Anti-LGBT Hate Group's Event Draws Protest, Vandalism In Suburban Chicago
A banquet hosted by a "hate group" in honor of an Evangelical leader tied to a controversial Ugandan anti-gay bill drew protests from LGBT activists in suburban Chicago Saturday.
The event, sponsored by Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) to honor "The Pink Swastika" author Scott Lively with an "American Truth Teller" award, also attracted vandalism. Police are in the midst of trying to identify who is responsible for throwing bricks into the window of the Christian Liberty Academy, located at 502 W. Euclid Ave. in Arlington Heights on Saturday.
The Gay Liberation Network, the Chicago-based LGBT advocacy group which sponsored the protest, said in a statement that they "do not know who did this" and claimed the vandalism occurred several hours prior to their protest.
But AFTAH president Peter LaBarbera says that the gay organization has "claimed responsibility for the crime." LaBarbera referred to the group as "'gay' domestic terrorists" and claimed that neither his group nor Lively condone violence against LGBT people. Fox News picked up the story on Sunday and called the unidentified vandal a "gay militant."
In response, GLN added that, "given AFTAH's often tenuous relationship with the truth, as evidenced in its use of scientific quackery to frequently promote lies about LGBT people," they would not put it past the group to "commit this minor vandalism against the Academy themselves so that they could put upon themselves the mantel of 'victim.'"
According to the Daily Herald, around 30 protesters picketed outside the banquet honoring Lively.
A note attached to the brick thrown through the window of the academy read, "This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH," Rev. Calvin Lindstrom, Church of Christian Liberty pastor, told the Daily Herald reports.
Lively reportedly traveled to Uganda to encourage anti-gay politicians and organizers there to draft a bill that would pave the way for punishing LGBT Ugandans with the death penalty. Lively's "The Pink Swastika" compares gay people to Nazis.
In a 2007 piece titled "Letter to the Russian People," Lively said that country should "criminalize the public advocacy of homosexuality … My philosophy is to leave homosexuals alone if they keep their lifestyle private, and not to force them into therapy if they don't want it. However, homosexuality is destructive to individuals and to society and it should never publicly promoted."
"The easiest way to discourage gay pride parades and other homosexual advocacy is to make such activity illegal in the interest of public health and morality," Lively continued.
Earlier this year, AFTAH and LaBarbera were also in the news as they pushed to uphold the federal ban against gay blood donors via a campaign titled, "Keep the Gay Blood Ban" or "KGB²." The group urged for individuals to contact their representatives in Washington, D.C., "to put the safety of Americans — and a pristine blood supply — ahead of the demands of the selfish Homosexuality Lobby."
In August, AFTAH lost their tax-exempt status because of their failure to file a series of required tax forms with the state for three consecutive years. The group previously hosted a "Truth Academy" instructing "pro-family" advocates as young as 14 with sessions including "From destroying DOMA to homosexualizing the military: Obama’s radical homosexual/transsexual agenda for America” and “From gay pride to gay tyranny."