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THE LIST
Wired Strategies
May 11, 1999


EX-GAY ADS: TRUTH IN LOVE, MY ASS

Militant fundamentalists have just launched another series of ads, this time on TV, asserting that if gays simply found Jesus they would miraculously become straight - no word from the fundamentalists on whether this trick works for Jews and Muslims too. Not surprisingly, the anti-gay crowd again says that these ads are about "love" and reaching out to gays, and not about politics. Unfortunately for them, one of their own just turned them in.

First, let's look at what they claim:

- On May 10, 1999, the American Family Association put out an email update claiming that the purpose of the ads was for "reaching out to individuals struggling with homosexuality".

- And as far back as July 30, 1998, Janet Folger of the Center for Reclaiming America, and the architect of the recent ex-gay ad campaign, went on Nightline, where she twice stated that the ads were not politically motivated.
* "The ad campaign is really not political."
* "just to make sure it wasn't political..." [she went on to explain what she did to ensure the ads weren't political - the rest of this quote is below]

But look what I found nestled on page A2 of the today's Washington Post (May 11, 1999):

"The groups chose Washington to debut the TV ads because 'that's where the policymakers are,' said Bob Carter of the Center for Reclaiming America."

The ex-gay ads are airing first in Washington, DC because "that's where the policymakers are?" Are the militant fundamentalists suggesting that Washington policymakers are all a bunch of homos? Or is their goal just a tad more political, and hypocritical, than they'd like to admit. The bottom line: the Center for Reclaiming America, the architect of the ex-gay ads, just admitted that the goal of these ads isn't to help gays, it's to influence public policy in Washington, DC against the interest of gay Americans.

Of course, the true political angle behind the ads is really not news. The New York Times on August 13, 1998 reported that Janet Folger wanted the ads "to strike at the assumption that...gay people therefore need protection under anti-discrimination laws". Folger herself admits that the ads are intended to influence partisan legislation.

That ain't love. That's politics, honey.


 

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