As Right Wing Leaders Cover Their Tracks, Personal Responsibility, Law and Order and Accountability Are Tossed Out The Window, Says Truth Wins Out
MIAMI BEACH — Leading right wing groups closed ranks this week to attack Truth Wins Out after it filed complaints with two Attorneys General against The American Family Association and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality for promoting and selling a deceptive video, “It’s Not Gay,” featuring failed ex-gay leader Michael Johnston.
Johnston, who is HIV-positive, offers testimony in “It’s Not Gay” that he became heterosexual in 1998 “through the power of Jesus Christ.” In August 2003, Johnston’s claims at sexual conversion collapsed in an embarrassing scandal that included unprotected sex with multiple men. In lashing out to cover their tracks over the hawking of this misleading video, the extreme right abandoned all pretenses of real conservative values.
“There is a double standard where personal responsibility, ethics and accountability don’t seem to apply to these right wing organizations,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The American Family Association and Americans For Truth About Homosexuality have made a mockery of traditional conservatism by cheerleading disgraceful behavior that has placed lives in jeopardy.”
Last week, Truth Wins Out filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General after AFTAH promoted “It’s Not Gay” on its website. A similar complaint was filed this week with the Mississippi Attorney General against the AFA for selling the fraudulent video.
In response to the complaints, several right wing organizations, blogs and news outlets have teamed up to launch coordinated attacks against Truth Wins Out. The first response came from Peter LaBarbera, President of AFTAH. An online article in WorldNetDaily, a publication where one contributor recently opined that eating soy might lead to homosexuality, quickly followed.
On Thursday, Concerned Women for America interviewed LaBarbera on its radio broadcast where he called Besen a “vicious, anti-Christian bigot” and demeaned blogger Pam Spaulding as “the vicious anti-Christian lesbian activist.” He also referred to homosexuality as a “cruel addiction” and an “evil pull in the lives of those men and women.”
“If you want to talk about the antithesis of Christian values, consider that in his interview, LaBarbera did not once mention or show remorse for Johnston’s victims and their families,” said Besen. “What kind of Christian or conservative dismisses such pain and gives a free pass to a man who was alleged to have committed criminal behavior that put peoples’ lives at risk?”
LaBarbera also said on the broadcast that in fifteen years he had interviewed at least “one hundred former homosexuals.” However, LaBarbera conveniently explained that these invisible ex-gays were nowhere to be found because, “most of them don’t want to be public.”
Perhaps his reticence in introducing more ex-gays comes from the fact that many of the ones he has trotted out in the past have come back to haunt him. Aside from Johnston, LaBarbera was at the Family Research Council when ex-gay poster boy John Paulk starred in the “Truth In Love” national ad campaign. Soon after, Besen photographed Paulk in a gay bar. While at AFTAH, LaBarbera featured ex-gay leader Wade Richards in a media event at the National Press Club in Washington. Within a year, Richards announced in the Advocate Magazine that he is gay.
“If there is one person in America who knows that gay people can’t change it is Peter LaBarbera,” said Besen. “His record of presiding over ex-gay failures is unrivaled. What LaBarbera calls ‘relapses’ are really ‘collapses,’ where the people he exploits can no longer live a lie and have to return to who they really are.”
“If AFA and AFTAH want to tell the dubious tale of Michael Johnston, that is their right,” said Besen. “All Truth Wins Out has asked these groups to do is tell Christians the full story without leaving out the horrifying details. I can’t imagine why they are so resistant and why they so afraid of telling the whole truth to their followers?”
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life. For more information, visit www.TruthWinsOut.org.