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08/30/2007

PFOX plays the victim; we play the skeptic

by Jeremy Hooper

PeefoxIn a recently issued press release, this is how Regina Griggs of the PFOX (Parents and Friends of 'Ex-gays') organization describes a recent encounter that she claims her group had with gay activists:

Last week Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Arlington County Fair in Arlington, Virginia. PFOX has exhibited at this county fair for the past four years and hands out materials on same-sex attraction and tolerance for the ex-gay community to a hungry public. A local gay group also exhibits there and distributes materials on gay rights.

As happens every year, gay activists disrupted our booth activities. They screamed obscenities, threw our materials from the exhibit table to the ground, insisted we recognize their same-sex “spouses,” demanded that PFOX leave, and hit a PFOX volunteer because he is ex-gay.

Okay, so we've been unable to find anyone who was at the Arlington County Fair to either corroborate or refute Regina's account. However, one thing we know for certain: No credible "gay activist" committed violence or destroyed PFOX property! We simply don't believe it. Those who truly fight for gay rights and work challenging PFOX's rhetoric would never act in such way. And if Regina is going to make such claims, then we're going to have to hear more details about these unidentified "assailants" before we give these contentions even an ounce of credence. There's a big difference between a group of folks who become enraged by the booth for whatever reason and proceed to retaliate, and a group of actual gay rights advocates.

But as annoying and dramatic as the above claims may be, they are far less enraging than the reasons Regina proceeds to give for why "gay activists" would want to act in such a manner in the first place:

From years of exhibiting at public events across the country, PFOX has learned:

Leaving homosexuality is like leaving a cult – many gay activists feel betrayed by ex-gays and hate anyone who supports self-determination when it comes to the ex-gay community. Although God gave us free will to choose our own lives, whether good or bad choices, gay activists would take free will away from us and force ex-gays back into the closet.

Gay activists fear factual information that PFOX makes available to teens. Gay activists have had a monopoly over our youth for so long that they resent any competing information and label anything contrary to their pro-gay ideology as “dangerous” to youth.

Gay activists do not support hate crimes or sexual orientation anti-discrimination laws if those laws include ex-gays. “Hate crimes” is another word for hate against ex-gays while protecting gays. Therefore, we must work to ensure that all sexual orientation laws at any level specifically include former homosexuals or be eliminated altogether as discriminatory.

So those of you who regularly read G-A-Y know that we feel as if the "ex-gay" movement is allergic to facts and reasoned considerations. However, Regina Griggs seems to be particularly afflicted! Because seriously -- who can really make the case that "ex-gays" possess a separate and valid "sexual orientation," the likes of which should be protected by non-discrimination laws?! And in match-up between a rag tag bunch of folks from all walks of life who have dared to live their truths vs. a bunch of folks who have had to attend therapy sessions, conferences, camps, and meetings (all typically associated with one particular faith) in order to reach their "actualities," who could honestly call the first group the "cult"? And don't even get us started on Regina's contention that PFOX's information is "factual." Hell, that's like calling Lndsey Lohan a good role model!

It's sort of become an "ex-gay" talking point to make it sound as if gays are threatened or personally challenged by the "ex-gay" concept. Such could not be further from the truth! Gay activists oppose the "ex-gay" movement because (a) they are wholly unsupported by science and medical research, (b) are gambling with actual lives in the name of (typically religious) bias, and (c) there does not exist an "ex-gay" group or proponent that is not also affiliated with the "pro-family" groups that work day and night to keep gay equality a constant struggle! The "ex-gay" movement is the "love the sinner, hate the sin" wing of the anti-gay industry. They baselessly make gayness look like a choice, which allows those who discriminate against gays to detach their bias from the human being, and instead attach it to a "chosen behavior." Those of us who "love the gay, hate the hate" have no choice BUT to protest!

It is also pure "ex-gay" strategy to foster the illusion that the conversation between gay and "ex-gay" movements is a 50-50 discourse in which we can agree. But the plain and simple truth is that not all viewpoints are created equally! There has really never been a movement quite like the "ex-gay" one, which makes the whole thing hard to understand for the layman. People wonder why we gay can't just accept these individuals. However, we 100% accept the individual who engages in homosexuality and then ventures into hetero waters. However, they are not "ex-gay"! Bisexual, maybe. Still gay and just choosing the live a heterosexual life for religious reasons is another possibility. Or maybe they were never truly gay, and their heterosexuality was always their truth. But there does not exist this valid flux state wherein sexual orientation is in some sort of bizarre limbo. That moniker is adopted for socio-political reasons, and nothing more. We reject the label because it is both silly and agenda-laden!

Regina and her pals may have suffered some sort of physical violence from some sort of angry individual. If true, we strongly reject an condemn such actions. However, she has been on a non-stop assault on reason for the past many years, the likes of which rejects and condemns millions of valid lives and loves. The trauma from minor physical altercations subsides. But if gone unchecked, the affects of Regina and company's duplicitous attacks could cause permanent, lasting damage for millions. THAT is what we're afraid of!

GAYS ASSAULT EX-GAYS AT COUNTY FAIR [PFOX Release]
(H/t: Box Turtle Bulletin)

**UPDATE, 8/31: Surprise, surprise:

Police Info Casts Doubt on Alleged Attack Against PFOX [XGW]

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Your thoughts

Regina Griggs became bitter over having a gay son and it prompted her on this 'ex-gay' mission.

Posted by: Franc | Aug 30, 2007 8:33:34 PM

I loved this part:

"gay activists would take free will away from us and force ex-gays back into the closet."

So if we forced them "back" into the closet, wouldn't that make them openly gay?

Posted by: Emproph | Aug 30, 2007 10:27:43 PM

Yes, Emproph -- Regina is trying to make "gay" seem like the closet in which "ex-gays" temporarily live. As Franc correctly points out, her own gay son's coming out process seems to have colored the rest of her life. It's sad, really.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 30, 2007 11:03:41 PM

Arlington Police Department just verified some of the statements made in press release. Thanks for having the decency to write: "Regina and her pals may have suffered some sort of physical violence from some sort of angry individual. If true, we strongly reject an condemn such actions".

Posted by: Marcus Loeve | Sep 10, 2007 9:26:50 PM

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