Colorado Springs, Colo. – Focus on the Family announced today it is the new sponsor of the program once known as the Day of Truth, which will boast a new name while maintaining the same goal it's had since its 2005 inception: encouraging honest and respectful conversation among students about God's design for sexuality.
The Day of DialogueTM, as the event is now called, is scheduled for April 18, 2011. The Alliance Defense Fund will continue in its supportive role by offering pro-bono legal assistance to students whose free-speech rights are violated.
"We're excited about shepherding the next phase for this student-led event," said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family and head of TrueTolerance.org, an online tool for parents who want to help ensure a balanced treatment of the issue of homosexuality in public schools. "Focus has a long tradition of supporting those who want to express their faith-based viewpoints about homosexuality in a loving and respectful way, and the Day of Dialogue gives students a great way to do just that."
According to Cushman, the program's name change reflects this key goal of equipping students with an opportunity to articulate a Christian perspective. "We're trying to raise awareness that more than one side needs to be heard on the issue of homosexuality, and we're helping to ensure Christian students have the chance to express their viewpoint," she said. "What is freedom of speech, after all, but a guarantee of the right to have dialogue?"
Cushman believes dialogue is more helpful than staying silent on this meaningful issue, which is what GLSEN's Day of Silence encourages. "Silence is a media op, but dialogue is a learning op," she points out. "That's why we're so proud of the more than 14,000 students who have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn and share."
Each year, ADF has pledged to offer legal support to students when needed.
"The Day of Dialogue is an excellent opportunity for students to respectfully present a different viewpoint than the Day of Silence," said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. "ADF always stands ready to offer pro-bono legal assistance to student participants who have their First Amendment rights violated."
Focus on the Family is already planning to ensure that the upcoming Day of Dialogue event will build on the successes of past years. More specific plans and web content will be released closer to the April 18, 2011 event date. You can learn more about the Day of Dialogue online at DayofDialogue.com.
To schedule an interview, please contact Devon Williams at Devon.Williams@fotf.org or 719-322-5484.