D.C. Hotel, Under Pressure, Cancels ’Pig Sex’ Party

by Steve Weinstein

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday January 17, 2009

Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, an organization (apparently run by one man, Peter LaBarbera) dedicated to fighting the "homosexual agenda," is claiming something it hasn't been able to do for some time: a victory over the gay menace. AFTAH has announced that the downtown Washington, D.C., hotel has cancelled a 'pig sex orgy' scheduled during Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend, this weekend (Jan. 16).

"This is a great victory for truth, decency and public health!" LaBarbera wrote on his website. "Americans For Truth is vindicated (lies coming from the hotel had many people confused). A big 'Thanks' to each of you who called the Doubletree and its parent company, Hilton Hotels, urging them to not allow this unbelievably depraved and unhealthy homosexual event to occur in public conference rooms at the Doubletree, a luxurious hotel just blocks from the White House."

The contretemps began with the ultra-rightwing "news" site World Net Daily "breaking" the story that a private group of men--unaffiliated with MAL--was planning a private, invitation-only event at the Doubletree, which located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW. The invite, which LaBarbera claimed was emailed to him by a plant in the gay world, told respondents to "go to the Second Floor, which is where all the Convention Rooms are."

Gay men may be familiar with private hotel parties taking place during such gatherings (whether they admit it not). These are usually spread through email and other private communication, and take place in private hotel suites. But World Net Daily and LaBarbera took the email to signify that somehow the "orgy" would take place in one of the hotel's meeting rooms.

LaBarbera said he had contacted the Doubletree's sales director, who confirmed the lease to a group with the name on the email. The employee also told him that he hadn't heard of any sex parties. He said such events could not be held in the hotel's conference rooms, because they are a "public space," LaBarbera said.

World Net Daily tied the sex party to the Obama inauguration, taking place nearly simultaneously. "Obama, during his campaign and since the election, repeatedly has affirmed his support for homosexual rights, and his aides have said that they expect him to announce he will lift the ban on open homosexuality in the U.S. military almost as soon as he is sworn into office," as per WND. The coupling of these events should give WND much to report in the future, such as the coincidence of New York's Black Party with Palm Sunday, or the Palm Springs White Party with Easter.

The sponsoring group may not have helped by nicknaming the party the "Obama Inauguration Pig Sex Orgy" (see release, below).

Pam Spaulding, on her blog, broke the news that the private group sponsoring the party had to cancel it.

"As many of you know, extreme Christian groups have been pressuring Doubletree to cancel the 'Obama Inauguration Pig Sex Orgy,'" the organizers wrote, according to Spaulding. "For two days, the hotel stood firm while the accusations and falsehoods kept coming in. Just this morning, I told the management of Doubletree how impressed I was that they resisted the calls to shut us down. Unfortunately, the matter escalated to Doubletree Corporate, and the word has come down that they will not allow our event to go on as planned. To say that I am pissed would be an understatement. We have a right to privacy and sexual freedom. I appreciate the efforts of the Centaurs in helping us set this up and fight the cancellation."

EDGE has received no word on whether anyone has set up an alternative event anywhere else.

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).