Members of the ex-gay community and their supporters from across the country came to Capitol Hill today and yesterday for Ex-Gay Lobby Days sponsored by Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX). PFOX is a national organization that supports families affected by homosexuality, educates the public on sexual reorientation, and advocates for the ex-gay community.
Ex-gays educated members of Congress on the adverse effect of sexual orientation legislation on former homosexuals. Of particular concern are laws regarding hate crimes and sexual orientation that are interpreted to make it illegal to promote alternatives to homosexuality.
Participants also related personal stories of the outright intolerance they experienced as ex-gays. They explained that former homosexuals are the only group systematically discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation. For example, Larry Houston related how his employer, Harvard University, initiated two separate investigations against him simply because he “came out” as ex-gay on campus. The Congressional members appreciated the opportunity to meet with former homosexuals and discuss issues of concern to the ex-gay community.
Participating ex-gay organizations included: PFOX, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH), National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), Exodus, International Healing Foundation, Powerful Change, Evergreen, and One by One. Congressional lawmakers received a Statement of Principles on Alternatives to Homosexuality signed by all of the participating ex-gay organizations. The Statement called for the right of choice to leave the homosexual lifestyle, public awareness of alternatives to same sex attractions, client self-determination in the counseling field, ex-gay equal access to public forums, and tolerance for the ex-gay community. Congressional lawmakers also received a PFOX Fact Sheet detailing the scientific basis for sexual reorientation.
“Members of Congress and their legislative aides were introduced to the ex-gay community,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. “It was a fruitful experience for both. Also, parents of children in the lifestyle explained how they love their homosexual children unconditionally. Other groups insist that parents love their children only on the condition that parents affirm the child's homosexual lifestyle. PFOX believes that parents should love their children unconditionally and without any stipulations.”
PFOX is urging its members and allies to make appointments with their local Congressional offices to continue lobbying efforts for the ex-gay community. PFOX can supply participants with information packets to present to their local offices.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX)
Fort Belvoir VA 22060
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