Slogans of anti-gay ideology

Anti-gay slogans or anti-LGBT slogans are themes, catchphrases, and slogans traditionally used to condemn or disparage homosexuality. They often work together to create an anti-gay ideology.

These slogans, along with Biblical prohibitions, have a long history, with some dating back at least as far as Classical Greece 2500 years ago. They range from the demeaning and pejorative to those expressing negativity on religious, medical, or moral grounds. The slogans listed here are not just terms of invective (for example, faggot) but they represent arguments that are commonly used to convey opposition to homosexuality. They reflect the spectrum of opinion among those who oppose homosexuality and full LGBT acceptance in society.

Themes

Some concepts and arguments against same-sex desire and practices have been evident over the centuries, though the importance of specific arguments has varied from culture to culture. For example, preoccupation with child abuse is a largely modern concern, and the importance of Biblical arguments rises and falls along with the influence of Judeo-Christian beliefs.

Declaration that same-sex desire is unnatural

This particular charge dates back to Plato, who argued in the Laws I 636c and VIII 841d that homosexual sex was "against nature" (para phusin). This argument was echoed in the writings of Paul of Tarsus, in a claim to the same effect in the Epistle to the Romans. In recent times the discussion has been framed in psychiatric rather than philosophical terms, with the claim that it is a sexual perversion.

Though the psychiatric establishment once medicalized same-sex desire, homosexuality was later removed as a mental disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) because the diagnosis of homosexuality as mental illness stigmatized homosexuals. There has been significant controversy over this DSM argument. However, according to another rebuttal of this argument, held by, among others, The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, there are some behaviors exhibited by many animals that most would consider unnatural in humans, such as cannibalism. The counter argument to this claim is that it confuses "unnatural" with "wrong," and that this is therefore simply a restatement of the claim that homosexuality is morally wrong (like cannibalism), not unnatural. These issues are complicated by the polysemous character of the terms "natural" and "unnatural" which can be used in many equivocal ways.

Conflation with child abuse

This is an accusation which predates the current era, as it was leveled against pederasts even during Antiquity. More recently, this charge has been phrased as "homosexual recruitment", implying that homosexuals are somehow predatory toward children, or are "recruiting" in secret. A common slogan is "Homosexuals cannot reproduce — so they must recruit" or its variants. One such example of a similar charge and its underlying argument, offered by the Family Research Council can be found here.

In The Advocate's website, advocate.com, interview on his 2000 work, Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in 20th-Century American Art, Richard Meyer discusses this line of attack:

Anti-gay groups have often argued that homosexual men are more likely to be sexual abusers than heterosexuals, on the grounds that ? of abusers target boys rather than girls. This is far in excess of the proportion of gay men in the population. It is thus argued that gay men are disproportionately likely to offend. However, this argument depends on the equation of male-male paedophilia with homosexual orientation. According to child abuse specialist Nicholas Groth this is not the case,

Dissipation of vital force

This argument has been phrased since antiquity in agricultural terms, as "casting one's seed on sterile rocks." There was a recognized need for producing more children, generally to keep society going through the traditions of the family and farming. The concern was that more non-procreative sex would "ruin" the participants, reduce society's growth, and perhaps even contribute to social collapse.

Association with effeminacy in men, and masculinity in women

This accusation seems to be based on the generalization that all those who engage in same-sex relations are also gender variant, a contention which is not sustained by research in the field.

Homosexuality as a sin

A number of Christians interpret Biblical texts to imply that same-sex sexual intercourse is sinful. Many mainline churches are very divided over the issue of same-sex marriage and religious blessing of same sex unions where they can bless same-sex love but not same-sex sex acts. These individuals and congregations believe that such sexual acts as anal and or oral sex are forms of sexual immorality that should be advised against. One slogan is the commonly used phrase "love the sinner and not the sin." Other congregations, including the Metropolitan Community Churches, commonly affirm homosexuality and believe that neither homosexuality or homosexual sex acts are a sin. Some conservative churches reject the idea of a homosexual orientation and view homosexuality as being an urge towards sinful homosexual behavior and thus something everyone may experience from time to time. Many slogans, including some listed in the next section, have been used by religious opponents of homosexuality, particularly by Rev. Fred Phelps, founder of the website godhatesfags.com and Westboro Baptist Church. These controversial slogans have included "God Hates Fags", "Fear God Not Fags", and "Matthew Shepard Burns In Hell". Another slogan is "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve".

Because of the classification as sinful, homosexual acts have been blamed for "bringing down the wrath of God" upon the land, including for the periodic epidemics of disease which decimated the population. This "pollution" was thought to be cleansed by fire (modelled after the Biblical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah), as a result of which some individuals were burned at the stake.

A modern example of this type of thinking was shown by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who blamed homosexuals (among others) for indirectly causing the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. On the broadcast of the Christian television program The 700 Club, Falwell made the following statement (for which he later apologized):

I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'

AIDS as a gay disease

A common theme of anti-gay slogans is that AIDS is a "gay disease". One example is the slogan "AIDS Kills Fags Dead", a parody of the advertising slogan "Raid: Kills Bugs Dead", the tagline used in television advertising for the SC Johnson insecticide. It thus identifies gay men with vermin fit for extermination.

The slogan appeared during the early years of AIDS in the United States, when the disease was mainly diagnosed among male homosexuals and was almost invariably fatal. The slogan caught on quickly as a catchy truism, a chant, or simply something written as graffiti. It is reported that the slogan first appeared in public in the early 1990s, when Sebastian Bach, lead singer of the heavy metal band Skid Row, wore it on a t-shirt. A variant of this is "AIDS cures fags", a role reversal which makes homosexuality the disease and the inevitable death from AIDS the "cure".

The phrase has been used by religious opponents of homosexuality. It was for example seen in 1998 at the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a victim of anti-gay violence, when Phelps and his followers chanted it in front of the gathering.

Data from a 2005 study by the Center for Disease Control showed that among male adults in the United States, MSM (men who have sex with men) accounted for "71% of all HIV infections among male adults and adolescents in 2005." The study also said that "MSM made up more than two thirds (68%) of all men living with HIV in 2005, even though only about 5% to 7% of men in the United States reported having sex with other men."

A 2001 UN study on the epidemic is supposed to have found that "more than 80 percent of all adult HIV infections have resulted from heterosexual intercourse," but this source is no longer verifiable.

See also

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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