Ex-Gay Leaflets Distributed With School Report Cards


Kids at Rockville’s Albert Einstein High School, Maryland, on February 1 took home their report cards, but some parents were shocked to find that alongside their kids’ grades there was also a leaflet telling their kids how being gay is a choice and that it is possible to change.

Via Fox News:

The flyer is from a group called PFOX, Parents And Friends Of Ex-Gays And Gays. In the one-page message, the group tells teenagers that no one is “born gay”, and people can choose their sexual orientation.

Karen Yount-Merrell, a licensed, clinical social worker, got one of the flyers when her son came home with his report card from Einstein High School.

“I don’t like it,” Yount-Merrell declared. “Everything in this flyer make its sound like the goal is to be [an] EX-gay, [or an EX]-lesbian. It is not embracing of a different orientation. It reiterates a societal view that there’s something ‘wrong’ with you, if you’re not in the norm. If you aren’t heterosexual. And teenagers have a hard enough time dealing with who they are and feeling good about themselves.”

How and why is this happening? School authorities point out that†the Montgomery County district must allow any registered nonprofits to send home fliers with students per a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling that Montgomery County’s previous refusal to allow an evangelical organization to send home leaflets was discriminatory. Routinely, and as in this case, schools add a disclaimer: “These materials are neither sponsored by nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery County, the superintendent, or this school.”

So what is the content of the leaflet that has so annoyed parents? Fox has a copy, but it reads in part:

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) promotes diversity for the ex-gay community. Ex-gays demonstrate that those with unwanted same-sex attractions can seek help and information on overcoming their feelings. All individuals deserve the right to self-determination and happiness based on their own needs, and not the needs of others. PFOX supports tolerance.


Who are ex-gays?

Every year thousands of people with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave a gay identity through non-judgemental environment or their own own initiative. Their decision is one only they can make. However, there are those in society who refuse to respect an individual’s†right to self determination. Consequently, formerly gay men and women are discriminated against simply because they dare to exist. Ex-gays and their supporters are denied equal access and support, forcing them to remain silent for fear of negative reactions and disapproval.

But aren’t some people born “gay”?

According to mainstream psychological associations, there are no replicated scientific studies to support that a person can be born “gay.” No “gay gene” or gay center of the brain has been found. No medical test exists to determine if a person is homosexual. Sexual orientation is based on feelings and is a matter of self-affirmation and public declaration. Some teens are labeled “gay” or other names even though they do not have same-sex attractions. Appearance is not a reliable means to know what another person feels. No one should be labeled based on the perception of others. Name calling is wrong because the victim may begin to believe what others tell them about themselves, which may be completely false labeling and cause gender confusion.

The leaflet goes on to weasel its way around sexual attraction not being a defining characteristic about sexuality (they’re playing parlance games with the notion that just because you are attracted to the same sex doesn’t mean you have to†identify†as gay) and to offer so-called help to anyone who has†questions†or would like support materials.

A brief rundown of the†misinformation they have provided: the leaflet highlights there being no identifiable “gay gene” which profoundly misunderstands the complexity of assessing gene expression and gene-environment interaction and ignores the results of a number of studies that have pointed toward biological†heredity. They also laud the lack of an identifiable†gay center of the brain, which is technically true but doesn’t serve their cause because what†studies have shown is there are definable differences in homosexual male and female brains when compared to their heterosexual male and female counterparts.

The leaflet then quotes mainstream psychological associations, claiming they all agree that there is no evidence for the “born gay” meme. PFOX does so without acknowledging what science actually says: that sexuality is immutable, and while that is not the same as supporting the notion of being born gay it is just as damning for the idea that one chooses to be homosexual. In addition, mainstream psychological and scientific understanding says that there is no replicated or verifiable†evidence that suggests it is either possible or safe for most if not all people to try and change their sexuality, and that, in fact, being gay, lesbian or bisexual is a healthy†expression†of human sexuality that should be affirmed, this being the appropriate remedy to distress over sexual orientation.

Indeed, even leaders in the “ex-gay” movement have acknowledged that changing from gay to straight isn’t possible for the vast majority of people, while several have recently come out and said that they never experienced change at all.

Further to this, ex-gay cure therapies, whatever they entail, have demonstrated a propensity to subject people to deep emotional trauma.

This is perhaps why PFLAG (the LGBT-affirming organization PFOX appears to have mimicked with its choice of†moniker) has reportedly hit out at the schools that are allowing this to happen, saying a simple disclaimer on responsibility isn’t enough, and that they have a duty to educate people about PFOX’s intentions. Via MetroWeekly:

”Any discussion of PFOX should include what has been its prime focus from its inception: convincing gay people that they can change their sexual orientation,” Fishback said in a related PFLAG release. ”This message is dangerous and destructive to health.”

Fishback also told†Metro Weekly that promoting the idea of ”assumed willful differences” – that gay people can choose to be straight – contributes to atmospheres that are conducive to bullying, which, in turn, can lead teenagers to consider suicide.

This is not the the first time children in the district have taken home such materials.

PFOX has previously distributed its materials at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, and several others.

Related Reading:

Did Bachmann Try to Pass a Law Protecting Ex-Gay Therapy?

Donít Filter Me!: ACLU Campaigns to Get Positive LGBT Websites Unblocked in Schools

Minnesota Family Council: Gay Indoctrination Causes Youth Suicides

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to John Steven Fernandez.


Bruce C.
Bruce C5 years ago

Dear Bunnie K:

I made a choice about being gay, yes, I did. I chose to quit lying-to myself,my family and my friends. I chose to quit hating myself. I chose to tell the truth in all things. I chose to life as who I am, not as who people like you want me to be.

I did not choose to be gay. I have never had a bad experience with someone of the opposite sex. I did not choose to be allowed none of the rights and privileges that come with marriage. I did not choose to be hated and bullied. I did not choose job, hotel,or housing discrimination. I did not choose to hear stupidity and ignorance and hatred from the religious and the deliberately ignorant.

My only choice was whether I would live a lie or live the truth. I chose truth, I chose life.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin5 years ago

Bunnie K. All my life I've heard about how being gay is fashionable (in the 70's, 80's, 90's, etc), but I've not seen any of it myself. So maybe you can give me some links to where I can find who originally made these statements and where they got their facts about it? Also, I've never seen any schools promoting gay-ism. Where have you seen this? I so wish my school had done that! Would have saved me plenty of beatings!
Bunny K.: You're all BS!

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Then they should have no problem with leaflets promoting the Spaghetti God, the Tooth Fairy
and Witchcraft. It's time to get busy.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago


"School authorities point out that the Montgomery County district must allow any registered nonprofits to send home fliers with students per a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruling that Montgomery County’s previous refusal to allow an evangelical organization to send home leaflets was discriminatory. Routinely, and as in this case, schools add a disclaimer: “These materials are neither sponsored by nor endorsed by the Board of Education of Montgomery County, the superintendent, or this school.”

I guarantee they'd be hearing from me!

P B.
P B5 years ago

Schools shouldn't be distribution agents for any non-profit, period.

Bunnie K.
Bunnie Klassen5 years ago

Having had many gay friends in my life.|(and two of my family are gay)... each of them told me they made a choice...usually after being hurt by someone of the opposite sex... my family members "came out" as teens AFTER being gay became fashionable and the schools started promoting it... and that is what I see.... promotion of this lifestyle. This debate should not be in our schools, period... it confuses the kids even more into thinking that SOME attraction to the same sex... which is normal as one develops... means your gay... BS.

Doug Alley
Doug Alley5 years ago

The school should have said no, and stuck to their guns. They did not have to do this. Just say no to these kinds of BS and that's it. No one would have taken them to court or made a big issue out of it. They did not have to do this.

Chad A.
Chad A5 years ago

If the schools can be mandated to send out hurtful homophobic propaganda, then district policies need to change and be more carefully crafted to prevent bigotry. I am not aware of the rationale for the 4th District ruling on not discriminating about the evangelical organization in banning their fliers, but allowing that sounds a lot like establishment in violation of the First Amendment to me. The state does not have the responsibility to spread hate speech equally.

Isabel Ramirez
Isabel Ramirez5 years ago

Why would the school agree to pass out the leaflets??

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

The person or persons who put this pamphlet in with the report cards should be banned from all schools period. They have NO business distributing their hate propaganda using the public school system and it's resources.