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Religious Right Places Full-Page
Hate Ads in Major Newspapers
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By Jack Nichols
From Family Research Council
& Ex-Gay Ministries Reports

In a bizarre press release blooper, the Family Research Council, headed by Gary Bauer, called its allied Christian Right groups "profanity" in paragraph 2, intending to use the word "pro-family." The press release, issued Monday, read:

"Many people have been seduced into a destructive homosexual lifestyle that has rendered nothing but pain and sadness. How long will the pro-homosexual lobby attempt to muzzle people like Reggie White and Trent Lott who speak this life-saving truth? There is hope for homosexuals, but it entails that they make some changes. No condom or clean needle or legislation will bring them what they really need: healing," Family Research Council Cultural Studies Director Robert Knight said Monday as the first of three advertisements designed to tell the truth about homosexuality appeared in the New York Times. gbauer.jpg - 5.23 K
Gary Bauer's Family Research Council: Freudian Slip?

The advertising campaign is sponsored by a coalition of national and state profanity organizations representing over 30 million Americans concerned about the impact of homosexuality, on the individual sufferer and society as a whole. In addition to the New York Times, similar advertisements are slated to run in Tuesday's Washington Post, and in the sports section of Wednesday's USA Today.

"Our society has been fed lies for far too long. We have been told that ten percent of the population is homosexual, that homosexuality is genetic rather than behavioral, and that you can be happy and 'gay.' These misconceptions are tearing the moral fabric of this nation. Although the truth may hurt, it can also heal," Knight said.

"Family Research Council believes that the truth cannot be pushed into the closet and that it is past time for America to have an open discussion about homosexuality. Loving someone doesn't mean never having to say you're sorry. It means never having to hide the truth."
Source: Family Research Council

Fifteen Religious Right front groups responsible for the full-page hate ads are, including the Family Research Council, the Alliance for Traditional Marriage-Hawaii, the American Family Association, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Center for Reclaiming America, Christian Family Network, Christian Coalition, Citizens for Community Values, Colorado for Family Values, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Family First, Liberty Council, National Legal Foundation and Kerusso Ministries.

Monday's New York Times ad, featured on page A-11, features a photograph of Anne Paulk, who advertises herself as a wife, mother, and "former lesbian". "I'm living proof," she is quoted as saying, "that the Truth can set you free." The "Truth", as Ms. Paulk sees it, can be accessed through ex-gay ministries supported by fundamentalist and evangelical Christian groups. There is also a photograph of a large crowd under which the following words appear: "Thousands of ex-gays like these have walked away from their homosexual identities. While the paths each took into homosexuality may vary, their stories of hope and healing through the transforming love of Jesus Christ are the same….Ex-gay ministries throughout the U.S. work daily with homosexuals seeking change, and many provide outreach programs to their families and loved ones."

Ms. Paulk's lesbianism, the ad continues, stemmed from her rape by a teenager at age four. She admits having lived a life "of deception, and emotional instability" and says that she knew she was running from God."

Her prayer, printed in italics reads: "Lord, You know that I really enjoy this lifestyle, but I want You to be my first love. I need your help. I need you to change my heart." Shortly afterwards, Ms. Paulk claims, she met a "former lesbian" who was also a Christian and was led by her into an ex-gay "ministry" dedicated to "helping people overcome homosexuality."

"Leaving homosexuality was the hardest thing I ever had to do," Ms. Paulk tells her readers, and she advises that the religious conversion she has experienced can be theirs too. "If you really love someone, you'll tell them the truth," said the Monday ad in large bold print. It recommends that readers call an ex-gay ministry but the New York Times unwittingly printed a mistaken 800 number.

GayToday, unaware at first that the 800 number was incorrect found that it was being answered by a harried office worker in a business firm with no connection to the Christian Right.

"You have not reached the number you think you have," she explained kindly, saying that 800 should have been printed 888.

"You've have a tough afternoon, I bet" offered GayToday's reporter.

"I sure have, but it is almost over, thank goodness," said the worker.

"Did you get a lot of calls?"

"I sure did, and angry ones too."

"They're going to run the ads twice more," explained GayToday.

"Oh no," she sighed, "but we told the Times, so probably the number will be changed."

"I hope so."

GayToday then called the proper 888 number, and "Molly" answered for the ex-gay ministries. "God has rather uncooperatively allowed two bloopers to affect your ex-gay ministries today," explained GayToday, "and, as a result, a poor, uninvolved office worker was seriously hounded on her job."

"I know," replied Molly. What she didn't know, she claimed, was whether the mistaken 800 number had been an ex-gay ministry error or whether the New York Times was responsible. "I do thank you for being so polite," she said, indicating that other calls she'd received had been less so.

The correct telephone number is: 888-264-0877. Each call made to that number, it should be noted, will be charged to accounts of the sponsoring hate organizations listed above.


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