The IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of the certified anti-gay hate group, Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). President Peter LaBarbera, 47, founded the group in 1996, according to his website, but took it full time in 2006. The action, which is not subject to an appeal, is permanent, and oddly, was made for a lack of proper paperwork filing.
“The reason for this action is listed by the reporting organization Guidestar as a ‘failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years.’ These forms are required of legitimate non-profit organizations for review by the IRS and the public,” writes David Roberts of Ex-Gay Watch.
“While the current incarnation of AFTAH appears to have been active since 2006, we found only one form 990-EZ on file — for the year 2009 (PDF). In this, total receipts are listed as $110,000, out of which Peter LaBarbera received a salary of $75,000. For perspective, this is approximately the same salary plus benefits claimed by Exodus president Alan Chambers. Exodus lists eleven employees and a million dollar budget.”
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out, who dubbed LaBarbera “Porno Pete,” wrote in 2009,
“Porno Pete LaBarbera is the voyeuristic anti-gay “activist” who clownishly videotapes gay leather events and bathhouses year-after-year as part of his hands on research. His ostensible goal is to “expose” the real gay agenda. Although, his bizarre obsession with entering this arena reveals more about his own sexual repression that the GLBT community. I mean, what kind of straight dude needs to repeatedly take the same photos each year?
“Memo to Porno Pete: Assless chaps look the same in 1993 as they do in 2009. So, there is really no excuse why you return to these events so often unless you are deriving some form of titillating pleasure from the manufactured situation.”
Via the Southern Poverty Law Center, which gave AFTAH its hate group designation”
AFTAH is notable for its posting of the utterly discredited work of Paul Cameron (of the Family Research Institute; see below), who has claimed that gays and lesbians live vastly shorter lives than heterosexuals. Among the Cameron propaganda published by AFTAH are 2007 claims that gays and lesbians in Norway and Denmark live 24 fewer years than heterosexuals. Reviewing that claim, Danish epidemiologist Morten Frisch found that it had no scientific basis. LaBarbera himself, in 2002, compared the alleged dangers of homosexuality to those of “smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.” Similarly, AFTAH’s website carries essays describing homosexuality as a “lethal behavior addiction,” a “dangerous” practice that is “neither normal nor benign.”
In 2007, LaBarbera claimed there was “a disproportionate incidence of pedophilia” among gay men — yet another false assertion. The same year, he posted an open letter to the Lithuanian people from long-time gay-basher Scott Lively (see Abiding Truth Ministries, above), who has made a series of false claims about gays running the German Nazi Party. In the piece posted to the AFTAH website, Lively said homosexuals are trying to take away free speech from all opponents of gays and to silence all religious opinions on the matter.
The AFTAH site repeats bogus claims like the idea that a proposed bill in California would “promote cross-dressing, sex-change operations, bisexuality and homosexuality” to kindergartners and other children. And it ran an essay that falsely asserted that hate crime laws would “restrict our speech.”
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.