Young Adults Arrested at Focus on the Family

Couple Faces Charges to Publicize Dobson’s Divisive Politics on Fostering and Adoption

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: May 11, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Director of Public Relations and Media
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Colorado Springs, CO) — At 11:00 a.m. on May 11, 2007, Amanda Harris, 22, of Conway, Arkansas, and Kourt Osborn, 21, of Kanab, Utah, entered Focus on the Family headquarters during a regularly scheduled tour. Once inside, they spoke to fellow visitors about their experiences as a queer woman and a transgender man, and they held a sit-in to raise public awareness about the organization’s defamation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. They were arrested for trespassing at approximately 12:30 p.m., processed at a nearby facility, and then released.

The sit-in, which is the third action in an ongoing campaign called "Focus on the Facts," coincided with Focus on the Family’s summit on orphan care. Although summit materials speak of "unity in the Body of Christ for the sake of the orphan," the organization’s politics on adoption and foster care have historically been more divisive than uniting. Most recently, in his April 19 broadcast, Dobson urged Colorado citizens to pressure the governor to veto HB 1330, the Second Parent Adoption Bill.

James Dobson and his colleagues have consistently misrepresented LGBT families and individuals as dangerous, sinful, and undeserving of equal protection under the law. These dehumanizing portrayals are often bolstered by misleading references to social science research. In recent months, several social scientists — including Dr. Carol Gilligan of New York University and Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale — have publicly rebuked Dobson for mischaracterizing their research conclusions.

"The misinformation that Focus on the Family employs does not create a stronger family and does not defend it, but creates barriers and breaks apart families across the country, including my own" says Osborn, who recently completed the 8-week Soulforce Equality Ride.

Focus on the Facts calls on Dobson to take a step toward reconciliation with the LGBT community by ceasing his misleading statements about social science research on LGBT families.

Focus on the Facts aims to intervene in Dobson and Focus on the Family’s representations of lesbian and gay families through an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience modeled on Gandhi’s nonviolent "Satyagraha" movement. In the words of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi "believed in the efficacy of pitting the soul force of the Satyagraha against the brute force of the oppressor and in effect converting the oppressor to the right and moral point."


The Focus on the Facts campaign is coordinated by Soulforce, a national LGBT social justice organization founded on principles of nonviolence. For more than a decade, members and allies of Soulforce have confronted Focus on the Family’s anti-gay rhetoric and publicized its harmful impact on the lives of individuals, parents, and children. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

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