Update on PFOX’s eviction from VSCA conference

PFOX released a statement today about the incident at the VA School Counselors Association conference.

On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond approached our booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.

That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:

“Sexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle School”

When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.

This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.

Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit at the conference, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference showed great interest in our materials.

Still no word from the VA School Counselors.

8 thoughts on “Update on PFOX’s eviction from VSCA conference”

  1. No, I’m not neglecting Bem’s work. I have had that paper for quite some time — urgh, let me look, yes 2000. Bem actually did the work in 1997 (I’ve also made a note here about “see Burr” — I presume it’s Chandler Burr, but cannot recall what that’s directly referring to. ???)

    One more delay while I retrieve a journal… um, nope. Not much help, other than the pathways can be flipped around (which screws up Bem’s logic entirely — unless you want to argue genes cause peer group alienation and then gender non-conformity… and that “fits” just as well too, despite being rather ludicrous.)

    I’m blithering. It would help it I dug it all out ’cause I’m sure not going to remember it just by trying.

  2. Oh, a VPN is a Virtual Private Network.

    We run broadband over a wireless network, basically, with security installed both on the (four!) PCs and the wireless device. And if you make it too secure… it will stop lots of pages that you wish it did not.

    But we also boosted the range, and now we not only sit out in the yard and pretend to be working on sunny days but can even take the laptops for a walk around the block. If we felt like being complete geeks, I guess.

  3. I researching the other points.

    I think you minimize the importance of Bem’s analysis of Bailey’s data. He published this in Archives of Sexual Behavior and is available on his website.

  4. Actually, it wasn’t Bem’s analysis — Bailey himself provided unpublished data. It was a horrid mess of tangled K-scores vs (often conflicting) perceptions of childhood gender conformity then, and I’m not sure if Bem has independently been back to it since. (I know I certainly haven’t — once was enough! I got all sorts of answers.) If I remember, Bailey eventually published 3? years later.


    Considering the scalding comments you had about the teachers’ resources (not distributed to students) in the MCPS health lessons I find it rather extraordinary that you’d suggest a school counselor should nevertheless rely on PFOX/your brochure.

    These wouldn’t be students half asleep in class listening to someone drone on about generalities, but someone who was looking for advice and answers about themself. Inaccurate or misleading information is even less acceptable in such a circumstance.

    And I know, I know what you say about what your views are — but why does this keep happening? You did actually author it didn’t you?

    I guess you weren’t bothered by the other three points.

  5. My understanding was that the sentence about evidence pointing to environment was to have been deleted. I will look into this. I am not sure that this alone would warrant it not being passed out to school counselors who would not necessarily give it to students. But I do not believe that all of the evidence points to environment alone. A quick read of this blog and my website will tell you that.

    As much as I want that line fixed, I am in sympathy with it being allowed to be distributed. It is tame compared to the stuff that I reviewed for the MCPS health curriculum. There is a sense in which I believe that the evidence points to environment but that is probably oversimplified.

    As you know, (I think you know) Bem’s reanalysis of the Australian twin studies finds no relationship between genetic similarity and sexual orientation similarity. Showing no genetic relationship does not prove environment in the sense that I feel sure most readers would take it.

  6. Leaving aside the worst of the PFOX brochures, there are four very good reasons why neither the “Bullying” or the “Teen Flyer” should be accepted either.


    That brochure you authored makes a deceptive statement. You quite deliberately left out the APA’s words that followed a direct quote, and substituted your own unsubstantiated belief — making it appear that one follows the other:

    The American Psychiatric Association agrees that there is “no replicated scientific study supporting any specific biological etiology [cause] for homosexuality” (May 2000). Instead, the evidence points to one’s environment.

    What that APsA Fact Sheet actually goes onto say is:

    “Similarly, no specific psychosocial or family dynamic cause for homosexuality has been identified, including histories of childhood sexual abuse.”

    The PFOX Teens Flyer has this same deceptive use of the APsA Fact Sheet.


    “I discovered that no one is born gay and that change is possible.”

    Sure, that’s not your statement — but deliberately including it means that you concur with a fairly outrageous statement.

    In 13 words you’ve managed to 1) make an unsubstantiated claim about the development of sexuality and 2) make a claim about change that is at odds with the facts: most people, gay or straight, have an enduring sexuality and even those most desperate to change their sexuality — exgays — mostly, perhaps rarely, make any such change. The majority fail to do so.

    (And, please, no nonsense about “gay” being just a label adopted after birth. We all know what gay is shorthand for, and it includes sexual attraction.)


    All the brochures from PFOX recommend only websites that are religiously partisan (indeed, insulting to other religious viewpoints) and noxiously anti-gay. You need not trawl too long to find the lies of Paul Cameron glowingly repeated. Remind me again why he and his efforts deserve any place in a school?


    The day that exgays in general, and PFOX in particular, are able to walk into a room and explain how and why exgays need to be protected against prejudice and discrimination without also making prejudicial statements or advocating discrimination against another group is the day they should (and probably would) be welcomed.

    But, until then they deserve no platform to promote their falsehoods and their abuse of others.

    We don’t allow it for racists or nazis, and PFOX should be treated likewise.

    (PS: we tightened up our VPN security and found all these types of blogs blocked. Releasing them has been very annoying…)

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