Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Phone: 917-691-5118

PFOX President, Greg Quinlan, Falsely Alleged on Television That Gay Advocate Tried to Have Him Killed, Says TWO

NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out announced today that it has filed a defamation lawsuit against Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX) and its President Greg Quinlan after he claimed on a television show that Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen tried to have him killed. The lawsuit (Case number: CL12000008-00) was filed in Virginia’s Northumberland County Circuit Court where PFOX is headquartered. Norfolk attorney Michael Hamar will represent TWO.

“We will not let PFOX’s outright lies and bizarre fabrications go unanswered,” said TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Greg Quinlan’s false allegations were deviously designed to damage my reputation and that of Truth Wins Out. We look forward to vigorously challenging Quinlan’s delusional version of events and debunking them in a court of law.”

On October 7, 2011 Quinlan was interviewed on News-Plus with Mark Segraves (WDCW-TV). At the 10:38 mark of the show, Quinlan fabricates an alleged hit on his life. According to Quinlan:

“Truth Wins Out if you look further, including Wayne Besen. He’s asked for people, you know, somebody needs to run Greg over. He needs to be hit with a bus. Somebody should inject him with AIDS. Those are the things that Wayne Besen and Truth Wins Out says about me. That’s pretty hateful rhetoric.”

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TWO sent PFOX a letter offering the group an opportunity to apologize for their smear campaign. Unfortunately, instead of taking the high road and expressing regret for his false and misleading charges, Quinlan angrily lashed out in a statement posted to the organization’s website:

“Once I was able to stop laughing and realized that the letter wasn’t intended to be parody, I thought: Okay; Wayno wants a response to his list of comical demands? Here’s my formal response: Grow up…So, Wayne, if you really feel you must waste money you could be using to bash ex-gays, bully Christian churchgoers and spread the lie that people who are trapped in unwanted homosexuality can never escape it, I say knock yourself out. We’re happy to countersue and expose the hundreds of smears you and TWO have lodged against me and other pro-family advocates. Smears that actually amount to defamation. Little man, I’m calling your bluff.”

In Quinlan’s bizarre response, he defended his original character assassination with a second calumny that will be included in the defamation lawsuit. PFOX’s President falsely claimed that Besen was fired from the Human Rights Campaign, where he served as Deputy Director of Communications from 1998-2003. In reality, Besen left HRC after five years on good terms to pursue a new career opportunity.

“When people engage in smear campaigns they are usually smart enough not to write lies on their website or make false allegations on television,” said TWOs Besen. “That Quinlan would so brazenly lie in social and mainstream media is incredibly reckless and irresponsible.”

Earlier this month, Truth Wins Out sent an open letter to Montgomery School Superintendent Joshua Starr strongly urging him to stop disseminating “ex-gay” fliers by PFOX. The virulently anti-gay group distributed 8,000 sheets at five Montgomery County schools, even though Starr calls the fliers “reprehensible and deplorable.”

The letter points out that PFOX board member Peter Sprigg, who works for Southern Poverty Law Center hate group the Family Research Council, once said that he wanted to “export” LGBT people and that he supports criminalizing homosexuality.

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In August 2010, PFOX president Greg Quinlan spoke at a conference organized by another SPLC- certified hate group, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality. In his speech, Quinlan made an outrageous and offensive anti-LGBT slur:

“I wasn’t your flaming faggot, you know,” Quinlan said. “I can say that because I’ve been there and done that. You know, the one’s whose wrists are so limp that when the wind blows they slap themselves in the face. I wasn’t one of them.” (Comment at 8:00-8:13)

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At the same-conference, PFOX public speaker and convicted felon, Arthur Abba Goldberg, smeared LGBT people with ugly stereotypes disguised as scientific observation:

“By the way, did you notice that a lot of gays who remain in the gay lifestyle also do a lot of body building,” said Goldberg. “They will be in the gym a lot trying to build up their pecs…Because they have these body image issues and don’t feel they are masculine enough.”

Furthermore, the former president of PFOX, Richard Cohen, was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association for multiple ethics violations. Cohen is the individual most associated with the discredited mental health techniques trumpeted by PFOX.

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Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.

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