Remarks Announcing Special Award to Ron Schow and Mike Green
2004 Affirmation Conference, San Francisco
Presented by Olin Thomas
October 9, 2004
In the past year and a half, Dr. Ronald Schow has completed significant work in the cause of awareness of gay and lesbian rights, particularly in the Mormon community.
He was instrumental in publishing the document entitled "A Guide for LDS Families Dealing With Homosexual Attraction" with the input from leaders in Affirmation, Gamofites, Family Fellowship, Evergreen International and LDS psychologists, social workers and counselors. This document is in pamphlet form and is being made widely available.
A second pamphlet entitled, "The Persistence of Same Sex Attraction in Latter-day Saints Who Undergo Counseling or Change Therapy," is a collaborative effort of nearly a dozen people. Dr. Schow orchestrated, mediated and worked for endless hours for over a year to see this project to its completion. For the first time we now have data on over 800 LDS homosexuals and their experience in counseling and support groups, including numbers from an LDS Family Therapist who is considered to have the most experience with LDS clients.
Dr. Schow has produced and directed three video documentaries. The first documentary, Go Forward, tells of a single LDS male that tries to get married for ten years (this film will be released in 2005). The second film, Marriage Hopes and Realities, tells the story of an LDS man married for 25 years, who also was a leader in the Evergreen support group. This video has been translated into Spanish with assistance from Affirmation. The third video, Embracing Our Homosexual Children, tells about an LDS family with eleven children, in which four are homosexual. These films have been produced for the Mormon audience to gently educate them about homosexuality. These videos have been shown with wide acceptance among Bishops, Church members, therapists, PFLAG members from various religious backgrounds, as well as within the Mormon gay community. These videos are available at this conference and will be distributed by Dr. Schow with assistance from Affirmation. Such efforts are vitally important if we are to reach the hardest audience of all: the heterosexual LDS community.
Affirmation would like to thank Dr. Schow for his efforts in education and outreach among the LDS community and to assist him in this effort is awarding a special grant of $1,000.00 towards the cost of the production and distribution of these materials. Dr. Schow has informed me that part of the grant will be used to further the production of a fourth video, covering the effects on the former wives of gay Mormon men who marry at the Church's prompting only to find they must leave the marriage later for their own sanity.
Will Ron please come forward to accept a certificate and the award check? Also, I have been informed that Mike Green has provided invaluable assistance throughout this project, and deserves recognition for his efforts as well. Will Mike Green please come forward also?