according to many studies, it is natural. I'm not gay or lesbian, but in nature, it is normal for high percentages of male animals to be attracted to other males of the same species. For example penguins. Look it up. What's more natural than nature? Animals don't have PFOX telling them it's wrong to have an attraction to the same sex.. they do what' natural. Sorry if that offends you, but it's the cold truth. Love who you want, don't fight it.. who's it wrong to? PFOX.

February 05, 2007 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm not so much poor, unhappy, or misguided..
i actually live a comfortable life, have a lot of friends, and am a happy person.
oh, i'm also gay.
cute, huh? while some who "suffer" from same-sex attractions may feel the need to be more "natural" or whatever..i for one, am very happy with my "unnatural" ways of life, and resent being told that i have a disease, or that i am sinning, or that what i do has nothing to do with love. so by all means, have your own opinions, but don't force them on people..

that goes for both sides.

February 06, 2007 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a senior at High school who has struggled against SSA. For the first three years of high school I fought with myself over if what I felt was right. After a while I started looking on the internet for advice and second opinions. Most of what I saw told me that I was gay and there was nothing I could do about it. I was almost convinced and already planning how to live a gay life when I found PFOX. This site explained how I felt and possible reasons for why I felt that way. Its descriptions fit my feelings and experiences like a glove. This told me that they understood more about this feeling than any gay man who ever lived. They gave me a reason to fight and to do the right thing. If there was anything I was born with it was being stubborn, and thank god least I would never have found PFOX.

Oh and as to the comment before last, the one about gay animals. I live on a ranch and have worked with animals my whole life and I have never seen a gay animal. So I don’t know what you have been smoking but please share, it must be dame good stuff if it makes you believe that sort of hog wash. Plus even if what you say is true, are you saying that if penguins do it we should too. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to let a penguin, gay of not, dictate my actions.

And as for those who want to comment on what I have said please refer to me as Jake.

April 02, 2007 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You were OK till you got to the "thank God I found PFOX" part.

April 02, 2007 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why on earth shouldn't PFOX be in classrooms? If it wasn't for organisations like them and NARTH Id still be depressed and suicidal. Half a year ago I finally found the hope I was looking for when I discovered NARTH. Sure "some" people may be born gay, and thats fine with me, their welcome to their own life. But for many others (including myself) their homosexuality stems from negative childhood experiences such as a distant father or peer abuse and what sickens me is that these people aren't offered a shred of help. Instead they are portrayed as liers suffering from "internal homophobia" and "denial".

I am a 17 year old from the UK who has already experienced great change. Before you say anything no Im not a religious nut either. Thanks to pro-gay groups I cannot recieve therapy in my country and soon I fear this may be the case for America. Instead I have been forced to cling onto online articles to help me through this difficult time. I no longer have sexual attraction to men, and now have some level of attraction to women, which Im sure will grow stronger with time.

To all those others struggling in silence out there I offer you hope. Don't allow your journeys to be ruined by propaganda and lies. Only YOU know what you want in your life and wahat is right for you, and no-one can take this away.

July 02, 2007 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PFOX does not call homosexuality a disease and homosexuals are not insane. You are putting words in their mouth. However, homosexuality is an emotional disorder and is not genetic. (Even the head of the APA has said sexual orientation is malleable. I it was genetic, it wouldn't be.)

Causes are often things like lack of masculine confidence and a bad paternal relationship. These aren't necessary for homosexual feelings to develop, but things like that are common.

Also, the supposed "proof" that homosexuality is genetic is actually based on the fact that homosexuality was removed form the list of mental disorders in the 60's. This was a movement caused by the growing desire for political correctness.

I think PFOX should not try to get homosexuals removed from the non-descrimination list. That's because I think, as humans, we are ALL on it. This does not mean I believe homosexuality to be moral, but you get the drift.

Also, I think it's an insult to people to tell them they are wrong to seek therapy. You claim to say "we only want to help you accept yourself" but in actuality, you don't want them to seek therapy because it offends your lifestyle. Thank God that America protects people's freedom of choice (and the freedom to Thank God)

October 13, 2007 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, all you 'struggling' with same sex attraction: face it guys, you're gay. PFOX and the like are LYING to you, and you can either figure that out now or let them string you along some more.

December 06, 2007 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an MCPS student, I am absolutely HORRIFIED that this horrible PFOX is being allowed to do this. IT'S JUST SCARY!

December 12, 2007 4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friends of gays they are clearly not. Their title is totally misleading, as much as their philosophy.

March 29, 2008 1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a parent I support PFOX group in public schools. So far the left groups that promote homosexuality want to force to silence any opinion against homosexuality and this blog is an example of that, The Leftist group promote that our children are indoctrinated in the gay philosophy but when someboy else exposed the true about homosexuality by experienced scientific evidence you guys are afraid of truth and therefore it is attacked in this way to live happily with the lie that you have made the MYTH OF NORMALITY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

March 19, 2010 1:45 PM  

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