Odd twist: Controversial men’s rights conference in Detroit moves to suburban VFW hall

This VFW post is hosting the conference. Photo via VFW.
VFW Post 1146 Walter F. Bruce in St. Clair Shores. Photo via VFW.

In an odd turn of events, the organizers of a controversial men’s rights conference moved the event from a swanky downtown Detroit hotel to a suburban VFW hall.

A Voice for Men announced the change Wednesday evening, insisting the move was prompted by surging interest in the inaugural International Conference on Men’s Issues following protests and online skirmishes.

Conference supporters saturated social media and comment sections following the news, many of them taunting opponents with crude and inflammatory remarks, including one by the self-identified spokeswoman for the conference:

With just two weeks until the conference begins on June 26, the attendees’ lodging reservations at the Hilton DoubleTree were canceled. The event is now being held at VFW Post 1146 Walter F. Bruce in St. Clair Shores, at 28404 Jefferson Ave.

VFW Post 1146
VFW Post 1146

The hotel and Texas-based men’s rights group clashed over the costs of extra security and insurance after alleged threats were made by opponents of the conference.

A Voice for Men quickly raised $25,000 in donations – money it plans to still use, said the group’s founder Paul Elam.

“We will be hiring professional security to blanket the entire event, as well as the lodging facilities,” Elam said.

Organizers said they will announce new hotel options soon.

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The group has been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “women haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws and false rape accusations.”

Its followers claim they are oppressed by irrational feminists who hate men. The group also accuses women of exaggerating the frequency of rape and denounces “the institution of marriage as unsafe and unsuitable for modern men.”

When asked Wednesday what A Voice for Men planned to do with the security money, the conference spokeswoman quipped:

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.