Every year, a Day of Silence aims to bring attention to the name-calling and bullying of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered teens, a trend that has taken an especially tragic turn over the past year with the high-profile suicides of six GLBT youth who were bullied. In response to the silence, evangelical Christians who don’t approve of LGBT “lifestyles” created a Day of Truth to confront what they see as a homosexual agenda aimed at the country’s youth. But this year, Exodus International, a Florida-based group that has supported the Day of Truth, is backing away. The organization says it can no longer sponsor the event because it is “always perceived in an adversarial manner,” writes The Associated Press.
So Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family has swooped in to the rescue with a re-branding campaign that promotes a “Day of Dialogue,” Gary Schneeberger, vice president of communications for Focus, tells The Christian Post. “We consider it valuable and believe in what the program stands for,” he says, “which is making sure more than one perspective on the issue is heard in schools.” The new name is meant to place an emphasis on discouraging students who oppose homosexuality for religious reasons from speaking in ways that are condemning, antagonistic, dismissive, or demeaning.
Still, Focus stands strong against the lessons of tolerance many educators are adopting, making for divisive battles in the nation’s public school districts, reports The New York Times.