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They Said What?

Below are some comments made by various people about homosexuals and homosexuality, presented here with no attempt to distinguish them as right or wrong, homophobic or tolerant, conservative or liberal, but as a guide to developing your own understanding.

"Those who disagree with any objective of homosexual advocates ... are perilously close to losing the right to even voice their concerns on this issue. All opposition to homosexuality or homosexual political objectives is routinely viewed now as 'homophobia,' and many would designate all such speech 'hate crime.'" Parents and Teachers for Responsible Schools, newsletter

"If you're gay or lesbian, it's a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex. The fact that you are intelligent, creative and valuable is all true. The error is in your inability to relate sexually intimately, in a loving way to a member of the opposite sex." Laura Schlessinger, Ph.D., talk-show host

"Gays and lesbians are NOT God's error as Schlessinger has claimed. Judaism believes that all people were created in the Divine Image.'" Rabbi Denise L. Eger

"God doesn't hate them because they're fags; they're fags because God hates them." The Rev. Fred Phelps,

"We must reach out with a clarion call. We must stand up and voice our opposition to violence and hateful words. We must be clear that the lives of gay people are worthy of respect, dignity and honor as those created in the very image of God." The Rev. Tom Cole, leader of an ex-gay ministry.

"The Bible tells us that the cause of homosexuality is sin. A person is not born a homosexual; he becomes one according to his sinful will. A person lets sin and the devil take control of his life." The Rev. Jerry Falwell

"How many lesbian or gay people do you know, Jerry? Have you invited closeted gay or lesbian members of your staff and congregation to tell you what it feels like to be ridiculed and condemned endlessly by their pastor? Have you invited closeted gay or lesbian students at Liberty or Liberty graduates to share the pain your endless attacks have caused them?" The Rev. Mel White, Falwell's former ghost-writer.

"I think that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, but the Bible also teaches that pride is a sin, jealousy is a sin, and hate is a sin, evil thoughts are a sin, and so I don't think that homosexuality should be chosen as the overwhelming sin that we are doing today." The Rev. Billy Graham

"We make (homosexuals) doubt that they are the children of God, and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy." Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

"There is no doubt that this act, which goes against the pure human nature created by Allah, by making men content with men and women with women, destroying families, adversely affecting the birth rate, causing the spread of killer diseases, harming the innocent when children are raped, and generally spreading corruption on earth, should be uprooted and stamped out." Sheikh Muhammad S. Al-Munajjid.

"We are each tested in this life, and we each carry our own burden. For us, that burden is homosexuality. We must learn to embrace what Allah has decreed for us, accept it, be at peace with it and move on. We are not called to be sexual beings; we are called to be Muslims." Sulayman X, "Queer Jihad"

"Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen. By itself, therefore, a homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to choose." U.S. Catholic Bishops, pastoral letter.

"Just once I'd like to go into a Christian home that was kosher. The Bible is much clearer on that than it is on homosexuality." Playwright Harvey Fierstein

"Is it true that you are 1 percent of the population/-hmmmmmmm!!!! Is it true that you are perverts? Bein' a plain ol' citizen, I ain't to well-informed about exactly wot you fellers do to make yourselves feel like hoomans(heheh)" e-mail to

"He feels (my homosexuality is) a private matter. I could never get the point across that he's exactly right ... It's a private matter, and what he's attempting to do is single out a group that has private, personal relationships. I wish he understood that, but he doesn't." David Knight, son of California Sen. Pete Knight, author of the Proposition 22 marriage law.

"It's going to be very hard for me to explain to the next generation why the state legislature decided to define marriage in a different manner and take away the moral standards we have stood for in this state." Vermont Rep. Nancy Sheltra.

"I've had the privilege in my own life of coming to the process, the struggle at times, to identify myself as a gay man. I've had the privilege of developing a deep, devoted, and loving relationship with another man ... We can argue about whether these are civil rights or other rights, but they are rights that I don't have right now and almost everyone else in this chamber does." Vermont Rep. William Lippert.

"A large body of scientific evidence suggests that homosexual marriage is a defective counterfeit of traditional marriage and that it poses a clear and present danger to the health of the community." Paul Cameron, Ph.D., Family Research Institute of Colorado

"Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism." American Sociological Association

"Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed." American Psychological Association

"The empirical research on adult sexual orientation and molestation of children does not show that gay men are any more likely than heterosexual men to molest children. This is not to suggest that molestations of children by adult homosexual men never occur. They do. But molesting children has nothing to do with whether a man is heterosexual or homosexual." Gregory Herek, Ph.D., Northern California Community Research Group, University of California-Davis.

"Such persons are unnaturally constituted; for though they are male this part of them has become maimed. Such maiming produces either complete destruction or a distortion of type. The former is impossible in their case for it would imply their becoming female ... they are unsatisfied, like women ..." Aristotle, "Problemata"

"God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." bumper sticker.

"It really was Adam and Steve Steve just didn't eat the apple." bumper sticker.

"Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories ... the living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects." The Kinsey Institute for Human Sexuality

"When I get through with you, it's gonna be the San Francisco Bisexual Men's Chorus." actor Megan Mullally of "Will & Grace," before her appearance with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

"You homo's are an abomination and I hope you all get AIDS and die a long painful death. Here's a battle cry for you 'Death to Fags.'" e-mail to

"If you learn on the playground that faggots are bad people, when you grow up, you teach your children the same thing. It's understandable; it's just not valid." James Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, University of South Alabama.

"I've never been one to lead a double life. I don't see how anybody can." Sean Lloyd, president of the Alliance for Sexual Diversity, University of South Alabama.

"Maybe 5 percent of the electorate is gay. But they have parents, families and friends that can move it up to 25 percent." George Olsson of Montgomery, on how gay Alabamians are flexing their political muscle.

"Every child needs his parents' support. That's the most important thing. Mother's opinion carries more weight than anything. Gays and lesbians can have a wonderful life without (having) that, but it would sure be great if they did." Suzanne Cleveland, Mobile chapter of PFLAG Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

"Call us old-fashioned, but it hasn't been too many years since our professed beliefs were the accepted norm in America. Society has changed to the detriment, we believe, of us all as a people." Mary and David Weyrich, owners, the Atascadero (Calif.) Gazette, ordering the paper to stop publishing notices of PFLAG meetings.

"Thomas Jefferson said that homosexuality 'should be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting through the cartilage of her nose a hole of one-half inch in diameter as least.'" Paul Cameron, Ph.D., "Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do"

"In the 'Plan Agreed upon by the Committee of Revisors at Fredericksburg,' January 13, 1777, Thomas Jefferson was among those liberals who suggested that 'Rape, Sodomy, Bestiality ... be punished by Castration,' rather than, as earlier, by death." Jonathan Katz, "Gay American History"

"Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too ..." Sigmund Freud, letter.

"The British government is seeking to promote homosexuality. We as chiefs should fight against such Western practices and respect our culture. British homosexuals are worse than dogs and pigs because [they] do not differentiate between males and females." Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe

"This homosexual man was a twin, I was told, giving him a structural role which, added to his homosexuality, was of immense importance. Twins ordinarily are thought to be imbued with great ritual powers ... these powers were made doubly potent by the homosexual attribute." Joseph Towles, "Nkumbi Initiation: Ritual and Structure Among the Mbo of Zaire"

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" Coretta Scott King, wife of the late civil rights leader

"Society needs to stop being apathetic to fags and queers. We support Dr. Laura in her effort to enlighten listeners everywhere. If only she would talk about the detrimental effects niggers have on this earth, I would probably have a poster of her on my wall!" (signed) Jason in Columbus, Ohio. e-mail to

"Equal treatment and equal dignity for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals ... means even-handed treatment by the government, protection from discrimination in jobs, housing, hotels, restaurants and other public places, and fair and equal treatment for lesbian and gay couples and families." American Civil Liberties Union

"Homosexuals ... share only one attribute on which they base their claim to protected class status: They choose to perform sexual acts with members of the same sex. But behavior alone is not a compelling reason to reward protected, minority or ethnic class status with all the attendant entitlements." Concerned Women for America

"The opportunity to be threatened, humiliated and to live in fear of being beaten to death is the only 'special right' our culture bestows on homosexuals." Diane Carman, the Denver Post.

"My son died because of your ignorance and intolerance. I can't bring him back. But I can do my best to see that this never, ever happens to another person or another family again ... You robbed me of something very precious, and I will never forgive you for that. Mr. McKinney, I give you life in the memory of one who no longer lives. May you have a long life, and may you thank Matthew every day for it." Dennis Shepard, father of gay-bashing victim Matthew Shepard, asking the court to sentence Matthew's killer to life without parole instead of death.

"In earlier days if you wanted to get rid of anyone, you said they were a witch or in league with the devil. Today you accuse them of homosexuality and proceedings are set in motion. I will have nothing to do with it, not even as a doctor." Felix Kersten to Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler of the Gestapo, quoted in Frank Rector's "The Nazi Extermination of Homosexuals."

"After the war, public opinion, horrified by Nazi crimes against humanity, remained indifferent to the treatment of homosexuals ... the West German government denied compensation to those homosexuals who survived the camps and prisons." Warren Johansson and William A. Percy, "Homosexuals in Nazi Germany"

"The Pledge of Allegiance says, 'with liberty and justice for all.' What part of 'all' is unclear?" Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder