Anti-gay groups on Thursday (23 august) called on Fox New Channel host Bill O'Reilly to stop inviting longtime LGBT activist and Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen to appear on his program.
Referring to Besen as a 'homosexual agitator,' the group said in a press release that it is making the request 'in light of last week’s attempted murder of employees at the Family Research Council.'
'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 (Southern Poverty Law Center's) smear campaigns,' the group states. 'We ask the News Corporation, Fox News, and Bill O'Reilly to find more ethical spokespersons for the liberal view of sexuality.'
In a post on the Truth Wins Out website, Besen reacted to the coalition's request to have him banned by writing: 'I have never been more proud of my career accomplishments than I am today.'
'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,' he added.
Most of the higher-profile anti-gay groups are not a part of the letter. But among those who did sign are: Oklahoma State Representative Sally Kern; Mathew D. Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel; Diane Gramley, president of American Family Association of Pennsylvania; David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, and Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.
The approach seems similar to the Commentator Accountability Project that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launched in March. It is designed to let reporters, editors, show runners and guest bookers on the various news shows know just how extreme the views some of the people they are inviting on their airwaves are.