PFOX this month issued implicit threats against the Montgomery County, Md., school board and a committee assigned to update the school system’s sex-education curriculum. In its press release and letter, PFOX also made a public, personal attack against committee chairperson David Fishback, who has two gay sons.

Fishback responded today to Ex-Gay Watch:


Thank you for your posting. You certainly provided a correct analysis of the PFOX attack on me in my role as
Chair of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Human Development to
the Montgomery County (Maryland) Board of Education. In fact, I have gone out of my way to be respectful. What particularly upset Ms. Rice, I believe, was that when she presented a PFOX pamphlet that itself was pretty benign, I went to the weblinks provided on the pamphlet. Each one stated as its premise the proposition that being gay was being diseased and/or sinful. After I pointed that out to the Committee, the Committee voted 18-3 to reject it as a teacher resource.

I fully understand that some people believe the premises behind PFOX. Ms. Rice and her handful of allies on the Committee spent all last year trying to convince the full Committee of the salience of their views. We spent hours discussing our differences and spent hours analyzing the literature in the field.  Ms. Rice, et al. failed to succeed in their efforts not because they did not have the opportunity to present their case (they did, at length), but because their case was not at all convincing to the rest of us. The vast majority of the Committee had greater trust in every mainstream American medical and mental health professional association and in their own common sense and experience in the world than in the materials set forth by PFOX and similar groups and individuals.

Here is the link for the Committee’s Report and Recommendations to the Board of Education.

On November 9, the Board met in a public, televised meeting to consider the Committee’s Recommendations. The Board voted to accept the recommendations by a vote of 6-0. The new curriculum will be piloted in three middle schools and three high schools this Spring. In June, the Committee will decide whether to recommend the curriculum county-wide.  (Parents may choose to have their children not take that unit of instruction; hopefully, the public discussion will result in very few choosing that option.)

David Fishback

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