The World Bank's Community Outreach Program funds a homophobic organization, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX). So-called "ex-gay" programs have been added to the list of eligible organizations to receive funding form the bank's matching gifts program.
"Ex-gay" programs are dangerous and use religion-based bigotry to lead members into believing that they can be "cured" of homosexuality. This can have a damaging affect on LGBT youth and lead to suicide. Therapy to change sexual orientation is rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization, including the American Psychiatric Association, The American Medical Association, and The American Psychological Association.
According to TRUTH WINS OUT, the nation's largest organization fighting the "ex-gay" industry, "From its inception, PFOX was a tool funded and used by the religious right to deny equality to GLBT Americans. In 1998, the group was jumpstarted with an $80,000 grant from the virulently anti-gay lobby group the Family Research Council."
PFOX also has a dangerous presence overseas. The group’s former President, Richard Cohen, is tied to the draconian 2010 “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda.
Additionally, PFOX misrepresented itself to receive funds. In order to be included on the World Bank’s list of charities, an organization is required to have “a substantial local presence in the Greater Washington metropolitan area.” Yet, PFOX has virtually no presence in Washington and is located in Reedville, VA – 127 miles away from the nation’s capitol.
“The World Bank needs to answer why it is bending the rules to accommodate an ideological organization that, under any objective measure, does not meet the criteria of working in the DC metro area,” says Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen. “It is outrageous that PFOX tried to pull a fast one and they should immediately pull the plug on this scheme. We demand that the World Bank launch an investigation to see if PFOX and some World Bank employees conspired to misrepresent PFOX's location in an effort to defraud the bank.”
We can force change. We can demand that the World Bank remove hateful organizations from their list of approved charities. PFOX is not a charitable organization, it is an organization founded to work against equality.
The World Bank needs to hear from concerned people now! Let's send a strong message to the Bank that funding homophobia is bad business.
PFOX is a dangerous organization, spreading hate through religion-based bigotry and openly calling for discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
According to Faith In America, an organization founded to combat such bigotry, reparative therapy "causes much physical and emotional damage to LGBT people by organizations that wrongfully say they can cure homosexuality."
Of programs like PFOX, the American Psychiatric Association has said it "opposes any psychiatric treatment, such as reparative or conversion therapy, which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the prior assumption that a patient should change his/her sexual homosexual orientation.”
I urge The World Bank to cease funding or matching gifts for hateful groups like Parents and Friends of Ex-gays.