After nearly a year of organizing, Idaho Families for Decency is coming out of the closet to deliver its message of preserving "traditional values."
In recent weeks, leaders of the grass-roots group have encouraged Ada County obscenity prosecutions and publicly lauded a Boise video rental store's decision to shun titles bearing anything sexier than an "R" rating.That's only the beginning, Families for Decency President Ken Thornberg said.
"We're a sleeping giant about to awaken," he said. "And it's going to happen rather quickly."
Goals listed by the non-profit organization amount to a call to arms.
They include eradicating all pornography, restricting sex education in schools (members say parents should bear the burden), and opposing homosexuality as an "accepted alternative lifestyle." Tossed in for good measure are stances against polygamy, sexism and "indecent" rock music.
A membership drive seeks to attract hundreds of dues-paying followers by year's end. Then, according to Thornberg, the "pro-decency" campaign will begin in earnest.
A civic activist best known as the Better Business Bureau executive director in Boise, Thornberg is credited with resurrecting Families for Decency from the ashes of Idaho Together Against Pornography, which hibernated through the late '80s.
For now, the group's biggest accomplishment is a letter-writing campaign aimed at encouraging authorities to crack down on hard-core porn.
It has paid off. Four criminal charges alleging sale of obscene materials are pending against the Over 19 adult bookstore in Garden City.
While eager to see adult bookstores shut down across Idaho, Families for Decency is content to wage its anti-pornography war with words. Thornberg has ruled out sign-waving demonstrations in favor of lobbying, public education and bumper stickers.
"We're not going to be the lunatic fringe," he said, "and we're not going to embarrass or upset the city, the mayor or the majority of people we feel we represent."