The State-Led Movement to Shape Children's Sexuality

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[Originally posted at Equipped to Love]

Currently, the California Department of Education is accepting public comments (until Friday January 11th) on their Health Education Framework, which will offer guidelines for application and the development of curriculum for the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA).

This week I’ve been reviewing the Framework and discussing the implications of the CHYA in terms of Christian morality—and our ministry to oncegay friends.

I don’t wish to seem alarmist, but the state of California is edging closer to removing essential parental rights over our children--shockingly via indoctrination focused on sexuality. In the name of sexual freedom and in a misguided effort to protect children, our state-sanctioned sex education programs are widening the divide between parents’ rights and child welfare.

We have concern that eventually parental discouragement of childhood sexual activity for children who experience sexual or gender confusion will be regarded as abuse. That is, any parental disapproval of a child’s embrace of homosexual behavior could lead to that child being removed from the home. Already California protects complete confidentiality for children who seek medical attention for sexual-related issues (such as abortion.) Parents need not be notified when their children seek an abortion. Also, rightly, a child’s mental health is of paramount concern, but the underlying attitude of CHYA indicates that factors relating to depression (such as same sex attraction) could also restrict a parent’s right to their choice of treatment for their child. The State of California appears to be headed toward invasive control of child rearing.

The Calif. Healthy Youth Act, which was enacted in 2016, covers many different aspects of health awareness--not only regarding sexuality; but, its effort to curb bias and the spread of STDs injects a radical sexual ideology into our school systems. On one hand, the state seeks to offer protection--to make a way for children to be sexually free (as if they were adults) with a measure of wisdom about sexual intercourse; however, through the power of suggestion partnered with explicitly graphic illustrations, the sex ed program is further breaking down the sanctity of healthy family and relationships.

Below is a letter emailed to the California Department of Education from us (Equipped to Love) as a comment on the proposed Framework. In addition to the letter, we completed their template highlighting specific points of concern. Here is a great link for more information about that process and the Health Education Framework itself.

CHYA is California law. Now it’s essential that parents become active in schools by volunteering, supporting teachers and creating honoring, proactive relationships with school administrators. Individual school districts still have choices in how they implement the CHYA.

There is a painful silver lining. Many will go down destructive paths, wrongly defining their sexuality, to eventually say, “This is not the truth about me.” The “Former” or “Oncegay” or “Ex-gay” population will grow as children come to terms with the truth. But, how many will experience the despair, rejection and hopelessness that often coincides with the inner turmoil of identifying as LGBTQIA+?

Our culture once believed that “free love” was healthy and that it facilitated fulfillment; however, today we see the fruit of hookup culture is a radical breakdown in our ability to relate to one another. Instead of lasting, healthy interpersonal relationships people are turning to pornography and masturbation because they are unable to facilitate meaningful connections. Far from creating fulfilling relationships between us, our promiscuity has effectively created chaos. It seems we are backwards evolving and becoming like the animals of Darwin’s original proposition.

The dignity of being human is in question.

If ever we needed a vision of the beauty of healthy sexuality and family as proposed by scripture, it is today. Lord have mercy.

Dear California Department of Education Representative,

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Woning. I represent a growing number of men and women who no longer identify as LGBTQIA+, many of whom no longer experience same sex attraction or gender confusion. Our organization is called CHANGED.

We are hopeful that the 2019 Health Education Framework will create an appropriate amount of safety for children to explore and understand their sexuality, without leading or indoctrinating students. Ideally, children will be taught to proactively and vulnerably engage their parents for understanding of their sexual identity. We are very thankful that the Framework invites parental involvement and seeks to facilitate healthy conversations within families.

As California schools focus increasingly on LGBTQIA sexual behavior, we believe children will be more, not less, confused on the nature of human identity and sexual expression. That turmoil, which we have experienced first hand, can be devastating.

So many young people are bullied into “coming out” and identifying as LGBTQIA+. Countless of our number among CHANGED speak of individuals whose presumption or mere suggestion (“I know you’re gay”) led to misguided questioning of our sexuality, drawing some to disastrous false conclusions. Intrusive thoughts and misguided voices spoken over us have power. The voices of those who experience sex change regret, unable to reverse intrusive surgeries or chemical castration, must also be heeded.

With its increased focus on LGBTQIA+ sexuality, California’s education department is taking the lead in shaping, not merely informing, our children’s sexuality. For the sake of recognizing a few this framework will be misleading many.

We believe the outcome of normalizing LGBTQIA+ sexual imagery and practices, partnered with increasing social pressure to identify as LGBTQIA+, will be catastrophic for California’s children. As a former lesbian, I recognize the need for sensitivity. I too once was overcome with fear and shame when acknowledging my sexual desires. Nevertheless, LGBTQIA+ sexual practices (using explicit illustrations or graphics) should not be imposed on children who have not fully formed their sexual identities—not even for the sake of raising awareness or bringing compassion.

Today, I no longer experience same sex attraction—and I am not alone. Thousands who were once carried into the LGBTQIA+ life have chosen different paths—though culture and especially the LGBTQIA+ community rarely acknowledge us. Many people regret decisions to embrace LGBTQIA+ behaviors, which for some led to depression, trauma, drug abuse and even attempted suicide. This is not the message most of culture hears. Listen to Luis Ruiz, who survived the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, “I always knew I wanted to marry a woman and have a family of my own. So when I realized in my childhood that I was attracted to the same sex, I felt my dream might not be possible. I fell prey to the world’s narrative that ‘you are born gay,’ which left me feeling confused and hopeless. Too fearful to share my same-sex feelings with my parents and my church, I felt disconnected from God and my family because of the tension between my desires and my beliefs. While I served in the US Army, I secretly explored gay clubs where I medicated my pain with partying, drugs and sex with other men. I wanted to drown out the pain of not feeling attracted to women. Throughout those years, I continually felt there had to be more to life than what I was living. When I got out of the Army, I was depressed and alone. ...I chose to leave the homosexual lifestyle to pursue my true identity in Jesus. I now live a life free of depression, anxiety and fear, having a reconciled relationship with my family and the privilege of helping others know that change is possible.”  For Luiz, embracing the gay identity was self destructive. We wish to encourage CA public schools to acknowledge these negative sides of LGBTQIA+ life.

The “false hope” is that normalizing the behavior and identity will resolve the destructive aspects of the experience: failure to bond, greater numbers of sexual partners, physical risks (despite condoms or HIV-focused drugs), destroyed families, increases in surrogacy (which is its own ethical dilemma), never belonging within larger culture, never embracing one’s biological sex… the list goes on.

CA Dept of Education should be seeking to influence our children’s ability to relate non-sexually and teaching that sexual behavior should not be a primary motivator in our experiences of one another. It should seek to curb misplaced sexual desire, which too often lands in addictions to masturbation and pornography. Please reconsider the depth of your imposition of LGBTQIA+ sexuality on our children.

Thank you, sincerely, for your attention and commitment to the welfare of children in California,

Elizabeth Woning
CHANGED is a coalition of men and women who no longer identify as LGBTQIA+
Equipped to Love
20 Lake Blvd.
Redding, CA 96003


Elizabeth Woning