Md. High School Students Sent Home With Anti-Gay Flyer

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Saturday February 4, 2012

High school students from Montgomery County, Md., were recently sent home with an anti-gay flyer created by the "ex-gay" organization, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX), Fox News reported.

Montgomery County is the Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C.

PFOX's flyer contends that being gay is not a choice and that no one is "born gay." One student from Einstein High School received the flyer with his report card and his mother, Karen Yount-Merrell, a licensed, clinical social worker, was outraged.

Although Maryland does not allow same-sex marriage it does recognize out of state same-sex marriages. Washington, D.C. recognizes gay marriage.

"I don't like it," Yount-Merrell said. "Everything in this flyer make its sound like the goal is to be [an] EX-gay, [or an EX]-lesbian. It is not embracing of a different orientation. It reiterates a societal view that there's something 'wrong' with you, if you're not in the norm. If you aren't heterosexual. And teenagers have a hard enough time dealing with who they are and feeling good about themselves."

PFOX defended their flyer and said that peopled need to be "tolerant" of their beliefs on sexual orientation.

"If people were to actually read the content of the flyer that we're distributing, they will see there is nothing in here that is insulting or even critical of homosexuals," said PFOX board member Peter Sprigg. "All it is telling kids [is] that you don't have to be gay if you don't want to be."

PFOX was able to send the flyers home with students due to a Montgomery County school board policy, which allows non-profit organizations to send flyers to students four times of the year.