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Anti-LGBT religious demonstration (Seattle, United States)
Anti-LGBT slogans or anti-gay slogans are themes, catchphrases, and slogans traditionally used to condemn or disparage homosexuality, stemming from an anti-gay ideology.

These slogans 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 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.


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 "out of nature" (para phusin).

In actuality, however, the above is a mistranslation. (Para) is translated as "along the side of", "beside" or more liberally "with", and (para phusin) meaning "with nature" or "alongside nature". Also, the quote is taken from a passage predominantly about promiscuity, abstinence and lawful behavior, not homosexuality. It can even be argued that Plato references the widely accepted practice of older men courting younger boys for mutual benefit in sexual relationship (the younger gaining political power and the older a lover), but only in the sense that such nepotism is unlawful; not the form of sexuality. In this and surrounding passages, sex outside of marriage is decried, regardless of the sex of the partner.

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.

A modern Christian slogan expressing this view is "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve".

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.In The Advocate's website,, 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 the fact that more homosexual men are sexual abusers than heterosexuals, on the grounds that ⅓ of abusers target boys rather than girls. This is far in excess of the proportion of gay men in the population. It is thus falsely argued that gay men are disproportionately likely to offend. However, this argument depends on the equation of male-male pedophilia with homosexual orientation. According to child abuse specialist Nicholas Groth this is not the case,

Homosexual sex acts as sin

Many religions consider homosexual acts to be inherently sinful. Especially, 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 and Westboro Baptist Church. These controversial slogans have included "God Hates Fags", "Fear God Not Fags", and "Matthew Shepard Burns In Hell".

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 Yorkmarker and Washington, D.C.marker 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

Anti-gay flag

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, unwittingly wore it on a t-shirt thrown to him by an audience member. 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 Fred 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 (72%) 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."

The proportion of HIV cases that can be attributed to the result of homosexual relations varies according to geography. In Russia, among newly registered HIV cases in 2006 where the mode of transmission was known, about one half was due to heterosexual intercourse, and this proportion has been steadily increasing . Almost 60% of cases were attributed to unsafe sex between men.EuroHIV (2007). HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe: end-year report 2006, No 76. Saint-Maurice, Institut de Veille Sanitaire. Available at In the Caribbean, it is estimated that only about 40% of reported HIV cases are the result of unsafe sex between men. About 53% of newly diagnosed HIV infections in the United States, in 2005, were among men who have sex with men. The largest proportion of new HIV infection in Canada, in 2002, was accounted for by unprotected sex between men, whereas in Western Europe the highest proportion was accounted for by heterosexual intercourse .

See also


  1. American Psychological Association: Sexuality
  2. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property. "Defending a Higher Law". [1], page 89
  3. The Liberarian Party of Virginia, Opponents of same-sex marriage use flawed arguments, by Michael Hugman
  4. Skeptic's dictionary, "Natural"
  5. Lucian. Erotes
  6. Timothy J. Dailey, Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse
  7. MCC. "MCC's International Statement on Marriage Equality" Metropolitan Community Church. [2]
  8. Dunn, Katia. "What If God Were Gay?". Portland Mercury
  9. CNN report of Falwell's speech
  10. Michael Musto. "La Dolce Musto", village voice, 2000.,musto,15284,15.html
  11. [3], CDC: HIV/AIDS among Men Who Have Sex with Men. Revised June 2007
  12. [4], HIV/AIDS and Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
  13. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organization (WHO). AIDS epidemic update: December 2007.
  14. Ladnaya NN (2007). The national HIV and AIDS epidemic and HIV surveillance in the Russian Federation. Presentation to “Mapping the AIDS Pandemic” meeting. 30 June. Moscow.
  15. Caribbean Commission on Health and Development (2005). Report of the Caribbean Commission on Health and Development for the 26th Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government: Overview. 3–6 July. Saint Lucia. Available at
  16. Inciardi JA, Syvertsen JL, Surratt HL (2005). HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean Basin. AIDS Care, 17(Suppl. 1):S9–S25.
  17. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and World Health Organization (WHO). AIDS epidemic update: December 2007, page 39.
  18. Public Health Agency of Canada (2006). HIV and AIDS in Canada: surveillance report to June 30, 2006. Ottawa. Available at

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