Update: Gosh, you’ll never guess who else is spreading this fabrication – Eugene Delgaudio. What a perfect pair.
Fact check? Local Focus on the Family writer Barbara Curtis is at it again, introducing a PFOX fundraising appeal as “something you won’t find in the mainstream media.” No, you won’t find it anywhere but on the PFOX website and in postings by people who will repeat whatever they say. This is because the incident PFOX describes apparently didn’t happen.
As Jim Burroway reports, PFOX’s Regina Griggs claimed that the table the group was staffing at the Arlington County Fair was “attacked by gays,” that there was a physical altercation, that their table was overturned, that the police were called, and that they ejected someone from the fairgrounds. When this claim was investigated, neither the Arlington PD nor Arlington County Fair officials knew anything about it.
This story was picked up all around the anti-gay circuit, including Focus on the Family’s Citizenlink webzine and Family News In Focus radio program. But it appears that this incident didn’t really happen. Ex-Gay Watch’s David Roberts did some digging and has the story:
Since PFOX stated that the police were “summoned” and that they “ejected the gay man off the fairgrounds” we decided to check with the Arlington County Police Department..
We contacted the Arlington PD and ended up speaking with John Lisle of the Media Relations/Legislative Affairs Office. He had no initial knowledge of such an incident. After checking briefly, he again said that no one was aware of such an incident. So we sent a copy of the PFOX statement to him at which time he agreed to check more thoroughly. After over two days of research, there was nothing he could add to his statement; no report exists and no one recalls such an incident.
David Roberts also learned that Arlington County Fair officials hadn’t heard of any problems either. In a follow-up story, he reported:
Yesterday, we spoke with Jackie Abrams, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Fair. According to Abrams, no physical altercation occurred, police were never called and no one was ejected from the fairgrounds – she was emphatic and certain. “I was in radio contact with the other board members during the Fair, and definitely would have known if the police had been summoned. It did not happen [her emphasis],” said Abrams. She added that her calls to PFOX, and specifically to PFOX president Regina Griggs, had gone unanswered.
This all appears to be concocted in advance of the Senate gearing up to finally vote on the Matthew Shepard Act. That’s the theme that Barbara and PFOX are both flogging – that hate crimes legislation somehow excludes “ex-gays” from protection. This makes no sense at all. Any law that references sexual orientation by definition includes ALL orientations. I guess we should expect to see more of this bizarre argumentation in the next weeks, from the usual AGI outlets.