Truth Wins Out Reflects on the Passing of Rev. Jerry Falwell

Televangelist's Career Defined by Opposition to GLBT Equality



May 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from Truth Wins Out

    WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Truth Wins Out reflected
 on today's passing of Rev. Jerry Falwell, a right wing televangelist who
 built his empire with staunch opposition to gay, lesbian, bisexual and
 transgender rights.
     "It is with great regret that Rev. Jerry Falwell never moderated his
 position on homosexuality," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne
 Besen. "While our hearts go out to his family, we can't help but to reflect
 on his life and think about all of the families he's torn apart and
 teenagers that committed suicide because he made them feel inferior. He
 never missed an opportunity to kick our better angels to the curb and
 capitalize on our lesser demons to advance his career."
     Falwell began as a segregationist preacher that opposed interracial
 marriage. As with his opposition to homosexuality, he used the Bible to
 justify his prejudice and discrimination. In 1958, Falwell gave a sermon on
 segregation, stating that, "The true Negro does not want integration ... He
 realizes his potential is far better among his own race ..."
     In the late 1970's, Falwell founded the Moral Majority, an organization
 that laid the groundwork for the modern Religious Right. When AIDS hit the
 gay community, Falwell remarked, "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against
 homosexuals."
     In 1998, Falwell embraced the ex-gay ministries and touted a cure for
 homosexuals. He teamed up with Michael Johnston, an HIV+ ex-gay leader. In
 2003, Johnston was treated in a sex addiction facility in Kentucky after he
 allegedly had unprotected sex with men he met online.
     After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Falwell said on the 700 Club, "I
 really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists,
 and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an
 alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them
 who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and
 say 'you helped this happen.'"
     "Unfortunately, the anti-gay infrastructure built by Falwell survives
 him," stated Besen. "With the founding of Liberty University and his legal
 arm, the Liberty Counsel, his legacy of intolerance will continue for quite
 some time."
     Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing
 propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
 For more information, visit http://www.TruthWinsOut.org.
 
 

SOURCE Truth Wins Out
    WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Truth Wins Out reflected
 on today's passing of Rev. Jerry Falwell, a right wing televangelist who
 built his empire with staunch opposition to gay, lesbian, bisexual and
 transgender rights.
     "It is with great regret that Rev. Jerry Falwell never moderated his
 position on homosexuality," said Truth Wins Out's Executive Director Wayne
 Besen. "While our hearts go out to his family, we can't help but to reflect
 on his life and think about all of the families he's torn apart and
 teenagers that committed suicide because he made them feel inferior. He
 never missed an opportunity to kick our better angels to the curb and
 capitalize on our lesser demons to advance his career."
     Falwell began as a segregationist preacher that opposed interracial
 marriage. As with his opposition to homosexuality, he used the Bible to
 justify his prejudice and discrimination. In 1958, Falwell gave a sermon on
 segregation, stating that, "The true Negro does not want integration ... He
 realizes his potential is far better among his own race ..."
     In the late 1970's, Falwell founded the Moral Majority, an organization
 that laid the groundwork for the modern Religious Right. When AIDS hit the
 gay community, Falwell remarked, "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against
 homosexuals."
     In 1998, Falwell embraced the ex-gay ministries and touted a cure for
 homosexuals. He teamed up with Michael Johnston, an HIV+ ex-gay leader. In
 2003, Johnston was treated in a sex addiction facility in Kentucky after he
 allegedly had unprotected sex with men he met online.
     After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Falwell said on the 700 Club, "I
 really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists,
 and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an
 alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them
 who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and
 say 'you helped this happen.'"
     "Unfortunately, the anti-gay infrastructure built by Falwell survives
 him," stated Besen. "With the founding of Liberty University and his legal
 arm, the Liberty Counsel, his legacy of intolerance will continue for quite
 some time."
     Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing
 propaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.
 For more information, visit http://www.TruthWinsOut.org.
 
 SOURCE Truth Wins Out