Flashback Video: Frank Edelblut Testifying Against Banning Unethical Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors

Flashback Video: Frank Edelblut Testifying Against Banning Unethical Gay Conversion Therapy for Minors

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

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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.

  • “The College chooses to limit its student body, board, and staff to those who are committed to its statement of faith. The practice of homosexual conduct or other extramarital sexual relations is inconsistent with the College’s faith position.” [Patrick Henry College, Student Handbook, 2016]
  • “Students will dress modestly out of consideration for one another.  Also, students will not dress in a way that will cause others to mistake them for a member of the other sex (e.g., 1 Tim 2:9; Deut 22:5).” [Patrick Henry College, Student Handbook, 2016]
  • “Sexual Identity: Since God created mankind in His own image as male and female, men and women are sexually different but with equal personal dignity.  Consequently, any attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s predominant biological sex, including but not limited to elective sex-reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary “genderqueer” acts or conduct are sinful.” [Patrick Henry College, Student Handbook, 2016]
  • From local newspaper of record: “Gay students at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville don’t exist. They can’t exist. So says Dr. Michael Farris, the college’s founder and chancellor. It’s simple, really. Homosexuals can’t exist at Patrick Henry College because the students sign an honor code, Farris claimed. “[Homosexuals] could not sign our honor code,” Farris said, adding that he considers the actions of gay men and women “sinful.” [Loudoun Times-Mirror, ‘Queer at Patrick Henry College’ vexes school’s chancellor, Dec. 12, 2012]
  • “Statement of Ethical Values and Standards. All trustees, administrators, and staff of Patrick Henry College have the right, privilege, and responsibility to … Integrate a biblical worldview into all aspects of their professional lives.” [Patrick Henry College, Student Handbook, 2016]

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