Sunday, April 18, 2010

PFOX responds to PFLAG

Public Comment by Peter Sprigg

Member, Board of Directors, PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays)

Member, Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development

Montgomery County Board of Education

April 15, 2010


I am here because it came to my attention at last night’s meeting of the Citizens’ Advisory Committee that some individual or group would be presenting comments today critical of a flier by PFOX that was sent home with MCPS students under the backpack flier program.


Some critics on the web have even referred to this flier as “hate speech.” I am providing you with copies of the actual flier so that you can see what it actually says. I defy anyone to point to a single sentence or statement in this document that promotes hate toward anyone. In fact the flier says, “All individuals deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the needs of others. PFOX supports tolerance for everyone regardless of sexual orientation.” Where is the “hate” in that?


I was also informed that a citizen would be proposing changes or additions to the MCPS curriculum on sexual orientation that was already extensively reviewed and debated by the committee on which I serve. I would like to suggest that if changes are to be considered, you look at the website, recently created by the American College of Pediatricians to present accurate and up-to-date information on this subject. I have attached a flier with summary information that is available from this source.


Finally, I would suggest that if only one statement could be changed in the lessons about sexual orientation, it should be the removal of the politically motivated, scientifically unsubstantiated statement that was added to the curriculum at the last minute, without review by our committee, saying that homosexuality is “innate.” The most updated information about the origins of sexual orientation, as described by the American Psychological Association, is the following:


“There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual

develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.”


I would suggest that this statement, in full, should replace the inaccurate generalization about homosexuality being “innate.”




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