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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
May 27, 2005

13 years later, propaganda film still spreads its fear

Columbus--The Gay Agenda was put out in 1992 by several right-wing interest groups to attack gays in the military, an issue brought up in that year�s presidential campaign.

The propaganda film continues to circulate today. Every member of the Ohio legislature received a copy two years ago to build support for an anti-gay �defense of marriage� act.

The video was shown May 22 to a more critical audience: the Columbus chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Perry Slone, director of the Beacon Fellowship, brought the film to First Unitarian Universalist Church in Clintonville for a screening and discussion about the long-standing assault by the right wing on gay and lesbian equality.

The video, manipulatively edited and created to feed prejudices of gay �deviancy,� had many in the audience laughing at its lies and unsupported use of statistics and opinions.

In the video, Dr. Stanley Monteith claims that gay men have between 20 and 106 sexual partners a year and between 300 and 500 sexual partners in a lifetime, a position not supported by any research.

The video also featured John Paulk, a former Ohio State student who garnered national attention in the 1990s when he appeared in full-page �ex-gay� newspaper advertisements. More recently, he was caught by Human Rights Campaign staff at a Washington, D.C. gay bar, claiming he had simply wandered in looking for a public restroom.

Many in the audience said that the video is outright dishonest and distorted. Some felt that gay equal rights had come a long way despite the use of such propaganda. Others were more skeptical, arguing that films like it had laid the ground for recent gains by the right wing against lesbian and gay citizens.

The almost 40 people gathered in the community room at the church had a vigorous chat session with Slone and Duan Cannon, president of P-FLAG Columbus.

Cannon has a gay son and argued, �This assault on gay people has to be countered by people in a broad coalition.�


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