An American Family Association (AFA) nationwide church tour designed to "counter the growing proliferation of prohomosexual philosophy in every area of our culture" began by attracting more homosexuals than conservative church members.

Buddy Smith, associate director of the Tupelo, Mississippi-based organization, expressed disappointment at the small turnout on the first stop of the Hope '97 tour. A March 7 rally at Palmcroft Baptist Church in Phoenix drew about 70 people, while seminars the following day drew only 35.

Protesters gathered outside the church for both events. Keynote speaker Michael Johnson, president of Kerusso Ministries in Newport News, Virginia, invited them inside. About 35 of 60 protesters accepted, and several spoke with him after the talk. Johnson is a former homosexual who has AIDS.

AFA has scheduled a June 6 rally in Orlando, Florida, to coincide with "Gay Day" at Disney World. The 15-city tour ends in October.

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