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Gay Rights Activists Accomplish Non-Violent Advances

Compiled by News Editor Charles Anders

[USA] -- Rev. Jerry Falwell has agreed to tone down his anti-BGLT rhetoric after a meeting with Rev. Mel White, an gay activist and former aide of Falwell. White, leader of the non-violent Soulforce movement, said he asked Falwell not to stop preaching his conscience, but "to lower the volume and shrillness of the rhetoric." In October, White plans to bring 200 queer people to Lynchburg in October to talk to Falwell and 200 of his followers.

According to a newspaper article reproduced by White, Falwell welcomed efforts to tone down rhetoric on both sides, saying that radical groups disrupt his speeches "almost invariably ... It has been getting more precarious with passing time."

In addition, White and 23 other signatories from many faiths have written to Dr. James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, requesting a meeting. The letter's signing concluded the National Religious Leadership Roundtable in Colorado Springs, held August 22 through 24. As with Falwell, the letter to Dobson supported his right to "preach his conscience,&wquot; but not his rhetoric.

Meanwhile, anti-gay cleric Fred Phelps received a message of a different kind. An August change to Rev. Phelps' site's domain name hosting transferred control of the site to, a rebutting site. The registration changed back after roughly 48 hours.

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