Family Groups Call for Recognition of 'Ex-Gays' at Pride Events

By Lawrence Morahan | July 7, 2008 | 8:04 PM EDT

( - If government agencies get into the practice of sponsoring "Gay Pride Month" events, they should provide equal access to other "sexual orientations," including former homosexuals, critics of "gay pride" events said Monday.

Better still, government employees should be recognized solely for their job performance, not their "sexual orientation," said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX).

"Let's recognize them for the job they do, not who they're sexually attracted to. I think that's demeaning, and that's then a real hot button because you can't have it both ways.

"We don't put your sexual orientation on employment applications, we hire you on qualifications, so why is it necessary to bring the bedroom into the workplace?" Griggs asked.

At a time when former homosexuals are facing increasing intolerance, presentations by former homosexuals are more important than ever, PFOX said in an e-mail directed to federal, state and county employees. Equal access to public facilities by former homosexuals supports diversity and tolerance, PFOX said.

Peter Sprigg, director of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies at the Family Research Council, said that federal, state and local agencies should not be in the business of sponsoring "gay pride" events or having diversity training that includes sexual orientation.

"The diversity training, unfortunately, is not very diverse because it always presents a pro-gay perspective, so maybe we could have a little more genuine diversity by bringing in the perspective of former homosexuals," Sprigg said.

Under pressure from homosexual activist groups, Attorney General John Ashcroft apparently reversed a decision not to allow U.S. Department of Justice employees to stage events marking "Gay Pride Month" at agency headquarters.

However, DOJ Pride, a homosexual activist group in the Justice Department, will have to fund its own event and have it on its own time, a DOJ spokesman said last week. DOJ Pride has scheduled a ceremony for Wednesday to honor activist lawyers

Calls to DOJ Pride and to the Justice Department press office were not returned.

"Gay pride" events also are being held at the departments of Commerce, Transportation, Interior, USAID, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Library of Congress, the National Institutes of Health and the Office of the Comptroller.

Some homosexual advocacy groups agreed that either all groups should be recognized or none should. "Gay pride" should be honored along with Black History Month, Asian-American Heritage Month and others, they said.

"In a perfect Republican world, I think that government employees ought to just go to work," said Mark Mead, director of public affairs with the Log Cabin Republicans, a homosexual advocacy group within the GOP.

"I could argue both cases, that government facilities ought to be used for government purposes only. But since other people...have decided that they're going to honor these groups, rightly or wrongly, then our mantra has always been: 'We only want equal rights, not special rights.'

"So if a department were to say, 'We're not doing any of these for anyone,' whether I thought that was right or wrong, that would be fair," Mead said.

However, Dr. Bill Maier, a resident psychologist with Focus on the Family, said homosexuality should not be officially recognized in the same way that black and Asian Americans are recognized. Homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic, such as race or gender, he said.

Homosexual activist organizations want corporations, municipalities, state governments and the federal government to grant special rights to individuals based on their sexual behavior.

"They're effectively using misleading anti-discrimination language to argue for these special rights. But in fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that people who identify as homosexuals are not part of a protected minority class because of their sexual orientation," Maier said.

In order to qualify for a protected minority class, a group must exhibit three elements: immutable characteristics, such as race or gender; financial discrimination; and political weakness. In 1986, the Court found that homosexuals as a group did not meet these criteria because behavior or conduct is inconsequential in considering minority class status.

Homosexual advocacy groups tend to be well funded, politically connected and media savvy, Maier said. They also promulgate the position that homosexuality is genetic, or grounded in biology, which is disputed, even by "gay-friendly" researchers, he said.

"What ex-gays say distresses them most about the 'gay pride' month is that the nation's gay activist organizations refuse to tell the truth about homosexuality," Maier said.

See Earlier Story:
'Gay Pride' Reversal at Justice Dept Gives Groups Half-a-Loaf
(June 12, 2003)

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