Today marks the third annual "Day of Truth," a date which encourages Christian students in public schools to speak out against homosexuality.
Sponsored by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) – a legal organization that defends the right to speak the "Truth," the event is in direct opposition to the pro-homosexual "Day of Silence" which took place yesterday.
The creators of the initiative wanted to "counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective," according to the ADF website.
In its eleventh year, the "Day of Silence" was first started as a way for homosexual students to draw attention to bigotry they have felt they received while at school. Students in support of the cause refuse to speak throughout the day.
The project is also sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), an organization that wants children to respect and accept all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
"Every day I go to school and I notice the same thing that everyone notices – students saying 'that's so gay, and stuff like that,' explained Ashleigh Pippin, a 17-year-old junior from Sanderson High School in Raleigh, N.C., according to a report. "I wish I would say something every time, but it's hard to stand up and say don't do that every time someone makes an offensive comment. The 'Day of Silence' is the one day I can stand up, without having to say something every five seconds, and make a difference."
Several Christian groups have largely disagreed with the "Day of Silence," however, arguing that it is just a way for schools to show support for homosexuality and normalize the practice on school grounds. It also targets peers who may be unclear about their sexuality.
They also feel that it is unfair, because students who try to voice their religious opinion on school are often stopped - for allegedly violating the "separation of church and state" – or ridiculed by staff or other peers.
"In the past, students who have attempted to speak against the promotion of the homosexual agenda have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their beliefs," explained the ADF promotional site for the "Day of Truth." "It is important that students stand up for their First Amendment right to hear and speak the Truth about human sexuality in order to protect that freedom for future generations. The 'Day of Truth' provides an opportunity to publicly exercise our free speech rights."
Students who wish to participate in the "Day of Truth" will do it in a variety of ways, including wearing shirts with the "Day of Truth" logo, handing out Christian literature to other students, holding events that support the Biblical perspective of homosexuality, and initiating media coverage to gain exposure for the movement.
ADF explains that a positive aspect of the activism is that it does not include techniques that disrupt class or other school activities, which the organization suggests the "Day of Silence" does do.
Other Christian groups have also protested the "Day of Silence" by encouraging boycotts against the affair and keeping their children from going to school.
David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), made the following statement in favor of a boycott: "[T]eachers and school administrators that allow students to be 'silent' in class and not participate, by default, give their endorsement to the politicization of sexual behavior – something that teenage students have no business promoting. Parents should be concerned about how schools are being used to push the pro-homosexual and pro-bisexual message on young, impressionable minds."
According to ADF, more than 2,800 students participated in the "Day of Truth" last year. They expect many more partakers this year.