COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Observer Update) - Pam's House Blend summed it up best, "The old man who has spent his adult life trying to turn the U.S. into a theocracy is finally throwing in the towel. I guess after blowing the coffers on Prop 8 and having to lay off staff, it's time to exit."
Dobson notified the board of his decision Wednesday (Feb. 25), and the 950 employees of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based ministry were informed Friday morning at a weekly worship service, said Jim Daly, the group's president and chief executive officer.
Dobson, 72, will continue to host Focus on the Family's flagship radio program, write a monthly newsletter and speak out on moral issues, Daly said. Dobson's resignation as board chairman "lessens his administrative burden" and is the latest step in a succession plan, the group said. Dobson began relinquishing control six years ago by stepping down as president and CEO.
At the same time, Focus officials have acknowledged difficulties in raising money from younger families critical to its future. The economy also has hurt. Last fall Focus on the Family eliminated more than 200 staff positions, its largest employee cutbacks ever. Daly said the group is now "right on track" with a revised annual budget of $138 million. His wife Shirley is also stepping down from the board.
"James Dobson's legacy of lies has caused significant pain for gay and lesbian people and their families," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "We hope his departure will eventually signal a shift in tone and end Focus on the Family's destructive attacks against gay and lesbian Americans."
...In Nov. 2008, Truth Wins Out protested Dobson's selection into the Radio Hall of Fame. In the past two years, TWO has found eight researchers in three countries who say that Dobson has distorted their work. Videos and letters that these scientists sent to Dobson can be viewed at www.Respectmyresearch.org.
Dobson's rhetoric is so divisive that former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) said that, "Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies." Focus on the Family co-founder Gil Alexander Moegerle said that, "I believe Dobson-style politics have been inept, simplistic, exclusionary, divisive and alarmingly sectarian...James Dobson's political style has been one of relentlessly demonizing his adversaries."
Dobson told The Daily Oklahoman on Oct. 23, 2004 that, "Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth." Dobson also told the Daily Oklahoman that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is "a God's people hater. I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people."
"For more than 20 years, James Dobson has used his expansive, well-funded media platform to promote defamatory and false information about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," said Neil G. Giuliano, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "As Dobson resigns from his role as chairman, it is important to remember his history of false and defamatory claims about our community. GLAAD urges the media to not allow Dobson to turn today's news into yet another media platform for him to advance his intolerant divisive attacks on gay and lesbian Americans and their families."
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