PFOX’ Theories Were Too Strange For The Religious Right, So How Can They By Okay For Public Schools? Asks Truth Wins Out
WASHINGTON — An organization whose former board president, Richard Cohen, was recently expunged from nearly every right wing group in the nation after a bizarre appearance on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, filed a lawsuit against Arlington Public Schools to demand the right to indoctrinate students with odd, archaic and dangerous ideas.
The frivolous lawsuit was filed by the Center for Law and Religious Freedom on behalf of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX). The ex-gay group is upset because the school system is not allowing them to hand out medically and psychologically inaccurate fliers that tell students that they can go from gay to straight.
Richard Cohen was PFOX’ intellectual guru and spokesperson for several years until a string of peculiar television appearances where he violently slammed a tennis racket against a pillow while screaming a parents’ name, caressed clients who sat in his lap and showed he was manly by cursing and belching. After displaying the techniques promoted by PFOX on TV, the religious right was so mortified, they cut all ties to Cohen and threatened to denounce PFOX unless they banished their president.
“After watching Cohen’ alarming display of lunacy on television, it would be grossly negligent and irresponsible for any school system to allow PFOX to hand out fliers to students,” said Truth Wins Out’ Executive Director Wayne Besen. “If PFOX is given the green light, it opens the door to any nut or fringe group to distribute literature in the schools. Arlington is clearly acting within its right to protect students from utter madness and theories rejected as harmful by every respected mental health organization in the country.”
In Cohen’ book, “Coming Out Straight,” he attributes homosexuality, in some cases, to ancestral curses and cites a book by Dr. Edith Fiore to back up his claim.
“Generally, the influencing spirits are seeking revenge, retaliating for wounds inflicted upon them,” writes Cohen — who was kicked out of the American Counseling Association for malpractice – citing this passage in Fiore’ book to justify his theory.
In August 2006, the American Psychological Association clearly said that ex-gay therapy was scientifically unsound and could promote discrimination. According to the APA:
“For over three decades the consensus of the mental health community has been that homosexuality is not an illness and therefore not in need of a cure. The APA’ concern about the positions espoused by NARTH and so-called conversion therapy is that they are not supported by the science. There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Our further concern is that the positions espoused by NARTH and Focus on the Family create an environment in which prejudice and discrimination can flourish.”
PFOX’ website also directs students to the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. In 2006, NARTH’ President, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, announced he would step down after controversy ensued over an article that appeared on the group’ website. It was written by “Scientific Advisory Committee” member Gerald Schoenewolf and seemed to justify slavery.
“There is another way, or other ways, to look at the race issue in America,” writes Gerald Schoenewolf. “Africa at the time of slavery was still primarily a jungle…Life there was savage… and those brought to America, and other countries, were in many ways better off.”
“I’m sure PFOX’ message is not one that school officials want to send home with students,” said Besen. “The group promotes strange ideas and is tied to organizations, such as NARTH, with insidious agendas.”
Truth Wins OUT is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.
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