Thousands of Christian students across 45 states ''broke the silence'' of the gay advocacy community last Thursday by wearing T-shirts, handing out fliers, and speaking out about what they believe is the truth of God regarding homosexuality.
We basically said homosexuality is wrong and that God does not like it, said Marina C. Rojas, a student at the College of Sequoias in Central Valley, Calif., who rallied 140 high-school and junior high-school students to participate. Its just a sin as stealing, gossiping, telling lies, and its real simple.
The Day of Truth was created last year as an alternative to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Networks Day of Silence a day where students are encouraged not to speak as a mark of support for their gay and lesbian peers.
According to organizers of the 10th national Day of Silence, which this year fell on April 26, some 500,000 students at 4,000 schools nationwide participated in the event.
Participation in the Day of Truth was relatively small with 2,800 students registered across 720 schools. However, according to organizers, the figures reflected a sharp rise in interest among Christian students to speak the voice of truth amid the silence.
We nearly tripled last years student participation and more than doubled the number of schools, explained Greg Scott, media director for Alliance Defense Fund a Christian organization that sponsors the Day of Truth.
We were very successful by any measure, said Scott, who explained that this year marked the second-ever Day of Truth.
One of the main reasons behind the success may be the non-confrontational approach taken by organizers in what could easily become an emotional and violent debate.
"We really try to encourage respectful debate," said Tim Chandler, a staff attorney for ADF. "We strongly encourage them not to be confrontational in any way."
This was not a gay-bashing day, said Rojas, who volunteers as a youth minister at the Bethel Assembly of God in Tulare, Calif. We just passed out fliers and gave the message about homosexuality from a Christian viewpoint.
Rojas said she hopes to organize a bigger rally next year and involve students from neighboring cities.
"We hope to bring in a couple of bands for next year's rally," she added. "We're going to incorporate more of the local youth groups and spread the news."