Conservative Christians and Jews have teamed up with men and women who call themselves “ex-gay” to lobby, and even sue, for the right to tell teenagers that they can “heal” themselves of unwanted same-sex attractions.
— Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2006
- On May 2, 2006, Orlando-based Liberty Counsel and Washington-based Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) launched their joint “Change is Possible Campaign.” The goal is to threaten schools with frivolous lawsuits unless they allow the scientifically bankrupt message of ex-gays into classrooms.
- The Christian Post reported in April 2006 that Liberty Counsel will ask students to distribute literature and put up posters promoting ex-gay messages. “We also encourage them to start Gay to Straight Clubs, and ask that the ex-gay viewpoint be included in all diversity day presentations that discuss homosexuality,” said a statement from the law firm.
- Viroqua High School, near La Crosse, Wisconsin, cancelled Diversity Day in March 2006 after the Liberty Counsel threatened a lawsuit unless “ex-gays” were allowed to participate.
- Exodus International, the largest ex-gay group in America, has a web-site, “Exodus Youth,” geared towards children (http://exodusyouth.net/youth/index.html). Exodus’ Executive Director made his group’ intentions clear in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, “If you’re going to allow one side into the schools, you need to allow the other side, too. People want alternatives.” (LA Times, May 28, 2006)
- The same L.A. Times article reported that teachers, too, are beginning to raise the subject with their principals. “It’s been our hottest issue over the last two years. Without a doubt,” said Finn Laursen, executive director of the Christian Educators Assn. International, which represents 7,000 teachers, mostly from public schools.
- A high school in New Hampshire invited ex-gay activist Aaron Shorey to present his story on Civil Rights Day last year. He’s working with several other New England schools to get permission for similar presentations. The ex-gay group Inqueery, based in Des Moines, has also sent speakers to public high schools. In Boulder, Colo., educators are considering including an ex-gay pamphlet in a resource guide to help teachers handle questions about sexuality.
- Similar lawsuits may be filed in New Jersey where Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) is seeking parents and students willing to sue to get the ex-gay view into schools.
- In 2005, a federal judge sided with PFOX in a lawsuit against a Maryland school district. PFOX had sued to block the district’s new sex-education curriculum, arguing that its treatment of homosexuality was biased. The judge wrongly agreed that students should hear pseudo-science and PFOX now has a seat on the committee charged with drafting new lesson plans.