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Wayne Besen
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Wayne Besen is the Founding Executive Director of Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization that defends the GLBT community against anti-gay lies and the "ex-gay" industry. Besen is also author of two books, "Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth" (Haworth, 2003) and Bashing Back: Wayne Besen on GLBT People, Politics and Culture. In 2006, Besen was recognized in the Advocate Magazine's "People of the Year" issue

Besen has appeared as a guest on leading news and political talk shows including: the NBC Nightly News, CNN Headline News, Fox's O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes, MSNBC News and Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Prior to founding TWO, Besen served as a spokesperson for five years with the Human Rights Campaign. He also worked in corporate communications for Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, and served as a press secretary on a U.S. Senate primary in Maine.

Entries by Wayne Besen

Why This Gay Activist Will Miss Fred Phelps

(2) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 1:41 PM

The most homophobic man on earth, Rev Fred Phelps, 84, is dead.

My first encounter with the Topeka Tornado, known for picketing LGBT events with "God Hates Fags" signs, was in 1993. We were both guests on a Florida talk radio show. The moment he realized the host was...

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America's Extreme Right Has a Patriot Problem

(19) Comments | Posted March 19, 2014 | 12:21 PM

America's extreme right has long been known for its gratuitous flag waving -- but who ever thought the flag would be Russian? As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, it is becoming crystal clear that leading social conservatives and their advocacy groups are grappling with a patriot problem. While the rest...

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Will Economic Inequality Undermine LGBT Equality?

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 2:26 PM

As the American middle class contracts it is worth considering the ramifications this might have on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality. Generally speaking, angry people going nowhere fast are less receptive to arguments in favor of minority rights. They have their own grievances and are in no mood to...

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Detroit: The Gay Promised Land?

(8) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 12:39 PM

If there is one true stereotype about gay people it is that we have a special talent for fixing up dilapidated neighborhoods and turning them into coveted destinations. One city that is in desperate need of revitalization is Detroit -- and, in turn, the Motor City could save the lives...

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What If Jonathan Martin Would Have Decked Richard Incognito?

(14) Comments | Posted February 17, 2014 | 9:45 AM

It was difficult to read the National Football League's report on bullying that occurred in the Miami Dolphins locker room. The investigation found that several teammates, led by Richard Incognito, serially harassed offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. The locker room had degenerated into a perverse workplace environment and a...

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Only Bigotry Can Stop Michael Sam From Playing in the NFL

(2) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 6:28 PM

With polls showing that nearly seventy percent of people under the age of thirty support marriage equality, it was only a matter of time before an openly gay college star entered the draft of a major sports league. That happened today when University of Missouri's Michael Sam, the SEC's Defensive...

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Super Bowl Exposes Super Hypocrisy on Breasts vs. Chests

(10) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 4:21 PM

Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction caused a national meltdown at the 2004 Super Bowl. Yet the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't even bother bringing a wardrobe to Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show. Despite the cold weather, singer Anthony Kiedis and bass player Flea performed their hit song 1991 Give It Away...

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International Gay Rights Foes: If You Can't Beat Them, Beat Them Up

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 9:34 AM

By now it should be evident that the LGBT movement always wins when it is allowed to make its case. Sure, progress comes in fits and starts, and it might take decades to achieve equality, but the outcome is all but certain. When gay people come out to tell their...

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It Actually Matters How Rep. Schock 'Plays' in Peoria

(8) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 7:15 PM

Former CBS reporter Itay Hod has presented circumstantial evidence this week to "out" pretty boy Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL). As Hod pointed out, the anti-gay lawmaker from Peoria, with the stripper-esque body, seems to make more fashion statements than political statements from the House floor. In a blog post, Hod...

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Duck Dynasty: A Defense of Political Correctness

(31) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 4:34 PM

Last year, we had many people who were deeply concerned about an anti-gay Chick-fil-A "backlash."

The actual result? We won groundbreaking marriage victories in Washington, Maryland, Maine, and Minnesota. Since then, we have more than doubled the number of states supporting marriage equality and polls in support of LGBT rights...

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Salvation Army Refers People to Ex-Gay Groups

(45) Comments | Posted November 26, 2013 | 4:58 PM

The Salvation Army has a new campaign to debunk "the myth of LGBT discrimination." They want people to believe that they aren't anti-gay or bigoted. Here is what they have to say on their website:

For years, Facebook posts, forwarded emails and rumors have been leading some...
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The Good Pope

(5) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 5:04 PM

As a columnist, I hate when my predictions turn out to be wrong. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. For instance, I couldn't be happier that my dire prognostication about Pope Francis appears to be unfounded. Here is what I said about the newly installed Pontiff in a March...

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What Went Wrong for the 'Ex-Gays' in New Jersey?

(25) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 7:41 AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, signed a bill into law this week that bans quacks from practicing a discredited form of "therapy" on minors that seeks to turn them from gay to straight. New Jersey is now the second state in the nation, the first being California, to...

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It's Time to Move the 2014 Winter Olympics Out of Russia

(109) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 8:12 PM

Last week actor George Takei wrote on his blog, "[T]he IOC must do the right thing, protect its athletes and the fans, and move the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Russia."

Moving the Olympic Games is a drastic measure that should not be taken lightly. However, recent events...

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U.S. Should Support Egypt's Transition and Oppose All Fundamentalist Regimes

(13) Comments | Posted July 5, 2013 | 12:41 PM

How do you know if you are an anti-democratic religious tyrant?

Here is the answer: You have just finished praying in your mosque, synagogue, or church. Then you think to yourself, that your religion is the world's only truth and that it is so awesome that your fellow countrymen...

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Exodus Is Gone, But the 'Ex-Gay' Message Stubbornly Persists

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 11:02 AM

Today, we bear witness to history. Exodus International -- the world's largest "ex-gay" program -- announced that it is shutting its doors and shuttering its windows. It is no longer promising desperate and vulnerable people that they can "pray away the gay." It is no longer peddling snake oil called...

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Boy Scouts of America's Decision Has Ugly Echos of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

(21) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 3:35 PM

Truth Wins Out is unique among LGBT organizations in that we take a much dimmer view of the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) decision to allow openly gay members but continue its prohibition on gay adult leaders. The community's reaction to Truth Wins Out's view was mixed, with...

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What Is the Endgame of the Anti-Gay Movement?

(35) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 1:26 PM

As if intending to justify the need for the International Day Against Homophobia, a vicious mob of more than 20,000 homophobes attacked 50 gay rights advocates who were commemorating this event in Tbilisi, Georgia. According to The New York Times, the attack was "led by priests in black...

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Peter Sprigg and the Values Victim Caucus

(7) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 6:38 PM

Wine may represent the blood of Jesus in church, but whine is the religious right's drink of choice these days. Having lost the culture war, their latest tactic is to falsely cast themselves as martyrs who are defending the faith and the right to free speech against an increasingly totalitarian...

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New Arkansas Law Highlights Futility of Anti-Abortion Movement

(4) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 2:19 PM

Groups opposed to abortion are similar to anti-gay activists because they rely on junk science, scare tactics, and religious fervor to limit the freedom of others. Both issues are central to the culture wars, and the Religious Right will be on the losing end of each battle.

Last week,...

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