Homosexual agenda (or gay agenda) is a pejorative term introduced by some conservative Christians in the United States as a disparaging way to describe the advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships. The term refers to efforts to change government policies and laws on LGBT rights-related issues. Additionally, it has also been used by some social conservatives and others to describe alleged goals of LGBT rights activists, such as recruiting heterosexuals into what they term a "homosexual lifestyle".
Origins and usage
In the US, the phrase "the gay agenda" was first used in public discourse in 1992 when the Family Research Council, an American conservative Christian group, released a video series called The Gay Agenda as part of a pack of materials campaigning on homosexual issues and the "hidden gay agenda". In the same year the Oregon Citizens Alliance used this video as part of their campaign for Ballot Measure 9 to amend the Oregon Constitution to prevent what the OCA called special rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals.
Paul Cameron — co-founder of the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality in Lincoln, later renamed the Family Research Institute — appeared in the video, wherein he asserted that 75 percent of gay men regularly ingest feces and that 70-78 percent have had a sexually transmitted disease. The Gay Agenda was followed by three other video publications; The Gay Agenda in Public Education (1993), The Gay Agenda: March on Washington (1993) and a feature follow-up Stonewall: 25 Years of Deception (1994). The videos contained interviews with opponents of LGBT rights, and the series was made available through Christian right organizations.
Contemporary usage and meaning
The term is applied to efforts to change government policies and laws on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues, for example, same-sex marriage and civil unions, LGBT adoption, recognizing sexual orientation as a protected civil rights minority classification, LGBT military participation, inclusion of LGBT history and themes in public education, introduction of anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBT minors - as well as non-governmental campaigns and individual actions that increase visibility and cultural acceptance of LGBT people, relationships, and identities. The term has also been used by some social conservatives to describe alleged goals of LGBT rights activists; like recruiting heterosexuals into what they term a 'homosexual lifestyle'.
The idea of a homosexual agenda is also used by some Christian critics of LGBT rights in conjunction with a putative ideology they refer to as homosexualism (as opposed to a synonym for homosexuality), using homosexualists to describe people who seek to advance LGBT emancipation. The use of homosexualist in this way first appeared in 1995 in Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams' book The Pink Swastika, "to refer to any person, homosexual or not, who actively promotes homosexuality as morally and socially equivalent to heterosexuality as a basis for social policy". Lively and Abrahams argue that alleged homosexuality found in the Nazi Party, specifically within Ernst Röhm's SA, contributed to the extreme militarism of Nazi Germany, and write about the "gay agenda" in this context.
After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90s
It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called After the Ball, where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior — in a decade-long time frame.... They admit it privately, but they will not say that publicly. In their private publications, homosexual activists make it very clear that there is an agenda. The six-point agenda that they laid out in 1989 was explicit:
- Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible(...)
- Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers(...)
- Give homosexual protectors a just cause(...)
- Make gays look good(...)
- Make the victimizers look bad(...)
- Get funds from corporate America(...)
After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the '90s is a book published in 1989 by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. It argues that after the gay liberation phase of the 1970s and 1980s, gay rights groups should adopt more professional public relations techniques to convey their message. It was published by Doubleday and was generally available.
According to a Christian Broadcasting Network article by Paul Strand, Sears and Osten argue that After the Ball follows from "a 1988 summit of gay leaders in Warrenton, Virginia, who came together to agree on the agenda" and that "the two men (Kirk and Madsen) proposed using tactics on 'straight' America that are remarkably similar to the brainwashing methods of Mao Tse-Tung's Communist Chinese – mixed with Madison Avenue's most persuasive selling techniques." The article goes on to claim that films such as Brokeback Mountain are part of this "well-planned propaganda campaign".
- In 2003, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas that
|“||Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct."||”|
- In 2004, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn rated the "gay agenda" as a more pressing danger than any terrorist activity affecting Americans.[n 1]
- In 2005, James Dobson, director of Focus on the Family, described the homosexual agenda as follows:
|“||Those goals include universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of scriptures that condemn homosexuality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies."||”|
- In 2010, American conservative Christian group Family Research Council produced a graphic labelled "Homosexual Agenda" which consisted of the phrases "Innocence", "Family", "Local Community", "Public Health" and "Parental Authority" struck out with red lines.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) describes the term as a "rhetorical invention of anti-gay extremists seeking to create a climate of fear by portraying the pursuit of civil rights for LGBT people as sinister", and commentators have remarked on a lack of realism and veracity to the idea of a gay agenda per se. Such campaigns based on a presumed "gay agenda" have been described as anti-gay propaganda by researchers and critics. GLAAD describes the association of homosexuality with pedophilia or child abuse as an attempt to "insinuate that lesbians and gay men pose a threat to society, to families, and to children in particular." GLAAD considers assertions linking pedophilia and homosexuality to be defamatory, damaging and entirely inaccurate. Some writers have described the term as pejorative.
to be protected against violent crimes driven by bigotry, it's to be able to get married, it's to be able to get a job, and it's to be able to fight for our country. For those who are worried about the radical homosexual agenda, let me put them on notice. Two down, two to go.
A satirical article by Michael Swift which appeared in the Gay Community News in February 1987 entitled "Gay Revolutionary" describes a scenario in which homosexual men dominate American society and suppress all things heterosexual. This was reprinted in Congressional Record without the opening line: "This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor."
The term is sometimes used satirically as a counterfoil by people who would normally find this term offensive, such as the spoof agenda found on the Betty Bowers satirical website, and when Bishop Gene Robinson declared that "Jesus is the agenda, the homosexual agenda in the Episcopal Church". On an episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart defined the gay agenda as "gay marriage, civil rights protection, Fleet Week expanded to Fleet Year, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance for when it's raining men, Kathy Griffin to host everything and a nationwide ban on pleated pants."
- Moulitsas, Markos (May 5, 2005). "Kissing the tarantula: US blogger Markos Moulitsas marvels at the Tories’ attempts to woo the gay vote, in stark contrast to the stance of US conservatives". The Guardian.
To the newly elected Republican senator from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn, the "gay agenda" is a more pressing danger than terrorists flying planes into buildings and killing allied troops in Iraq. "The gay community has infiltrated the very centres of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power ... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today," he said during the 2004 campaign. "Why do you think we see the rationalisation for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."
- Hate Group: ‘Homosexual Activists’ Try To ‘Confuse Children’ To ‘Build Their Numbers’ Think Progress July 9, 2012.
- Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist
- Bryan Fischer Slams Gay Rights, Abortion And Environmentalism As 'The Work Of Satan Himself'
- Caiden Cowger, Conservative Teen Radio Host, Slams President Obama For "Making Kids Gay"
- Anti-gay Maryland legislator, Emmett Burns, moves again to cut off recognition of out-of-state gay marriages
- Yeh, Becky (June 16, 2011). "'Gay' indoctrination a reality". OneNewsNow. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- Laurie Goodstein (October 26, 2008). "A Line in the Sand for Same-Sex Marriage Foes". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
- Herman, Didi (1998). "The Anti-Gay Agenda: Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right".
- Signorile, Michelangelo (1993). "Queer In America".
- (Herman 1998, p. 78)
- (Herman 1998, pp. 80–81)
- Understanding the Homosexual Agenda, The Christian Post, Sept 23 2008
- Obama Renews His Commitment to the Full Homosexualist Agenda, Anglican Mainstream, August 18 2009
- The Pink Swastika, "A Word to the Reader", Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams, 3rd edition, 1998
- (Kirk & Madsen 1989)
- Osten, Craig (2003). "Q&A: The Homosexual Agenda", Focus on the Family Action, archived copy at the Internet Archive
- Paul Strand, Homosexual Agenda Pushed in Movies Like Brokeback Mountain, CBN
- (Cobb 2006, p. 161)
- Dobson, Dr. James (2005). "Marriage Under Fire".
- "Washington Update". Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- "GLAAD Media Reference Guide: Offensive Terms to Avoid". GLAAD.
- Bouley II, Charles Karel (2005). "The gay agenda revealed!". The Advocate. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Sa'at, Alfian (March 10, 2007). "Iced Bandung – What Is The Gay Agenda?". Trevvy.com. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
- Duberman, Martin B. (1997). A queer world: the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies reader. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-1875-9.
- Mason, Gail; Tomsen, Stephen (1997). Homophobic violence. Hawkins Press. ISBN 978-1-876067-04-5.
- F. Earle Fox; David W. Virtue (July 1, 2002). Homosexuality: Good and Right in the Eyes of God?. Emmaus Ministries. pp. 269–. ISBN 978-0-945778-01-1. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
- "Barney Frank Reveals Gay Agenda". The Advocate. 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- "The Myth Of The Gay Agenda".
- "14th amendment".
- Fordham University: Michael Swift – Gay Revolutionary (the complete essay)
- The Homosexual Agenda
- Bishop Gene Robinson, Jesus is the Homosexual Agenda, address to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, June 14th 2006
- "The "homosexual agenda, is Jesus, the Jesus I know who communicates God's unwavering love for me", Church need not be afraid, New Hampshire bishop tells Putney gathering, Episcopal Life, July 13th 2008
- Lyle Masaki. "Jon Stewart spells out the gay agenda". Retrieved October 14, 2009.
- Cobb, Michael L. (2006). God hates fags: the rhetorics of religious violence (annotated ed.). NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-1668-7.
- Herman, Didi (1998). The Antigay Agenda: Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-32765-5.
- Kirk, Marshall; Madsen, Hunter (1989). After the ball : how America will conquer its fear and hatred of gays in the '90s. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-23906-6.
- Signorile, Michelangelo (1993). Queer in America : sex, the media, and the closets of power. Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-41309-7.
- Warner, Michael (1993). Fear of a queer planet : queer politics and social theory. Social Text Collective; University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-2333-4.
- GayAgenda website
- "The 1972 Gay Rights Platform Platform created at the National Coalition of Gay Organizations Convention held in Chicago in 1972". rslevinson. Retrieved June 28, 2009. (Historical text cited by social conservatives as evidence of a "gay agenda")