What if a vehement, Bible-thumping, anti-gay crusader--so vehemently anti-gay that many question his own sexual orientation--held a press conference to denounce what he considers the LGBT intrusion into public education and only three people showed up?
And what if the trio hailed not from TV, radio or a newspaper but the same gay and lesbian rights organization?
That happened to the Rev. Lou Sheldon Monday in Santa Ana.
The Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker shared the photo below shot in the parking lot outside the Orange County Registrar of Voters office, where the founder of the Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition had invited the media to join him.
That's a Sheldon assistant to the left of the Man of God at the podium and two Courage Campaigners in the spot where all the reporters are supposed to be. The reason the third Courage Campaigner is not in the shot is because someone had to shoot it.
Here was the Rev. Lou's press release announcing the joyous news conference:
Traditional Values Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2011
CONTACT: Benjamin Lopez
TVC Chairman to Release Results of Poll Favorable to Repeal of SB 48 Law Would Require Teachings on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Topics
Anaheim, California-"A recent statewide poll shows California voters are overwhelmingly against the newly-signed Senate Bill 48," said Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). "The results of this poll should be a warning sign to liberal activists that wish to inject controversial issues into the classroom. Parents are simply against social engineering in the classroom.
"This polls proves that the voters of California are completely behind parents. What we need now are for parents to grab pens, clipboards and petitions and get signatures to stop the assault on our children and grandchildren in California's schools by leftist homosexual radicals seeking to indoctrinate the minds of young, impressionable youth." Sheldon added.
Rev. Sheldon will announce the details of the new poll at a press conference set for Monday, September 26, 2011. Details are as follows:
By Traditional Values Coalition
September 26, 2011
Orange County Registrar of Voters Office
1300 S. Grand Avenue, Bldg C
Santa Ana, CA 92705
SB 48, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on July 14, 2011, will now amend current Education Code sections to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender to the list of categories to be covered in all textbooks, curriculum and instructional materials. These new textbooks and instructional materials would apply to ALL subjects in curriculum and to ALL grades K-12.
Traditional Values Coalition is one of three lead statewide pro-family organizations involved in the current Referendum effort aimed at placing the provisions of SB 48 before the voters on the June 2012 ballot. The other organizations assisting Traditional Values Coalition are Capitol Resource Institute and Pacific Justice Institute.
Traditional Values Coalition is an interdenominational and multi-racial public policy organization speaking on behalf of 43,000 churches nationwide and 8,300 churches in California. For further information about Traditional Values Coalition please call Benjamin Lopez at [redacted] or visit our website at www.traditionalvalues.org.
Arisha Michelle Hatch reveals that it was she and Courage's Anthony Ash and Ana Beatriz Cholo who attended the blessed event.
"With such low attendance, Courage staff got a front-row seat for this press conference and even got to ask a few follow-up questions before he abruptly ended his presentation," Hatch writes. "He struggled to stay on message, often times contradicted himself and seemed to suggest that his biggest problem with the Fair Education Act was that it doesn't allow negative portrayals of the LGBT community."
Courage also posted this video:
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And the campaign followed up with a press release of its own.
Rick Jacobs, Chair and Founder of Courage Campaign, Says Rev. Louis Sheldon Peddling Lies About New Education Law
Reporters Skip Out on Press Conference; Courage Staffers Only People Present
"The Rev. Louis Sheldon and the 'Traditional Values Coalition' have been peddling so-called "facts" about gay people for decades now. All they've managed to do is hurt people and earn themselves a place in the Southern Poverty Law Center's pantheon of hate groups together with the Ku Klux Klan," said Rick Jacobs, the chair and founder of the Courage Campaign, a 700,000 member grassroots and progressive, national online organization. "Their latest lies are about the Fair Education Act, a law that requires California schools to integrate lessons about social movements, current events and the social contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals into existing social studies lessons. Rather than encouraging learning about the diversity of American history, Rev. Sheldon, like his friends at Westboro Baptist Church and other fringe groups, seek to foment division and hatred, the opposite of Judeo-Christian teachings."
Courage Campaign staff members were on-hand at today's press conference, called by the Traditional Values Coalition to release commissioned polling results, to share the facts about SB 48 -- the Fair Education Act -- and to clarify misinformation being disseminated by Sheldon. Click here to watch the video. Members of the media decided to skip the event and Rev. Sheldon was left speaking to an audience of three -- all staffers from the Courage Campaign.
Courage Campaign is working to defend the FAIR Education Act as part of a broad coalition that includes people of faith, labor organizations, LGBT groups, disability rights advocates, racial justice organizations and many more who care about equality.
Courage Campaign is a multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to work for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country.
Say goodnight, Lou.