Why Are Conservatives So Freaked Out by Gays?
The push in Arizona to legalize discrimination didn’t come out of nowhere. It was a response to the imaginary belief in the “homosexual agenda” of “total domination.”
Some on the right are really freaked out by gays. In fact, some don’t even want to do business with them. You really need to have some serious issues with gay people to say “no” to their money in this challenging economy.
Why is fear mongering against the LGBT community part of the conservative platform? True, Arizona governor Jan Brewer just vetoed a bill that would’ve in essence legally sanctioned discrimination against members of the gay community, but still 13 other states are or have recently considered similar laws.
People like Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, and Tucker Carlson all publicly support the proposed Arizona law, with Carlson calling it necessary to prevent “fascism.” Tea Party Nation President Judson Phillips even said that without this law, Christians could be forced to bake wedding cakes in the shape of a giant penis.
Then there are the influential conservative “Christian” groups who have long demonized gays, such as Bryan Fischer at the American Family Association (AFA) who said the “homosexual agenda” is “the greatest immediate threat to every freedom and right that is enshrined in the First Amendment.” Even the Republican Party’s 2012 platform made it seem like the end of days were approaching with their description of gay marriage as “an assault on the foundations of our society.” [http://www.gop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/2012GOPPlatform.pdf]
Is there really a nefarious “homosexual agenda”? Could it be that gay people personally did something to piss off the right?
Being neither gay nor a conservative, I wanted to figure out what’s up. So, I employed a two-prong approach: First, ask conservatives: What’s your problem with gays? Second, ask gay people to reveal their “homosexual agenda” and find out what the hell they are doing that scares the right so much?
I began by reaching out the conservative groups like AFA, The Family Research Council (FRC), and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is the organization that championed the Arizona anti-gay bill.
Not all responded, but the AFA’s former general manager, Dr. Buster Wilson, responded via email in his personal capacity. Wilson explained the “homosexual agenda” in this light: “Simple ‘equality’ is not the goal of the gay activists. They want total domination in some cases…not just ‘accept them’ but to bow to them and their wants.“
I also heard from a spokesperson for the FRC who forwarded me its organization’s pamphlet, “The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality.” This pamphlet makes it clear that some at the FRC are truly obsessed with gays, it’s an almost a stalker-esque fixation with comments about the alleged dating and even sexual habits of gays.
I connected with a conservative Republican political strategist who wanted to remain anonymous. He explained that conservative Christians are not just opposed to homosexuality, but to all sins, like adultery and gluttony. However, he commented that adulterers aren’t having parades in the streets nor are they seeking legal protection to commit their sins.
Okay, let’s turn to the LGBT community. First, they all denied doing anything personally to piss off conservatives. But each offered their own theory for the right’s fear and loathing.
Ross Murray, GLAAD’s Director of News, said that some conservatives are angry because they erroneously view freedom as a “zero-sum game,” meaning that if LGBT community achieves equal treatment under the law, they will lose it. Murray explained that while many in the LGBT community no longer have to hide for fear of losing, “our jobs, our family, and all of our resources,” they are still subject to violent attacks and, “gay people can still be fired from their jobs in 29 states, and transgender people can be in 33.”
Comedian Sabrina Jalees, in a moment of brutal candor, revealed a bit of the homosexual agenda: “You should see what we've got planned once we get our equal rights. We're gonna go ahead and keep living. Almost exactly the same was heterosexuals do, just with better clothes.”
Daily Beast columnist and CNN contributor Sally Kohn responded: "Apparently, fairness and equality just piss some people off…I'm not going to say that all the extremist homophobes are really just jealous. So I won't say it. But..."
Comedian Judy Gold was puzzled by the right’s anger considering: “They listen to our music and radio shows, watch our films…buy our clothes and jewelry, let us style their hair…and design their homes and offices.”
Jim David, also a comedian, responded succinctly: “People who aren't having any good sex are seriously threatened by those who are.”
I also reached out to a person who straddles the two communities, Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans. Angelo believes that only a small vocal portion of the right truly has issues with gays. He was optimistic that many Republicans views of the LGBT community were evolving for the better, especially millennials.
However, the most alarming response was from a friend who works for a non-profit organization. He wouldn’t permit me to include his name in this article because a big part of his employer’s funding comes from a Christian organization and he fears being fired if they discover he’s gay.
So what’s my conclusion? Clearly some, not all, on the right are angry, afraid or simply freaked out by gay people. They fear that the LGBT community, which is a small percentage of our population, will one day dominate America.
The LGBT community, on the other hand, simply seeks equal rights under the law. They want to be judged on their work, not fired for their sexual orientation.
Who will win? Well, if our history of evolving on issues of race and religion is any guide, the LGBT community will prevail. It will take time and effort, but I predict confidently they will overcome, and that’s a good thing for our nation.