Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

July 6, 2007

PHILADELPHIA PA – As the National Education Association met in Philadelphia June 30- July 5, 2007, to do union business and to celebrate 150 years of its existence, the celebration of freedom rang out. Or did it? Currently the GLBT message that you are born that way, you can’t change, and if you try to change it will be harmful is one of the messages that rings the loudest.

In response to the GLBT message, the NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus was founded in 2004 by Jeralee Smith, former lesbian. The purpose of the caucus is to work within the NEA to make policy changes to ensure that the Ex-Gay voice is heard. In her own quest of happiness, Jeralee, for a number of years could find no support in dealing with her unwanted same-sex attraction. Because of this dilemma, she started the caucus believing that youth deserve to hear all the information, and deserve a safe environment and support to pursue their own happiness.

At this year’s NEA Ex-Gay Expo booth at the convention, 494 pieces of literature were given out and many people were able to hear the ex-gay message that “Change Is Possible” and “We are here to support you in that decision.” Although the voice is not nearly strong enough, we are hoping that before long that message will ring out loud and clear.

If you are an NEA member who is an ex-gay, and you would like more information on the caucus or on becoming a delegate to next year’s NEA representative assembly, please contact NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus chair, Susan Halvorson, at 888-532-4678.

Together let’s make sure that, as the GLBT message is heard, the ex-gay voice is heard as well so that people can truly make their own decisions in their pursuit of happiness.

Contact: Sue Halvorson, Chair, NEA Ex-Gay Educators Caucus

“THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE THOSE OF THE CAUCUS. THE CAUCUS HAS NO AUTHORITY TO SPEAK FOR, OR ACT ON BEHALF OF, NEA.”

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