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FOF Brings 'Ex-Gay' Crusade To Macy's Parade


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FOF Brings 'Ex-Gay' Crusade To Macy's Parade

by Doug Windsor, 365Gay.com New York Bureau

Posted: November 22, 2005 12:01 am ET

(New York City) Focus on the Family has announced plans to distribute 5,000 balls during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade to promote a website it operates that claims homosexuality is a disorder that can be changed through faith.

The balls - called "stress balls" are part of a major effort by FOF reach a wider audience during the holidays. Each ball carries the name of its advice site http://www.troubledwith.com. The Web site also carries faith-based advice on topics ranging from eating disorders to depression.

The balls will be tossed out by volunteers along the route and is not part of the official parade. Because they will be on public property there is little Macy's can do.

Last week the Colorado-Springs-based FOF began running ads on the giant electronic billboard in Times Square, and on Monday, it launched ads on "Dr. Phil" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on New York television stations.

Web site creator Steve Watters said that Focus on the Family had been looking for new ways to reach people with the advice it has built up over the last 25 years.

Walters said the timing of the ad campaign was no accident.

"It's supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but for a lot of people it's just a reminder that things aren't working out so well in their lives," he said.

“Too many people are living their lives in quiet desperation, hurting and struggling through troubling situations because they just aren’t sure where to turn for help

"Our objective with this campaign is to reach as many of those people as possible and offer them the help they desperately need.”

In addition to its Love Won Out "ex-gay" ministry, Focus on the Family has been a strong supporter of constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage throughout the country.

During the controversy surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers Focus on the Family's James C. Dobson suggested on his radio show that the White House had made guarantees to him that Miers would oppose gay rights and abortion. (story)

Last year during a speech to a pre-inauguration dinner in Washington Dobson accused an Anti-Defamation League video to promote diversity in schools as nothing more than an effort to encourage acceptance of homosexuality .

The video features about 100 children's TV characters including SpongeBob SquarePants. Dobson suggested the animated character is gay. (story)

Walters did not say how much it cost to produce the stress balls, which will be tossed out to the crowd along the parade route on Thursday, but did say that the billboard and TV ads cost $130,000.

©365Gay.com 2005


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