February 28th, 2007
Andrew Anthos, the 72 year old gay man who was beaten after getting off a bus Feb. 13 in Detroit, will be laid to rest this afternoon. The attack left him paralyzed from the neck down, and he died last Friday from those injuries. His killer has not been found. State Senator Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit) will do what he can to see that Anthos did not die in vain:
Clarke said Tuesday he will introduce the hate crime legislation in the next couple of weeks. He also will talk to Capitol officials to make sure that Anthos’ desire to get the Capitol dome lit will come true.
“I believe Mr. Anthos death will be a watershed,” said Clarke, who was a co-sponsor of similar hate crime legislation that didn’t pass last year. “It’s going to be successful.”
When I attended the Love Won Out conference in Phoenix on February 10, the question of hate crimes legislation came up in a Q&A session. Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, and Mike Haley, of Focus on the Family both stated their opposition to hate crime enhancements for violent crimes like this one, characterizing it as an attack on freedom of speech. This, of course, is nonsense. Hate crimes legislation targets violent crime, not speech. Our First Amendment — the very same First Amendment that permitted neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Ill., and allows the Klan to hold rallies wherever they feel like it — will always permit Exodus and Focus to say, print, and broadcast whatever they want.
But I was pleased to hear Mike Haley close that discussion on what I believed to be a somewhat positive note:
I think, too, we also have to be just as quick to also stand up when we do see the gay and lesbian community being come against as the Body of Christ. We need to be the first to speak out to say that what happened to Matthew Shepard was a terrible incident and should never happen again. And that we within the Body of Christ are wanting to protect that community and put our money where our mouth is…
While I thought that was a very positive sentiment at the time, it appears now that it was just an empty platitude. Andrew Anthos was attacked just three days later. There was no comment from either Exodus or Focus on the Family.
Ten days after that, Andrew Anthos died. Again, the Body of Christ — at least that portion of it represented by Focus on the Family and Exodus — has not spoken out.
Today, two full weeks after he was beaten with a metal pipe and left paralyzed in the cold Detroit snow, Andrew Anthos is being laid to rest. The silence from Focus on the Family and Exodus is deafening.
Now let me be clear. I don’t believe for one second that there is anyone at Focus on the Family or Exodus who feels anything but profound sorrow for Andrew Anthos’ brutal death. But I can’t help but notice that in the very same week when Focus had a chance to reach out to the gays and lesbians that they professed to love at Love Won Out, they chose instead to scour the Internet and find an extremely obscure, unpublished, non-peer-reviewed study — from China, of all places — to figuratively bash gays and lesbians here at home.
So this begs the question: Does Focus on the Family and Exodus say one thing to their Evangelical base and something else to the rest of us? Mike Haley’s right. They need to put their money where their mouth is. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that’s exactly what they did.
I’ll share my observations on how they tailor their messages based on their audience in greater detail next week. Meanwhile, you can see a few examples of that in action in the latest video from Ex-Gay Watch.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.