NOM’s Ruth Institute Peddles Conspiracy Theories About “Gay Agenda”
July 25, 2012 10:27 am ET by Carlos Maza
On Monday, the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Ruth Institute attempted to debunk the “Leftist myth” that there’s really no such thing as the “gay agenda” by citing a 25-year-old document most gay people have probably never heard of.
In a July 23 tweet, the Ruth Institute wrote:
The tweet linked to a document titled “The Overhauling Of Straight America,” written in 1987 by gay activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (who used the pen name “Erastes Pill”). It outlines a six-point plan to increase gay visibility in mainstream America and convince the public to support equal treatment for LGBT people, including:
- “TALK ABOUT GAYS AND GAYNESS AS LOUDLY AND AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE”
- “PORTRAY GAYS AS VICTIMS, NOT AS AGGRESSIVE CHALLENGERS”
- “GIVE PROTECTORS A JUST CAUSE”
- “MAKE GAYS LOOK GOOD”
- “MAKE THE VICTIMIZERS LOOK BAD”
- “SOLICIT FUNDS”
It’s a stretch to describe the document – which, again, was published a quarter of a century ago – as evidence of some kind of sinister gay agenda. It’s unlikely that most LGBT people have even heard of it, and searching for the document online almost exclusively produces results from fringe, anti-gay websites.
Still, NOM’s fearmongering over the document is notable for two reasons:
1. The “Gay Agenda” Is Actually Pretty Tame. While Kirk and Madsen’s blueprint for gay equality is candid in terms of discussing strategy, it doesn’t exactly reveal some sinister gay plot to overthrow the country. The document’s authors admit that the goal of their strategy is to simply “change the way the average citizens view homosexuality” by dispelling negative ideas about gay people ushered in by anti-gay conservatives and the AIDS crisis. The mere thought of encouraging people to “view homosexuality with indifference” rather than animosity, as the document states, is enough to make the Ruth Institute “paranoid.”
2. Fearmongering About The “Gay Agenda” Is A Typical Hate Group Talking Point. The Ruth Institute isn’t the first anti-gay group to use the Kirk and Madsen document to warn about the “gay agenda.” In fact, anti-gay hate groups have been citing the document for years:
- Traditional Values Coalition has described the document as a must-read “for anyone who wants to understand how our culture is being homosexualized by a well-funded, deceitful, and determined minority of activists,” adding that the gay community has pulled off a “masterful propaganda/marketing campaign that rivals that of Adolf Hitler.”
- MassResistance has called the document “a ‘bible’ of the homosexual movement,” describing it as evidence of a “widespread propaganda campaign to confuse and deceive the American people.”
- Americans for Truth About Homosexuality has called the document a “marketing blueprint” for how the gay community would “successfully ‘market’ homosexuality to the American public.”
The document is also referenced on countless other fringe and anti-gay websites, with the overwhelming majority claiming that the gay community is to blame for brainwashing the American public on the issue of homosexuality.
It’s worth mentioning that same-sex marriage isn’t mentioned even once in the article. For these anti-gay groups – as well for the Ruth Institute – it’s not the just the prospect of marriage equality that makes the “gay agenda” so scary; it’s the possibility that homosexuality will be treated as acceptable, normal, and deserving of respect.