Parent group demands ex-gay therapy training in Anoka-Hennepin schools

Categories: GLBT
PAL resolution.JPG
The leaders of the Parents Action League make their demands.
Gay rights advocates may not have liked the language of the "controversial topics policy" that may replace the Anoka-Hennepin school district's "neutrality policy," but at least there appeared to be movement on the issue.

Now, conservative Christian parents are hoping to move things in just the opposite direction.

At last night's school board meeting, members of the Parents Action League presented a 21-statement resolution to the school board demanding that ex-gay organizations be allowed to give instruction and training within the district, saying, among other things, that "the theme of school safety is being used as a pretext for the legitimization of homosexuality."

The district's current "neutrality policy" states that "Anoka-Hennepin staff, in the course of their professional duties, shall remain neutral on matters regarding sexual orientation." That policy is the basis of a federal lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against Anoka-Hennepin, claiming that it creates a discriminatory environment for gay students.

PAL Janet Boynes.JPG
Janet Boynes, left, and an "ex-gay" man she says she's been ministering for five years.
District officials opened the possibility of replacing that wording with a "controversial topics policy," which would instead state, "The study of controversial topics shall contribute toward helping students develop techniques for examining controversy, be appropriate to maturity and developmental level of students, be of significance related to course content, and presented in an atmosphere free of bias and prejudice."

No one seemed happy with that idea at a reading of the policy last month, with conservative parents arguing for the retention of the "neutral" language and gay rights advocates objecting to the idea that a homosexual identity is "controversial."

Conservative parents went a step further at last night's school board meeting by presenting a list of 10 demands. They center around providing information to students from "pro-family, ex-homosexual and ex-transgender" organizations in schools. PAL wants ex-gay therapy information available on the school district's website, ongoing training for "school nurses, school counselors, social workers, school psychologists, prevention specialists" and others from ex-gay organizations, and to provide students with information about links in sexually transmitted diseases and homosexuality, and how to overcome "sexual disorders."

The group's statement also included some vague legal language about the school's liability should any student suffers "harm" from "negligent instruction" or "false or misleading information" about homosexuality.

Several so-called "ex-gays" also addressed the board, including Janet Boynes, the ex-gay minister with ties to Michele and Marcus Bachmann.

"I am living proof that homosexuals can overcome their tendencies," she told the board, saying that if students were hearing from organizations that "affirm gender identity disorder," they should be exposed to ex-gay theories as well.

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48 comments
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amiller92
amiller92

Wow.  I hope people are moving out of this district.

CJ
CJ

Well if praying away the gay works then why not praying away the recession, Iran's nuclear capability, drug addiction, etc. Seems rather ridiculous when you substitute "gay" with some other "relevant" social agenda item. 

Jason S
Jason S

It's been shown through many different studies (in peer-reviewed journals) that such therapies are actually harmful and do not work. The environment this would create in the schools is one that would break the hearts of so many kids. It would be like giving therapy on how to not be "black" or "asian". Any school psychologist that would willingly implement such a therapy would be VIOLATING their ethical responsibility to maximize benefits and minimize harm. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders) published by the APA (American Psychiatric Association) does not consider homosexuality to be a disorder or illness. In no place does it consider homosexuality a "sexual disorder". Such "therapy" would be trying to correct something that is not a problem. What happened to you Anoka-Hennepin? I'm a graduate of the Anoka-Hennepin school district and it saddens me to see a place I love so much turn so sour.

hughakston1
hughakston1

Please site some of those studies. Authors, titles, dates, etc. Just saying something does not make it so.

BTW - the APA is less a scientific organization than it is a political one. There political and acitivist nature negates their credibility.

Jason S
Jason S

I hope this will be sufficient for you. One is a book (not from a peer-reviewed journal), but I thought I should include it anyways as it gives some good discussion on sexual orientation and sexual behavior.

I honestly don't know if the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is a very political body. You may be correct on that point. However, are you referring to the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association? both are APA and sometimes are confused. The later publishes the DSM, the comprehensive diagnostic manual that every clinician uses. If the APA was so distrusted I doubt so many would use their diagnostic manual when diagnosing clients for both medical and legal reviews.

Citations in APA format:

Beckstead, A. L., & Morrow, S. L. (2004). Mormon clients’experiences of conversion therapy: The need for a new treatment approach. The Counseling Psychologist, 32,651–690. doi:10.1177/0011000004267555

Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human male.Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Co.

Maccio, E. (2011). Self-reported sexual orientation andidentity before and after sexual reorientation therapy. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 15(3), 242-259. doi:10.1080/19359705.2010.544186

Schaeffer, K. W., Hyde, R. A., Kroencke, T., McCormick, B.,& Nottebaum, L. (2000). Religiously motivated sexual orientation change. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 19,61-70.

Schaeffer, K. W., Nottebaum, L., Smith, P., Dech, K., &Krawczyk, J. (1999). Religiously motivated sexual orientation change: Afollow-up study. Journal of Psychologyand Theology, 27, 329-337.

Shidlo, A., & Schroeder, M. (2002). Changing sexual orientation:A consumer’s report. ProfessionalPsychology: Research and Practice, 33, 249-259. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.33.3.249

Katie B
Katie B

When you have to resort to discarding ALL - literally ALL - of the scientific literature to make your case, your case is pretty weak.

Larry Barthel
Larry Barthel

Awesome research. Note that both the detractors and person who requested the peer-reviewed journals could not support their own view with links to scientifically founded research that indicated ex-gay therapy is efficable. All they did was attack the source (again, without a foundation in reason or proof), similar to how people attack Charles Darwin in attempts to counter evolution.

Shocker. They have no proof for their side, only angry mutterings about how liberals have more proof for their side than conservatives.

Just like Herman Cain, who did the exact same thing when accused. Rather than offering proof one way or another, he just attacked the sources of the allegations. Typical.

Jason S
Jason S

Well thank you for your time and your thoughts on the issue. I really appreciate you being able to share them with me and what I've learned from them.

I can't say that I've had the experiences you've had with research and the deception that can go along with it. I don't think though that we should just give up on all knowledge gained through research, but rather try harder to find the ones that are not biased and build off those. To me, this is the only way we can learn and grow. Not all research is bad, we just have to find the good ones.

I guess like all discussions like this we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Thanks again! It was a good discussion.

hughakston1
hughakston1

I’d like to spend more time, but time and blogging don’t really go together. Sorry.  I’ve seen enough academic studies, and other stuff like white papers and business research to know better. Since the 1970’s politics, of all types, has been slowly creeping into so much research and research publishing that it’s become unnerving, especially the social sciences. When looking at these things, cross checking and occasionally meeting the people who write them (that’ll open ones eyes at times), you realize the surprising lack of objectivity.  The APA facilitates this too. They are not the protector of truth they would like everyone believe. They are political. Sadly, it seems the AMA is inching in a more political direction too. The constant quest for grant money and getting papers published, and the constant needling of special interest pressure groups has done much go confound many areas, not just this one. There been an intrepid infiltration of political and social activists too whose objective is not to look for truth, but to push an agenda. Thanks, I’m signing off, cheers.

Jason S
Jason S

hughakston1, I honestly have a hard time following what you're trying to say. Here are the questions I have though, after reading your counter.1. Who says many of the studies are done by Liberals? What proof do you have for this? I know that specifically the study done by Maccio (2011) tried to maintain as close to a neutral stance as possible (even recruiting participants from many different religious backgrounds. This information can be found in their methods section). Are you saying that any research done by a liberal invalidates the results? Does that mean any study done by a conservative also invalidates the results? Or are you saying that liberals tend to lie more than conservatives? 2. You say, "Muddled empirical observations". Can you give some examples of what these might be? 3. You talk about arguments in social science that result in "people accepting explanations of the world that have no logical consistency.", again I would ask for examples of this. Science is practically defined by the pursuit of knowledge based on logic and empirical observation. Likewise, this is true for psychological or sociological research.

4. After asking for me to list my sources did you actually take anytime to read them? Any of them?

I respect your right to your opinion and realize that it is based deeply on your experiences and beliefs. I don't expect you to change your mind after hearing what I have to say, but at least give me the courtesy of actually listening to my arguments as I have yours and base your responses and what I've had to say. Thank you.

amiller92
amiller92

12042011gg, Look. Here’s an open secret for you. So many of these unfounded statements, in the Social Sciences and elsewhere today and which are largely done by Conservatives, tend to believe that the subjectively rooted arguments of their premises are impotent. Hence they are resistant to acknowledge the subjective assumptions of their own arguments sensing--once these assumptions are exposed--no one will feel logically compelled to agree with their reasoning. So they will tend to camouflage their subjectivity. The conservatives favorite tactic is to offer muddled subjective beliefs attempting to camouflage their complete lack of empirical basis for their arguments. Sadly such false arguments infuse rejections of social science today and are responsible for millions of people accepting explanations of the world that have no logical consistency. The conservative's greatest tendency seems to be his remarkable ability to confuse wish with reality. Indoctrination into a set of subjective beliefs is passed off in today's universities as 'education.'Go through enough of these and soon you eyes start to glaze over. Too many of these things don’t hold up under close scrutiny.

hughakston1
hughakston1

Look. Here’s an open secret for you. So many of these studies, in the Social Sciences and elsewhere today and which are largely done by Liberals, tend to believe that the subjectively rooted arguments of their premises are impotent. Hence they are resistant to acknowledge the subjective assumptions of their own arguments sensing--once these assumptions are exposed--no one will feel logically compelled to agree with their reasoning. So they will tend to camouflage their subjectivity. The liberal's favorite tactic is to offer muddled empirical explanations attempting to camouflage the subjective roots of their arguments. Sadly such false arguments infuse social science today and are responsible for millions of people accepting explanations of the world that have no logical consistency. The liberal's greatest tendency seems to be his remarkable ability to confuse wish with reality. Indoctrination into a set of subjective beliefs is passed off in today's universities as 'education.'Go through enough of these and soon you eyes start to glaze over. Too many of these things don’t hold up under close scrutiny.

Jason S
Jason S

Jesus Christ do you want me to conduct a complete meta-analysis of the entire existing literature, type it up, and then email it to all of you >.> ?

I can say that all of the articles I've found so far (using PsychInfo as the database) show negative or neutral results when examining the efficacy of Conversion Therapy as a means to "treat" homosexuality. The fact that it IS such a struggle to find peer-reviewed articles that support Conversion Therapy should be another indication that it does not work.

If you're truly interested in finding out more on the topic I suggest you conduct your own literature review.

hughakston1
hughakston1

And can you site the same from the opposing viewpoint? If not, this is only half a job.

Jason S
Jason S

I hope that these articles are not difficult to find (which I don't think they should be if you have access to a university database or use google scholar). Also, APA format may be confusing for those who are not used to it, but it lists author, title, date of publication, source (which journal), and page numbers. The "DOI" is also useful as it's what you could say is the identification number of the article.

voice of reason
voice of reason

Rush Limbaugh's cum on your chin negates your credibility, Jim.

Chuck
Chuck

Let's hope this education campaign succeeds and puts a stop to the homosexuals attempting to groom students in the Anoka Hennipen school district.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

Hell yeah - I want my kids straight and ungroomed!

hongs9
hongs9

Schools are for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Schools are not the place to teach values, the teaching of values belong in the home with the parents. Simple. This group is merely acting in accordance with their roles as responsible parents.

Forwardpride
Forwardpride

There's nothing responsible about lies and bigotry.  The so-called ex-gay ministry is an exercise in both, and it's as reprehensible as teaching students that the earth is flat.  Imagine if they were trying to turn the Jewish kids Christian.  Same bigotry, and it would never fly.  Wrong is wrong.  Homosexuality and bisexuality are part of nature.  You want your kids to be taught bigotry, fine, enroll them in a private school that caters to your twisted ideas.

Larry Barthel
Larry Barthel

Ex-gay therapy has no scientific basis whatsoever and has been dismissed as ineffective and potentially harmful. Groups like the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association and the US Surgeon General all state that homosexuality is not something that is "curable", and the therapy itself can be directly harmful to the person.

So...what these bigoted parents want is for the school to teach scientifically unfounded procedures to children which may lead to direct harm to them.

They might as well be advocating for the school to teach astrology, alchemy and magic to the children as well, as alternatives to the normal curriculum, since they have just as much support from popular figures as ex-gay therapy. Yes, you can find any number of people for whom astrology, alchemy and magic has worked for them. Does not mean it is founded in reality, nor does it make it a good idea to offer them as alternatives to what is essentially a human rights issue.

The only basis, therefore, would be a religious one, and of course separation of church and state. Why won't religious bigots ever remember that?

hughakston1
hughakston1

It seems the bigotry is aimed primarily toward the Christian Faith. At least on this blog site.

Katie B
Katie B

Given that in most places in the US you have to practically kiss the Bible to get elected, and the last non-Christian US President was Rutherford B. Hayes, I think you can safely put up with some snark and frustration.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

These people aren't Christians, they are bigots.  If they followed the teachings of Christ they would be out helping poor people and giving away their wealth.  Instead they are devoting their lives to fucking with gay people,especially gay children.   Since you are obviously a Bible expert can you please tell me roughly how much time did Jesus spend picking on gay people?     Did Jesus touch any gay people and make them straight?    Since you are such a great Christian I'm sure you follow the teachings of Christ to the letter.  Remember what Jesus said about being perfect;   "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."    Have you done this hugh?  Or are you just a judgemental bigot prick that pretends he is a Christian so you play the victim card when people call you a bigot? 

Forwardpride
Forwardpride

No, calling bigots on their bullshit is not bigotry.  That's the circular logic of lying losers.  Nice try, though.

RiteofPassage
RiteofPassage

“Schools are not the place to teach values.” Agreed.  But a school is a place to learn and further understand the world… which includes topics/subjects, which some would deem “controversial.”  Parents can try to instill values in their offspring, but ultimately it is the individual’s requirement to form personal opinions and viewpoints based on what is presented to them.  This can’t be done with a focus on one single agenda. Furthermore, you argue against schools teaching values…  but these parents are doing just that:  Trying to coerce the school into teaching values that THEY see as moral.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I completely agree.   Can you believe the PC nazis kicked my kid out school for his "values?"    So what if my kid "values" his right to stab other children?    It is not the place of public schools to teach my child what to believe or how to treat other children.   Why isn't my child's right to believe in his right to stab others respected?    I really like how you think, wanna homeschool our kids together?    Damien will only stab your children if he believes its the right thing to do.  Surely you aren't such a hypocrite you would expect my child to change his "values" to suit the PC needs of your stupid kids right?  Little Damien's stabbing values have only killed like 3 kids, not really a big deal. 

Richard
Richard

This is an over the topic example but it works perfectly saying that schools do teach values. And like it or not people but most if not all of the government is based on Christian values (yes and the bill of rights, and most laws).

Research
Research

Dude, gay people don't hurt others physically.  Stabbing people hurts.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Jae
Jae

When will we realise that Gay rights are Human Rights. Any gay discrimination should be held on par with racial and religious discrimination.

Richard
Richard

Explain to me how being neutral on a topic is being discriminatory?  

12042011gg
12042011gg

The community in and around Anoka place great value on family and children. It is a tight community. It has low in crime rate and low divorces rate relative to the broader TCs and much higher church attendance. The school has a responsibility to reflect the values of the surrounding community as best as it can. Kudos to those parents standing up for this that takes courage. This bullying issue is a canard, a false premise for pushing a gay agenda. Yes bullying occurs in schools and should be handled appropriately, but don't allow the issue to be co-opted by the gay lobby that is using it to push their issues.

Richard
Richard

Yes, this person knows what they are talking about!

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

Thank God for people like you.   Normal people would see the problem of gay children commiting suicide and think "oh that's horrible!   What is causing this and how can we fix it?"   Luckily for America people like you and the Parent's Action League are around to make sure that our children are free to bully a gay child to suicide with absolute no negative repercussions.   As long as there is heroes like you gay children will always know they aren't welcome and there is no place for them.   A true conservative will never change their mind no matter how many dead children are the result of their beliefs.  Let's not forget the words of Jesus when he encountered a gay child.  Jesus said "stupid fag!  go fucking kill thineself before you get AIDs and butt cancer." My children laugh everytime I read that story from the Bible.    People like us know what Christianity is truly about,  killing as many gay people as possible.   Bravo Sir, never change your beliefs no matter how many children you kill because obviously you read the Bible and its a great book and we should do everything it says except the parts about helping poor people and not judging.   I'm going to judge the shit out of gay people Jesus so shut the fuck up. 

Richard
Richard

Um way out of line? I think so. First of all any respectable person would never swear or just obviously disgrace someone's religion. Secondly no one said we wanted kids to get bullied or kill themselves. All we are saying is don't push for the supporting homosexuals but also don't support it. Don't know if you know but there are groups in the district like GSA (gay straight alliance). So please don't make fun of my religion. I personally think that having a relationship with the same gender is a sin (that I won't support) but I don't hate these type of people and I don't make fun of them.

Zeldamaster702
Zeldamaster702

You are positively insane and may both the God and Jesus you just spoke about in your post have mercy on your condemned soul

steven j
steven j

Their demands should not have been heard.  This isn't a "conversation".   Correct the behavior of these adults and remove any sign of controversy.  Gay and Homosexuality are not the same.  Gender identity and orientation are natural, God given and found unchangeable by all reputable medical, social and psychiatric disciplines.   The parents action league is madness practically foaming at the mouth, they honestly should be restrained for the betterment of society despite our entertainment of their behavior.

Richard
Richard

Correct the behavior of the adults? Good luck with that. I'm sorry but this is a controversial  topic because of the Bible. I believe what the Bible says so I believe that having any kind of a relationship with the same gender (whatever you want to call it) is a sin that I will not support. However, I by no means hate these type of people or think that they are monsters.

Chris Durant
Chris Durant

They're literally insane!  To even read this gets me ill.   Because someone choose to not act on a behavior means their identify has fundamentally changed?  Really?  I can't even image the shame these people must be carrying around with them.  Very depressing!      

zengfoo
zengfoo

There is a dude that really seems to know what time it is. WOw.www.Total-Privacy dot US

johnny
johnny

....and the entitlement trolls continue to circle the public treasury for financial salve to sooth their rabid offensensitvity

Erica
Erica

Ministering is just another term for brainwashing to those religious fundies. It is disgusting that this group wants public tax dollars to pay for this BS. Time to revoke their tax-exempt status ASAP.

Zeroisanumber
Zeroisanumber

A sure sign of social progress is when all of these assholes start oozing out of the woodwork and barking out their line of crazy bullshit.

Steve
Steve

I agree with the sentiment entirely, but as somebody who studies these thing, I am humbled by the single sentence hat trick mixed metaphor.

Steve
Steve

Sigh: "these things."

Steve
Steve

On reviewing the tape, I there are actually four separate metaphors here.

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