Sunday, February 19, 2012

The intolerance of Montgomery County (Maryland) Superintendent Joshua Starr

Continuing Testimony in Baltimore County, Maryland

I am Grace Harley, speaking for Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, known as PFOX. Your bill defines ‘sexual orientation’ as the “identification of homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality.” Mr. Quirk and Councilmembers, you are sponsoring this bill to protect people who change their gender, but you fail to protect people who change their sexual orientation.  

 

Please add two words, “former homosexuality,” to the bill’s definition to ensure protection from sexual orientation discrimination for everyone. Otherwise, the bill is not about protecting people from discrimination but about giving preferred treatment to a special interest group, which is not what our country and county are about.

 

Ex-gays are discriminated against in Baltimore County by being denied equal access.  PFOX asked Towson University to include ex-gay brochures in their sexual orientation center.  Towson University refused, although they accept homosexual, bisexual, and transgender materials. 

 

It is this kind of discrimination against the ex-gay community that we are asking you to eliminate with an amendment to add “former homosexuality.”

Former homosexuals are the only sexual orientation group discriminated against at Towson University, which questions why individuals would change their sexual orientation but does not question why someone would change their gender. 

 

Ex-gays and their supporters should not have to be closeted for fear of other’s negative reactions or disapproval.  Nor do they believe others should condemn them for the personal decision they have made for their lives.  Full diversity must include former homosexuals. 

 

Unless the bill is amended to include former homosexuality, please vote against it because the bill is discriminatory and does not serve the purpose its sponsors claim.

 

Thank you and I am giving you a copy of Towson University’s rejection along with my speech.