Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

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

TWO Pledges To Help Educate The World Bank About PFOX’s Record of Hate and Harm

NEW YORK – Truth Wins Out today praised the World Bank’s plan to eliminate matching funds for the “ex-gay” hate group Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), and called it a “positive step in the right direction.” The bank took this extraordinary step after learning more about PFOX’s reprehensible record and strong objections from staff who were upset PFOX had been included on the World Bank’s list of approved charities.

“We are grateful that the World Bank ensured that taxpayers will not be subsidizing PFOX’s anti-gay campaign,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We pledge to continue educating the World Bank on this vital issue. The more they learn about PFOX’s history of hate and harm, the less likely they will consider PFOX a legitimate charity.”

pfox-logo-1_296Last week, Metro Weekly’s Chris Geidner discovered that a small number of anti-gay staff-members at the World Bank had recommended PFOX as a charity for this year’s Community Connections Campaign. World Bank matching funds were to be given to the chosen charities. Depending on the level of employee participation, the bank’s matching funds are either 50 percent or 100 percent of the employee donations.

Truth Wins Out and launched an online petition to drop PFOX from the list of charities. World Bank staff  also made a persuasive case against using taxpayer funds to assist PFOX. The World Bank decided to take another look at PFOX and elected to change their guidelines. According to the new rules:

Bank-matching funds will be provided to those organizations that have, through prior participation, established a track record of support with staff. Organizations that have come on the list this year will not be offered matching funds in this year’s campaign, though the Bank will match any contribution that has been made to this latter group prior to today, November 15, 2010. We will review the new organizations after one year, to see if they have the staff and community support to warrant a match in the FY12 campaign.

Truth Wins Out preferred that PFOX be completely dropped from the list this year, but is satisfied with this interim measure that starves the hate group of taxpayer funds. In 2011, TWO will disseminate key information to World Bank staff and management to ensure they are aware of PFOX’s dubious record.

“It is a shame that other first time charitable organizations will have to suffer because of PFOX’s unseemly presence,” said TWO’s Wayne Besen. “Sadly, the PFOX baby is so toxic that the bathwater had to be flushed to avoid contaminating the entire program’s reputation.”

In August, two key members of PFOX spoke at the “Truth Academy”. The conference was hosted by Americans For Truth About Homosexuality’s founder Peter LaBarbera, whose website was listed as an official “hate site” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

At the Truth Academy, PFOX Board President Greg Quinlan raised eyebrows with an offensive speech. Quinlan explained how he allegedly went from gay-to-straight, and found support from an Assemblies of God Church that accepted him because he allegedly was not effeminate.

“I wasn’t your flaming faggot, you know,” Quinlan told the chuckling crowd. “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.”

At the same conference, Arthur Abba Goldberg, the convicted Wall Street thief who runs PFOX’s speakers bureau, demonstrated PFOX’s unscientific use of stereotypes.

“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 Abba 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.”

“PFOX is a dangerous organization that traffics in ugly slurs and crass stereotypes,” said TWO’s Wayne Besen. “Given PFOX’s level of vitriol, it would seem reckless and irresponsible to give this group charitable status in the future.”

PFOX’s former board President is Richard Cohen, who still serves as the “therapy” guru of the organization. Cohen runs the International Healing Foundation and sent his protégé, Caleb Lee Brundidge, to Uganda. The result of his visit was the introduction of the deadly and draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Cohen was permanently expelled from the American Counseling Association on March 23, 2002 for multiple ethics violations.

PFOX is an anti-gay political organization founded in 1998 by Anthony Falzarano with the help of an $80,000 Family Research Council grant. Falzarano once called University of Wyoming hate crime victim Matthew Shepard a “predator to heterosexual men.” He also said on CBS News that, “AIDS comes directly from Satan. He uses homosexuals as pawns and then he kills them.”

“PFOX likes to claim that they ‘love’ LGBT people,” said TWO’s Wayne Besen. “But their syrupy rhetoric does not match their record, nor reality. From the moment this organization was founded, it showed open hostility and extreme animus towards LGBT people.”

There are also lingering questions as to whether PFOX should have been listed as a charity, given that to be included in the World Bank’s Community Outreach Program, an organization is required to have, “a substantial local presence in the Greater Washington metropolitan area.”

PFOX fails to fulfill the criteria. The organization is based in Reedville, VA — placing PFOX 127 miles — and a two hour and forty minute drive — southeast of the nation’s capitol. PFOX also does not list any legitimate chapters in DC or Virginia. The only “contact” e-mail listed in DC or VA is that of the national organization based in Reedville.

Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that defends the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community against anti-gay misinformation, counters the so-called “ex-gay” industry and educates America about the lives of LGBT people. Our goal is to fight for a world where LGBT individuals can live openly, honestly, free of discrimination and be true to themselves.

Greg Quinlan audio of Truth Academy speech:

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Arthur Abba Goldberg’s Truth Academy Speech:

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Richard Cohen’s Odd Behavior:

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PFOX Endorsed Therapy

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