The National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHF) has refused to remove Dr. James Dobson from its list of Hall of Fame nominees despite pressure from a group of homosexual activists.
Dobson heads Focus on the Family, one of the United States’ most prominent Protestant evangelical groups. He made his first Focus on the Family broadcast in 1977 and now reaches about 220 million people in 164 countries. The organization played a key role in the so-called “Culture Wars” of the 1980s, which included controversies over abortion, sexual ethics, and secularism.
According to LifeSiteNews, Wayne Besen organized a campaign against the Hall of Fame that sent hundreds of e-mails to the organization, demanding Dobson’s removal from the nominee list because of his views on homosexuality.
Besen claimed that Dobson is “an extremist who has built his empire on the backs of gays and lesbians" and "a bigot who distorts scientific research.”
"It is an affront for the Radio Hall of Fame to honor James Dobson, a right wing demagogue," he said.
Bruce DuMont, NRHF chairman, said the nominations are solely based on the honoree’s contribution to radio. The selection is not based on the politics or religious beliefs of the candidates, but rather their “tenures and accomplishments in the radio industry.”
After the nominations, voters for admission to the NRHF included the public. When voting ended on July 15 after more than 70,000 votes, Focus on the Family won in the nationally syndicated broadcasters category. Its competitors included Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Howard Stern.
Gary Schneeberger, vice president for media and public relations at Focus on the Family, said Besen’s complaint exaggerated the organization’s focus on homosexuality.
"The Focus on the Family broadcast was created as, and remains, a means of helping families thrive," he said. "If you were to analyze the content of our 32 years of broadcasts, only a minuscule number deal with public-policy issues, and an infinitesimal number deal with homosexuality."