"Ex-Gays" | Education | Maryland | News

'Ex-Gay' Therapy Video Approved by State Regulators and Shown to Maryland Students is Pulled


Students taking seventh grade health classes in the Prince George's County Public Schools system were shown a video espousing "ex-gay" therapy as a viable option for students who are LGBT and bullied, Washington City Paper reports:

Betsy Gallun worked as the supervisor for health education in Prince George's County Public Schools until she retired last year, and she thinks information about gay-to-straight therapy should be available to Prince George's County students. "I feel very badly that it's coming under scrutiny, to be honest with you," says Gallun...

...Six health classes have shown "Acception" since last fall, according to PGCPS spokesman Briant K. Coleman—and more were expected to use it this year, says Doyle.

State education regulators also approved the video, according to Coleman. But on Wednesday, PGCPS pulled the video pending further review, only to terminate the program permanently later that day.

AcceptionstillGallun was introduced to the 21-minute anti-bullying video (stills from it above, and right) "Acception" by "ex-gay" quack Richard Cohen:

[The video] at first appears to promote the acceptance of gay children. In the video, four students are assigned a project on homophobic bullying, with the group splitting up to study the issues of bullying and the origins of homosexuality. Two of the students encounter a cavemen parable about the origins of bullying, but the teens researching same-sex attraction soon find themselves in a different kind of scientifically dicey territory. While the video initially explores gay teenagers being bullied and a young man coming out to his parents, it soon features a student talking about how his once-lesbian cousin used therapy to become attracted to men. Then, the students in the video "watch" an interview with a gay-to-straight therapist.

"If someone wants to live a gay life, I respect that, and if someone wants to change from gay to straight and choose a different path, I respect that too," says the character, played by an actress. The success of "reparative therapy" is touted elsewhere in the video: In a portion of the video you can watch on YouTube, a woman who once felt attracted to other women says that growing closer to her mother and female friends—a trope of sexual orientation-switching theory—helped her become attracted to men. Discussion questions provided to teachers using "Acception" feature scenarios in which sexual orientation is changed through therapy.

Watch a trailer for the video (which does not show the part where it veers into ex-gay therapy) and a clip from it, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via anthoony catalino)

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  1. So Gallun doesn't feel badly about the potential damage she did, she feels badly that the video got noticed. Class.

    Posted by: Butch | Feb 8, 2013 11:12:50 AM

  2. Ex gay therapy kills LGBT people.

    Posted by: Truth | Feb 8, 2013 11:14:08 AM

  3. This is OUTRAGEOUS. People needs to be fired!!!

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 8, 2013 11:22:16 AM

  4. Health classes show this garbage.

    And science classes teach Creationism.

    Political classes teach "Manifest Destiny","American Exceptionalism" and "The Greatest Generation".

    Aren't you all being just drugged ?
    you sure need a Federal Central Regulatory Education Authority / Big Government to weed out these delusions which seem to gain currency among the impressionable.

    And there's no mention of "reparative therapy" for straights wanting to be accepted as gay...... Melman et al.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 8, 2013 11:26:17 AM

  5. So the religious folk blow their gaskets when the word gay is mentioned in schools because "it's the parent's job to teach that" (as if they do!), and schools shouldn't be "promoting that lifestyle", but it's OK to mention gay here? I guess it's only alright as long as it's THEIR anti-gay bull!

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 8, 2013 11:50:56 AM

  6. More like "Accept-Shun".

    Posted by: Ain't Gonna Stand For It | Feb 8, 2013 12:02:14 PM

  7. Appalling! Heads should roll on account of this! THis is based on garbage-psuedo-science and misguided religion. Real kids are hurt by this trash. What follows-up this movie? Maybe -- "I'm black but a therapist counseled me and now I 'act white' so now there is no racism"

    This makes me so angry that I am practically sputtering.

    SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE FIRED OVER THIS. I don't know how to undo the damage which has already been done -- but intelligent folks should start considering how to do that.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Feb 8, 2013 12:04:11 PM

  8. Brilliant concept, Maryland!

    Hey, now that you got that one solved, how about a new video for skin bleaching techniques for people who get picked on because they aren't quite white enough? Or maybe a video for the constantly laughed at flat-chested 13 year old girl talking about the benefits of breast enlargement?

    Or better still: Why don't you make a video for Jewish and Muslim kids extolling the benefits of converting to Christianity? Oh...and make sure you don't actively condemn Mormons and Catholics...but be sure to point out that those options really aren't in any ones best interests!


    Posted by: Jay | Feb 8, 2013 12:27:23 PM

  9. and this is JUST coming to light?! schools or any institution showcasing 'ex gay' videos to gay or straight youth is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than showing skin bleaching technique videos to darker skin children then saying "if some darker skined kids choose not to bleach their skin, that's their choice, but we're giving the option for those who want it"


    We need to deliver that message loud & clear because these quacks are now after our youth knowing the adult LGBT have out smarted and out strengthened them.

    Posted by: Muse | Feb 8, 2013 12:50:33 PM

  10. How was this even allowed? I hope ONE gay childs parents comes forward and grabs a lawyer. Because this is damaging and any gay child exposed to this would be emotionally potentially damaged. That schools would teach this means they need to be in a court room and see the consquences of contributing to anti gay bullying.

    Posted by: Observer | Feb 8, 2013 12:52:22 PM

  11. The acting in the video is craptastic! I've never seen such fake insincerity from people who don't know what they're doing. "My sexual attraction to girls gradually faded away." she says. Yeah, right and gradually acquired blue eyes and blond hair even though it's not in my genes.

    Posted by: Brad | Feb 8, 2013 12:52:42 PM

  12. This is disgusting and outrageous. And that an entire county was behind it's endorsement is most shocking. This needs to make national headlines, with LGBT organizations throughout the country making sure they prevent thinsg like this.

    Posted by: Scott Johaensen | Feb 8, 2013 12:53:14 PM

  13. Good lord, how many years was this video shown in the school? how many kids minds did it effect? this is awful, and awful it's just now being reported. So much covert anti gay ilk trying to promote their brand of hate to the young.

    Posted by: LazerLight | Feb 8, 2013 12:54:19 PM

  14. I'm sure it didn't damage any little minds any worse than the crap on tv and the radio every freakin' day.

    It's too bad that a personal intimate experience such as sexuality is so politicized and the focus of so much diatribe. OK, I never had the "choice" to change my sexuality, but am I truly comfortable telling everyone that it's impossible and that nobody can ? No. It's really none of my business what your sexuality is and what you try to do with it. And it's none of anybody else's either.

    Kids don't need a teacher to dictate to them what is possible and what is not, and they certainly don't need a mob of angry and insecure internet fags doing it either.

    Just Sayin' !

    Posted by: JustSayin | Feb 8, 2013 12:59:36 PM

  15. He's disabled comments on his videos like all cowards youtube do, but you can still leave him a nice note about his shittastic videos on his channel comment page.

    Posted by: Blake | Feb 8, 2013 1:02:21 PM

  16. IMPORTANT!!! How about emailing Betsy Gallun to let her know how her TOTAL IGNORANCE leads to SUICIDE and DEATH of children?????
    email here:

    Posted by: bd | Feb 8, 2013 1:08:14 PM

  17. IMPORTANT!!! How about emailing Betsy Gallun to let her know how her TOTAL IGNORANCE leads to SUICIDE and DEATH of children?????
    email here:

    Posted by: bd | Feb 8, 2013 1:09:13 PM

  18. IMPORTANT!!! How about emailing Betsy Gallun to let her know how her TOTAL IGNORANCE leads to SUICIDE and DEATH of children?????
    email here:

    Posted by: bd | Feb 8, 2013 1:09:25 PM

  19. Trash

    Posted by: reality | Feb 8, 2013 1:27:25 PM

  20. @Justsayin: There is a huge difference between information spread on the internet and information presented by authority figures. The issue is not about whether someone can change sexuality or not. Maybe some people can. But that makes them qualitatively different than many, many gay people for whom sexuality is an orientation and not a preference. What the video does is promote a culture in which potential victims and potential bullies can believe that being gay or not is *always* a personal behavioral decision. From what most of us know, it rarely is.

    It's likely that some lawsuits will result from this, and it's important that happens. Nothing changes policy more quickly than the threat of being brought publicly to court.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 8, 2013 1:37:09 PM

  21. This can't be real. I mean seriously now......you have GOT to be kidding me.

    If this is for real, I sure hope gay groups around the state hold the school district accountable and demand some answers. Damaging doesn't begin to describe this video.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Feb 8, 2013 1:46:14 PM

  22. Just Saying= F-CK OFF you POS troll!
    hows that for some honesty? You homophobe nasty vile c-nts need to be the ones commiting suicide. Mother f-cker.
    I hope you endure nothing but hell in your life (including terminal illness) for your careless brushing off of blatant homophobia.

    Posted by: Kyle | Feb 8, 2013 1:48:26 PM

  23. Guys, ignore the trolls. The post crap and side with the anti gay narrative in every article and we ignore them. They are angry because we're a new breed of gay who don't settle for prejudice and 'take it'

    To the school: I hope you're willing to rationally explain your actions and explain how this isn't bias and partial, not to mention furthering fueling confusion to many gay, bisexual and questioning youth under your umbrella.

    Posted by: BamaMan | Feb 8, 2013 1:50:14 PM

  24. @Observer: "How was thie even allowed?" is a valid question. It is conceivable that overworked state regulators looked at the trailers and mistakenly thought those were representative of the videos in total. The first trailer seems to suggest that the video is about encouraging children to help peers who are being bullied to make that sort of behavior unacceptable. The second is about a woman who claims to have had same-sex attractions in her early teens, and opposite-sex attractions later. Nothing in either trailer suggests the use of any sort of "therapy" to change one's sexual orientation. Neither trailer by itself would raise any red flags. It could be that misleading trailers are not the norm for educational videos, and the regulators were tricked into approving them.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 8, 2013 1:52:11 PM

  25. If my child had to sit through that video, my lawyer would be on the other end of the phone. Everything is wrong with that video being indoctrinated intot he minds of impressionable kids, some of which are gay and this video does everything to make them feel more shamed and lonely.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Feb 8, 2013 1:52:51 PM

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