May 20th, 2012 21:30 EST
Complaint Filed against School Superintendent for Discrimination against Gays
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) has filed a sexual orientation discrimination complain with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Board of Education against its School Superintendent Joshua Starr.
After PFOX distributed ex-gay flyers to high school students as part of the schools` flyer distribution program for non-profit organizations, Superintendent Starr publicly denigrated PFOX and former homosexuals by calling the actions of PFOX "reprehensible and deplorable" and labeling the flyer`s sexual orientation content as "a really, really disgusting message."
"PFOX`s flyers provided information on unwanted same-sex attractions, discouraged student name calling and labeling, and urged tolerance for former homosexuals," said Regina Griggs of PFOX.
"Starr does not respect diversity and is creating an unsafe school environment. As School Superintendent, Starr`s actions make it impossible for Montgomery County public schools to provide an atmosphere where differences are understood and appreciated, or where everyone is treated fairly and with respect free of discrimination and abuse, as mandated by its Nondiscrimination Policy ACB."
"The School Superintendent is a vital role model. When the School Superintendent promotes intolerance of former homosexuals and organizations that support them, students and teachers will follow his example and learn to also disrespect sexual minorities like the ex-gay community."
"Superintendent Starr cannot be allowed to use his official position to display hate against any group of people because he disagrees with their sexual orientation. Starr`s flagrant violation of the Nondiscrimination Policy demonstrates that he is a prime candidate to receive ex-gay tolerance training and diversity education."
"I am sad that Superintendent Starr has called me and other ex-gays names like `deplorable` and `disgusting,` said Grace Harley, a former les[b]ian who testified before the School Board. "What saddens me more is that the Board of Education has not reprimanded Superintendent Starr. If he had said the same things about gays, they would have fired him by now. But because he hates people like me, they support him."
"I have suffered more discrimination and intolerance as an ex-gay than I ever did when I was gay. Please stop hating us. Follow your own Non-Discrimination Policy. If you stop hating former homosexuals, our students will not learn to hate either. Starr`s behavior proves that our schools need diversity training on tolerance for the ex-gay community."
PFOX supports the ex-gay community.