FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Zandra Rice Hawkins, (603) 225-2471
Flashback Video: Frank Edelblut Testifying Against Banning Unethical Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors
It’s not quite like the story he told the Executive Council
CONCORD, NH – Today as the New Hampshire Senate holds a public hearing on SB 224, relative to conversion therapy seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation, Granite State Progress is releasing a video of last year’s public hearing on a similar bill when now-NH Commissioner of Education nominee Frank Edelblut testified for 20 minutes and also voted on the floor against banning unethical gay conversion therapy for minors.
GSP Video: NH’s Frank Edelblut Compares Being LGBTQ to Having a Drinking Problem (Minute 9:00)
“Individuals who failed to change sexual orientation, while believing they should have changed with such efforts, describe their experiences as a significant cause of emotional and spiritual distress and negative self-imaging. Just like you would have negative effects if you tried to quit smoking – those people tend to have negative effects – when you’re trying to break a drinking habit, you have negative effects, when you’re trying to break drugs – you have a negative effect. So they’re expressing this concern.” – Frank Edelblut, April 5, 2016
During the public hearing on his nomination, Edelblut purposely downplayed his position on conversion therapy and LGBTQ rights in general. As reported in the Union Leader:
“Edelblut, answering another question by Pappas, did not commit to opposing conversion therapy for LGBT minors. He said his testimony last year on a bill to ban conversion therapy was meant to point out that the information contained in the bill was “inconsistent” with studies cited in the bill. “I think good science requires that you read the literature,” Edelblut said. “We had a bill that came before the legislature that made reference to studies. I read the studies and I understood what the underlying issues were, so I could be knowledgeable about the bill. When I saw inconsistencies in the studies with the information presented, I thought it was important to that we made that information public.” [Union Leader, NH Primary Source: Ayotte-Trump ‘fence-mending’ welcomed by key Republicans, February 2, 2017; HB1661, Roll Call #167, 3/23/2016]
In reality, Edelblut is on the fundraising board of directors for Patrick Henry College, an evangelical college that explicitly prohibits homosexuality and marriage equality, students dressing “in a way that will cause others to mistake them for a member of the other sex” and transgender rights.
Statement from Granite State Progress Executive Director Zandra Rice Hawkins:
“Edelblut compared anti-LGBTQ counseling – and therefore, being gay or lesbian – to counseling to end a smoking, drinking, or drug addiction. He also spoke out against the federal Department of Education’s guidance on transgender students which sought to ensure transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment. He’s spent at least seven years fundraising for a college that considers marriage equality a sin and openly prohibits students from being gay, lesbian, or transgender. The college also states very clearly that those connected with it have a responsibility to ‘integrate a biblical worldview into all aspects of their professional lives.’ Edelblut’s anti-LGBTQ background and activities raise real concerns about whether he will work to ensure all children have a safe and welcoming learning environment in New Hampshire.”
Granite State Progress is a multi-issue advocacy organization focused on issues of immediate state and local concern. Granite State Progress works as a communications hub for the progressive community to provide a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems. Online at www.GraniteStateProgress.org