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Community Protests Radio Hall of Fame Induction Celebration

By Tim State in News on Nov 9, 2008 8:03PM

Members of Chicago’s GLBT community gathered outside the Renaissance last night. Photo via Temporary Trouble Spots.

Last night, about 150+ protesters showed up outside the Renaissance Hotel, where the Chicago Museum of Broadcast Communications was inducting into the Radio Hall of Fame Focus on the Family’s James Dobson. Dobson donated $800,000 to California’s Proposition 8, which passed last week, amending California’s constitution, removing the right of gay men and lesbian women to marry.

"If Dobson had helped organize and fund a campaign to take away African American voting rights, he would be properly shunned as a hater,'" said Bob Schwartz of the Gay Liberation Network. "However, because the Museum of Broadcast Communications has chosen instead to honor Dobson, they apparently think it's okay to promote those who publicly organize discrimination against gays."

Dobson’s name has become synonymous with hate speech under the guise of Christianity and morality. The Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame, Bruce DuMont, issued a statement (see memo in full: page 1 & page 2) that was linked from the MOBC’s Web site (but is now gone) explaining that it’s not him or the Museum that are responsible, but that people should better understand the nomination, voting, and induction process.

[The gay and lesbian community] have privately vowed to punish me personally and the Museum of Broadcast Communications as an institution. Their goal is to shut off donations to our effort to build a new MBC in Chicago. They know that fiscal times are touch and they want to be the final nail in the Museum’s coffin. Shame on them!

DuMont continues, highlighting that his late wife, Kathy Osterman championed gay rights and has been inducted into Chicago’s Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame. Regardless, DuMont said, “for the integrity of the process, the results for 2008 will stand, with protests noted.”