Iconic entertainer Bob Newhart is scheduled to headline a conference of anti-gay Catholic extremists next year, according to a report by GLAAD Special Projects Consultant Jeremy Hooper.
The conference, which will take place February 6-8 in Orlando, Florida, is being organized by Legatus, a far-right group "designed exclusively for top-ranking Catholic business leaders and their spouses." Newhart is appearing alongside noted homophobes like Philadelphia Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bill "Gay Dogs Get Special Treatment" Donohue, and Rick "Man-on-Dog" Santorum. (Seriously, what is it with these dudes and gay dogs?)
Hooper notes that Legatus, which calls Newhart a "legendary Catholic," strongly opposes and routinely smears marriage equality and has ties to discredited and dangerous "ex-gay" therapy. The group also enthusiastically endorses Courage, a Catholic "ministry" that uses a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous to encourage people struggling with "same-sex attractions" to suppress their sexuality and live totally celibate lives. Legatus was founded by the infamously nutty Tom Monaghan, an Opus Dei devotee who also founded Domino's Pizza.
GLAAD is reportedly reaching out to Newhart's representatives in the hopes that he signed onto the Legatus summit without knowing the depth of their anti-LGBT bigotry. If he refuses to step aside after learning the facts about these extremists, he'll be effectively endorsing their homophobic views and alienating millions of his pro-equality fans -- including Catholics -- across the country.