Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Letter from a PFOX parent to School Board

As educators and leaders that are entrusted with our children, knowing that you are interested in their health and welfare, I want to bring this extremely delicate matter to your attention.

    The issue of homosexuality has become one of the  vexing controversies of our time. For the past generation activists for the cause have been operating with extreme intensity to convince fellow Americans to accept the homosexual identity as a cultural norm.

    This has had a watershed effect on public education for guidance counselors, parents, principals, school boards, school nurses, superintendents and teachers to grapple with as they navigate the thorny issue of sex education for minor children from K-12.

    To this end a group which dubs itself  "The Coalition"  developed a carefully- worded pamphlet called Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation & Youth  which was sent to all school districts in the USA last year according to their press release

    The purported intent of this endeavor was to present information on adolescent homosexual development along with guidelines for schools to nurture same. There is also cautionary material included regarding the wisdom as well as the legalities of allowing ex-gay and  religious organizations to disseminate their respective viewpoints on school premises.

     Despite all this, the Centers for Disease Control continues to maintain that male homosexual sodomy remains the primary conduit of AIDS transmission in the USA. In fact, last year the Executive Director of the  National Gay and Lesbian Task Force  admitted  "... with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. "

    Thinking through and sorting out the claims made in this pamphlet is therefore crucial for the health and well-being of the next generation. It could make the difference between life and death for many of these children.  Since it takes from  7 to 10 years for HIV  to incubate, then AIDS patients in their twenties became infected during their teenage years.

 

   The  purpose of this letter is to highlight the downside of encouraging children to self-identify as homosexual and to raise the profile of the ex-gay movement.


Sexual Orientation Development

 

    The first section of Just the Facts  presents a rather superficial overview of psychosexual development. The Coalition asserts that some children will realize they are homosexual or bisexual and there is nothing unusual about these outcomes.  The role of the school is to be supportive.

    If this is so, perhaps it was  a Freudian slip when they went on to declare, "Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents follow developmental pathways that are both similar to and different from those of heterosexual adolescents." (p.3, emphasis added) 

    This understatement requires elucidation which is both incisive and unsentimental,

        regarding abuse : Does it Influence Later Sexual Orientation? ,

        regarding biology : Human Genome Project  and  adolescent brain development.

      regarding relationships : Homosexuality 101,

    The Coalition further asserts that societal disapproval, ie. "homophobia," is responsible for the stress experienced by children with SSA (same-sex attraction). This view fails to take into account the traumatic long-term effect of the types of experiences that predispose one to homosexuality. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Jeffrey Satinover explains this in his telling book  Homosexuality & the Politics of Truth, :

 

     "Many studies demonstrate a sadly disproportionate amount of sexual abuse in the childhoods of homosexual men, suggesting that both homosexual unhappiness and homosexuality itself derive from common causes and therefore that unhappiness is an inherent accompaniment of homosexuality..." (p.44) 

 

     Dr. Satinover also discusses  how certain behavior patterns can morph into habits and then into compulsions and finally, addictions. (pp. 138-143)

   Therefore, it is unwise and unfair to encourage children to self-identify as homosexual as they are still in the process of growth and development.  The Coalition's cavalier assertion that  " experimentation and discovery are normal and common " (p.3)  is both troubling and irresponsible.  Any implication that children should engage in sexual activity of any kind is unacceptable.

 


Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation Through Therapy

 

    In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. Activists have been gleefully touting this to the general public ever since. The fact that this was accomplished via activism rather than scientific method is how America went gay.  (author deceased in 2005) :

 

    "In 1972 and 1973 they co-opted the leadership of the American Psychiatric Association and, through a series of political maneuvers, lies and outright flim-flams, they 'cured' homosexuality overnight - by fiat...Those of us who did not go along with the political redefinition were soon silenced at our own professional meetings. Our lectures were canceled inside academe and our research papers turned down in the learned journals." 

 

   Dr. Satinover further explains: "In response to an ongoing attempt by gay activists within the APA (MD) to make it a violation of professional ethics to treat homosexuality (even when the patient wishes it) a number of professionals formed an organization called NARTH- the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality." p.181  

 

    On this basis it is both disingenuous and dishonest of the Coalition to decry counseling and to frame the issue as though all mental health practitioners eschew the treatment of unwanted SSA.

    As a matter of fact, one of the activists who was complicit with the APA in 1973 has since recanted his position .

    Likewise, a past president of the American Psychological Association  scolded his colleagues for barring research and interfering with client autonomy.

    And as of June, 2009  a new report in the peer-reviewed Journal of Human Sexuality has found that (1) sexual orientation is not immutable and (2)  psychological care for individuals with unwanted homosexual attractions is beneficial and poses no significant risk of harm.

 


Efforts to Change Sexual Orientation Through Religious Ministries

 

    Apropos to the right of self-determination is the personal decision to turn seemingly insurmountable behavior over to God. The promise of redemption has rescued many disaffected homosexuals from their quandary.

    A plethora of religious ministries offer help and support in an atmosphere of understanding and spiritual community. Many volunteers who staff these ministries have experienced healing from unwanted SSA.   

    The Coalition cites two major problems with religion: (1) the assignation of homosexuality under the heading of "sin," ; (2) the affect this allegedly has on children with SSA.  If this is so, then by default, the Coalition is labeling traditional religion intolerant while disregarding the core tenet  that God created mankind as male and female and commanded they copulate together-  according to His design.

    In particular, Judaism & Christianity  proscribe homosexual sex for profound reasons.  Dennis Prager, a Jewish theologian, prepared a historical study of how Judaism's eschewal of all sexual practices save heterosexual monogamy contributed to the betterment of civilization.  A Roman Catholic website posts this report titled  Why Judaism Rejected Homosexuality  

    Profs. Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse  recently published their peer-reviewed findings in  Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study Of Religiously Mediated Change In Sexual Orientation  They found  no evidence that attempts to change sexual orientation cause harm or psychological distress.

     We warn our children about undesirable/dangerous behaviors such as alcoholism, anger, assault, dishonesty, fornication, gluttony, greed, laziness, lying, profanity, smoking, stealing ,etc., without concern that such knowledge will damage them emotionally - even if the characteristic in question may have an organic basis. Therefore it is patently off the mark for the Coalition to assert  "promotion in school of such ministries...would likely exacerbate the risk of marginalization, harassment, harm and fear" among SSA students. ( p. 10 )  The ostracism of ex-gay  ministries is nothing more than viewpoint discrimination. 

 

 


Relevant Legal Principles

 

    This last section of the Coalition's report seems to have as its purpose to instill fear and loathing into the education establishment - fear of legal repercussions  and loathing of the ex-gay movement with  traditional religions  singled out for contempt.  

      Whereas the "right" to be gay was contrived a scant forty years ago, religious rights have been part and parcel of the lifeblood of Americana since the day of the nation's founding.  Indeed, they are embedded in our country's founding documents with freedom of religion being the foremost human right recognized by the US Constitution. Religion makes a valuable contribution to the moral growth of young people.

       In 1993 Congress passed and Pres. Bill Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act designating January 16  as Religious Freedom Day .

       In December, 2007 US Rep Randy Forbes (R-VA)  sponsored a House Resolution assigning  the first week of May as American Religious History Week  .

      Therefore, the prohibition of homosexual sex based on Christianity, Judaism, Islam , Mormonism , Jehovah's  Witnesses, etc., needs to be respected by public educators and not debased as bigoted, intolerant and/or unkind.  To do less is discrimination on the basis of creed.

    The Coalition claims the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits public schools from imposing particular religious beliefs on students (p.11).

Yet, the title of their press release -  Education, Health and RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS unite to Keep Students Safe - belies this statement.

     Their list of resources includes the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, whose website requests donations specifically "to support this important work around LGBT equality."   

    The conclusion then is the Coalition uses the First Amendment as a threat only with religions whose code of conduct prohibits  homosexual sex.  

 

    Earlier this year a District of Columbia court ruled that sexual orientation laws include former homosexuals, so the potential threat of lawsuits can cut both ways in a litigious culture.


Summation

 

    The title of the publication in question is Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation & Youth : A Primer for Principals, Educators & School Personnel. The unidentified authors are gay advocates who take issue with the emergence of therapies for adolescents struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA). The endorsements in the preface seem impressive, but are suspect since many of the organizations have become involved with gay "rights" for reasons which are strictly ideological.   

    Same-sex attractions do not necessarily make one a homosexual. Many children and teenagers  go through temporary episodes of infatuation  of same-sex peers. Led to believe he or she  is homosexual and encouraged to embrace the gay identity, such a young person may later find him- or herself trapped in an unwanted, even life-threatening, sexual habit pattern. 

    The homosexual lobby is always calling for tolerance and diversity. This should extend to those whose SSA is unwanted.

    Kids take their cues from the adults around them.  Unfortunately, homosexualist activism has become embedded in the dominant culture. It is marketed via broadcast and print media, judicial activism, misguided politicians,"out" celebrities and talk shows.  

    Equal time for counterpoint from the proverbial "voice in the wildreness" is in order. Hopefully, acquaintance with the mission  of ex-gays  will achieve that goal.  

    We adults have a lot to be mindful of.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Cebrian

 

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