Anti-Gay Movement Based in Fort Lauderdale
AN EXPRESS INVESTIGATIVE
gays and lesbians quietly bronze their bodies in the afternoon sun on Fort
Lauderdale’s beaches, local leaders of the religious right are in offices
only a mile away, on Federal Highway, waging a national media campaign
attacking homosexuals, same-sex marriages, gay rights, and life partners.
Calling gay Americans everything
from pedophiles to Nazis, the national leaders of the anti-gay movement
base their offensives against homosexuality in Fort Lauderdale and South
Florida. The main group is the recently renamed ‘Center for Reclaiming
America,” They claim their objective is to convey a “Biblical message
“They may call it love,”
says prominent gay businessman and Catalog X retail outlet owner Mark Possien,
“but it is a pretext for hate.” The published comments by leaders
of the Center would seem to bear him out.
The Folger Factor
Janet Folger is the National
Director of the Center, which is an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries,
located on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to her tenure
at the Center for Reclaiming America, Janet was a pro-life lobbyist, and
the Legislative Director of the Ohio Right to Life Society.
Since moving to Fort Lauderdale,
Ms. Folger has been the director for an annual spring conference entitled
“Reclaiming America for Christ.” It features an all-star parade of
religious zealots opposed to the social acceptance of homosexuality.
Besides the conference, Folger is responsible for orchestrating the controversial
ex-gay campaign, a ministry for conversion of homosexuals. She has also
spoken angrily against tolerance and understanding of gays in public schools.
An accomplished and sought-after
speaker, Janet has appeared on numerous national talk shows and been featured
in People magazine. She holds a Master’s degree from Cleveland State University
where she graduated with honors. Her 60 second radio commentary is broadcast
on over 100 stations in America
“Our main goal at the Center
is to inform and empower Christians to take a stand and be counted. We
have to stand up to the homosexual agenda.” says Folger, on her website.
“Her efforts have led to
a series of national slanders and libels against all homosexuals,” declared
Tony Ramos, the President of GUARD. It was Ramos who led the most
recent demonstrations against the Coral Ridge Church that brought out hundreds
of gay and lesbian protestors. He declared that the Church was simply
“continuing to use gays and lesbians as a cash cow” to raise money.
Dr. Kennedy disagrees.
He called Janet Folger ‘a committed and zealous Christian determined
to maintain the Christian values which made this nation great.’ He hired
Gay Bashing Comments
Meanwhile, The Express has
uncovered a series of startling remarks made by the unmarried Ms. Folger,
Dr. Kennedy, and other Christian leaders in the past few years. Often,
these statements are made from South Florida venues.
Folger, for one, insists
homosexuals are unnatural. Last June, she argued that “if you don’t
think homosexuals have an agenda for
(Continued on Pg. 5)
your child’s school, think
again.” She then proceeded to say that homosexuality should still
be a mental illness, and the only reason it was reclassified, in 1973,
by the American Psychiatry Association was due to a “militant protest staged
by activists and ACT-UP. “Intimidation was a key motivation.” But
ACT-UP, an AIDS organization, did not even exist at the time.
Additionally, last year,
when PBS introduced a sophisticated documentary aimed at teaching tolerance
and understanding to schoolchildren, Folger declared that it was “lesbian
propaganda designed to use manipulation and indoctrination to suggest homosexuality
With Dr. Kennedy’s backing,
Folger initiated last year’s national media advertising campaign designed
to encourage gays to repent their “sins” and convert back to Christianity.
The “Worthy Creations”
group now holds its sparsely attended regular meetings in West Palm Beach
at the Lighthouse Christian Center, in Fort Lauderdale at the Coral Ridge
Presbyterian Church and in South Beach on Lincoln Road.
“What is she talking about?”
says Human Rights Campaign spokesman Wayne Besen. “The ex-gay movement
has had more defections than the Cuban national baseball team. For every
ex-gay, there are ten that it did not work for. They keep no stats
because their failure rate is staggering.”
These organizations, Besen
says, “selectively cite the Bible as proof that homosexuality is a sin,
and attempt to change individual sexual orientation largely through prayer,
meditation and programs that in some cases, are patterned on the 12-step
programs. They have all the earmarks of a cult.”
Besen also noted that these
groups are causing conflicts even within Christian communities, and have
been plagued over time by their leaders “backsliding” into homosexuality.
Said Doctor Jeffrey Ford,
a licensed Psychologist who has battled the ex-gay ministries: “No scientific
basis exists for the reparative therapy to cure homosexuals. It is drivel,
nonsense, and does not hold up under any examination.”
Still, Dr. D. James Kennedy
is the most listened-to Presbyterian minister in the world today. His broadcast
messages are televised from the 9,500-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
in Fort Lauderdale, to 35,000 cities and towns across the United States.
Meanwhile, in speech after speech he claims that the “homosexual lobby
is trying to ‘silence him’. “That’s ridiculous,” commented
Besen: “he’s the one with forums all over the country.”
Last summer, Dr. Kennedy
decried the Gay Days at Disney in Orlando: “Parents were forced to
shield their children’s eyes and give hurried explanations as to why these
people were behaving as they were.”
He was then joined by Reverend
Pat Robertson, who declared: “I would warn Orlando that you’re right in
the way of some serious hurricanes and I don’t think I’d be waving those
gay flags in God’s face if I were you. Allowing homosexuals at Disney.a
condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll
bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly
This month Broward County
celebrates its oneyear anniversary of a domestic partnership ordinance.
GUARD President Tony Ramos and his partner Chris Neill were one of the
first to register; Scoffing at Robertson, Ramos added that “We are a perfectly
happy couple, and we are going to continue to live decent and respectable
lives. We haven’t seen any meteors lately.”
on Page 2
Have you seen
news in the making?
If so, please
call us at (954) 568-1880.