They SHOULD Be Scared!
Whether or not the people inside the so-called "Love Won Out" conference that visited Boston were actually scared of the protest outside is questionable. According to the Article Hate Alliance's over the top coverage of the protest, there was a "near riot" outside. As someone who has been to many demonstrations (a couple where riots did actually take place), I have to just laugh at Article Hate's overactive imagination. But we did, certainly, have an effect on the conference. They sure heard us.
We know at least one person inside was a little frazzled. According to this person, one of our chants "frightened" Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International (who incidentally testified at the Massachusetts State House against same-sex marriage--nope, no politics here). He heard "shut it down" from the crowd and claimed that their "freedom of speech and religion" was at stake! And I have one message for Chambers and everyone else on the Christian Right: There's more where that came from!
We will neither mince words nor obfuscate the fact that Love Won Out and "ex-gay" groups are a part of the Christian Right, an insidious political machine that reinforces the dominance of right-wing politics in American society. The leaders of this conference have gone through backflips to try to explain away their politics. But it's kind of hard to say, "Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain" (i.e. James Dobson) when the leaders of this conference are up to their eyeballs in Focus on the Family money and support--which no doubt provided the emergency bag lunches. It's hard to say they're just "helping" unhappy gay people when their leaders testify in state houses and on Capitol Hill against civil rights. It's kind of hard to say, "We're not political," when they have workshops on stopping same-sex marriage and anti-bullying/harrassment programs in public schools. And it's hard to say all of this when they are presenting the false of queer people as sick, pathological, diseased, and unhappy.
With the Bush Administration's poll numbers in the gutter and Americans turning against the war in Iraq, the American Right should be scared. People are mad as hell and they're beginning to stand up. They're standing up to military recruiters on our campuses and in our high schools. They're standing up to anti-abortion fanatics. And they're standing up to anti-gay bigots. The days of attacking American Girl, Spongebob Squarepants and Letters from Buster are almost over. The twighlight of the Right's twenty-five year reign of terror is quickly approaching. This protest is probably the largest confrontation LWO has experienced, and hopefully our example will inspire others to take similar stands against them.
We will continue to hold homophobes accountable for their actions, regardless of what kind of sugary, sing-songy voices they say "God loves you" in. Yes, God loves us, but they don't. Love isn't about what you say. Love means justice. Using the State to punish gay and lesbian people for not conforming to their Neo-Victorian values is not justice. Spreading lies so that people will see queer people as sick is not justice.