Tag Archives: Ex-Gay Awareness Month

University LGBTQ Resource Centers in Virginia Engaging in Viewpoint Discrimination

Undercover Investigation Reveals Medically Inaccurate, Discriminatory, and Biased Counseling


LGBTQ Resource Center UVAhome_rotundaAs a part of September’s Ex-Gay Awareness Month, Voice of the Voiceless (VoV) went undercover into seven of Virginia’s fifteen state universities to document a variety of misconduct among publicly-funded employees, including medically-inaccurate advice, view point discrimination, and biased counseling for students who experience unwanted homosexual feelings. The investigation, which occurred over a 2 ½ week period in September, involved two former homosexuals posing as graduate students seeking anonymous counseling for unwanted homosexual feelings at university resource centers for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) students.

The LGBTQ Resource Centers in violation include the University of Virginia, James Madison University, George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University, Christopher Newport University, and the College of William and Mary. Today, Liberty Counsel, an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family, sent letters to all seven university presidents regarding their LGBTQ Resource Centers, urging them to include all viewpoints on this issue, and informing them that presenting only one viewpoint is not only wrong, but can cause harm to students.

“State-funded universities are required to provide value-neutral, medically-accurate information to all students in need of guidance. What we uncovered was a deliberate withholding of potentially life-saving information for students who may desire counseling to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings,” commented Christopher Doyle, President and Co-Founder of VoV. “A counselor at George Mason University told me that if I sought therapy to change, I would likely become psychologically-damaged, depressed, and even commit suicide. Instead of referring me to a licensed mental health practitioner or faith-based counselor that aligned with my spiritual values, I was told to attend the gay-affirming Metropolitan Community Church and read a book called ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, and He Knows I’m Gay’.

At Old Dominion University, the LGBTQ Resource Center staff said being gay was genetic, natural, and a part of your personality, and that therapy to help individuals who want to change is nothing but “brain washing” attempts to “pray away the gay” and “not valid.”

Organizations such as Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) have been providing informational pamphlets, free of charge, to state-funded Virginia universities for many years in an effort to advocate for students with unwanted SSA. But while gay-affirming information is readily available and prominently displayed for students to collect, ex-gay pamphlets are routinely destroyed and/or suppressed by biased resource center employees, who are required by law to provide equal access for all views on homosexuality. “At George Mason University, I nearly begged the counselor to give me an ex-gay pamphlet, which was buried in the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet. At UVA, the resource center’s director refused to show or give me an ex-gay pamphlet because he said he did not have enough of them to hand out. When I asked him where I could find scientific research on homosexuality, he referred me to the Huffington Post,” commented Doyle.

Last spring, Regina Griggs, Executive Director of PFOX communicated with UVA’s LGBTQ Resource Center Director Scott Rheinheimer, requesting that PFOX brochures and ex-gay books be placed inside the LGBTQ Resource Center and for PFOX to be listed on a printable list of resources to be handed out to students when requesting information. Mr. Rheinheimer assured her that the PFOX material was in his office and that PFOX general information material was in their center.

But during the undercover visit, the printable resource material that Mr. Rheinheimer distributed did not list any ex-gay organizations; rather, he scribbled PFOX’s name and website on the printed list only after repeated requests for ex-gay information. While no information was available on sexual orientation change, there was plenty of literature for transgender students seeking to change their biological sex, including this book.

Perhaps the most alarming “counsel” occurred at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, which has a history of anti-ex-gay extremism within their faculty. The counselor suggested that people are born gay, and that therapy to help overcome unwanted SSA is motivated by religious extremists who “ship their kids away” to “conversion therapy camps” for months at a time so they would come back straight.” Such myths, which have been advanced by gay
activists, have been thoroughly debunked
.

When asked about the health risks of homosexual behavior, the counselor erroneously suggested that protected” gay sex between men was no more risky than heterosexual intercourse and that the risk of HIV is no higher for men that have sex with men. She was also seemingly ignorant of the fact that there is no condom approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for anal sex.

“It is the height of irresponsibility to suggest that male gay sex is no more risky than heterosexual intercourse, especially considering that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that an astonishing 94.9 percent of HIV diagnoses among teenage boys (13-19-years-old) were linked to homosexual sex and 94.1 percent of the cases among young men ages 20-24 were from gay sex,” commented Doyle. “Not only are these LGBTQ Resource Centers discriminating against those who seek to overcome unwanted homosexual feelings, but they are also failing to provide gay-identified students medically-accurate information that could potentially save their life. The fact that these centers are being funded by state dollars is completely outrageous. Every tax-paying citizen in Virginia should be outraged!”

Specific recommendations for reform will include tolerance and sensitivity training for former homosexuals and students with unwanted SSA, professional development instruction so university staff can provide competent counseling and/or referrals for affected students, and university-financed distribution of ex-gay friendly resources made available in LGBTQ Resource and Multi-Cultural Centers. Detailed findings of each LGBTQ Resource Center’s violations and recommendations for reforms (as well as a recording for each undercover counseling session) will be published in the upcoming report: University Campus Climate Report: Virginia LGBTQ Resource Centers an ‘Unsafe Zone’ for Students with Unwanted Same-Sex Attractions.

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For more information on Voice of the Voiceless, Ex-Gay Awareness Month, and the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Dinner and Reception on September 30 in Washington, D.C., visit: http://pfox.org/join-us-for-dinnner.pdf and http://www.voiceofthevoiceless.info/exgayawarenessmonth/

Ex-Gay Pride Still Alive Despite Anti-Ex-Gay Extremism

Due to some anti-ex-gay extremism that has occurred since we first announced Ex-Gay Pride 2013, the July 31 Lobbying Day on Capitol Hill and Evening Dinner/Reception at the Family Research Council has had to be moved and postponed to an undisclosed location in September. The harassment has caused several security threats which has forced us to change plans, and that is unfortunate. However, we are committed to holding an alternate event in late July as well as supporting some other initiatives that our allies and fellow ex-gays are planning for July. These events are still in development and will not be announced until late next week. For all of our supporters that have made travel plans to attend the July 31 event, we sincerely apologize for having to change plans, but we thought it was in the best interest to ensure the safety and security of all participants and speakers.

On the bright side, this harassment and anti-ex-gay extremism has reminded us just how intolerant some individuals and organizations are about the existence of ex-gays and former homosexuals. So much so, that we believe it is necessary not only to hold events in July for Ex-Gay Pride, but also to declare September as the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month. Ex-Gay Awareness Month in September will be a time to reflect on the discrimination and marginalization that former homosexuals and ex-gays experience in the public at large. It will also provide some much needed exposure to students in secondary schools and colleges across the country to learn about the plights, challenges, and tribulations facing ex-gays in our culture.

For years, LGBT activists have made in-roads into the mainstream educational, psychological, and medical communities by instituting awareness months, seminars, and curriculum that highlights the need to protect sexual minorities from discrimination. Unfortunately, they have refused to include ex-gays within those sexual minorities, and organizations such as Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) have had to sue private trade associations like the National Education Association (NEA) in order to achieve legal recognition for former homosexuals in the public at large.

Due to legal actions such as the 2009 Superior Court Ruling in Washington, D.C. (that has now given discrimination protection to ex-gays in Washington, D.C.) the road to legal protection and recognition of ex-gays has been paved. Now it’s just a matter of us claiming our rights and demanding to be heard. This is precisely how the LGBT lobby has achieved so much over the last forty years – tirelessly chipping away at the legal system and patiently working within powerful educational, psychological, and medical communities, thereby creating allies and support. So must ex-gays do the same. We have long realized that LGBT organizations will not be our allies. We are routinely marginalized by organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) who routinely shut us out of the debate and refuse to give us a seat at the table.

That being said, it’s time that former homosexuals, individuals with unwanted SSA, and their families and allies stand up and demand to be heard. July’s First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month is only the beginning. September’s Ex-Gay Awareness Month in schools across the country is only a start. Our voices will be heard. We will no longer be shut out. We will no longer hide in the shadows.

We hope you enjoy this Ex-Gay Pride and Ex-Gay Awareness Video! To view Ex-Gay Pride 2013, click here.

Special thanks to Trace McNutt, who gave us permission to use segments of his video. We applaud Trace for his courage to speak out and share his amazing story of transformation from death and destruction to new life! We would also like to thank the band, ReNew, for allowing us to use their song “Redeemed” that is featured at the end of this video.

For more information on “Redeemed” go to:

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/ReNew?id=A2n4jew7acmfgzcxu3tqvrzzcji

and/or iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/re-new/id509141234

For more information on the First Annual Ex-Gay Pride Month in July and the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month in September, visit: www.VoiceoftheVoiceless.info and www.EqualityandJusticeforAll.org. To schedule an interview with Christopher Doyle, Co-Founder and President of Voice of the Voiceless, call 571-379-4546 or e-mail cdoyle@voiceofthevoiceless.info.