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The Big Money Behind the Failed Attacks on Workers in the Pacific Northwest

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The Washington Policy Center’s Extreme Right-Wing Agenda

The Washington Policy Center is an extremist organization funded by out-of-state billionaires that want to advance a radical political agenda to privatize public education, keep wages low, and stop the expansion of healthcare to working families in Washington. They, along with the anti-worker Freedom Foundation, are a Washington State affiliate of the State Policy Network: a national network of extremist groups with ties to the Koch Brothers.

They do not disclose their donors but our research has uncovered some disturbing trends: they share funders with anti-LGBTQ organizations, anti-immigrant organizations, and white supremacists. For example one of their key funders, the Murdock Charitable Trust, also funds the largest anti-LGBTQ organization in the country, the Alliance Defending Freedom, who the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated a hate group. Another funder is based in Pennsylvania and funds one of the nations leading anti-immigrant organization.

They often portray themselves as a legitimate think tank but in reality, they are driving a divisive, extremist agenda. They give the illusion to the public and the media that their regressive pet issues have much more support than they do.

We’ve developed a background document on their policy positions, leadership, and funders. View the document below or click here to download a PDF version.

Washington Policy Center Background 2019

 

For more information on the Washington Policy Center, contact the Northwest Accountability Project at info@nwaccountabilityproject.com.

Corban University, LGBTQ Rights, and Gay Conversion Therapy

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association issued the historic (and overdue) ruling that same-sex attraction was not a mental illness nor a sickness that needed a cure. It helped shift public opinion nationwide to a more compassionate, pragmatic view of sexual orientation, but it did not gain traction everywhere. To this day, arcane institutions, advocates and funders still promote a practice called “gay conversion therapy,” a horrific practice based on the fallacy that sexual identity can be flawed, and can be changed.

The Northwest Accountability Project has a history of exposing the regressive entities that promote or fund the movement that promotes gay conversion therapy, like Vancouver, Washington’s Murdock Charitable Trust. Now we are shining the light on Corban University in Salem, Oregon, which receives federal aid (your tax dollars) while still endorsing this appalling practice.

Send a letter to your Senators and Representatives and ask them to revoke Corban’s Title IX exemption.

The historical practice of “gay conversion therapy” or “reparative therapy” began barbarically. Mental health professionals employed institutionalization, castration and electroconvulsive shock therapy to try and stop patients’ natural inclinations. In 2009, the American Psychological Association reported that therapists attempting to “fix” their lesbian gay, bisexual and transgendered patients had at some point utilized forced nausea and vomiting or induced paralysis while showing the patient homoerotic images.

The medieval techniques used in the past have today given way to hypnosis and counseling as primary “conversion” methods, but the dangerous philosophy underpinning these practices remains the same.  At Corban University, for example, the student handbook says students who “struggle with gender identity” are expected to explore these feelings in school-sanctioned settings and “continue to identify with their biological sex.” While students who are experiencing same-sex attraction are “expected to remain celibate and refrain from dating.”

Students who have suffered from Corban University’s restrictive view of sexual orientation and gender identity, have left testimony on a website called OneCorban. According to the site, after school administrators inspected his web search history, one student was threatened with expulsion if he didn’t agree to enter a gay conversion therapy program. The student says that the school counseling staff did not come from a place of understanding, and eventually he withdrew from Corban in order to “put himself in places where others would accept me.”

The cottage industry around gay conversion therapy in the United States has all but collapsed, once led by the likes of Exodus International, a group that offered “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.” The group shut down suddenly in 2013 with an apology for three decades of damage done to the LGBTQ community, and an admission from its president that he still held same-sex attraction. Even hardline groups like Exodus have moved on from the backward barbarism of reparative therapy, but Corban University continues on.

Corban doubles down on its LGBTQ prejudice by inviting speakers and hiring professors that toe the same hurtful line. Mark Yarhouse, an anti-LGBTQ psychologist who refers to that community as “sexual minorities” and believes family history is more important than genetics in sexual identity, was hosted by Corban University. Yarhouse has claimed that attempting gay conversion therapy “does not appear to be harmful on average or inherently harmful.” Corban also hired Corey Gilbert as their Chair of the Psychology Program, whose research includes “unwanted same-sex attraction.”

To make matters worse, we are all subsidizing Corban University’s bigotry. A loophole in the federal Civil Rights Act allows Corban to receive a “Title IX religious exemption,” freeing them to aggressively discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community. Because of this exemption, Corban still enjoys a windfall of federal student loans, huge savings from their non-profit status with the IRS and a continuing flow of grants that are tax-deductible to their donors.

What you can do to help:

While we in the Northwest celebrate LGBTQ rights and the diversity of our population, Corban University stays mired in hurtful out-of-date bigotry, while benefiting from all of our tax dollars. Please send a letter to your Senators and Representatives to demand that Corban University not be able to benefit from public funds while continuing to promote division and hatred. Together we can close Corban’s Title IX loophole of bigotry and protect our values and the students of Corban University.

*Prior versions of this blog unintentionally misrepresented the nature and location of a specific “reparative therapy session.” We regret the mistake and have made the necessary changes.

The Truth About the Freedom Foundation

The-Truth-About-the-Freedom-Foundation-3.19

Oregon’s Corban University Uses Title IX Exemption for Anti-LGBTQ Bigotry

Our work tracking local extremist organizations like the Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today and the Washington Policy Center brings us to unexpected places. We’ve discovered a small college in Salem, Oregon called Corban University which receives federal aid, your tax dollars, while unabashedly discriminating against the LGBTQ community.

They are a headquarters of hatred and bigotry in the Northwest, with extreme anti-LGBTQ policies and leaders, including some professors that actively promote the highly destructive and abusive practice of “gay conversion therapy.” Some former students have spoken out against the school, stating that they underwent conversion therapy while in attendance at Corban.

A school that actively discriminates against the LGBTQ community and abuses their current students should not receive federal aid. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is an equal rights law that applies to all schools receiving federal funding, stating they cannot discriminate. Corban University (formerly known as Western Baptist College)received an exemption from this law so that they could continue to discriminate against LGBTQ faculty and students as they saw fit while still receiving federal aid.

Send a letter to your Senators and Representatives and ask them to revoke Corban’s Title IX exemption.

Ruthlessly prejudiced against students in the LGBTQ community, Corban University is crystal clear in its student handbook about the kind of fractured college experience its students should expect:

Corban University prohibits same-sex relationships, writing, “Students experiencing same-sex attraction or orientation… are expected to remain celibate [and] refrain from dating.” Additionally, it says, “All dating and sexual relationships should be consistent with those principles that support a faithful heterosexual marriage.”

Corban University prohibits transgender students from identifying with their preferred gender, stating, those who “struggle” with their gender must “continue to identify with their biological sex.”

Corban University’s harassment policy and section on respect for fellow students omits harassment motivated by homophobia or transphobia. Corban University does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.

Corban University opposes same-sex marriage. In their statement of faith, Corban University states that they believe “God…ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman.”

But it’s not just their student policies, Corban and its staff have a long history of pushing “gay conversion therapy”, a barbaric and destructive practice:

Corban University offers sexual identity therapy to LGBTQ students. Counseling services offered by Corban University include sexual identity therapy to those who identify within the LGBTQ community.

A professor of psychology and former department head at Corban University is a provider of “gay conversion therapy”: Corey Gilbert, an associate professor of psychology at Corban University and former psychology department head, performed research into “unwanted same-sex attraction.” Gilbert also provides therapy and counseling services to individuals who “experience unwanted same-sex attraction.”

Outside groups and Corban’s very own students have taken notice:

Corban University is featured on the “Shame List” of Campus Pride, an organization dedicated to making campuses more LGBTQ-friendly. “The Shame List identifies the ‘absolute worst campuses for LGBTQ youth’ in the United States. Corban University has qualified for the Shame List because it holds an exemption to Title IX in order to discriminate against its students on the basis of gender identity, marital status, pregnancy or receipt of abortion.” [campuspride.org]

A former Corban student stated he underwent “conversion therapy” on campus. OneCorban.org is a website built for LGBTQ Corban students and alumni to read and submit testimony about their experiences at Corban University. Testimony by a former student alleged that “scriptures [were] read to me regarding homosexuality and the sin I was committing. I was required to sit in that room, shaking and crying until I said out loud that I was struggling with being gay.”  [OneCorban.org]

What you can do to help:

While we in the Northwest celebrate LGBTQ rights and the diversity of our population, Corban University stays mired in hurtful out-of-date bigotry, while benefiting from all of our tax dollars. Please send a letter to your Senators and Representatives to demand that Corban University not be able to benefit from public funds while continuing to promote division and hatred. Together we can close Corban’s Title IX loophole of bigotry and protect our values and the students of Corban University.

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