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06/09/2011

Kevin Jennings said 'ex-gays' need equal public school access? Yeah, PFOX? You sure about that?

by Jeremy Hooper

Knowing the way PFOX spins every non-victory as if it's some sort of validation for the scientifically-unbacked, in-flux label known as "ex-gay," it's certain that this press release is just more of the same:

June 8, 2011/Washington, DC-Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) today thanked Kevin Jennings, Assistant Deputy Director of the Department of Education, for meeting with PFOX and called upon President Obama to do the same.

Jennings recently announced he will leave the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. His appointment in 2009 was controversial due to his previous work with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which rejects former homosexuals. However, during Jennings' tenure he met with PFOX, which advocates for equality and equal access for the ex-gay community, and assured them that his office represents students with all sexual orientations, including those with unwanted same-sex attractions (SSA). Jennings also affirmed the right of ex-gay organizations to have equal access in the nation's schools and agreed that former homosexuals should not be discriminated against during outreach efforts for students with unwanted SSA.
Jennings-PFOX"I commend Mr. Jennings for affirming that his work to combat bullying in schools includes protection for ex-gays," commented former homosexual Christopher Doyle, one of several PFOX Board Members who in

February of 2010 met with Jennings and Joseph Wheeler, Attorney for the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights. Wheeler stated that he agreed with the Washington, DC Superior Court's 2009 ruling that ex-gays are a legally protected class. "Mr. Jennings extended a hand of civility towards former homosexuals. Despite our different paths, both gays and ex-gays can stand united over the ideal that no student should be bullied because of sexual feelings, and all organizations leading outreach efforts must be extended equal access," commented Doyle.
Departing Safe Schools Czar Met with PFOX to Discuss Ex-Gays [PFOX]

Most likely reality: Jennings and Wheeler asserted that yes, all students deserve to be treated fairly. Because we all agree with that. That is the point of most all of our non-discrimination efforts: That one's attractions or identities should not be grounds for unfair treatment. Obviously. We've said this to PFOX on a number of occasions. Our opposition is not about the "ex-gay"-identified person's right to claim whatever he or she wants: It's about the bigger movement and the obvious agenda attached!

So about that agenda: Did Jennings really say that "ex-gay" organizations have a right to equal access in our nation's public schools? Highly unlikely. In fact, will be so bold as to say PFOX is outright lying on this point. Why? Because we know that Jennings is someone who knows the "ex-gay" movement and its associated agenda as well or better than 99% of the population. He knows what the credible body of science says on the subject. He knows that there is no recognized in-transition orientation known as "ex-gay." He would never suggest that LGBT-inclusive education include instruction on something that has no credible backing. We call PFOX's bluff (and are also calling Jennings' office).

So why does PFOX do stuff like this? Well, because this group is nothing if not aspirational:

In light of the Administration's recent meeting with the transgender community, PFOX is calling on President Obama to extend the same courtesy and meet with ex-gays. "The administration's meeting with transgenders was a first for the White House, and it would be historic for this administration to extend the same consideration for ex-gays," said Doyle. "Considering the increasing ex-gay population and the example that Jennings set, the President should also include our voices in sexual orientation policies."
Departing Safe Schools Czar Met with PFOX to Discuss Ex-Gays [PFOX]

Again: Not gonna happen. A meeting is one thing, but the President is not going to add "ex-gay" to sexual orientation policies simply because Paul Cameron, George Rekers, NARTH, and Focus on the Family said so. Fortunately, science comes with a bit of a higher bar. Fortunately, this administration respects science.

We're going to get some answers on what really went down at this meeting. Stay tuned in, both to this site and your own truth.

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