How Do We Fight Ignorance That Comes From Fear and Prejudice?
by Belinda Dronkers-Laureta on May 11th, 2016

Keeping Families Together

The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog

June 29, 2012

How Do We Fight Ignorance That Comes From Fear and Prejudice?


Maryland’s Montgomery County School District had a policy that allowed nonprofit organizations to print fliers for students to take home. Typically, students came home with flyers four times a year in conjunction with their quarterly report cards. Usually these fliers were from the district itself or the PTA or Boy Scouts or announcing some activity. The idea was create a flow of information to encourage students to participate in community organizations. But the idea died on June 25 when the school board voted 6-1 to end the policy for middle and high school students. The reason was a controversy created by some fliers.

A Flyer With Bogus Information Causes Controversy

In February students took home a flyer from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX). The fliers encouraged homosexual students to contact PFOX or “ex-gay” ministries to enroll in “reparative therapy.” According to the fliers, homosexual students could change their sexual orientation, because there is no scientific evidence that sexual orientation is innate and therefore can be changed. Some parents were upset and certainly LGBT activists reacted strongly. The local chapter of PFLAG began sending home its own flyers opposing reparative therapy and countering other PFOX assertions.

The school board tried to stop the PFOX fliers, but in a ruling back in 2006 when it tried to prevent an evangelical Christian organization from sending home fliers, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found blocking distribution was discrimination. And so the school board to stop PFOX curtailed their open flyer program and only allowed government organizations to send flyers home.

A Flyer With Bogus Information May Cause Harm

In 1997, the American Psychological Association passed a resolution affirming that: “Homosexuality is not a disorder and the APA opposes all portrayals of lesbian, gay and bisexual people as mentally ill and in need of treatment due to their sexual orientation.” Furthermore:

The medical and scientific consensus is that “reparative therapy” is not effective and is potentially harmful. The ethics and efficacy of these methods are rejected by all mainstream medical and mental health associations that have taken a position on the topic. Their stance is that sexual orientation is unchangeable, and that attempts to do so are often damaging to the person’s well-being.

And so there it is: doctors and scientist agree that sexual orientation is indeed innate, that reparative therapy does not work, and, most important, it causes harm. Of course: depending on one’s definition of proof, there may not be any, but then, is there proof of the existence of God? And isn’t that the reason it is called a belief?

It Takes Time To Eradicate Ignorance

All this leaves us wondering what it would take to convince a particular class of people that to be LGBT is as natural as not to be LGBT. An appeal to reason and testimony of doctors and scientists does not work. Maybe time will erase this belief, just as time eroded the belief that the earth is flat. The Flat Earth Society still exists, but they do science fiction.

Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride


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