From our neighbors over in Montgomery County, a good community response to an ignorant diatribe similar to the more florid examples in our Hall of Shame. While everyone has the right to express their opinion, some utterances border on libelous, and certainly are beyond the bounds of civil discourse and the standards of a community newspaper. Nothing screams “bitter, marginalized loser” more than trying to link being gay with pedophilia.
So, the effort led by national AGI groups PFOX and Family Research Council to block the implementation of an improved sexuality education curriculum in Montgomery County schools was handed its final defeat in court. Now the focus of these groups has turned to accusing the School Board and MCPS of viewpoint discrimination. A threat letter sent by the Alliance Defense Fund alleges that literature distributed in the schools by PFOX has been “treated in a discriminatory manner” because some teachers have been vocal about its misrepresentations of fact.
As if on cue, here is what the director of PFOX, Regina Griggs, told an audience yesterday in an interview about Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger:
“The official position of all medical and mental health organizations and the American Psychiatric Association is that there is no biological or genetic cause or replicated study for homosexuality. So, why as a doctor should he not be allowed to interpret and support the fact that change is possible? That’s what medical science says.”
This does not represent a difference of opinion. This is simply a lie.
Here is the actual APA position:
The American Psychiatric Association opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as “reparative” or “conversion” therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder, or based upon a prior assumption that the patient should change his/ her homosexual orientation.
Furthermore, the APA and other medical and mental health organizations take no position on the causes of variability in sexual orientation. The APA position is in fact the one that Regina Griggs, et al, tried so very hard to prevent from being referenced in the MCPS curriculum.
Trash belongs in the trash can. No one is obligated to treat the material distributed by PFOX with reverence, or to refrain from observing that it is medically and factually inaccurate. PFOX couldn’t force the schools to include their misrepresentations of fact in the curriculum, and they won’t be able to silence educators who point out their misrepresentations of fact, either.
Here is a suggestion for PFOX, and for any other group that feels that their civil rights are being trampled because their opinions are not being treated as the equivalent of medical consensus. Support some students who want to establish an extracurricular club that advocates your viewpoint. All viewpoints must be treated equally in this context, no matter how unpopular or implausible they may be. You will thus avoid the problem of appearing to blur the distinction between opinion and fact, and save yourselves a great deal of trouble.