Monday, June 27, 2011

Doesn't tolerance and diversity work two ways?

Dear Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education,


As a parent and grandparent of children and grandchildren living in Montgomery  County, Md., I am astounded to have learned that you are seriously considering including five unwarranted statements about homosexuality in school lessons, one of which attacks the right of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions to seek therapy to overcome those attractions. As a professional counselor, I find such a statement to be inaccurate from the point of view of science and from my own personal experience, having worked with hundreds and hundreds of individuals who successfully overcome such fantasies, arousals, identity, and behavior.


Other statements which I understand you are considering include statements praising homosexuals as "successful parents" with children who "do just as well as those raised by heterosexuals," (certainly contrary to a significant body of scientific peer reviewed literature. See for example the landmark study by Serantakos which compared school age children from three family structures: married couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples, and gay and lesbian couples). 


I am astounded at what appears to an effort to follow a politically correct pro-gay no dissent line in propagandizing children within the school system. I believe Montgomery County Public Schools needs to have tolerance and diversity work in both directions: that is, to protect the rights and interests of ALL sexual minorities, whether they be gay identified or ex-gay and for them to be aware of all the options available to them. 


It is essential that students be aware of the ability of individuals to change sexual orientation. The BOE should not accept educational material designed to mislead students into the false belief that sexual orientation is fixed and immutable.   


I urge you to include in a positive way within the schools' tolerance curriculum material that is respectful of the right of individuals to choose to change their sexual orientation. 


Thank you for considering these views,


Sincerely yours,

Avrum BenYaakov 


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