Exodus spokesman Randy Thomas says that while two of the largest gay-rights groups, Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD, reported a hypothetically combined income of $27 million in 2002, Exodus received $640,000.

Mr. Thomas neglects to mention that Exodus outreach depends heavily upon Focus on the Family for:
1) its “Love Won Out” road show, 2) the public advocacy of Mike Haley, who both chairs the Exodus board and heads Focus/Family’s antigay advocacy department, and 3) Focus on the Family’s marketing and distribution of Exodus-affiliated publications, such as Exodus board member Anne Paulk’s new book on “lesbianism.”

In 2002, Focus on the Family reported income of almost $130 million and assets of $98 million.

If Mr. Thomas is going to lump together the finances of two different gay-rights groups, then he really ought to be clearer about his organization’s reliance upon Focus on the Family.

Mr. Thomas also asserts, based on an account by conservative gay writer Tammy Bruce, that GLAAD toned down its criticism of foul-mouthed misogynistic rapper Eminem due to 1) sponsorship funds received by GLAAD from the corporate owners of Eminem’s record label, and 2) the GLAAD executive director’s ties to MTV.

But GLAAD’s selective activism has plenty of critics, even among gays — something that Mr. Thomas does not mention. Mr. Thomas also does not mention, for the sake of fairness, his own organization’s restraint in criticizing Michael Johnston. In his most recent message to XGW, Mr. Thomas attributed that restraint to a belief that conservative Christians should not criticize one another in public. Of course, the same defense of civil, behind-the-scenes diplomacy was issued by Elton John and GLAAD.

So, yes, partisan political organizations like GLAAD and Exodus do sometimes tend to be preoccupied with self-interest, at the expense of public welfare. Which is why it might make sense for responsible organizations to avoid partisan political games.

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