Pesky First Amendment Helps Ex-Gays Infiltrate School

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We knew America’s schools were suffering, but this shit’s too much. An affluent Maryland school district has agreed to distribute flyers from an organization called Parents and Friend of Ex-Gays. Founded in 1998, PFOX describes itself as,

a nonprofit organization providing outreach, education, and public awareness in support of families and friends of homosexuals and the ex-gay community.

So, it’s sort of like a club where openly gays and “reformed” gays can come together to celebrate…well, we’re not sure: they’re diametrically opposed views of homosexuality? The fact that one side thinks the other’s going to rot in hell? We’re really not sure…

A spokesman for the Montgomery County School, Brian Edwards, insists it’s the schools policy to pass out flyers from all non-profits, no matter their scope.

The situation is brought to us by a Fourth Circuit of Appeals ruling declaring parts of the previous flyer policy unconstitutional. The Board of Education had little choice but to allow flyers to be distributed in the manner in which they decided.

Though many Board members apparently disapprove of PFOX’s message, but must comply with their policies.

As is their style, Truth Wins Out – the Wayne Besen-led movement dedicated to combating the ex-gay movement and their mythical memes – have mobilized against the move. Besen hopes to combat the message with some more gay-friendly flyers. He’s so zealous, in fact, that he’s offered to foot the bill:

We can educate students about the many supportive organizations out there. I don’t want money to be an obstacle to getting the truth out there and I will be happy to work with the local community to help make this happen.

While certainly unsettling, PFOX’s pedagogical push should come as no surprise. A little less than a year ago they worked with the First Amendment Center to successfully sue the Montgomery County School to distribute the flyers. Of that decision, PFOX director Regina Griggs said:

As PFOX continues to work for inclusion and respect of the ex-gay viewpoint in public schools nationwide, we are assured by the consensus guidelines that the ex-gay viewpoint is protected by the First Amendment. In too many schools, the ex-gay viewpoint is censored or marginalized. Now school districts are held to a standard of respect. According to the new guidelines, actions by educators to exclude some views merely because they disagree with them constitute viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.

Now, we’re not so hot on the ex-gay movement, nor do we have love for their supporters , but we can’t fuck with the First Amendment. And, as hard as it is for us to admit, we have to respect – okay, not respect…honor – the ex-gay viewpoint. If people want to repress their sexual desires and/or follow blindly, so be it.