PFOX released a statement today about the incident at the VA School Counselors Association conference.
On March 30, 2006, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) exhibited at the Virginia School Counselor Association (VSCA) annual conference. We exhibited for approximately three hours before the VSCA and the Holiday Inn Select/Koger South Conference Center in Richmond approached our booth and asked us to leave. The hotel offered us free lodgings if we would leave. We refused, citing breach of contract by the VSCA which had approved our exhibit application. Nonetheless, the senior sales manager and the front office manager of the hotel forcibly removed our exhibit with the approval of the VSCA president and past president.
That day the VSCA was scheduled to present a conference session entitled:
â€œSexual Orientation: Meeting the Challenge to Promote the Health and Well Being of All Students. The presentation will be based on the concept of sexuality as a continuum and will provide a brief overview of gay history and culture, followed by a discussion about sexual identity development and the ways in which cultural attitudes and societal institutions have a negative impact on the health of GLBTQ students. Handouts will be provided and implications for school counselors will be discussed. Level: Elementary/Middle Schoolâ€
When VSCA threw us out, we asked them why they were presenting a gay seminar but not allowing an ex-gay exhibit. They denied it and agreed we could attend the seminar and pick up the handouts. When we arrived for the seminar, a sign on the door said that the seminar had been cancelled because the speaker was unavailable.
This is the first time we have seen a gay seminar presented to school counselors for the elementary school level, at least in Virginia.
Although the VSCA liked two of our PFOX brochures on teens and bullying, they still would not permit us to exhibit at the conference, although we were listed in the conference brochure and school counselors at the conference showed great interest in our materials.
Still no word from the VA School Counselors.