Thursday, July 19, 2007

More Letters: The Gazette This Time

Ah, why not? While we're on the topic of letters to the editor and the public expressing themselves about the new sex-ed curriculum -- look at the Gazette yesterday.

Last week, somebody wrote a letter to the editor about the new sex-ed curriculum:
Back in the 1950s, we had classes called ‘‘Health and Anatomy.” We learned about hormones, body organs, eggs, sperm and reproduction and how babies were created and born. That is sex and what sex education should teach (‘‘Critics try again to block sex-ed curriculum,” June 27 article).

Sex education should not be about teaching children perverse sexual acts or to introduce, teach or promote lewd sexual behaviors to them.

Much of what is happening in this country is prompting our children to live and accept an unhealthy lifestyle. If we are going to introduce, teach and promote perverse sex activities, such as homosexuality, we may as well go the whole gamut and teach and promote other sexual deviations such as pedophilia, etc.

I don’t want my grandchildren taught that these acts are normal and an OK way to live. But when they’re taught all this lifestyle in school, it negates what they are taught at home. And then we wonder what’s happened to our kids.

Bobby Cox, Germantown

Sex-ed courses promote alternate lifestyles

Um, yeah, Bobby, thanks for that.

Some people didn't think very highly of this letter, and responded to it.

Here're unedited letters from yesterday's Gazette.
In this day and age, I find it not only offensive but intolerant to use the words homosexual and pedophile in the same sentence (‘‘Sex-ed courses promote alternate lifestyles,” July 11 letter).

The letter writer’s opinion regarding ‘‘deviant” lifestyles does a disservice to anyone who doesn’t conform to his idea of normal. I want my child to learn in an environment that promotes personal safety, the safety of others, factual information and tolerance. And I believe the school system should help me educate my child by providing additional information.

Our society is made up of people both gay and straight and our children need to be aware that any sexual behavior has consequences both physical and emotional. Discussing the fact that there are both heterosexual and homosexual relationships, the proper use of birth control and how a baby is conceived in no way promotes anything but a well-informed child.

Liz Gayaldo, Silver Spring

In his July 11 letter (‘‘Sex-ed courses promote alternate lifestyles”), Bobby Cox expresses animosity toward the new sex education curriculum in county public schools, but he demonstrates an ignorance of what will be taught and what it means to have a homosexual orientation.

His misconceptions show why better education and better reporting is needed. Perhaps he does not know the curriculum in detail and does not read about scientific reports on sexuality.

The curriculum does not teach children perverse sexual acts or promote lewd behaviors. What it does do is acknowledge that some people have a homosexual orientation and live in same-sex relationships.

They often discover their sexual orientation at a very early age, just like heterosexuals do. Gay and lesbian people go on to raise families and lead productive lives in every career choice that one can imagine.

Why keep these facts hidden from students and marginalize and stigmatize a group of people when sexual orientation is not something we control any more than whether we are left-handed or right-handed? Why cause pain and loneliness for a child who fears talking about stigmatized feelings?

The whole point is that any student has the potential to become an adult capable of living in a happy, healthy adult relationship either gay or straight. Knowledge engenders respect from peers and self-confidence that the student’s feelings are natural for many well-functioning human beings.

The curriculum does not promote a lifestyle; it attempts to impart observable scientific facts about human behavior.

Ronald Livingston, Germantown

We’re all for free speech, and we recognize that reasonable minds can disagree on issues such as the appropriate content of our public schools’ curricula.

We applaud The Gazette for providing a forum for public debate. But, there are limits.

The July 11 letter, ‘‘Sex-ed courses promote alternate lifestyles,” added nothing of value to our public discourse — no novel idea, no original thought and no new perspective. Instead, it was hateful and intolerant.

The Gazette should decline to publish such diatribes, and focus instead on the publication of letters that inform thoughtful and intelligent discussion of these important issues.

Alan and Remy Freeman, Potomac

Stand on sex-ed courses disputed

It is really good to see that people people speaking out about this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our suggestion to PFOX and others unhappy with the curriculum and with the fact that their viewpoint is unpopular, is to support students who wish to establish an extracurricular club. Surely they know of students in the county who agree with and want to advocate for PFOX. This would be the appropriate venue for such activity, since federal law protects student clubs from viewpoint discrimination.

In order to be as helpful as possible, one of our commenters has suggested a contest to help name the club.

July 19, 2007 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Iraq war debate statements to the following, the prospect of good soundbites for Republican ads in fall 2008, is looking good:

"The homosexual-activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and MTV's gay cable network Logo are sponsoring a presidential candidate forum focused on one topic: homosexuality. While HRC is calling it a historic event, pro-family experts call it nothing more than political pandering.

The 90-minute event is scheduled for Aug. 9 in Los Angeles. According to HRC, all major Democratic and Republican presidential candidates were invited. The list of those who have accepted: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; former Sen. Mike Gravel, D-Alaska; Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

"This event, which marks the first time in history the major presidential candidates will address a live GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) television audience," reads an HRC news release, "is part of MTV Networks' award-winning pro-social efforts and dedication to engaging its audiences on the issues that are most important and relevant to them."

Gravel published an open letter to the GLBT community.

"I promise to use the HRC forum to advance the entire discussion about gay rights and educate the American public that gay rights is one of the great moral issues of our time," he said. "I will call upon all Americans to stop listening to the televangelists, psychologists and politicians and start listening to their hearts.""

note from Joltin' Joe: It's about time people woke up and stopped listening to psychologists.

"Joe Solmonese, president of HRC, said homosexuality should be at the top of candidates' issues list.

"In the 2008 presidential election, issues of concern to the GLBT community have already been at the forefront of the national conversation," he said. "From the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' to the recent signing of a civil-unions bill in New Hampshire, there is no doubt that voters will demand answers to important questions affecting our community."

Solmonese will serve as panelist alongside singer Melissa Etheridge questioning the candidates on federal policies and HIV strategies.

Amanda Banks, director of government affairs for Exodus International, would like to see the Democratic Party address marriage and family.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful," she said, "if along with this debate we could have a debate on family values and the strength that they bring to our country?""

July 19, 2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


that last one was from Joltin' Joe

July 19, 2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joltin Joe has once again published an article from FOTFA's Citizen Link, this time with one entire sentence of personal commentary.

If we want to subscribe to that newsletter we will. Like the PFOX fliers, that rag belongs in the recycle bin.

July 19, 2007 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letters in this morning's Montgomery Extra of the Washington Post are certainly interesting. See

"Montgomery Extra invited readers to comment on the curriculum, and several dozen people responded. Most favored the new curriculum."

The Post published 16 letters. Twelve favored the curriculum (11 were from residents of Montgomery County). Four opposed the curriculum; two of those were from outside the County: One from PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs (Alexandria, Va.) and another from from Ex-PFOX President Richard Cohen (Bowie, MD, in Prince George's County.)

PS: The "David" posting is not me.

July 19, 2007 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about that.

-David Weintraub

July 19, 2007 5:52 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Richard-cast out of the APA and i cuddle other men as part of therapy- Cohen, you mean

July 19, 2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Richard-cast out of the APA and i cuddle other men as part of therapy- Cohen, you mean"

Yeah, that APA is a fine organization. Did we ever tell you the story about how they came to declare homosexuality perfectly normal when most of their members thought it was a mental problem?

Prior to that, they probably "cast out" gays.

Oh well, why be consistent when you can be political? It's more lucrative.

July 19, 2007 11:16 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

David (Weintraub):

I enjoy reading your blog at Equality Loudoun.

PFOX put up a post encouraging students to found Ex-Gay and Friends clubs earlier this year. One of the names they came up with for such organizations was "Gay-to-Straight" clubs or "Gay2Str8t". These groups would ostensibly include ex-gays and "everstraights" (the latter term, for some reason, I find oddly offensive).

As far as I know, despite their efforts, no such student group has been founded by real students. In the ex-ex community, there has been some discussion about what limits there would be on an ex group in places that prohibit discrimination (i.e. how much intolerance does freedom of speech allow HS students to exhibit in public schools).


p.s. I tried to find the link on their website, but they've just put a new website for which apparently one must register, and I can't find it.

July 20, 2007 7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the ex-ex community, there has been some discussion about what limits there would be on an ex group in places that prohibit discrimination (i.e. how much intolerance does freedom of speech allow HS students to exhibit in public schools)."


You speak as if there is some general societal assumption that tolerance is the ultimate virtue. That is not true. There are things that should not be tolerated. The whole question is what and what should not be tolerated.

To suggest that a support group of people who have overcome a vice is, by definition, intolerant of those still suffering from that vice puts society in a position of having to either embrace or ban certain vices. You might not like the outcome of such a predicament.

July 20, 2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...


The ultimate virtue of America is tolerance, the willingness of people to live and let live within a widely accepted moral code of conduct and social contract. Your religious fundamentalism is excluded because it is not widely shared, we have separated church and state and those of us who don't share your beliefs have no interest in your version of morality.

That being said, feel free to live as virtuous life as you desire in your personal private sphere.

July 20, 2007 10:48 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Can we talk abut the latest HTT "family values" "I'm so much better than you" hypocrites- David Vitter and his "stand by your man- now" wife("Well, I'm no Hillary - I'm like Lorena Bobbit- I'd walk away with something-and not alimony"). Lo, how the mighty bigmouths are fallen. And I am so very sure God did not forgive this man for being a serial adulterer. Vitter is still up there denying the New orleans brothel accusations(hey, but he admitted the DC stuff-couldn't keep those phone records secret)- just like Haggard kept denying the meth and prostitute jaunts. I wouldn't care if this guy was a cheater and his wife accepted it- it was and is the whole big mouth public "we are so fine and godly" and so much better than the other guy.

July 20, 2007 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The ultimate virtue of America is tolerance,"

You're wrong.

"the willingness of people to live and let live within a widely accepted moral code of conduct and social contract."

So, in the case we're discussing, the right of PFOX to make people aware of their counseling in a public forum, how does this constitute intolerance? Who is PFOX not "letting live"?

"Your religious fundamentalism is excluded"

Excluded from what? If you mean the government, it is unconstitutional for it to exclude certain religious perspectives.

Furthermore, I don't think I'm a fundamentalist. It's a term you kind of throw around for any believer.

"because it is not widely shared,"

I would say, if we're having a popularity contest, and I don't why we are, that evangelicalism is more widely shared than secular humanism.

"we have separated church and state"

Who has? If you mean excluding religious groups from the public square, it was certainly not the Constitution that did this.

"and those of us who don't share your beliefs have no interest in your version of morality."

If you mean that homosexuality is wrong, that is shared by most members of society and not confined to religious people. The most anti-gay elements of our society never go near a church.

July 20, 2007 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Supremacy is not a legitimate "religious perspective" to be taught in schools. The fact that these ego idolaters call themselves Christians is a disgrace to Christianity itself.

PFOX, like Exodus, is a political organization that exists with the ultimate goal of having all LGBT persons put in prison and/or put to death.

Calling celibacy and same-sex suppression "ex-gay" in the attempt to portray homosexuality as a choice just goes to show how morally depraved they and many of their supporters truly are.

No lie for them is too egregious when it comes to dehumanizing gays. And why should it be? They eat, sleep, and breathe the anti-gay agenda -- their REAL religion, because it's what they practice religiously.

July 20, 2007 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe,

If you want to talk about a group of people who have overcome a vice, I'm game. I have yet to see that in this discussion, though. This discussion is about a group of people who are so unhappy with the way God created them that they can't stand for anyone else to be happy, either - and are willing to let themselves be used.

I have nothing against any individual who chooses to live in a way that is not natural for them, but that's what the choice is. If I wanted to be mean I could suggest that such a choice is in itself a vice, but it's really not my right to do so. It is, however, a vice to justify one's own choices by denigrating the self-knowledge and lives of others. That is where we must draw the line, I'm afraid.

Thanks, Robert. That's about what I'd expect, about the failure to interest any youth in this nonsense. It just doesn't comport with reality, and teenagers are notorious for noticing things like that.

July 20, 2007 8:37 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...


Who is better...the person with no standards, or the one with standards that fails to always and everywhere live up to those standards? My gay friend asked me that question...and I had an answer for him: the later. And that is why David Vitter is a better man than Larry Flynt.

July 21, 2007 10:42 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Joe said:

"To suggest that a support group of people who have overcome a vice is, by definition, intolerant of those still suffering from that vice puts society in a position of having to either embrace or ban certain vices. You might not like the outcome of such a predicament."

Dearest Joe:

I wasn't suggesting that such a putative "Gay2Str8t" club would by definition violate a non-discrimination policy. A support group for people who identify as ex-gay would be just that, a support group. However, I don't think any such group would come into existence. The limits of a non-discrimination policy would be reached or breached if the "Gay2Str8t" club started making pejorative statements around the school about LGBT people. PFOX, despite their line that they are simply seeking equal treatement for "ex-gays" flirts with such putdowns. Schools would find themselves mediating between some students' rights to free speech and other students rights to a school environment free of harassment and discrimination. GSAs don't create such conflicts (for example, I don't know of any GSA that puts up posters disapproving of anyone, whatever the members may say in private; I've only heard of positive statements about queer people).

Your stance, as I understand it, is that pejorative statements about lgbt people are in fact not discriminatory or intolerant, but in fact (help me out here!) a)free speech; b)protected religious expression; c)simply the truth; or d)mere kindness to troubled souls.

July 21, 2007 5:19 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I would not suggest Larry Flynt as a role model. But then as far as I know, Larry Flynt has never pretended to be one. David Vitter did- and as far as I can see- he is just a loudmouth blusterer who condemned others for something he was doing at the same time- like Newt. I disagree with you that he has standards he didn't live up to - he used prostitutes in New Orleans(the truth will out here- and Vitter will be shown to be a liar as well) and in DC. He had no standards- he just claimed to- and demanded others be held to standards- he himself never had.

July 23, 2007 11:41 AM  

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