The self-proclaimed “think-tank” likened LGB people to pedophiles and was a lead voice in pushing HIV criminalization legislation
Washington – The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a far-right organization known for its advocacy of “Stand Your Ground” laws and restrictions on voting rights, has a history of anti-gay propaganda, according to recently released documents. People for the American Way (PFAW) uncovered and released an ALEC memo from 1985, called “Homosexuals: Just Another Minority Group?” that makes the organization’s anti-gay animus clear. In the document, ALEC categorizes lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans into six offensive stereotypes, propagates misinformation about the pro-equality legislative agenda, and presents harmful lies about alleged health consequences associated with being gay. The group also led efforts to criminalize the behavior of people living with HIV and AIDS.
“ALEC is an organization with a long history of pushing harmful bills on legislatures across the country,” said Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director. “The group is well known for their far-right policies but we now know their history is also rooted in demonizing LGBT Americans. There is a reason that ALEC has struggled in recent years – their vision is no longer one that resonates with mainstream Americans of either party.”
In the 1985 memo, ALEC devoted an entire section likening LGB people to pedophiles, saying: “Whatever the type of homosexual, one of the more dominant practices within the homosexual world is pedophilia, the fetish for young children.” ALEC went on to say that since “homosexuals cannot reproduce themselves biologically so they must recruit the young.”
The memo also said all LGB people could be broken down into six categories: the blatant, the secret lifer, the desperate, the adjusted, the bisexual and the situational. The group assigned offensive descriptions to these categories – for example, the “blatant” LGB person was “the obvious ‘limp-wristed’ individual,” while the “adjusted” person “attend[s] gay bars and pool parties to pick up a lover and try to conduct a ‘conventional’ gay marriage. However, most marriages between homosexuals are shortlived due to frequent acts of infidelity.”
The document also advanced misleading information about health risks associated with being LGB, pointing to “the overall promiscuity of the homosexual way of life…” ALEC went on to blast the federal government for investing in AIDS research and singled out former President Jimmy Carter for allowing LGBT organizations to apply for federal grants.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.