WASHINGTON—Organizers of a reception for ex-gays have postponed the event after homosexual activists phoned and emailed a dozen threats.
Voice of the Voiceless (VoV), a group formed this year to defend the rights of former homosexuals, had planned a reception later this month at the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, D.C., to celebrate July as the first-ever Ex-Gay Pride Month. The group has rescheduled the event for September at an undisclosed location.
“I don’t want this event to be one of these things that we make public and then all these extremists show up and get the press and get their 30 seconds of fame,” said Chris Doyle, president and co-founder of VoV.
Doyle told me the Huffington Post and other liberal news sites inaccurately tied VoV to FRC, which sparked the controversy. He said he doesn’t usually shy away from controversy—“we deal with this fairly regularly”—but he didn’t want protestors to steal the spotlight or intimidate the guests and speakers. Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, is one of the scheduled speakers at the event, where he will accept the first Ex-Gay Pride Freedom Award.
Doyle called it “unfortunate” that gay extremists want tolerance only for people who agree with them: “Those who preach tolerance the most afford it the least.”
Wayne Besen, who works with a group advocating for homosexuals, told the Huffington Post he doesn’t believe there will be an Ex-Gay Pride Month, because “ex-gays are as rare as the Dodo bird.”
However, Doyle said VoV is continuing with other events this month, including a 10-day tour from Dallas to Washington during which Doug McIntyre, a 69-year-old former homosexual, will lead rallies in support of ex-gay rights. Doyle and McIntyre, co-founder of Homosexuals Anonymous—a 33-year-old organization devoted to helping people leave the homosexual lifestyle—will cap off the tour with a press conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on July 31.
Doyle, who is married with three children, said ex-gays are among the most discriminated against in the country, so his organization is committed to demanding equal protection.
“Many people are just afraid to speak up and say this is ridiculous,” he said. “People are allowed to have an opinion that’s different without being labeled a hater.”