NGLTF condemns anti-gay ads as political ploy

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) May 14 sharply criticized the latest attack by right-wing groups against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. This week, right wing groups have run television advertisements entitled the "Truth In Love" campaign, produced by Coral Ridge Ministries and the Center for Reclaiming America. Running on Mother's Day in the Washington, DC media market, the ad featured the mother of an alleged "ex-gay" recalling her and her son's struggle with his homosexuality.

The multi-million dollar "Truth in Love" political campaign began last summer with a series of full-page print ads in national newspapers including the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. The so-called "ex-gay" movement asserts that people can be "converted" to heterosexuality by embracing fundamentalist doctrine or through "reparative therapy." These claims have been rejected by the medical community and repudiated by most national religious organizations.

"This ad campaign is simply one more weapon in the conservative arsenal of those who want to wage war against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people," said Kerry Lobel, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. "It is bankrupt of the very virtues it espouses -- love and compassion."

According to the report "Calculated Compassion: How the Ex-Gay Movement Serves The Right's Attack on Democracy," the movement "provides political cover for a significant new phase of the Christian Right's long-running anti-gay campaign." The three-year study is the first comprehensive examination of the political role of this movement. It was commissioned by the Boston-based research center Political Research Associates (PRA), the Policy Institute of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C., and Equal Partners in Faith, a national network of religious leaders. Calculated Compassion is available online at http://www.ngltf.org/downloads/calccomp.pdf.

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