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Friday, September 22, 2006

 

The Unity Rally Website Gets It Wrong Again

On the front page of the Palm Springs Unity Rally website, this statement is made:

Stand with us against prejudice in our home. Love Won Out, a Focus on the Family-sponsored group, will hold a conference on Saturday, September 23, in Indian Wells to encourage parents of gay children, or those who believe their children might be gay, to send their children to “gay conversion therapy" camps and programs. This is the same group that published an article suggesting that slavery has been historically misunderstood and that it was actually a good thing... for the slaves!

Why is this so difficult? Focus on the Family did not publish the Schoenewolf article. NARTH did. FOTF does not endorse the Schoenewolf article.

If you are visiting my blog being linked from the Unity Rally site, please contact the organizers and ask them to correct this falsehood. I am.

UPDATE: No correction was made and the error remains. The folks at ExgayWatch noted the error as well.

Comments:
It is VERY important that we are clear that NARTH -- and NOT Focus on the Family -- printed the Schoenewolf piece. I just spoke with a media rep at FOTF to alert her to this matter and to make it clear that I hold NARTH responsible, not FOTF. Even the media rep could see the problems with the Schoenwolf article and expressed her own concerns about the piece.

Of course, FOTF is sponsoring the Love Won Out event, but they had nothing to do with writing or publishing this offensive, and in my view, racist article.

It is also very important to Note that Warren had nothing to do with writing or publishing the article. In fact, he has published his own objections to it. Let's make sure we get our facts straight.

I have contacted the organizaers of the Unity Rally to bring their attnetion to these errors -- and I expect they will correct them TODAY.
 
Thanks for pointing this out. I am going to contact the organizers. I was planning to attend the unity rally but I may stay home if attack politics is what it is about.
 
I would be surprised if it turns into "attack politics". If it does, I will leave.
 
Also, Warren, so far FOTF has made no public comment (at least none that I am aware of) that they "Do not endorse the Schoenewolf article". Perhaps FOTF should issue a statement of some sort.
 
The Unity Rally people seem to have little actual factual knowledge about the ex-gay community and they don't seem to be particularly interested in finding anything out from those who do. Let's just say that their interest in the participation of those from exgaywatch has been less than enthusiastic.

Nonetheless, they are correct. Read it again. They say that the "Focus on the Family-sponsored group" published the article.

Since Joe Nicolosi is part of the group coming (the FOTF sponsored group) and since he's coming as a Narth speaker and for all practical purposes he's the guy who's responsible for what Narth publishes, then yes the "group" published the article.

I agree that it is confusing at best and perhaps deceptive (whether intentional or not). I wouldn't have used the wording they used but instead said "One of their main speakers will be a man whose group published...".

But from the perspective of residents of the Coachella Valley it is valid to say "these ex-gay visitors are on record justifying slavery".

So far, no one involved with the LWO meeting has in any way that I've heard of disavowed Shoenewolf's statements (unless either Dr. Throckmorton or Dr. Blakeslee are coming).
 
The National Black Justice Coalition has just issued a public statement urging NARTH:

"in the name of propriety, respect, common decency and professional inttegrity" to "issue a public apology on the front page of their website for publishing such an outrageous and offensive article." They go on: "Dr. Schoenewolf's peculiar views have no place in civilized discourse."
 
No, I won't be there.

The Unity Rally folks still have the false statement up there. When you click the link now however, it takes you to a sign in page which is password protected.
 
Not coming, wish I could...it would be really fun.

David Blakeslee
 
I was there, as a "greeter" out by the curb holding a sign, not as a participant.

We ex-gay watchers were there, holding our signs, smiling, waving, and greeting everyone who entered the grounds with a cheerful "Good Morning!" (And as you can probably imagine, we really meant it -- every morning in Palm Springs is a Good Morning. We greeted each and every participant who entered via the main North entrance, and many waved and smiled back. We were there to greet everyone during the 7:00-9:15 check-in

The Rallyites, however were 45 minutes late, and left a half-hour early. They marched around in sullen circles. The leader warned us that we should get in line and march around too, because, apparently, proper protest protocol (PPP) requires this. (Actually, she said that not standing around was "loitering", although the sherrif said we were fine as long as we stayed on the curb.)

Those who think they know better are not likely to take much advice from "rubes" like us, but I think we were a much better message to send: a warm wave, a smile and a cheerful "Good Morning!" -- A greeting which was returned by a good number of folks who were driving in that morning. It's better to show who we really are rather than to confirm the worst fears of who they say we are.
 
Hey, wait a sec. Not everyone marching outside was "sullen". (Smile) In fact most of the folks seemed to be in pretty good moods. I even broke into a few choruses of "Ziipity do-dah", "Peace Like A River" and even "The ants go marching one by one". It helped me keep up the pace.

As for the conferrence organizers, they were cordial enough to me, but I got the definite impression that the march and rally were "their baby" and their own LOCAL expression of their dislike for Focus on the Family. I did not ask to speak at the Rally and they did not mention me from the podium. That's OK. They were making their statement. I agree they used the phrase "hate group" too often in referrring to FOTF. They clearly like FOTF about as much as they approve of George Bush and the war in Iraq.

One of the speakers, Pastor Nick Warner, did a good job of clarifiying that he thought it was "ignorance" of who we were as Gays and Lesbians, not hate.

The organizers seemed to be saying, "We don't want or need a cure", "We like our lives and our valley just the way they ", "now kindly go home."

In retrospect, I wish they would have spect some time educating the crowd about what EXOUDS and NARTH teach, but I understand that they had a different set of priorities and a panel of guest speakers to get through. They made it clear tath they were ticked off with the Mayor for "welcoming" FOTF to Palm Springs. I tend to agree that he goofed. Indian Wells has its own Mayor who could have made any comment that HE felt necessary. It would have saved Mayor Oden a lot of grief in the long run.

Also, as I have said before, your average Joe or Jane gay person barely knew what EXODUS was and new NOTHING of NARTH or it's recent, HUGE, errors in editorial judgement.

Is it true that even some at NARTH are upset about the Berger/Schoenewol MESS? They really need an editorial review committee. By the way, there has still been NO formal apology or retraction from NARTH about the Schoenewolf article -- so I assume that Joseph Nicolosi and NARTH must agree with its contents. Very troubling.
 
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