Maryland’s Montgomery County Public School District has been considering a new sex education curriculum that would include facts affirming homosexuality—that it is not a disease or choice and that gays and lesbians can live happy lives and successfully raise children. However, disreputed “researcher” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council (FRC) has used his influence on the curriculum advisory committee to force a change in the new provision. Towing the line for PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays) and citing another disavowed researcher, Robert Spitzer, Sprigg argued that the proposed statements promoted bigotry against “ex-gays.”
As a result, the committee edited one of the statements to leave room for the possibility that sexual orientation can be changed:
Sexual orientation is not a choice and the American Medical Association opposes “therapies” that seek to change sexual orientation that are premised on the assumption that people can or should change their sexual orientation.
Subtle though it may be, this change ignores that major medical organizations (such as the American Psychological Association) have found that not only can people not change their sexual orientation, but in fact that it is harmful to try.
By continuing to encourage the harm of ex-gay therapy, Sprigg reinforces FRC’s reputation as an anti-gay hate group. Nonetheless, GOP presidential contenders like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann continue to work “hand-in-hand” with them.