Tuesday, April 04, 2006

PFOX Kicked Out of Another Convention

Normally I wouldn't use WorldNet Daily as a news source, but they're the only ones who seem to have this story. They point to CRC's Poster-PhD Warren Throckmorton as their source, well, I suppose he'd know.
A group that believes people with same-sex attractions can abandon homosexuality was evicted from the Virginia Schools Counselors Association annual convention.

PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays, said school counselors at the event in Richmond, Va., last week objected to some of its materials and insisted the group leave.

Blogger Warren Throckmorton said PFOX was registered officially as an exhibitor at the conference, held at the Holiday Inn Select Thursday and Friday.

But the counselors association's current president, Tammy Davis, and past-president, Carol Kaffenberger, requested to meet PFOX Director Regina Griggs and insisted the group and its members had to leave.

Griggs said that after some discussion, the school counselors said two of PFOX's brochures were OK, one on bullying and another on teens. But the group, nevertheless, was told to leave because offering only two brochures would not be worth their time.

At that point, the hotel staff intervened and demanded the PFOX people leave, Throckmorton said.

One of the staff began to dismantle the table and police were called in.

PFOX members said they were willing to remove anything deemed offensive but were ushered out anyway. 'Ex-gay' group booted from conference

It's easy to say you should listen to both sides of a story, or that all sides of an issue deserve equal attention. It's only fair, right? The result is that the ordinary person reading the news encounters people telling the truth and people lying, and because of "fair and balanced" reporting, you can't tell which is which.

And so ... here's PFOX, the Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays. Oddly enough, I have never heard of anybody at PFOX actually having an "ex-gay" family member, but whatever. Essentially, PFOX is a hoax. It's a clever idea to confuse people by making them think that gay people can just decide not to be gay any more. Cuz really, most straight people have never given this a thought, and don't have any idea what to believe. So if you can make enough noise, with your "Change is Possible" billboards and your Agapepress fake-news stories and your TV appearances, people will start to believe that being gay is just a choice somebody makes, and since it does seem kind of gross, guys kissing guys and all that, it seems like a bad choice. From there it's a short leap to justifying discrimination and hatred. Sorry to say it, but that's where it goes.

Some scientists had an article last year called "One side can be wrong." Wow, what a concept. Just think, it might be that in some debates there is a correct point of view, and an incorrect one. Maybe everything isn't just contrasting opinions, but sometimes facts and fictions.

The idea that gay people can decide to become straight is a fiction. It doesn't happen. You know it doesn't happen. You didn't choose your sexual orientation, nobody does, nature is bigger and stranger and more awesome than we can ever imagine.

PFOX exists to create confusion. If somebody actually did change their sexual orientation, they wouldn't go out and put up billboards. If you were gay and now you're not, you're "straight," you don't go around telling everybody you "used to be gay." You say you used to be gay to convince other gay people that they should change, and to convince haters that their hate is justified, since gay people choose to be that way. There's no science of "ex-gays," no evidence that change really happens. It's a concept made up by a nutty religious-right organization to promote their viewpoint, and because people are decent and believe they should hear "both sides" of any issue, these guys get air time.

I went over to Throckmorton's blog to see what he said. Nothing new about this story, but something in the comments caught my attention. A commentor named Rob said what I'm saying:
Should PFOX present material? No. PFOX exists only to confuse the entire issue. Should a group be allowed to present material to lite skinned blacks on how they can pass as whites or latinos? Of course not. Credible organizations don't support the views of PFOX. Should we allow groups supporting voodoo to setup tables and tell students how their practices an help them to excel at their studies? Dr Throckmorton might think so, but people not guided by mysticism would disagree.

And then Throckmorton's response is telling. In part:
I suppose one might say PFLAG exists to confuse the issue.

PFLAG is the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It's a group that exists to help families stay together and love one another, when a child grows up gay. It's a hard situation for parents, who are quite likely surprised by this turn of events, and probably don't know what to make of it, how to feel, what to believe. PFLAG is not a hoax, it fills a need, it's a real, positive, active organization.

PFLAG doesn't exist to "confuse the issue," as Throckmorton says. And the fact that he would attempt to put PFOX and PFLAG side by side, to say that one is doing what the other does, shows just how corrupt the reasoning is that underlies the whole "ex-gay" scheme. This is not fair and balanced, this is putting a hateful hoax alongside a real, caring organization, and trying to create doubt about which is which.

As for the Virginia Schools Counselors Association, I say: good for you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well if one goes on to the PFOX website to see what they put out as fact (example on how new school guidelines included exgays when it doesn't and more) one should get the picture of the hoax they are.

Even Grigg's son has not been swayed by her arguments to be an "exgay."


April 04, 2006 10:49 AM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

Regina Griggs, the Exuctive Director of PFOX, she must have an ex-gay family member, right? Or are you saying she doesn't?


April 04, 2006 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Myth: Wayne said, “Ironically, PFOX leader Regina Griggs hasn’t successfully changed her own child from gay to straight. Her son is openly gay. Perhaps Griggs should have experienced success at home before she literally took her act on the road.”

Fact: PFOX is not in the “changing” business. We are in the educating and loving business. Regina Griggs and her husband completely accept and embrace their son and love him unconditionally. Placing conditions on love is not loving at all.


April 04, 2006 11:32 AM  
Anonymous PasserBy said...

So it turns out PFOX is a pro-gay group?


April 04, 2006 11:35 AM  
Blogger digger said...

PFOX is essentially a small support organization for parents who don't support their LGBT children (notice the "and gays" in the name), and, with help from FRC and FOF promotes "change" in sexual orientation. They (meaning Richard Cohen and Regina Griggs) make a lot of noise about how "ex-gays" are discriminated against, as part of the larger effort to keep LGBT issues out of schools.

For some reason PFOX (Regina Griggs) has picked me out a special enemy; she has called me a hypocrite in the press, and worked with CRC to discuss and impugn my mental health on their website, as well misconstrue what I've said in private emails to say that I acknowledge and support "ex-gays", and am thus inconsistent and hypocritical in my support of TTF.

Many years ago I entered in an email exchange with Ms. Griggs, trying to find some common ground during our debates in FFX county, and to meet on a neutral basis with her. She seems to have saved all those emails and all that I have said publicly to FFX school board, pulling it out when it is useful. It makes me mad to think that I've been dealt with so dirtily.

Anyway, PFOX is small-time, and essentially is a front for larger anti-gay efforts.

April 04, 2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

The American Counseling Association (ACA)
expelled PFOX President Richard Cohen in 2002. He was expelled because he (and PFOX) insist on perpetuating the myth that changing sexual orientation is possible. They continue to spread this lie even though the ACA, the American Medical Association, and all other major medical organizations agree that sexual orientation is not a choice.

It makes me wonder why the Virginia Schools Counselors Association allowed PFOX to have a table in the first place. At least this Virginia counselors group did the right thing in the end and sent the quacks packing.


April 04, 2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Richard Cohen is the President of PFOX)


"Ex-Gay" Does Stern Show
September 15, 2005


I really hate to use the Bible as a credible source for most things, especially political debates, considering how it is too often selectively quoted or used as a weapon (think Hilary Faye) against the more moderate among us. But let me for a moment administer a dose of the religionists' own medicine:

2 Corinthians 11:14 says: "Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."

Matthew 7:15 says: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."

Which all brings me to Richard Cohen. No, not the self-absorbed WaPo columnist, but the author of the book "Coming Out Straight: Understanding and Healing Homosexuality."

Cohen, who claims to be "ex-gay" (I'll use scare quotes, because he peppers them throughout so liberally himself), was promoting his tome this morning on Howard Stern's radio show.

[Listen – 21:02, MP3 format]

Sure, he sounded somewhat reasonable, and was undeterred by Howard's audio clips of hot gay porn. (Gay Ramon's finely honed gaydar, on the other hand, was not convinced.)

But his book strikes a far more strident tone.

If the title alone doesn't tip you off to Cohen's agenda – gays are "ill" – then the five words above the title ("Foreword by Dr. Laura Schlessinger") should be a clue. (That would be a doctor of physiology – not something relevant like, oh, psychiatry or medicine.)

Not only has Cohen supposedly turned his back on being gay, but he also turned his back on Judaism when he "met Jesus" (which was after he "met" his boyfriend at the time, a man named "Tim.") He also dabbled with Moonie-ism along the way.

Cohen has the measured tones and cheerful personality of a man who hasn't considered for a moment that he might be completely wrong. His website confidently asserts that "no one is born with same-sex attraction."

Ya know what? As far as I know, babies and infants show no sexual attraction of any kind. That's just a bizarre topic to broach in the first place. But Cohen admits that his own attraction to men began very early in his life.

He further makes the claim that there is "no scientific data to substantiate a genetic or biologic basis for same-sex attraction." Really, now. None?

Booklist says Cohen's stance is "based in part on social science as dubious as the gay-supportive studies Cohen debunks."

"Coming Out Straight" (written in 2001) states that Cohen has helped "thousands" of men and women to become straight, although on Howard Stern this morning, he has revised that number downward to "hundreds." I wonder why? Could it be that the whole concept of "reparative therapy" is largely ephemeral, and that the vast majority of gay people who sign up are doomed to failure? Still, Cohen plunges ahead, advocating the creation of families, most of which will later catastrophically implode.

Gay people are clearly entitled to do as they wish, but this should apply uniformly. It is hard to cut Cohen slack – or to believe his chapter about "tolerance" for gay people is sincere – when he spends the rest of his book addressing homosexuality as if it were a disease or syndrome, a position long-ago discredited.

So it would seem that even the sunniest disposition can disguise devils and wolves alike.



April 05, 2006 11:09 AM  

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