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Ex-Gay Support Group Urges Fairfax Schools to Give Equal Access to Ex-Gays

 

2/9/2005 8:58:00 PM - PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays

Ex-Gay Support Group Urges Fairfax Schools to Give Equal Access to Ex-Gays

 

To: National Desk

 

Contact: Regina Griggs Executive Director of PFOX, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, 703-360-2225, ex-gays@earthlink.net

 

FAIRFAX, Va. Feb. 7 /Christian Wire Service/ -- In a letter to high school principals in Fairfax County, school board member Stephen Hunt has recommended that the public schools host ex-gay speakers. "The school board censured Mr. Hunt, but we support ex-gay speakers in our schools because Fairfax County public schools have a history of discriminating against the ex-gay community," explained Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).

 

Almost three years ago, then-Superintendent Dr. Daniel Domenech met with two activist groups, GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) and PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays), to implement homosexual presentations and materials throughout the schools. "The school superintendent agreed to designate a 'contact person for issues concerning gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth,' distribute PFLAG brochures, conduct 'sensitivity training for staff,' and help gay groups propose workshops and assemblies for students," Griggs said. "However, the school superintendent refused to meet with ex-gay representatives. Perhaps he was influenced by GLSEN's policy of encouraging public schools to censor ex-gay materials."

 

"As result, Fairfax County public schools have promoted gay issues while censoring ex-gays," Griggs explained. "For example, James Madison High School invited a homosexual to address students on 'the rights of gay adoption.' The speaker was formerly married with children but is now living with a man. He and his male companion could not have children together, so he told the students that gay couples should be allowed to adopt children," Griggs said. "Yet the principal refused to grant equal access to an ex-gay speaker."

 

"In addition, history students could get extra credit by attending PFLAG discussions, but PFOX was excluded," Griggs continued. "The principal did not notify parents about these speakers so parents were unaware of what their children were being taught, and this topic was not reviewed by the Family Life Curriculum Advisory Council."

 

Robert Rigby, Jr., a gay Fairfax County teacher and a director of the local GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) school clubs and GLSEN, participated in a picket with students against an ex-gay conference being held at a church. "The picketers used bullhorns to shout hateful remarks and carried an effigy of a nude woman," said Griggs. "The teacher, who is also a coordinator of the Fairfax County Safe Schools Coalition, opposes our attempts to include ex-gay books and presentations in the school curriculum, although he endorses gay books and gay presentations."

 

"The ex-gay community deserves tolerance and equal treatment," Griggs said. "Fairfax County public schools should not promote some sexual groups (gays, bisexuals and transgenders) while discriminating against others (ex-gays). Our ex-gay teachers should not be censored. We urge the school board to allow ex-gay speakers and presentations immediately."

 

 

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