Last edited: November 09, 2003

Know Thy Enemy: Marriage Backlash Quotes Released

Task Force Compilation Exposes Those Who Would Deny LGBT Equality

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, July 29, 2003
Media Release

Media Contact:
Sheri A. Lunn; 323-857-8751

“This is a 9/11, major wake-up call that the enemy is at our doorsteps. This will redirect the stream of what is morally right and what is morally wrong into a deviant kind of behavior. There is no way that homosexuality can be seen other than a social disorder.”
—Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Traditional Family Coalition

Today the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released the first in a series of reports exposing the vitriolic reactions of those who would deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people equal rights under the law.

“Know Thy Enemy: Quotes about the Sodomy Ruling and the Same-Sex Marriage Backlash,” compiles quotes by everyone from Jerry Falwell to George W. Bush to Rick Santorum and will be updated online on a regular basis.

“We had no doubts that if the sodomy ruling came down in favor of equal rights that the anti-gay extremists would blast our community with propaganda and mistruths aimed at scaring otherwise fair-minded people into believing that legalizing discrimination is okay,” said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. “What we didn’t expect was how hateful and out of touch with most people, some of their comments would be.”

Polls conducted in the last few months, for example, show majorities in Massachusetts and Hudson County, New Jersey support same-sex marriage. And a poll by Peter D. Hart Research Associates found that the anti-gay Federal Marriage Amendment (which would amend the United States Constitution to recognize marriage as between one man and one woman) was opposed by majorities or pluralities of several important electoral groups, including women, voters under age 35, college graduates, voters residing in large or medium sized cities, and suburban voters. Additionally, pluralities or majorities of voters in three of the country’s four demographic regions—the Northeast (43% favor, 50% oppose), Midwest (46%, 49%), and West (41%, 56%)—oppose amending the Constitution in this way.

Foreman added, “The Task Force is committed to not only exposing these anti-gay extremists for what they are, but as our 30 year history of creating positive social change will show, we will fight every step of the way to ensure that those who seek to discriminate against our community will not succeed.”

To access “Know Thy Enemy,” log on to the Task Force publications library [].

NOTE: The Federal Marriage Amendment (HJ Resolution 56) was introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) with original co-sponsors Rep. David Vitter, (R-LA), Rep. Collin Peterson, (R-MN), Rep. Mike McIntyre, (D-NC), Rep. Ralph Hall, (D-TX), and Rep. JoAnn Davis (R-VA). The Task Force urges all fair-minded people to call their elected representatives to register their opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. If you do not know who your representative is, log on to the House Web site.

According to her official Web site, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave encourages the people in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District to take a moment to write her and share their comments: 1208 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4676 or Fax: 202-225-5870. Also, for those outside of her district who wish to write Rep. Musgrave, you may send an email to: Please be sure to include your full name, address, telephone number and email address.

Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is the oldest national organization working to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at the local, state and national level. The Task Force trains activists and leaders and organizes broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-gay referenda and advance pro-GLBT legislation. The Task Force Policy Institute, the community’s premiere think tank, researches and reports on critical policy issues. As part of a broader social justice movement for freedom, justice and equality, the Task Force is creating a world that respects and celebrates the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society.

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