Anti-Gay Blogger Opens Up On Radio
The blogger behind the relentlessly anti-gay site Americans for Truth About Homosexuality opened up to the press recently in a revealing interview.
Pete LaBarbera has been denigrated as "Porno Pete" in the GLBT press, and his site’s name has been taken as a prime example of false advertising. In a July 28 interview with the nation’s youngest syndicated radio host, David Pakman, on Midweek Politics Radio, LaBarbera--the former leader of a conservative Illinois group and the organizer of an upcoming "Truth Academy" designed as a "pro-family" forum to counter the gay "agenda"--made a number of claims, including that the "pro-family" side in the debate are "censored," that ex-gays really are people who once were gay and now are heterosexual, and that he doesn’t--or rather, make that does--spend a fair amount of time attending and photographing gay events, such as gatherings of leather fetishists.
"We’re a single-issue organization that’s on the other side of the debate over homosexuality in the culture," LaBarbera told Pakman at the start of the interview. "The other side is the massive gay rights movement," LaBarbera added, with a chuckle, "which most Americans are probably vastly exposed to." LaBarbera went on to describe his blog as "pro-family," although he described Americans for Truth as being in opposition to marriage equality for gay and lesbian families.
"What is the ’truth about homosexuality’ that people just don’t seem to know?" Pakman asked LaBarbera.
"We would claim that homosexuality is about behavior," LaBarbera responded, "that it’s not an inborn identity." LaBarbera asserted that homosexuality is a "lifestyle" that can be "left behind," and estimated that he’d met "probably fifty former homosexuals, people who once considered themselves gay who have since left the lifestyle. So it’s about changeable behavior which we believe is immoral."
Asked by Pakman how a gay person might become straight, LaBarbera said, "I don’t think there’s... one way in [to homosexuality], I don’t think there’s one way out." LaBarbera went on to say, "It’s interesting that the gay activist movement is sort of trying to shut down the idea of therapy to get out." LaBarbera noted that he knew "committed Christians who have left homosexuality on the basis of their religious beliefs."
LaBarbera went on to talk about his blog’s boycott of McDonald’s over a TV commercial that is not even airing in the United States. The ad, which is shown in France and which has become an international cause celebre among both gay and anti-gay groups, features a gay teen, and invites viewers to "come as you are." LaBarbera called the TV spot "an affirmative ad about homosexuality... in other words, ’Being gay as a teenage boy, having a romantic relationship with another boy, is a good thing, and we’re going to encourage it at McDonald’s.’ And we believe that’s a bad message for young people." LaBarbera went on to add, "Our position is that homosexual behavior is aberrant behavior." LaBarbera added that homosexuality was "controversial" in America, prompting Pakman to query, "Is it?"
Pakman went on to ask LaBarbera, "Is it more controversial to be gay and under 18 than gay and over 18?"
"Well, I can see we’re probably on opposite sides of this issue, David," LaBarbera said--at which point both of them had a laugh--"but what I can tell you is, many people simply do not like the idea of affirming homosexuality, as, especially, some sort of rigid, inborn characteristic--who you are--to young people. And in fact, what’s happening in a lot of schools is, schools will get pro-gay affirmation, but they’ll never hear the other side of the issue."
"I didn’t know there was another side," quipped Pakman.
"I thought I just gave you one," rejoined LaBarbera.