Society

Controversial Men's Rights Conference in Detroit Sparks Death Threats

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Detroit hotel is asking organizers of a men’s rights conference to hire police officers after numerous death threats were made against their staff.

The Houston-based group A Voice for Men is having its first International Conference on Men’s Issues June 27 and 28 at the Hilton Doubletree Guest Suites Fort Shelby.

The group has made highly controversial claims, including the idea that men make up “the overwhelming majority of rape victims."

“We have received numerous calls and threats and are concerned for the safety and well-being of our employees, our guests and your attendees,” hotel officials wrote in a letter to Paul Elam, the group’s founder and publisher. “The threats have escalated to include death threats, physical violence against our staff and and other guests as well as damage to the property.”

Elam told the Detroit News that the group will spend $25,000 to hire seven off-duty police officers to run security at the event.

The conference will touch on topics like prejudice against men and feminist conspiracy, including what it sees as bias in the family court system. The group's website claims:

Women are the majority of perpetrators of child abuse.

Men are the overwhelming majority of rape victims.

Paternity fraud is rampant in the U.S.

Men are fully half of the victims of domestic violence (26% of intimate partner homicides), yet are denied service at most tax payer funded domestic violence shelters.

A Change.org petition to cancel the conference has more than 2,400 signatures.

“We’re not surprised there’s resistance,” Elam said of the threats. “We understand that a lot of our ideas are very new and take some time for people to comprehend. We expect backlash and resistance.

“What we didn’t expect is the lives of innocent people who work at the hotel and guests who are unrelated to our activities would be threatened. ... It’s a new low and it’s very disappointing,” he said.

Sources: Deadline Detroit, Detroit News