Now in its fourth year, the “It Takes a Family to Raise a Village” (ITAF) conference hosted by the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Ruth Institute had a most unusual guest at its recent San Diego summer confab: Media Matters for America blogger Carlos Maza.
Taking advantage of the event’s expansion to include recent college graduates, the openly gay Maza (pictured) applied as a gag, fully expecting to be smoked out by a quick Google search. Instead, he received a ‘Congratulations!’ email and soon found himself socializing on Day One (July 26) at a group dinner in Marina Village:
I told them I was a practicing Catholic (false) who recently graduated from Wake Forest University (true), where I was a member of the university’s debate team (true). I told them that I worked with my mom at a computer software company in Miami, FL (false) but was planning to move to Washington, DC in order to be closer to my long-term college girlfriend (absolutely false).
I also claimed to have found out about ITAF through the Ruth Institute’s YouTube page (true), which I was browsing to learn more about how to defend traditional marriage (could not be more false).
Maza’s experiences at the four-day conference encompassed strange bus rides and even stranger lecture juxtapositions. For example, at the end of Day Two, he found himself listening to a speech, “Jesus and Marriage,” given by a Pittsburgh university professor (Robert Gagnon) whose demonizing, Bible-thumping ways had been written about by the undercover Equality Matters researcher just a month beforehand.
[Photo courtesy Media Matters for America]