Friday, April 30, 2010

Washington D.C. Government Once Again Reverting to Discrimination

To:  U.S. Department of State


Re:  Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights in the United States


Dear Honorable Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:


Please accept these comments from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) concerning the Universal Periodic Review of human rights in the U.S. and include these comments in the State Department’s report to the United Nations.  With respect to human rights in the United States, ex-gays are the most unprotected minority group in the country.  Until last year, ex-gays were not even covered under the Washington D.C. Human Rights Act.


The D.C. Office of Human Rights refused to extend the District’s sexual orientation non-discrimination law to former homosexuals, therefore making ex-gays the only group of people denied public accommodations in the Nation’s Capitol. 


Consequently, PFOX sued the D.C. Office of Human Rights last year, which resulted in ex-gays being recognized as a protected class under D.C.’s Human Rights Act. The court ruled against the District Government and held that the Human Rights Act does not require immutable characteristics for sexual orientation status so that ex-gays are entitled to the same legal protections that gays currently enjoy.  See Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays, Inc. v. Government of the District Office of Human Rights, 2008CA003662 (June 26, 2009).


Nonetheless, at the behest of gay organizations, Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty apologized for issuing a certificate of appreciation to the PFOX leadership.  This kind of intolerance against ex-gays occurs all across this country.  Each year thousands of men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave homosexuality via non-judgmental environments.  Their decision is one only they can make.  However, there are others in society who refuse to respect individual self-determination.  Consequently, formerly gay men and women are reviled simply because they dare to exist.   


Many ex-gays are afraid to come out of the closet because of the harassment they will receive.  Ex-gays and their supporters should not have to be closeted for fear of other’s negative reactions or disapproval.  They do not think something is wrong with them because they decided to fulfill their heterosexual potential.  Nor do they believe others should condemn them for the personal decision they have made for their lives. 


Due to media indifference, many Americans are unaware of the widespread intolerance practiced against those who leave homosexuality: 

·         Unlike gay groups, ex-gay groups like PFOX are routinely denied equal access to participate in public school events, donate books to public school libraries, and present speakers on diversity day.


·         Transgenders and cross-dressers are affirmed for changing their gender but former homosexuals are ridiculed for making the decision to change their sexual orientation. 


·         Ex-gay conferences and seminars across the country are frequently picketed by anti-ex-gay protestors. 


·         Presidential candidate Barack Obama was criticized by gay activists for allowing ex-gay gospel singer Donnie McClurkin to sing at a fundraiser.  They insisted that Obama drop the African-American singer from the program.  No other singers received this treatment.                                                             


·         Harvard University conducted two separate investigations against employee Larry Houston because he discussed his former homosexuality on campus.


·         Equality Virginia demanded that Washington DC Metro remove PFOX’s subway billboards advocating tolerance for ex-gays. 


·         An ex-gay volunteer staffing PFOX’s exhibit booth at the Arlington County, Virginia Fair was physically assaulted because he refused to recant his ex-gay testimony. 

The list is endless because intolerance against the ex-gay community occurs continually.  This irrational phobia of those who have overcome unwanted same-sex attractions perpetuates misunderstanding and harm against the ex-gay community.  It also demonstrates a disregard for diversity and a refusal to respect a basic human right to dignity and self-determination.

Please include the ex-gay community in your report to the United Nations.  No report on human rights in the United States can be complete without mention of the status of former homosexuals. 


Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays





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