Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples is considered by conservatives to be part of the "Homosexual agenda"

"Homosexual agenda" (or "gay agenda") is a term used by social conservatives primarily in the United States, referring to advocacy of cultural acceptance and normalization of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships. Efforts referred to by the term include changing government policies regarding LGBT issues — such as same-sex marriage, LGBT adoption, anti-discrimination laws, inclusion of LGBT people in the military, and inclusion of LGBT history and issues in public education — as well as non-governmental campaigns and individual actions to increase visibility and cultural acceptance of LGBT people, relationships, and identities. Some believe this agenda is a secret one.[1]

Use of the term

The term "the gay agenda" was first used for political purposes in 1992 when the Family Research Council published a video series called The Gay Agenda as part of a pack of materials campaigning on homosexual issues and the "hidden gay agenda".[2] 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.[3] Paul Cameron (co-founder of the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality in Lincoln, later to be renamed the Family Research Institute) appeared as an expert in The Gay Agenda video, his claims including that 75 percent of gay men regularly ingest fecal material and that 70-78 percent have had a sexually transmitted disease.[4] 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). All these videos contain interviews with anti-gay experts, and the series is widely available through Christian right organizations.[5]

The similar phrase "homosexual agenda" appears in many forums from political commentary to talk radio, and even once in 2003 by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in his dissent in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas that the "law-profession culture... 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."[6][7]

In 2005, James Dobson, director of Focus on the Family, a Christian non-profit organization based in the United States, and a social Christian conservative commentator in American popular media, 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.[8]

The term is sometimes used satirically or sarcastically by those who might normally be offended by a serious reference to this term.[9][10]

After the Ball

In 2003 Alan Sears and Craig Osten, president and vice-president of the Alliance Defense Fund, an American conservative Christian non-profit organization, offered another characterization:

It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called After the Ball,[11] 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.[1]

After the Ball[11] is a book published in 1989 by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. It argues that after the "gay liberation" phase of the '70s and '80s, gay rights groups should adopt more professional public relations techniques to convey their message. It was not a "private publication", but was publicly available, having been published by Doubleday, one of the largest publishers in the world.

According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, 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."[12] The article goes on to claim that films such as Brokeback Mountain are part of this "well-planned propaganda campaign".

Opposition to the term's use

Groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), an American non-profit organization, deny the existence of any secret agenda. They state that their major goal is to end discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations and to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. These groups describe 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".[13] Some members of the LGBT community consider their political goals to be too heterogeneous to be grouped together into one single agenda.[14]

Michael Swift's essay

Some commentators allege a more radical "homosexual agenda", quoting a satirical article authored by Michael Swift which first appeared in the Gay Community News in February 1987. Originally titled "Gay Revolutionary", the article describes a scenario in which homosexual men dominate American society and suppress all things heterosexual.[15] The article was reprinted in Congressional Record without an opening disclaimer in which the author states that the essay is intended as "outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor", suggesting it is a satirical piece of literary hyperbole, and is not intended by its author to be taken literally.[16]

Nonetheless, the essay has been repeatedly cited by the Religious Right and others who describe themselves as socially conservative or philosophically traditional in their world view, as evidence that some (or most) members of the gay community seek to dominate and destroy traditional American family values.[17]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Osten, Craig (2003). "Q&A: The Homosexual Agenda"
  2. (Herman 1997) page 67
  3. (Signorile 1993) page 337-339
  4. (Herman 1997) page 78
  5. (Herman 1997) page 80-81
  6. Scalia, Antonin (2003). "John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner, petitioners v. Texas". FindLaw: Lawrence et al. v. Texas (June 2003).
  7. (Cobb, 2006) page 161
  8. Dobson, Dr. James (2005). "Marriage Under Fire".
  9. The Homosexual Agenda
  10. Bishop Gene Robinson, addressing the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on 14 June 2006, for example, declared that "Jesus is the homosexual agenda in the Episcopal Church".
  11. 11.0 11.1 (Kirk 1989)
  12. Paul Strand, Homosexual Agenda Pushed in Movies Like Brokeback Mountain, CBN
  13. Offensive Terminology to Avoid. GLAAD.
  14. Bouley II, Charles Karel (2005). The gay agenda revealed!. Advocate. Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
  15. Fordham University: Michael Swift - Gay Revolutionary (the complete essay)
  16. Rainbow alliance, The Gay Agenda: How The Conservative Religious Right Created a Lie
  17. Cindy Patton: "Tremble, Heteroswine!" in (Warner 1993) p143-177


  • Cobb, Michael (2006). God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence. NYU Press, 208 pages. ISBN 0814716687. 
  • Herman, Didi (1997). The antigay agenda: orthodox vision and the Christian Right. University of Chicago Press, 242 pages. ISBN 0226327647. 
  • Kirk, Marshall; Hunter Madsen (1989). After the ball: how America will conquer its fear and hatred of gays in the '90s. Doubleday, 398 pages. ISBN 0312023723. 
  • Signorile, Michelangelo (1993). Queer in America: sex, the media, and the closets of power. Random House, 378 pages. ISBN 067941309X. 
  • Warner, Michael (1993). Fear of a queer planet: queer politics and social theory. University of Minnesota Press, 334 pages. ISBN 0816623341. 

External links

Gay texts cited as evidence of a "homosexual agenda"

Examples of "homosexual agenda" in pro-LGBT contexts

Examples of "homosexual agenda" in anti-LGBT contexts

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