Focus on the Family accused of mixing local politics with its stance on family values.

More than 800 people crammed into the small Colorado Springs auditorium for the Sunday evening gathering. But this was not a church service. It was a standing-room-only meeting of Citizen’s Project, a group formed in 1992 to counter what organizers call the growing impact of the city’s “Religious Right” groups.

Citizen’s Project’s 6,000 supporters may be the loudest critics of Focus on the Family, the conservative $78 million-a-year ministry that moved to the city in 1991, and Colorado for Family Values, the grassroots organizations that spearheaded Amendment 2; but they are not the only critics.

Sharp divisions

Many residents of this community of 400,000 at the foot of Pikes Peak say the town has been sharply divided since Amendment 2 won 53 percent of the state’s vote in November’s election. The amendment prohibits the state and local governments from passing laws that ban discrimination against homosexuals based on sexual orientation. It also overturned existing homosexual-rights measures passed earlier by voters in Denver and two other cities. In January, a Denver District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that will keep the amendment off the books until a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality is settled.

But even though a final verdict on Amendment 2 may take years, increasing numbers of Springs residents—including some who work for the city’s 55 evangelical organizations—have become concerned about growing evangelical activism. The community has attracted reporters from dozens of media outlets, including CBS News, Time, the British Broadcasting Corporation, and USA Today.

People on both sides of the homosexual-rights issue ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.