Contact: Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)
For Immediate Release
Ex-Gays File Sexual Orientation Discrimination Complaint with Department of Justice
School Board Actions Against Ex-Gays Smack of 1950’s Jim Crow Era
Rockville, Md. – Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint with the Department of Justice and the Department of Education against the Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Education and its School Superintendent, Joshua Starr.
PFOX requests the federal agencies to initiate an investigation into the discriminatory practices of Superintendent Starr and the Montgomery County school board and to oversee a remedial program to ensure diversity and non-discrimination against ex-gays.
“Starr misused his official position as school superintendent to gain access to students and indoctrinate them with his prejudicial bias against the ex-gay community,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. “The Department of Justice has investigated complaints against schools for discriminating against transgenders – those who have changed their gender identity. The ex-gay community – those who have changed their sexual orientation – asks for equal treatment from our federal government.”
After PFOX distributed ex-gay flyers to high school students as part of the schools’ flyer distribution program for non-profit organizations, Starr publicly denigrated PFOX and former homosexuals by calling the actions of PFOX “reprehensible and deplorable” and labeling the flyer’s sexual orientation freedom stance as “a really, really disgusting message.”
“PFOX’s flyers provided information on unwanted same-sex attractions, discouraged student name calling and labeling, and urged tolerance for former homosexuals,” Griggs said. “Starr does not respect real diversity. As school superintendent, Starr’s actions make it impossible for Montgomery County public schools to provide an atmosphere where everyone is treated fairly and with respect, and free from discrimination and abuse, as mandated by its sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy.
“When the school superintendent promotes intolerance of former homosexuals, then students and teachers will follow his example and learn to disrespect sexual minorities like the ex-gay community. Superintendent Starr cannot be allowed to use his official position to display hate against any group of people just because he disagrees with their sexual orientation.”
“Although PFOX has participated in the MCPS flyer distribution program for five years, Starr and the school board admitted that they closed the entire program in order to keep out the ex-gays. Their actions are reminiscent of the 1950s Jim Crow South, when public pools and other public areas were closed rather than allow the participation of African-Americans.”
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is the nation’s leading advocacy organization for love, support, and positive life change for the ex-gay community, their families, and individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions.