Group countering Prop. 8 backers' ad

Published: Thursday, Dec. 11 2008 1:30 a.m. MST

An advertisement in last Friday's New York Times that defended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Proposition 8 supporters was a disingenuous olive branch from a group of "culture warriors," an activist group fired back this week.

Truth Wins Out, a New York nonprofit group, has taken out a full-page advertisement in Thursday's Salt Lake Tribune to combat claims of "violence and intimidation" against same-sex marriage opponents.

Last week, the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty denounced incidents of vandalism at LDS churches and declared "No Mob Veto" in its ad. The advertisement was signed by a dozen religious leaders and activists.

"These anti-gay activists are crying wolf on the Proposition 8 protests, but they actually are a wolf in sheep's clothing that preaches religious tolerance while practicing the most defamatory form of religious bigotry," said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out.

"We refuse to permit this orchestrated campaign to rewrite history, nor will we allow some of the most notorious Mormon bashers in America to pose as friends of the Latter-day Saints."

Thursday's advertisement will feature a headline that reads "Lies in the Name of the Lord," according to the group's statement released Wednesday.

"There is a concerted and ongoing effort by anti-gay forces to portray peaceful marchers exercising their First Amendment rights as violent troublemakers," said Besen. "We hope to set the record straight and refuse to let No Mob Veto get away with their blatant lies."

The Deseret News, which shares its advertising operations with the Tribune, was never asked to accept the advertisement, said News Publisher Jim M. Wall.

— Aaron Falk

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