The Montgomery County School Board has recently approved a new sex education curriculum for public schools. The curriculum teaches that homosexuality is caused by a specific "gay gene."
In response to the school board's decision, Parents and Friends of ExGays and Gays (PFOX) released the following statement:
"According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are no replicated scientific studies supporting any specific biological cause for homosexuality. But now the Montgomery County Board of Education has done what science and medicine could not do by declaring in its newly approved curriculum that homosexuality is ‘innate' or inborn. The board could not produce any factual evidence for what it will now teach students — only political ‘pledges' and payoffs for last year's school board elections as claimed by gay rights activists."
PFOX, Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and Family Leader Network filed a court appeal of the curriculum, pointing out "factual inaccuracies and violations of state and federal law." Order of Maryland State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick stated that the Maryland Board of Education would decide in July whether the education material was legally suitable. Before the final decision, however, the Maryland school board accepted the new material.
PFOX calls this action a sign of the board's "bias" and "ignorance," stating, "The local board's action in adopting a final curriculum without waiting for the state board's decision as to the legality of that curriculum tramples on the rights of parents and violates the intent of the Superintendent's Order."
The new curriculum does not instruct children how to deal with ex-gays. PFOX comments that ex-gays are "a group that is the object of harassment encouraged by Montgomery County public school staff and students, a fact which the Montgomery County Board of Education does not deny." In fact, supported by Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) student clubs, many schools tried to oppose PFOX from encouraging tolerance of ex-gays in public high schools.
In Winston Churchill High School, for example, students labeled "PFOX" on school garbage cans so that students would throw out PFOX pamphlets supporting ex-gay tolerance. The school principal, Dr. Joan Benz, stood guard over a can in support of the anti-ExGay protest. In Wootten High School, a gay teacher, "warned PFOX to stay out of the public schools, compared sexual preference to African-Americans' skin color, and also compared PFOX to the Ku Klux Klan."
The PFOX press release states, "This discriminatory treatment is not corrected by the curriculum on teaching tolerance for sexual orientation because former homosexuals are not included in the curriculum. Why did the Board approve a curriculum that is supposed to teach respect for diverse sexual orientations when it excludes former homosexuals — the only sexual orientation that is subject to intolerance by both students and teachers?"