Chicago gay activists plan to protest at the annual banquet of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, led by Peter LaBarbera (pictured), Saturday in suburban Arlington Heights.
“AFTAH claims they have nothing but Christian love for gay people, but out of the other side of their mouths, they promote Uganda’s ‘kill the gays’ bill,” said Andy Thayer, cofounder of Chicago’s Gay Liberation Network and an organizer of the protest, in a press release. “‘Hate the sin but love the sinner,’ they say, but it’s sort of hard to ‘love the sinner’ when he or she is dead as a result of legislation like Uganda’s. It gives you an idea of what AFTAH would do in this country if given half a chance.”
On the pending Uganda bill, which calls for the death penalty for gays under certain circumstances, LaBarbera wrote the following earlier this year on Americans for Truth’s website: “At AFTAH, we preach Christian mercy and have denounced Talibanesque capital punishment for homosexuals in countries like Iran. But we also believe that if states and localities here in America (and governments abroad) wish to ban sodomy, they have every right to do so.”
Thayer also said Americans for Truth is not a marginal group like the Westboro Baptist Church but a major player in Illinois Republican politics, having been involved in campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate and attempted to put antigay ballot measures before the state’s voters.
The keynote speaker at Saturday’s banquet, to be held at a Christian school, will be former pro football player Ken Hutcherson, pastor of a Baptist church in Redmond, Wash. Hutcherson has urged Redmond-based Microsoft not to support state antidiscrimination legislation and has objected to the annual Day of Silence, an observance designed to counter antigay bullying in schools.
For more about the protest, go to GayLiberation.net.