Illinois Family Institute Announces David Smith as New Executive Director as LaBarbera Launches National Group to Counter 'Gay' Agenda
Contact: Illinois Family Institute, 630-790-8370, [email protected]
GLEN ELLYN, Ill., Aug. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- Illinois Family Institute today announced the appointment of David E. Smith as its new Executive Director, to succeed Peter LaBarbera, who is resigning to pursue his goal of creating a national organization dedicated to confronting the homosexual activist agenda.
Smith, 37, has served as Senior Policy Analyst at the Institute since coming on board in March 2004, and is leading the push for a statewide Marriage Protection Referendum in Illinois. He gained national respect as a decency advocate after filing 70 FCC complaints against Chicago shock-jock Eric "Mancow" Muller, resulting in a $300,000 fine against Mancow's parent company, Emmis Communications Corporation.
"It is a great honor to be chosen to lead Illinois Family Institute," Smith said. "I will do my best to defend marriage, life, and decency for the families of this state against the determined efforts of liberal groups to disqualify Biblically- informed thought and action." LaBarbera, 44, who joined IFI in September 2003, is recognized as a leading opponent of the "gay" movement. Under his tenure, IFI's visibility and grassroots network grew tremendously. In the weeks leading up to the November election, he will stay on at IFI as an advisor to help with the transition. LaBarbera's group, Americans for Truth, will be based in Naperville, Illinois.
"One of the best decisions I made at Illinois Family Institute was hiring Dave Smith, a godly man who works harder than anyone I have ever met for the pro-family and pro-life cause," LaBarbera said. "I share Dave's vision for a broad-based family movement that crosses racial and denominational lines, and am confident that IFI will prosper and grow under his leadership.
"It has been a privilege to serve IFI and the hundreds of thousands of Illinois families it represents who yearn for a more just society that protects innocent unborn life and the God- ordained family," LaBarbera said. "I am thankful to IFI's Board of Directors for this opportunity, and will continue to support the Institute's work, which is needed now more than ever."
Said Smith: "For the past two years, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Peter LaBarbera. I will miss him and the passion he brought each and every day to the office. Yet I fully understand his desire to counter the powerful and well-funded homosexual lobby," Smith said. "I have learned many important lessons from Peter, and plan to continue to work with him and Americans for Truth here in Illinois. I wish him and AFT success in the battle for truth."
An alumnus of the Family Research Council's Witherspoon Fellowship, Dave graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1998. Smith, who has lived in Chicago his entire life, and his wife of 11 years are the parents of three young children.
IFI is a non-partisan, non-profit public policy group that works to protect marriage, family and the sanctity of life in the Land of Lincoln.