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'Ex-Gay' Publicity Stunt Overshadowed By Parade Tragedy


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'Ex-Gay' Publicity Stunt Overshadowed By Parade Tragedy

by Doug Windsor, 365Gay.com New York Bureau

Posted: November 24, 2005 5:00 pm ET

(New York City) Members of a conservative Christian group handed out "stress balls" promoting a web site that claims homosexuality can be changed through faith at Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. But the publicity stunt was overshadowed by the crash of one of the parade's famous balloons into a light post at Times Square, injuring two people.

Focus on the Family said that it distributed about 5,000 of the balls along the parade route, but hopes that it would be captured by TV cameras were dashed.

A spokesperson for producers of the parade telecast said they do not show controversial or political messages. News cameras covering the parade were diverted to Times Square to cover the accident.

Handlers of the giant M & M balloon somehow lost control and it struck a lamp post, sending the light to the ground in a handicapped seating area on Broadway, between 43rd and 44th Streets. Two people were injured and transported to Bellevue Hospital with unknown injuries.

Despite not getting their "stress ball" promotion telecast coast-to-coast, FOC called it a success.

Each ball carried the name of its advice site http://www.troubledwith.com which also covers topics ranging from eating disorders to depression.

On the subject of homosexuality the site says "you do have a choice in the matter. You’re not simply wired that way.”

The promotion was part of a major effort by FOF reach a wider audience during the holidays.

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.

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)

©365Gay.com 2005


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