After taking over the Day of Truth from the ex-gay ministry Exodus International, Focus on the Family has been heavily publicizing the renamed event as the Day of Dialogue. The Day of Dialogue, which pushes students to confront those who are “messed up sexually” and encourages gay students to take “the road out of homosexuality,” will be held on April 18th, three days after the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence. According to GLSEN, the Day of Silence is “a day of action in which students across the country take some form of a vow of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools,” and “by taking a vow of silence, you’re making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying.” Focus on the Family strongly opposes any effort to address or prevent anti-LGBT bullying, and the group’s education analyst Candi Cushman told OneNewsNow that the Day of Silence is simply a “media opportunity” that contributes to the problem of the purportedly “stifled” views of students who oppose gay rights:
“The whole idea is to help embolden and encourage students to want to express their biblical viewpoint in a loving and grace-filled way, especially when controversial sexual topics are brought up in their school and they feel like maybe their viewpoint is being stifled. So this just gives them some tools for being able to be confident and loving in expressing their biblical viewpoint,” Cushman explains.
The organizer says students can go to the event website to download conversation cards and hand them out to classmates before and after school on April 18. She adds that the Day of Dialogue serves as a contrast to homosexual-themed events such as the upcoming Day of Silence, where students are encouraged to remain silent in protest.
“The whole idea of silence seems more like a media opportunity — but the idea of dialogue is that this is an actual learning opportunity for students and a free exchange of ideas among them,” says Cushman.
The event will also feature a video contest with prizes awarded for the videos that best reflect the Day of Dialogue themes.