Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lawsuit, Not a Lawsuit

I was CC'ed on a series of emails this week, discussing whether PFOX-GAG actually did file a lawsuit in DC court. Their press release said they had, Wayne Besen said they hadn't, and it was the opinion of at least one lawyer in this email thread that maybe the petition that was filed could technically be considered a lawsuit.

The Blade followed up on the question.
Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, a national group known as PFOX, last week announced it was “suing” the D.C. Office of Human Rights to overturn a decision that ex-gays do not belong to a protected category under the city’s Human Rights Act.

An office spokesperson called the PFOX announcement inaccurate, though, and noted the group filed a petition, not a lawsuit, before the D.C. Superior Court to appeal the 2005 decision.

James Maloney, a PFOX attorney, called the petition “a lawsuit of sorts,” but acknowledged it was essentially a routine appeal of a decision that he said unfairly denied “ex-gays” protections under the Human Rights Act. National ‘ex-gay’ group appeals D.C. human rights office decision

So the Office of Human Rights says there was no lawsuit, PFOX-GAG says there was, sort of. Gee, it's hard to decide who to believe here -- a spokesman for a government office that protects citizens' rights, or the attorney for an organization that is based on a premise that is patently false and fundamentally bigoted.
Maloney said the appeal is important because it could lead to a court order requiring the city to include “ex-gays” as a protected category under the Human Rights Act’s sexual orientation clause.

The clause lists gays, bisexuals and straight people as protected from discrimination under the act.

Regina Griggs, the executive director of PFOX, said that while “ex-gays” consider themselves heterosexual, they are often subjected to discrimination because of their status as “ex-gay” rather than as straight.

Interestingly, only obnoxious "ex-gays" are discriminated against. People who used to be gay, and now aren't, enjoy all the privileges of straight people. People who used to be gay, and now aren't, who go around telling everybody that homosexuality is a choice and that gay people should decide to be straight, find they are unwelcome lots of places.

There is another interesting story embedded in this one. Every year PFOX-GAG tries get the National Education Association to let them set up a booth at their convention, and every year they get turned down.
The PFOX appeal stems from a decision to dismiss a complaint that PFOX filed against the National Education Association. The complaint alleged that NEA discriminated against “ex-gays” as a class by denying a PFOX application to maintain an exhibit booth during a 2003 NEA convention.

NEA initially argued that the content of PFOX’s proposed exhibit was inconsistent with NEA’s mission because it promoted alternatives to homosexuality rather than acceptance of homosexuality.

NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin said last week that NEA has since agreed to allow a PFOX exhibit if a recently formed “ex-gay” caucus of NEA members organizes it.

In its 2005 decision, the D.C. Office of Human Rights says its determination that ex-gays are not covered under the human rights act as a class separate from heterosexuals is based on court rulings and legal precedent that define categories protected from discrimination as “immutable characteristics,” such as race and gender.

But that's the whole issue -- the backbone of PFOX-GAG's ideology is the premise that sexual orientation is not only mutable but that it can be changed at will, though there is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation is a choice and nobody, gay or straight, feels that way, except for a few people who work for these organizations.

If you have followed this story, you will find this interesting, PFOX-GAG's officers and Board of Directors:
Paul Rondeau, Purcellville, Va., President/Director
Estella Salvatierra, Fort Belvoir, Va., Vice President/Director
Scott Strachen, Fort Belvoir, Va., Secretary/Director
Michelle Hoffman, Fort Belvoir, Va., Treasurer/Director
Regina Griggs, Fort Belvoir, Va., Executive Director
Retta Brown, Fort Belvoir, Va., Director
Peter Sprigg, Washington, DC, Director
Robert Knight, Alexandria, Va., Director

A lot of the Fort Belvoir people have the same post office box number, so you don't know where they live, really, but that's where PFOX-GAG told the IRS they were. We know a lot of these characters. Some are professional haters, and some are just minor-league ignoramuses. Paul Rondeau has been involved with other nutty groups, Ella Salvatierra is a lawyer, Regina Griggs is in charge of it all and she's a sad story, she has a gay son who who won't go "ex" for her. Retta Brown actually lives in our county, I think, I don't know why she has a Virginia address in PFOX-GAG's IRS documents. Peter Sprigg, as well, lives in MoCo, he's a professional, Vice President for Policy at the Family Research Council, which is a big-bucks anti-gay organization, Robert Knight is another pro, he used to be at the Family Research Council, then he was one of the Concerned Women for America but now he's Director of the Culture and Media Institute, doing the same thing. We saw Peter and Robert speak at the CRC's hate-fest a couple of years ago. We saw Michelle Hoffman address the Montgomery County school board once, but I don't know anything about her or Scott Strachen.

So PFOX-GAG is tied into the big national groups, but they are a small organization with a small budget. Their mission is absurd, they wear their hatred of gay people on their sleeve, and our county's public schools send their flyers home with our kids. They have filed some sort of paper with the courts, trying to get "ex-gays" added to the DC nondiscrimination law, as if there is a problem with discrimination against straight people.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe PFOX presents itself to the IRS as a "Christian Support Ministry." Given the Religious Right's incessant complaints about activist judges (as in Loving v. Virginia, Lawrence v. Texas, Goodrich, and the California, New York and Connecticut cases, not to mention Brown v. Board), it is ironic that PFOX spends so very much time filing lawsuits (against MoCo, MoCo schools, Metro, Arlington Schools, DC Office of Human Rights).


October 26, 2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of spending so much time whining about PFOX, why don't you just counter their arguments with some facts?

Oh, that's right. The facts don't support you. That's the kind of stuff you need to focus on when you have no case.

It's not like the gay agenda doesn't have plenty of money. Public school teachers across the country are already forced to pay to support gay advocacy groups or find employment elsewhere. Look for freedom of speech to continue to decline under the socialist administration that appears close to winning control of Congress and the White House.

October 26, 2008 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel for Rigg's son. Having a mother who hates him for something that he simply cannot change.

Sad, indeed.

October 26, 2008 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many parents disagree with their children over issues? Does that mean parents hate their children? Do parents have to agree with everything their children do Do adult children always agree with what a parent does? I can see, Derrick, you do not know what it is to be a parent. Loving does not depend on agreement.

October 27, 2008 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

andrea-not anon
We do disagree but we do not hate our children for what they are.

October 27, 2008 11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A person who devotes her entire adult life to lobbying for recloseting gays rather than accepting her gay son for who he is, is a person who does "not know what it is to be a parent." Regina persists in her Quixotic quest even in the face of studies that show that keeping or returning gays to the closet more often results in harm than in change.

October 27, 2008 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" Troll:
You rants are becoming increasinly more bizarre and uncontrolled. ("It's not like the gay agenda doesn't have plenty of money. Public school teachers across the country are already forced to pay to support gay advocacy groups or find employment elsewhere.") Please put up or shut up...give true examples of teachers being forced to support gay advocacy groups. You have no evidence of's just a figment of your tormented, distorted, homophobic mind. You really are a sick puppy!
Oh...and I see you are finally facing the reality that you have for so long been in denial about: ("Look for freedom of speech to continue to decline under the socialist administration that appears close to winning control of Congress and the White House."
Aside from the continuing blather about "socialsm" (often said to be "Christianity" in another guise) you finally recognized the outcome of this election! Yea!!!

October 27, 2008 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please put up or shut up...give true examples of teachers being forced to support gay advocacy groups. You have no evidence of that.."

Thanks for asking, dio-genetically flawed!

In most places in America, you have to belong to the teachers' union to work in public schools. And, thus, you must pay dues, which fund gay advocacy groups.:

"Here's a pop quiz: Who's donated the most money to an effort in California to defeat Proposition 8, an initiative on the November 4 ballot that would define marriage as between a man and a woman in the state?

A) Gay-advocacy organizations

B) Civil-rights groups

C) The California Teachers Association

If you guessed "C," you understand the nature of modern liberal politics. And if you didn't, perhaps you're wondering what exactly gay marriage has to do with K-12 public education. The high school dropout rate is 1-in-4 in California and 1-in-3 in the Los Angeles public school system, odds that worsen considerably among black and Hispanic children. So you might think the CTA, the state's largest teachers' union, would have other priorities.

Yet last week the union donated $1 million to the "No on Proposition 8" campaign. Of the roughly $3 million raised by opponents of the measure so far, $1.25 million has come from the teachers' union. "What does this cause have to do with education?" said Randy Peart, a public school teacher in San Juan who was contacted by a local television station. "Why not put that money into classrooms, into making a better place for these kids?"

In fact, the CTA and its parent organization, the National Education Association, have used tens of millions of dollars in mandatory teachers' dues to advance all manner of left-wing political causes. And members like Ms. Peart are right to ask questions. In some years barely a third of the NEA's budget has gone toward improving the lot of teachers themselves.

In addition to vigorously fighting school choice and other reforms that benefit underprivileged children but threaten the public education monopoly, the NEA has directly (or via state affiliates) bankrolled Acorn, the Democratic Leadership Council, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and, naturally, the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.""

October 27, 2008 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment was that they were "forced" to support these things. I don't see any forcing in your examples. Typical religous right modus operandi. Making a claim and using a bad example to futher your claim.

btw you really should cite where you get your examples from. not accusing you of it, but just in case, plagiarism is an ugly thing.

October 27, 2008 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they are not allowed to work in the public schools and the dues are mandatory

the dues don't go to support the welfare of the employees but to support the gay agenda

that's being forced

when you put quotes around something, it's not plagiarized

I put it up last week, identifying it as the opinion of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, supported by fact

it's a refutation of your statement so I posted it again

October 27, 2008 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who isn't allowed to work in the public schools?

What are you talking about?


October 27, 2008 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I looked into it: Anon's claim that mandatory teacher dues are being used to oppose Proposition 8 (support the gay agenda, in his rude choice of words) is fallacious, either intentionally or by his lack of effort in checking out the truthfulness of what he reads on those blogs and hears on those radio stations.

Here's the truth:

1) Although the California Teachers Association is the largest teachers' organization in California, it is not the only one. Teachers have choice here.

2) Although teachers must contribute to collective-bargaining efforts, they may decline to pay for union efforts not directly related. Again, they have choice.

The 'teachers are forced to support the gay agenda' straw man is simply untrue.

In Virginia, with it's "Right to Work" law, employees may decline to contribute to collective bargaining efforts, and teachers are not allowed to strike. We are shackled to the 'good will' of our employers. Right to work my ass.

October 27, 2008 9:15 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

The problem with anonymous is the same problem with the religious right and their supporters in general. They repeat talking points that they know are based on lies and emotional distortions. Apparently truth itself is an okay casualty in trying to stop the alleged "gay agenda."

October 27, 2008 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my dear friends recently moved to California and is seeing first hand the arguments on both sides on Proposition 8. She also elucidated some of the background for the teachers’ union involvement in the battle. I looked into this some more and found out some interesting info. It seems the proponents of Proposition 8 are claiming that it means teachers will essentially be promoting the “gay agenda” in schools. Apparently, (surprise!) this is untrue.

(The California Teacher’s Association website.)

“On the Education Accusation

Proposition 8 will not affect teaching in our schools. That’s a lie crafted to scare people into voting for Proposition 8 and stripping Californians of rights they already have. Not one word in Prop. 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are purposely trying to deceive the public. A California Superior Court Judge has already ruled that this claim by Prop. 8 proponents is “false and misleading.”

The CTA’s involvement in this issue apparently isn’t so much about “promoting the gay agenda” as our lovely Anonymous like to put it, but in trying to confront the lies propagated by the Anti-Gay Industry.

Of course, I don’t expect everyone to believe me, so you can check out the text of the bill yourself here:

On page 128 you’ll find the entirety of Proposition 8:

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title

This measure shall be known and may be cited as the “California Marriage Protection Act.”

SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution to read:
SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

(The last sentence above is what’s in italics in the original document.) It then goes on to Proposition 9, which is about “Marsy’s Law,” which tries to help victims of crimes. As you can see, there is nothing in Proposition 8 that talks about teaching gay marriage in schools.

I think that the more people find out how the Anti-Gay Industry lies to promote its own agenda, the more people will start putting up a resistance to it, whether they belong to a teachers’ union or not. Indeed, all people of conscience must stand up for the truth and confront those that try to twist or obfuscate facts for their own purposes.

Have a nice day,


October 27, 2008 11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, if lying isn’t enough to get people to vote your way, you can also try extortion:

An excerpt from the above link:

“Certified letters from the group this week asked companies to withdraw their support of Equality California, a nonprofit organization that is helping lead the campaign against Proposition 8.

"Make a donation of a like amount to which will help us correct this error," reads the letter. "Were you to elect not to donate comparably, it would be a clear indication that you are in opposition to traditional marriage. ... The names of any companies and organizations that choose not to donate in like manner to but have given to Equality California will be published."

Have a nice day,


October 27, 2008 11:42 PM  

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