On August 4th a group which calls itself Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) is hosting a banquet / lecture to kick off what they call an “academy” to “train young people (as well as older pro-family advocates) how to answer ‘gay’ activist misinformation and fight the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”
Call to protest!!
Who:Gay Liberation Network (GLN),
What: Has initiated a 5:30 PM, August 4 protest against AFTAH’s opening banquet lecture
Where: At AFTAH’s headquarters, 25W560 Geneva Road, Carol Stream, IL.
For Immediate Release – July 23, 2010
For Information – Bob Schwartz, Gay Liberation Network,
Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network: LGBTliberation@aol.com
Gays to Protest “Academy” Encouraging Youth to Hate Gays
Carol Stream, IL — On August 4th a group which calls itself Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) is hosting a banquet / lecture to kick off what they call an “academy” to “train young people (as well as older pro-family advocates) how to answer ‘gay’ activist misinformation and fight the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”
Advocates for legal equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBTs) counter that the gathering is aimed at promoting continued legal and social discrimination against gays, and worse, aims to promote this bigotry among young people.
“AFTAH has a long history of telling lies about LGBT people and recently was designated a ‘hate group’ by the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network (GLN), the group which has initiated a 5:30 PM, August 4 protest against AFTAH’s opening banquet lecture at their headquarters, 25W560 Geneva Road, Carol Stream, IL. Joining GLN in the protest will be DuPage NOW, Woodstock/McHenry County PFLAG and La Voz de los de Abajo.
“Using typical far-right scare rhetoric about gays, AFTAH’s literature about their forthcoming ‘academy’ calls the LGBT rights movement ‘destructive to America’ and invites people to donate money to fund scholarships for people as young as 14-years-old to attend their event,” said Schwartz. “What they are really trying to do is inculcate the next generation with a religious, sectarian-based hatred of gays.”
“Particularly in difficult economic times, it is vital that opponents of discrimination remain vigilant and forthrightly oppose any attempts to scapegoat any group for the failings of society,” said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer. “Youth should not be taught to hate their peers and thus fuel the cycle of self-loathing, depression and suicide which too many LGBT youth experience. Bigotry must be vocally and publicly opposed, especially when haters like AFTAH try to recruit young people.”
Recently AFTAH announced that one of the “instructors” at its forthcoming event will be Cliff Kincaid, who has been a vocal proponent of a notorious Ugandan bill which not only would proscribe the death penalty for gays, but also imprisonment non-gays who fail to report the gay people whom they know.
“With the inclusion of a ‘kill the gays’ spokesperson like Kincaid, the AFTAH youth academy is an attempt to legitimize a set of politics so vile that even leading figures on the religious right have felt compelled to condemn them,” said Schwartz. “If AFTAH’s Executive Director Peter LaBarbera were just a lone kook, then I would say just ignore him. But to say that would be to ignore the fact that LaBarbera was the leading proponent of two attempts to get anti-gay referenda on the Illinois state ballot.”
“Harvey Milk and other pro-equality activists defeated Anita Bryant and her anti-gay referenda a generation ago not by ignoring, but by highlighting and making infamous her anti-gay bigotry,” said Thayer. “This is what needs to be done against LaBarbera, and which is why we have called this August 4th protest. Learning from the failed, polite campaigns to defeat California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 and Maine’s Question 1, we must instead loudly highlight the bigotry of our opponents as Milk and others did, and thus politically marginalize them.”
For more information about the August 4th protest, email the Gay Liberation Network at LGBTliberation@aol.com