What anti-LGBT activists say "off the record"

A listserv for leaders in the "ex-gay" movement provides a revealing look at how anti-LGBT activists really talk

Published May 2, 2013 4:12PM (EDT)

Robert Gagnon      (Zack Ford via Think Progress)
Robert Gagnon (Zack Ford via Think Progress)

This story has been corrected since it was originally published.

Anti-gay rights organizations like the National Organization for Marriage tend to rely on prepared statements about "family values" and "traditional marriage" to justify their opposition to full LGBT equality, but a recent look at a listserv for Christian activists in the "ex-gay" movement reveals how candid they become once off the record.

Alan Chambers of Exodus International is trying to sanitize his organization's reputation by softening its rhetoric about "curing" gay people, and wants to see others in the movement do the same. Chambers recently invited writer and gay rights activist Jeremy Hooper to join a listserv of 70 socially conservative activists in an effort to expose the violent rhetoric circulating among others in the anti-LGBT equality movement.

As reported by Hooper and ThinkProgress, listserv member Doug McBurney didn't react well to Hooper's presence on the list:

Jeremy, Your utter rebellion against your creator, and your efforts to encourage others to join in your rebellion are sins and crimes of the highest order.

If you call yourself a Christian, you are twice the son of Hell. [...]

Repent Jeremy, you have perverted God’s straight ways! Repent or you shall receive the penalty due. Repent or face the judgment for the little ones you lead into your sin!

Neither did Robert Gagnon, anti-gay rights activist, professor and friend of NOM:

Bestiality is an even more unnatural form of sexual practice since it is cross-species. Adult-consensual incest is also a particularly perverse form of sexual practice since it involves sex with someone who is too much of a familial same. But Scripture treats homosexual practice as even more severely unnatural because the male-female requirement for sexual relations is foundational for all that follows (so Genesis and Jesus) and because sex or gender is a more constituent feature of sexual behavior than kinship. [...]

So, technically, those who willfully engage in unrepentant homosexual practice could be labelled “perverts.”

I also believe (and this is just basic common sense) that having homosexual males as boy scout leaders is as stupid as having heterosexual males as girl scout leaders. It is a recipe for sexual abuse.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Anti-lgbt Bigots Ex-gay Movement Gay Rights Lgbt Rights