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Full-Page Signature Ads in Gay Press Slam Focus on the Family Leader James Dobson's Nov. 8th Visit to Chicago

The November 8th visit of Focus on the Family's James Dobson to Chicago is being met with a wave of revulsion from a who's who of local gay organizations and activists, with the three main LGBT papers in the city running full-page signature ads against Dobson in this week's editions.
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GLN's Bob Schwartz speaks at an October 16th press conference promoting the Nov. 8th protest.

The Chicago Free Press, Windy City Times and Gay Chicago each have ads denouncing Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications for honoring Dobson with an award. The signatories encourage the LGBT community and its allies to protest at 5:30 PM, Saturday, Nov. 8th in front of the building where the award will be given, the Chicago Renaissance Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Drive, Chicago (corner of Wacker Drive & State Street).

"It is unconscionable that any public institution would honor someone who has devoted his life to denying a whole section of the community legal equality, and promotes slanders against that community," said Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network, which along with, are the principal organizers of the protest. "Someone who does that is a hater, pure and simple, no matter how much they try to excuse their pro-discrimination rhetoric with so-called 'Christian' rationalizations."

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Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne Besen speaks at the October 16th press conference.

For more information about the ads, email the Gay Liberation Network at, or visit,, or Below is a pdf of the ad.
Signature Ad, camera ready.pdf (282 k)

Organizations supporting the protest:
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Here is the text of the ads, with signatories at the bottom:

Keep Focus on the Family's
Out of Chicago

An Open Letter to Members and Friends of the LGBT community

Many have worked towards making the Chicago area a better place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.

Unfortunately Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications proposes to stain this record of progress on Saturday, November 8 by honoring one of the nation's leading haters of LGBT people ― Focus on the Family's James Dobson.

Here is a sample of Dobson's hate expressed in his own words:

"For more than 40 years the homosexual activist movement has sought to implement a master plan that has had as its centerpiece the utter destruction of the family." March 24, 2004 Focus on the Family radio broadcast

"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth." The Daily Oklahoman, Oct. 23, 2004

And James Dobson is not a lone, deranged hater crying in the wilderness. He is a dangerously powerful person who controls a broadcasting empire with over 3000 outlets, 1300 employees, and a $150 million annual budget. He uses this empire to advocate the denial of our equal access to employment, housing and public accommodations.

These attacks are the centerpiece of a concerted drive to rollback all of our gains of the last four decades. For example, an offshoot of Focus on the Family is the leading organization pushing a referendum to overthrow marriage equality in California.

Focus on the Family controls the nation's highest profile "ex-gay" ministry, which futilely tries to "convert" LGBTs to straight by "praying away the gay." In so doing, they reinforce self-hate and psychologically harm the very individuals they claim to help. Such "ex-gay" programs are roundly condemned by every respected medical and mental health organization in America.

After years of gradual progress in public acceptance of LGBTQ people, Dobson's long-standing campaign against us may soon start to get much greater traction. The US economy is tanking, people are worried about losing their life savings, and the search for scapegoats may begin to be the order of the day, generating higher waves of hate and violence against us.

In this context, it is foolish for anyone concerned about LGBT freedom to be complacent about the danger that Dobson represents.

What you can do

1. We encourage all readers of this ad to contact the Museum of Broadcast Communications and ask them to rescind this award to one of America's leading haters. Send the message that it is irresponsible for any institution to promote a scapegoater of any minority. E-Mail the Museum of Broadcast Communications' Bruce Dumont:

2. Express your 1st Amendment rights by protesting this disgusting award. The protest will be:
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 8th

at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Drive (Wacker & State)

Jeanne Adams
Amigas Latinas
APOC: Autonomous People of Color, Chicago
Marshall Arnold
Association of Latino Men for Action
Michael Bauer
Wayne Besen
Robert Castillo & John Pennycuff
Char Cepek
John Cepek, National President, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches
Chicagoland Pride At Work
Andrew Ciscel
Peter Alex Dreier
Equality Illinois
Edward Farnham
Mel Ferrand
Sam Finkelstein & Mark Banashak
Jeff & Libby Frank
Roger & Patricia Fraser, GLN
Scott Free
Katherine Freeman, Mother of 4, Proud Lesbian Woman
Dan and Jackie Frett, PFLAG Hinsdale
Rick Garcia
Gay Liberation Network
Chris Geovanis
Thomas Goree
Jeff Graubart
Art Gursch
William W. Greaves
Jan Grillos
Janice Grimm
Rep. Greg Harris, 13th District
Brent Holman-Gomez
Nilsa Irizarry
Cat Jefcoat
Art Johnston
Danny Kopelson
June LaTrobe
Catina Lowery
Michael Maltenfort
Deborah Mell
Ellen A. Meyers
Joe Murray
Ifti Nasim
Darlene Nava Munoz
Renae Ogletree
Orgullo en Accion
Rep. Harry Osterman, 14th District
George Pappas
Rev. Thom & Joan Parrott-Sheffer, Burr Ridge, IL
Nicole Perez
PFLAG Aurora
PFLAG Glenview
PFLAG Hinsdale
PFLAG of Woodstock / McHenry County
Rainbow Sash Movement
Dick Reilly
Dean Richards
Carol Rogers, Past President, Chicago Gender Society
Bob Schwartz & Ruffin Robinson
Caroline Staerk
Craig Teichen
Andy Thayer
Truth Wins Out
Bonnie Wade
Tom & Toni Weaver, PFLAG
Chad Weiden
Rich Wilson
Women & Children First Bookstore
Guy Zakrzewski

Signature Ad, camera ready.pdf (282 k)



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