Tuesday, August 25, 2009

D.C. Ruling: Ex-gays Protected by Human Rights Act

The Superior Court of the District of Columbia has ruled that former homosexuals must be recognized under the sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. . . . sexual orientation does not require unchanging characteristics.

-- From "'Ex-Gays' Protected Under D.C. Human Rights Act, Judge Rules" posted by Amanda Hess at (pro-homosexual) Washington City Paper 8/25/09

In 2002, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) applied for an exhibit booth at the National Education Association’s annual convention, “Expo 2002.” PFOX submitted an application, signed a deposit check, and prepared its exhibit: an educational display, it claims, “to promote tolerance and equality for the ex-gay community.” The NEA denied PFOX’s application, citing limited booth space. PFOX suspected there was another motive at play: sexual orientation discrimination.

In 2005, POX filed a discrimination claim with the D.C. Office of Human Rights against the NEA for “refusing to provide public accommodations to ex-gays.” When the D.C. Office of Human Rights sided with the NEA, PFOX appealed the decision to D.C. Superior Court. Judge Maurice Ross handed down the decision in June of this year: PFOX’s request to reverse the OHR’s decision was denied.
But Ross’s decision wasn’t a total loss for PFOX: While Ross decided in the NEA’s favor, he also held that ex-gays do, in fact, constitute a protected group under the D.C. Human Rights Act. Judging from PFOX’s eerily celebratory press release, this is kind of a big deal for them.

According to Ross’s decision, the Human Rights Act doesn’t only protect groups defined by “immutable characteristics,” as the Office of Human Rights’ decision claimed. The Act also protects groups defined by “preference or practice” —like people who previously “practiced” gayness, and now “prefer” to practice heterosexuality:

OHR’s determination that a characteristic must be immutable to be protected under the HRA is clearly erroneous as a matter of law. . . . Indeed, the HRA lists numerous protected categories such as religion, personal appearance, familial status, and source of income, which are subject to change. . . . Pertaining to sexual orientation, moreover, the HRA in §2-1401.02(28) defines sexual orientation as “male or female homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality, by preference or practice.” Thus, the HRA’s intent and plain language eschews narrow interpretation.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court Rules Ex-Homosexuals Are Protected by D.C. Human Rights Act" CNSNews.com 8/25/09

"By failing to protect former homosexuals, the sexual orientation laws gave more rights to homosexuals than heterosexuals who were once gay," [said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX] in a statement. "So PFOX asked the Court to reverse OHR's decision, which it did. The Court held that ex-gays are a protected class under 'sexual orientation.'"

The NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus is an internal entity recognized by NEA for the purpose of attempting to influence NEA governance. Although caucuses do not speak for or act on behalf of the NEA, they do advise and lobby NEA governance, according to the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus Web site.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.