Bryan Fischer of the Christian conservative American Family Association (AFA) sees a gay agenda in Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which encourages schoolchildren to eat lunch with someone they normally might not.

The 11-year-old program is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center and more than 2,500 schools participate.

In comments to The New York Times, Fischer said his group was encouraging parents to keep their children home from school on October 30.

In an e-mail to members, the AFA called the project “a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.”

Maureen Costello, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project, said she was surprised by the AFA's assertions.

“I was surprised that they completely lied about what Mix It Up Day is,” she said. “It was a cynical, fear-mongering tactic.”

The program, Costello explained, was about breaking up social cliques.

Fischer argued that anti-bullying efforts punish Christians.

“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Fischer said. “It's just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.”

Costello told the paper that about 200 schools have decided to opt out of the event.

(Related: Bryan Fischer: We cannot give one millimeter to the forces of homosexual activism.)