Homosexual recruitment

"Homosexual recruitment" and similar terms are used to describe the false accusation[1][2] that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people attempt to convert otherwise heterosexual people into a "gay lifestyle". Allegations of recruitment in this fashion have been used in opposition to institutionalized HIV prevention programs, anti-bullying legislation, anti-discrimination laws, in-school discussions of feminism and LGBT rights, and against the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliance school programs.

Meaning and connotation

"Homosexual recruitment" and similar terms refer to the allegation that LGBT people engage in a concerted effort to indoctrinate children into being LGBT as well,[3][4] and becoming, according to some social conservatives and Christian right groups, part of a "lifestyle that can kill them".[5] Supporters of recruitment allegations point at "deviant"[6] and "prurient" sex education as evidence.[7] They express concern that anti-bullying efforts teach that "homosexuality is normal, and that students shouldn't harass their classmates because they're gay", suggesting recruitment as the primary motivation.[8][9]

Supporters of this theory cite the inability for same-sex couples to reproduce as a motivation for recruitment.[8][10][11][12]

Critics of the term describe it as an anti-gay myth,[13][14] and a fear-inducing bogeyman.[15] Many critics believes the term promotes the myth of homosexuals as pedophiles.[16][17]

In a 1990 New York Times piece, gay writer David Leavitt criticized the term stating, "Of course, to any gay person who, as a frightened and confused teenager, searched desperately for books or films or television shows that offered even a mention of homosexual experience to latch on to, the idea of gay 'recruitment' is laughable. It is also profoundly insulting."[18]

LGBT pride parades are often denounced as a homosexual recruitment attempt.[19][20][21]

Examples of the term's use

The term tends to be used in the context of opposition to LGBT rights, policies which present LGBT behaviour as acceptable, and any discussion (referred to as 'promotion') in schools and in sex education. Some examples:

Anita Bryant popularized the term while campaigning against an anti-discrimination law in South Florida

Related examples


The term has been the target of critical parody.[32][33]

In 1998, The Onion addressed the term with a satire entitled "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal", saying "Spokespersons for the National Gay & Lesbian Recruitment Task Force announced Monday that more than 288,000 straights have been converted to homosexuality since Jan. 1, 1998, putting the group well on pace to reach its goal of 350,000 conversions by the end of the year."[32][34] The Westboro Baptist Church and other groups, apparently believing it accurate, passed along the story as fact.[35][36] The WBC cited the piece as evidence of a gay conspiracy.[37]

See also


  1. Halperin, David (2007). Haggerty, George, ed. "Deviant Teaching". A Companion to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies. Wiley-Blackwell: 146–167.
  2. Haggerty, George E.; Beynon, John; Eisner, Douglas, eds. (2000). Encyclopedia of lesbian and gay histories and cultures. New York: Garland. pp. 737–738. ISBN 978-0-8153-1880-4. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  3. 1 2 Blumenthal, Max (15 December 2004). "Her Kinsey Obsession". AlterNet. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
  4. Yeh, Becky (16 June 2011). "'Gay' indoctrination a reality". OneNewsNow. Archived from the original on 18 June 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  5. "Utah bans gay high-school clubs". Lawrence Journal-World. 19 April 1996. p. 9A. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Let's End Taxpayer Supported Homosexual Recruitment Programs In Public Schools". Traditional Values Coalition.
  7. Irvine, Reed; Kincaid (June 20, 2000). "Homosexual Recruitment in Schools". Accuracy in Media. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  8. 1 2 Posner, Sarah (February 9, 2007). "The gay recruit". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  9. Miller, Gina (April 25, 2012). "Homosexual radical Dan Savage bullies high schoolers". RenewAmerica. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  10. Shelly, Barb (April 30, 2012). "Rep. Steve Cookson defends 'don't say gay' legislation". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  11. 1 2 "HBO eyes biopic about anti-gay activist Bryant". Reuters. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  12. Witt, Lynn; Thomas, Sherry; Marcus, Eric (1995-09-01). Out in All Directions: The Almanac of Gay and Lesbian America. Hachette Digital, Inc. pp. 353–. ISBN 978-0-446-51822-2. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  13. Peddicord, Richard (1996). Gay and lesbian rights: a question: sexual ethics or social justice?. Kansas City: Sheed & Ward. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-55612-759-5. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  14. Harris, W. C. (2009). Queer externalities: hazardous encounters in American culture. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-4384-2752-2. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  15. Sears, James T. (2001). Rebels, rubyfruit, and rhinestones: queering space in the Stonewall South. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 239. ISBN 978-0-8135-2964-6. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  16. Harris, p. 156
  17. Fejes, Fred (2008). Gay rights and moral panic: the origins of America's debate on homosexuality (1st ed.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-4039-8069-4. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  18. Leavitt, David (19 August 1990). "Fears That Haunt a Scrubbed America". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  19. Refuting Recruiting
  20. gaystarnews.com
  21. Our History
  22. Boucai, Michael (December 22, 2010). "Gay Rights and Moral Panic: The Origins of America's Debate on Homosexuality (Book review)". Journal of Social History. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  23. Associated Press (15 October 1992). "Ex-gay minister backs Oregon Measure 9". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Idaho. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
  24. "The Culture Wars: Why Know?". The New Yorker. 6 December 2004. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  25. Reisman, Judith (April 1, 2009). "GLSEN and the Hitler Youth". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  26. "Uganda Newspaper Published Names/Photos of LGBT Activists and HRDs - Cover Says 'Hang Them'", International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
  27. Gettleman, Jeffrey (27 January 2011). "Ugandan Who Spoke Up for Gays Is Beaten to Death". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  28. Villarreal, Daniel (May 12, 2011). "Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?". Queerty. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  29. "Knitting Circle 1989 Section 28 gleanings". London: South Bank University. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2006.
  30. Terk, Jason (September 23, 2002). "Is John Silber Sending the Right Message?". The Daily Free Press.
  31. Goldstein, Richard (15 October 2002). "The Last Candid Man: A Homophobe Hides Behind His Right to Discriminate". Village Voice. New York.
  32. 1 2 Kaye, Sharon M. (2010-12-01). The Onion and Philosophy: Fake News Story True Alleges Indignant Area Professor. Open Court Publishing. pp. 102–. ISBN 978-0-8126-9687-5. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  33. "Another police farce". Daily Mail. August 20, 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  34. "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal". The Onion. July 29, 1998. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  35. Broderick, James F.; Miller, Darren W. (2007-06-12). Consider the Source: A Critical Guide to 100 Prominent News and Information Sites on the Web. Information Today, Inc. pp. 267–. ISBN 978-0-910965-77-4. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  36. "Satire lost on antigay group". The Advocate. May 25, 2004. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
  37. Schillinger, Liesl (March 1999). "Award-Winning Local Journalists Reflect Own Self-Hatred Back on Nightmarish World". Wired News. Retrieved 30 April 2012.

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