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‘Christian’ groups demand Fox News drop ‘homosexual agitator’ Wayne Besen

Friday, August 24, 2012

REEDVILLE, Va. — A number of self-described “Christian, family values” groups banded together Thursday demanding that Fox News discontinue guest appearances by “homosexual agitator” Wayne Besen on the O’Reilly Factor talk show, saying Besen is “demonizing conservative organizations and individuals.”

Citing the shooting incident at the headquarters of the Family Research Council in Washington last week, the groups wrote that “Besen has a long history of slandering conservative groups and the ex-gay community in language that foments hatred and undermines civil discourse.”

Wayne Besen

Besen is the Executive Director of Truth Wins out, an LGBT advocacy group, and author of “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”

The groups said that despite their repeated complaints, the “O’Reilly Factor” continues to feature Besen, “a radical homosexual activist aligned with the SPLC,” as a guest commentator.

“It is time that the ‘O’Reilly Factor’ cease using Besen as a guest commentator,” the statement read. “Providing Besen with a forum lends credibility to his pernicious tactics and enables Besen to exploit his appearances for fundraising purposes.

“When Fox News provides a forum to a radical homosexual activist known for employing inflammatory and hateful language in the service of promoting lies, the network becomes complicit in the damage done to the victims of Wayne Besen’s and the SPLC’s smear campaigns.”

Unfazed, Besen spoke out on his website Thursday, responding that he has “never been more proud” of his accomplishments:

“It has been said that the friends and foes accrued over a lifetime can be used as a measure of the man. Given the coalition of homophobes and hate groups that viciously attacked me today, I feel my life’s work has been vindicated and validated.”


“It is rich to see these alleged defenders of liberty and freedom begging FOX to censor a point of view in which they find objectionable. The hypocrisy of these individuals and groups is stunning and reveals that they embrace ‘free speech’ as little more than political buzzwords employed for tactical advantage. This effort to silence diverse points of views is disappointing and stands in stark contrast to the America I grew up in and love.”

Besen called it “improper, if not a tad unseemly, for this group to cravenly exploit the tragic shooting that occurred last week at the Family Research Council.”

In his response, Besen addresses several of the signatories by name, highlighting the “level of vitriol” they regularly display:

Oklahoma Rep. Sally Kern is the most prominent signer of the letter. In a March 2008 speech Kern said that homosexuality was a bigger threat to America than terrorism.


Scott Lively is a holocaust revisionist and one of America’s most spiteful anti-gay activists. He is the co-author of an incendiary, intellectually bankrupt, and historically inaccurate propaganda book, The Pink Swastika, which blames Nazism on LGBT people.

Lively has repeatedly compared homosexuality to pedophilia [...] and is currently being sued by a Ugandan gay rights group in federal court in Massachusetts, alleging that he violated international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda.


I wasn’t stunned that Linda Harvey was on the list considering that she may be the most homophobic woman in America. In one of her columns, she warned mothers about the alleged “threat” of openly gay doctors and nurses treating their children.


Peter LaBarbera once awarded me his “Gay Grinch” award. He’s angry because I dubbed him “Porno Pete” – a nickname that has stuck and defined his bizarre advocacy. Why the label? Because LaBarbera is best known for infiltrating gay male leather events and surreptitiously photographing naked men and posting the pictures on the Internet. He then claims that he is “exposing” the “homosexual lifestyle.”

Of course, such activism is the equivalent of a gay person secretly recording revelers at Mardi Gras and Spring Break and politicizing the material as the “heterosexual lifestyle.” LaBarbera’s entire purpose in life, it seems, is to grossly distort the reality of LGBT people.

Also signing the letter to Fox News were Mathew D. Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel; Matt Barber, Vice President, Liberty Counsel Action; Regina Griggs, Executive Director, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX); and Brian Camenker, Executive Director, MassResistance.

One political pundit noted that “it seems that anti-gay groups are taking a page from the playbook of their enemies, calling for the removal of biased, partisan guests from ‘impartial’ news programs, which has been an objective of progressive efforts such as GLAAD’s Commentator Accountability Project.”

Besen’s full response is here.

Editor’s Disclosure: Wayne Besen’s weekly columns from Truth Wins Out are frequently published in LGBTQ Nation’s Views and Voices.

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23 more reader comments:

  1. Always good too Piss Off your Enemy! Keep Em angry….they don’t think straight… no pun intended.. :)

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:36am
  2. Oh damn..There goes Fox claim to being fair and balanced.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:41am
  3. Wayne is adorable it’s that dancing with the stars Nancy Grace you have to worry about.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:43am
  4. “I love it when I wake up in the morning and “the grinch who slammed Porno Pete is on my side.”

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:43am
  5. odd how they want freedom yet wiling take others away

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:47am
  6. Hmmm…wonder how some of these people would feel if ‘they’ were the ones being ACTIVELY HATED…

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:01am
  7. the signatories are like a who’s who list of everything thats wrong with America..

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:13am
  8. Completely agree with you, Mike, about the signatories – list of hate! Kudos to Wayne Besen for his intelligent response

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:26am
  9. im sure fox will keep the man

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:29am
  10. …to keep things fair and balanced. Riiiieeeeeet!

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 7:36am
  11. When you piss off the bigots, you know you are doing something right.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 8:28am
  12. LOL, they just dont like someone who is intelligent and responds in a calm and balanced manner in spite of the other sides baiting for an emotional outburst.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 8:34am
  13. You know, I’m a Christian. What they are doing is not Christian. ‘They will know we are Christians by our love.’ these are just hateful people who abuse the scripture and twist it to validate their hatred. Christians are supposed to abide by the New Testament, the Gospel. These posers couldn’t possibly have read the same Bible.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 12:00pm
  14. Matthew 19:11&12 Jesus Christ said gays are born that way. He also said the phariseean bigots would refuse to accept it as the truth it is. So gay isnt a sin and those who say it is are rejecting the words of Jesus while claiming to be Christian.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 6:35pm
  15. so much for “fair and balanced” news

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:13pm
  16. Thank God for people like Fox so far for not giving in to people that are the most involved in hate crimes in the USA!

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:17pm
  17. @Donald Hull: Don’t you know they are being actively hated? I mean…we boycotted Chic-Fil-A for heaven’s sake. That had to be an act of hate and aggression towards the Christians in this country, right?

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:25pm
  18. The title says “christian” I think you mean “fascists” – no christians there.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:26pm
  19. At first I thought it said homosexual alligator.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:36pm
  20. i applaud Wayne Besen for not only standing up against his attackers, but also for not sinking to their level.

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:38pm
  21. So the gay guy is the worst thing on faux they can complain about? Not the rest of what the station does? Not the glib one-sided stories that insult the intelligence of most human beings?

    Posted on Friday, August 24, 2012 at 9:50pm
  22. Fair and balanced?

    Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 2:05am
  23. Shaunna I pray you’re being sarcastic because there’s a shitload of difference between not eating at a place and being murdered for being gay.

    Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 10:44am