June 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

Men's rights group moves controversial conference from Detroit hotel to VFW hall

A controversial conference on men’s rights that was to be held at a downtown Detroit hotel has been moved to a nearby VFW hall.

The Hilton Doubletree Guest Suites Fort Shelby on West Lafayette was to host the A Voice for Men’s International Conference on Men’s Issues on June 27-28. But instead, the conference will move to the VFW Post 1146 Walter F Bruce at 28404 Jefferson Ave. following “disingenuous and quite insane backlash,” according to the group.

The group also cited venue space as a concern at the Doubletree.

“Because seating capacity was misrepresented to us at the previous venue, we were forced to plan for an overflow room where we would pipe in live events to a monitor at reduced ticket prices. With the change of venue, we will be able to accommodate all attendees in the same space at the same time.”

On its website, A Voice for Men bills itself as “Humanist Countertheory in the Age of Misandry” (a hatred of men).

Last week, the hotel informed conference organizers with the Houston-based group that they would need to hire police officers as security because of death threats. More than 2,000 people signed an online petition seeking to cancel the conference.

Shannon Donovan, the hotel’s general manager, and Bill Aprill, director of sales and marketing, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Speakers at the conference plan to address what they say is prejudice against men, “antifeminism” and corruption of family courts.

In 2012, the Southern Poverty Law Center called men’s rights groups like A Voice for Men “women haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws and false rape accusations.”

Group founder Paul Elam defended his group and blog in an article, claiming the law center has drifted toward “the persecution of individuals and groups from opposing mainstream political camps.”