Newly straight? Formerly gay? Congratulations, a judge just decided you’re a sexual orientation that cannot be discriminated against.
When the National Education Association in 2002 refused to provide a booth at its annual convention to the Virgina-based Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) — something about limited space — the group filed a complaint (three years later) with the D.C. Office of Human Rights, claiming sexual orientation discrimination. OHR sided with NEA, which prompted PFOX (like PFLAG, but not!) to sue.
They lost. Sort of.
While D.C. Superior Court Judge Maurice Ross sided with the NEA, concluding they can discriminate against groups that promote an anti-gay message, they cannot discriminate against ex-gays “just because,” since they are a protected class under the D.C. Human Rights Act. A protected class, that is, because of their sexual “practices” and “preferences” — a ruling that affords discrimination protection to basically any sexual group which, uh, specific practices and preferences. (Judge Ross’ definition, purposefully, loosens the definition of “sexual orientation,” though we won’t even get into what this means for guys who screw sheep.)
PFOX, for one, is elated. They even said so in a press release. With the lawsuit, getting booth space at NEA wasn’t really the goal. Rather, they were after court-sanctioned recognition of their position. And they got it.
“All sexual orientation laws and programs nationwide should now provide true diversity and equality by including former homosexuals,” says PFOX director Greg Quinlan in the release. “I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man.”
And ya know what? We’re sort of excited for these guys. We think the ex-gay movement is quite bizarre, and the idea of pushing it on young people revolts us. But if rational adults believe they can change their sexuality, or at least deny it, more power to ’em. And let the law protect their rights the same way we demand it protect ours. Would we want a trade organization to be able to discriminate against homos for any reason? No. We wouldn’t want it to be allowed for heterosexuals, either. And with ex-gays, who operate somewhere in between, the rules should remain the same.
Just because, here’s an Italian ex-gay anthem “Luca era gay”: