After the anti-gay ministry Exodus International dropped the “Day of Truth,” an event that tries to counteract GLSEN’s “Day of Silence,” which takes place on April 15th and opposes anti-gay bigotry in schools, Focus on the Family took over and renamed it the “Day of Dialogue.” The website features stories of people “leaving homosexuality” and criticizes GLSEN and the Day of Silence.
Candi Cushman, who leads Focus on the Family’s “True Tolerance” campaign against anti-bullying programs, wants to introduce the Day of Dialogue with a positive spin:
Focus on the Family rolled out its Day of Dialogue™ campaign today with one goal in mind: To encourage honest and respectful conversation among students about the fact that God cares about our relationships, our sexuality and our souls. The nationwide event, which began in 2005 as the Day of Truth, will take place April 18.
Through the Day of Dialogue, Focus hopes to encourage peaceful, student-initiated conversations and ensure there is a safe space for different perspectives and viewpoints, including faith-based ones.
Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and director of the new Day of Dialogue website, said the name change reflects the key goal of equipping students with an opportunity to articulate a Christian perspective.
“We’re excited about shepherding this student-led event,” she said. “Focus has a long tradition of supporting those who want to express their faith-based viewpoints about homosexuality in a loving and respectful way, and the Day of Dialogue gives students a great way to do just that.”
The event will come on the heels of the Day of Silence, on which gay activists and their allies encourage students to take a vow of silence to bring “attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.”
Cushman said: “Our focus for this year’s event is going to be on dialogue and giving students of faith an opportunity to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible — who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm.
“The most important way family advocates can help is to make high school and college students aware of the Day of Dialogue. Students can register, and check out activities, conversation cards and posters on the new website.”