Target: Minnesota Department of Education
Goal: Ban the harmful advocacy of sexual reparative therapy in Minnesota schools
Bryan Lindquist, an anti-bullying task force member of a school board in Anoka-Hennepin county, Minnesota, has come under recent attack for his conservative views about homosexual students. The task force, which aims to prevent bullying in school, is comprised of individuals from varying backgrounds and seeks to gather diverse opinions. In Lindquist’s opinion, the school district should distribute information about sexual reparative therapy to its students because homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice.”
The word reparative means to fix what is damaged. If these words represent the ways that parents and school board members react to homosexuality, then Minnesota public school districts have a bigger problem on their hands. Naturally, after Lindquist’s assertion, many locals started petitions to remove him from the board and his spare students the repercussions of his conservative Christian agenda.
Yet, as school board member Mike Sullivan states, “It’s critical [for the board] to have opposing points of view,” and so Lindquist’s post is in no way threatened. Without his removal, it is possible to prevent severely negative attitudes towards homosexual students by telling the school districts of Minnesota that sexual reparative therapy has negative effects on gay students and demanding that information advocating such therapy be banned.
Reparative therapy has long taught that “gayness” is a disorder that can be cured through hours of counseling. Treating homosexuality as an illness perpetuates the lie that something is wrong with a person who is gay. This mindset is responsible for teenage depression and suicide.
Because it has little to nothing to do with anti-bullying, it is surprising that a board member on an anti-bullying task force would present such an idea. If anything, information on sexual reparative therapy tells gay students that they are defective human beings and, if bullied, do not deserve to be treated with respect.
While it is improbable that Lindquist will be removed from the anti-bullying task force, much can be done to prevent harmful attitudes from pervading public school districts. Pamphlets that advertise sexual reparative therapy only serve to degrade homosexual teens and reinforce the idea that something is wrong with them, giving bullies the perfect opportunity to be bullies. Demand that Minnesota school districts never advocate sexual reparative therapy at the expense of their students.
Dear Minnesota Department of Education,
Recently, a board member in Anoka-Hennepin county requested that information on sexual reparative therapy be distributed in the school district in order to prevent bullying. This proposal was not only a biased and homophobic attempt to degrade homosexual students by suggesting that their sexual orientation somehow needs repairing, but it is also harmful. Please pledge that Minnesota school districts will not sink so low as to demean gay students in this way.
Because reparative therapy teaches young gay students that they have a problem, it perpetuates a mindset that often results in severe depression and even suicide. Please seek to assist gay students in their struggle against bullying and do not distribute information that would cause them to doubt their worth as human beings. Please do not allow biased and homophobic agendas to dictate school environments. Please ban sexual reparative therapy as a solution to bullying in your schools.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Pacific Standard