"On April 17, 2006, when the White House lawn is opened to families for the Annual Easter Egg Roll, imagine if the first 1,000 families onto the lawn were LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] families," said the Jan. 4 e-mail. Once America sees the White House lawn awash in LGBT families, "there will be no going back," Soulforce promised.
Tooley claims it's the first time anyone has tried to "exploit the annual White House Easter Egg Roll for political purposes."
Soulforce regularly protests church events to demand denominations change their policies on homosexuality, using the principles of Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. The organization was begun by Mel White, once a writer for Christian pastors who later embraced homosexuality and became a clergyman in the "gay" Metropolitan Community Church. Soulforce is planning to protest at Focus on the Family in Colorado this summer.
According to the e-mail, the group is asking "LGBT families" to arrive at the White House gate the night before the April event to be sure to be the first ones in. Volunteers will be available to save places for those who cannot spend the night.
Supporters reportedly will arrive with special "non-political" T-shirts to identify themselves as "LGBT."
The annual Easter Egg Roll dates back to President Rutherford B. Hayes.
"The media will be there (they are always there for the egg roll) and millions of Americans – many for the first time – will meet our families," the Soulforce e-mail explained. "This is an amazing opportunity to reach homes in blue states and red states with positive images of our families participating in this great American family tradition.
[ 18 January 2006: Message edited by: Andy (Andrew) ]