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Culture

A message the feds and others are afraid of: Ex-'gays' exist

Russ Jones   (OneNewsNow.com) Friday, June 21, 2013

A conservative advocacy group thinks it's improper that the federal government has proposed adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to its employee charitable giving program.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is a program that allows certain charitable organizations to solicit contributions from employees of the federal government of the United States. Many faith-based organizations are worried that the proposed inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity may result in squeezing religious charities out of the program and impose reverse discrimination.

PFOXRegina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), counts her group as among those concerned about the proposal.

"We want the ex-gay community to be involved and protected under the same law - because [the proposal] has nothing to do with heterosexuality; it has everything to do with being a former homosexual," she explains. "That's why they discriminate against you: they do not want that message heard."

Griggs shares that she has faced this battle before with groups unfriendly to ex-gays - specifically the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association.

"When we want to speak or we want to be somewhere, we are not discriminated against because many people get confused on the issue. They say You're covered being heterosexual now," she tells OneNewsNow.

"[But] that's not why you're being discriminated against," Griggs continues. "You're being discriminated against, [these groups are] deliberately silencing these men and women because they are ex-gays. They are the proof that change is possible; that homosexuality and sexual orientation are not immutable."

Although the proposed federal government regulations define sex to include gender identity, "sexual orientation" is not defined. PFOX has requested that the proposed regulation definition of sexual orientation include former homosexuals.

Griggs contends language that specifically includes former homosexuals is necessary because of intense prejudice and discrimination against the ex-gay community and their supporters. Larry Dombrowski, a federal government employee with the Federal Aviation Administration, was suspended without pay for seven days and transferred to another state because, among other things, he spoke about former homosexuals in conversations with co-workers.

According to Griggs, after Dombrowski filed a civil rights lawsuit against the FAA, the federal government agreed to clear Dombrowski's record and pay his attorneys' fees and costs. 

"We must ensure that the federal government never again discriminates against former homosexuals and their allies," says Griggs. "Hence our proposed language not only serves to maximize diversity, but is necessary to counter past discrimination."

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