Venus magazine publisher Charlene Cothran, whose publication used to be a voice for the Black LGBT community before it became a Christian publication, will be a special guest at an upcoming local anti-gay fundraiser.
Peter LaBarbera, who has headed the local anti-LGBT organization Americans For Truth ( AFT ) since leaving his position at the conservative Illinois Family Institute, invited Cothran to attend AFT's first annual banquet in Lombard. Cothran caused a ripple several months ago when she claimed she had become 'ex-gay,' and changed Venus magazine into a Christian magazine that features articles on ex-gay ministry and overcoming same-sex desire.
Cothran, who LaBarbera dubs a 'hero for truth,' will join Massachusetts activist David Parker, who made headlines in 2005 for refusing to leave his son's school after meeting with officials. Parker opposed his son learning about diverse families ( which included lesbian and gay parents ) in the classroom.
Originally, the banquet was intended to take place Oct. 6 at a Naperville Holiday Inn, but the hotel's manager cancelled the event after receiving pressure from Gay Liberation Network and other gay activists. The manager, according to a Concerned Women for America interview with AFT, cited safety issues for his guests after learning protests of the event might occur. According to LaBarbera's blog and AFT's Web site, the anti-gay organization has since secured another venue in suburban Lombard. Those interested in attending must call AFT's banquet coordinator at 312-315-6152 in order to learn about the event's location.
The event will take place Oct. 5.