Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Guest Blog: PFLAG To Honor TTF

Guest Blog: Teachthefacts.org Honored by Metro DC PFLAG

Teachthefacts.org will be honored on March 8 at the annual Metro DC PFLAG Gala. I thought the readers of the Vigilance Blog should see what PFLAG has to say about TTF. And if you are interested in attending the Gala (see pflagdc.org/gala/gala2008.php), be sure to sign up to sit at a Teachthefacts.org table.

David Fishback

Community Award Teachthefacts.org

In November 2004, anti-GLBT groups began a campaign to seek to derail the decision of the Montgomery County Board of Education to revise the public school health education curriculum to simply present basic information from mainstream medical and mental health professional associations about sexual orientation. Hearing hateful and ignorant assertions made at a community meeting by people who eventually formed "Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum" (CRC), a group of parents (most of whom had no family connection to the GLBT community) organized to refute the lies and misrepresentations. Thus, at a small restaurant in Wheaton, Teachthefacts.org (TTF) was born.

Through a website (teachthefacts.org/index2.html) operated by TTF President Jim Kennedy and a listserve moderated by TTF Treasurer Christine Grewell, TTF kept the community informed about the real issues involved in the attack on the curriculum revisions. Jim's Vigilance Blog (teachthefacts.org/vigilance.html) became a mainstay for information and perspectives on the controversies.

While CRC and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) were able to temporarily halt the curriculum revisions by convincing a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order just before the revisions were to be field tested in May 2005, TTF stayed in battle. Jim Kennedy was appointed to the Board of Education's new Citizens Advisory Committee, formed to review new revisions. And the entire TTF leadership, led by Christine Grewell, organized a successful community forum in September 2005, featuring national experts, including the American Medical Association's point person on GLBT issues, to lay out the facts (www.teachthefacts.org/ForumDocs/ForumHome.html).

In 2006, TTF joined with Equality Montgomery and the Interfaith Fairness Coalition to sponsor an election forum, attended by all the candidates running for the Board of Education. At that forum, candidates either voiced their support or indicated their lack of support for the approach advocated by Metro DC PFLAG. In November, the winning candidates (all of whom won overwhelmingly) were those who had taken clear positions in support of the Metro DC PFLAG approach.

As the Citizens Advisory Committee worked through the new curriculum proposals (which, in many respects, went into greater depth than those blocked by the federal judge), representatives of PFOX and CRC pushed the anti-GLBT agenda. In 2006-07, as a member of the Committee, JimKennedy, along with PFLAG committee representative Emily Wurtz and other allies, took the lead in calmly, rationally, and effectively explaining how the PFOX/CRC positions were directly at odds with what the mainstream medical community has know for years. Finally, Jim took the lead in convincing the Committee to urge the Superintendent to include in the curriculum the simple statement, supported by all the mainstream medical and mental health groups, that homosexuality is not an illness or a mental disorder. The Superintendent was persuaded, and he successfully urged the Board of Education to include that information in the final revisions, which are now part of the 8th and 10th Grade health education curriculum in the Montgomery County Schools.

TTF has continued to be an active voice in defending efforts of our local elected officials to do the right thing. Last November, the Montgomery County Council extended the protections of the County's anti-discrimination law to transgender people. CRC (now calling itself "Citizens for a Responsible Government") is seeking to play on people's fears and ignorance to lie about the law and bring it to referendum through a petition process. TTF and its members, working with Equality Maryland and Dr. Dana Beyer (also a TTF Board member) in the Decline to Sign campaign, has worked tirelessly to defeat this effort.

TTF has shown how people can stand up for justice.


Anonymous Derrick said...

As a teacher in MCPS, I thank TTF for standing up for justice, equality and truth.

There are so many teachers, students, building services staff and administrators in MCPS who deserve to be treated at EQUALS.

We are not less-than-first-class.

CRW(eirdos) should feel ashamed of themselves.

We go to work each morning, spending many, many hours with your children-- educating, inspiring and helping your them turn into socialized, well-adjusted, law-abiding, and informed citizens of the United States of America.

Why do the CRW(eirods) want to take our rights away?

It just doesn't make sense.

February 26, 2008 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Ha-HA! Good one.. said...

Oh, brother.

David is involved with both groups. This is like Mao giving Stalin an award for dedication to democratic principles.

February 26, 2008 5:21 PM  
Anonymous I'm making my own tux! said...

Oh, yes. This will be a gay-la like no other!

Are all the tickets gone yet?

Maybe that dead metally ill guy will buy a table.

February 26, 2008 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Moron Bigot anon- get lost. Just leave. You are an immature bigot.

February 26, 2008 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

AnonFreak, I am just going to assume that you are Theresa Rickman. We'll use you antics against you soon enough.

I think I'll attend this event.

So, Theresa, when are we getting coffee again?

February 26, 2008 5:43 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron/unobjective observer, your hatred of gays is clear and makes it plain why anti-discrimination laws are necessary that cover LGBTs. You and Fred Phelps are two of a kind.

February 26, 2008 5:45 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

I do not usually respond to comments like ha-ha's, but this time I will.

I am proud to be involved with PFLAG, which has done so much good for so many families over the years. And I am proud to be involved with Teachthefacts.org, which confirmed my belief that Montgomery County is a great place to live, and which demonstrated that good people can do great things for their communities.

February 26, 2008 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

Actually... I take that back:

I think Anon (OO, ha-ha, etc) is


Here is the ANTI-equality, PRO-discrimination group that they (www.notmyshower.net) has made on FACEBOOK.COM:


February 26, 2008 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Derrick said...

and by 'has'... i mean, 'have'. oops!

February 26, 2008 5:52 PM  
Anonymous grantdale said...

Cool -- you lot put the "F" in PFLAG!

(Some of you also being the "P" too)

also Jim, there's a bad link (the first one). got to remove the "www.teachthefacts.org" bit from it.

February 27, 2008 1:40 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thanks grantdale, I had to add an "http://" to it, or your browser assumed it was on our server. Good eye.


February 27, 2008 7:03 AM  
Anonymous OO said...

"I am proud to be involved with PFLAG, which has done so much good for so many families over the years. And I am proud to be involved with Teachthefacts.org,"

You wouldn't think PFLAG would want to be associated with a group that has shown such contempt for the democratic process. Their inappropriate interference with the petitioning activity of citizens is now well-known. Using a county council employee who is also a TTF board member to pressure stores into banning petitioners, having the same county council employee lie to potential signers and volunteers about the legality of the petitions, forming group blockades of petitioners tables. These are not the type of anti-democratic activities PFLAG wouldn't wisely want to back.

It could set back their cause.

February 27, 2008 7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Technical term for what 00 is doing: "grasping at straws."

February 27, 2008 7:26 AM  
Anonymous OO said...

Sorry, Anon. We take democratic rights seriously in America. CRG had a right under our laws to petition. If the actions of TTF are condoned, the only petitions capable of being conducted will be those that support government policy. Anarchy is not permissible in a democracy.

February 27, 2008 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OO...you are the epitome of anarchy! Resorting to lies and distortions to induce people to sign petitions to abrogate a law that protects a minority group is NOT a goal of a democracy like ours. You continue to reiterate the same lies, over and over again. It is readily apparent that you have taken to heart the Nazi tactic of "...if a lie is repeated enough times it would become widely accepted as truth."

February 27, 2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I wonder for whom OO/Anon is a spokesperson.


Again, I will repeat my many thanks and deep admiration for the friends and parents at TTF and PFLAG.

February 27, 2008 12:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron, what you want is to be able to promote discrimination unopposed. You have contempt for democracy and the rights of TTF to free speech. TTF and Dana had every bit as much right to be there countering CRW's lies as CRW had the right to be there. Its you people who are lying, equating transgenders with pedophiles and predators, claiming men and women will be forced to use the same bathrooms, trying to deny transgenders the right to public services and to not be fired from or denied jobs based on anything other than than the ability to do the job.

Of course PFLAG happily supports those who oppose you and your dastardly deeds.

February 27, 2008 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Maryanne said...

OO said...

"forming group blockades of petitioners tables".

I like how you never responded to the narrative i wrote about that supposed "blockade" as well as the very easy photo-analysis that i only had just begun in my following note to Ms. Rickman asking her to retract some of the obviously distorted facts.

In the "Checking Petitions" blog section, i just reposted that narrative after several of yours' and other's continued comments supporting such complete distortions.

- i noticed you did not respond to that at all, but simply moved to another section and started throwing around the same lies to everyone again.

You are trying to make sure you get that message, no matter how untrue, into the minds of anyone that reads this blog.

You have clear motives, and as well, actually believe the mass of lies that you have already been fed, and are now happily and gladly parroting that back out to the general populace. You do this and dont even care that you cannot actually attest to anything of which you were not personally witness to in this life. Argument over. You lost.

It's just like the petition gatherers that i talked to - one gentleman in particular that i literally caught saying there had not been public hearings on this matter - and others that said there had been hearings but limited and very underpublicized.

Didnt happen to see the full page Sunday post article that next weekend or so with a full color photo of me sitting in my home - ?

Maybe you caught the newschannel 8 interview i gave that aired that friday evening during peak time - NO? hmmm....

just so happened i was carrying actual copies of MY testimony from those hearings, hearings which were very much open to the public and the media.

When i handed him a copy - which is PUBLIC record that he should have reasearched himself before telling lies to my neighbors and fellow citizens, - no - what does he do but immediately disregards this hard copy in my hand and continues telling distortions to the public as i literally stand and watch.

You are doing the exact same thing and you don't even care.

A testimony that focused on workplace discrimination more that any other single subject.

In a court of law you would be toast already because you cannot provide any semblance of witness to the actual facts.

On the other hand, I WAS there - and made very careful sure to document it well and in such detail that it could not have possibly been fabricated, such as your unsupported and completely untrue assertions that you continue to make on this blog.

this is obviously in order to continue to attempt to bolster any possible public support that you can to project a negative view or image about people like myself, which you are quite obvioulsy opposed to, or dislike, for some reason that only you can know.

You deeply believe in what you believe in, and i respect you on that - and there seems to be no swaying you on that -

- but if you are going to take the time to sit on here and respond and accuse and generally go around making blanket statements, you really should take the time to look around a bit more first.

you might be a hateful lying bigot. You might be a loving and concerned hardworking parent. You could be any of a million things that i have personally witnessed, so i cannot give a true account of you or the events of your own life.

- When you, and others, continue to use lies, distortions, and give false witness to everyone else you disagree with - it's time to call you out on it.

Most Sincerely,

Respectfully yours,


February 28, 2008 2:36 AM  

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