The 45 Biggest Homophobes of Our 45 Years

The LGBT rights movement has had its share of villains. These are some of the worst.

BY Lucas Grindley

August 21 2012 5:00 AM ET



Above from left: Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich

Bob Jones Sr., Jr., and III
Bob Jones University, founded by Bob Jones Sr. in 1927, then led by Bob Jones Jr. until the ’70s, is so anitgay that a support group, BJUnity, recently formed for students who came out after graduation. Its members demand the university apologize for a 1980 comment made by then-president and current chancellor Bob Jones III that “it would solve the problem posthaste if homosexuals were stoned.”

Tim LaHaye
The author of the best-selling Christian rapture series Left Behind also wrote a 1978 book called The Unhappy Gays. In it he predicted God would reach his mercy “breaking point” and mark the U.S. for “destruction” if ever homosexuality was considered “normal.” In 2004 he joined a new organization launched by Jerry Falwell in the hopes of starting an “evangelical revolution.” Looks like LaHaye is still waiting on all fronts.

Jerry Falwell
This Sissy Hall of Fame member, inducted in 1992, is well known for founding the Moral Majority (1979) and Liberty University (1971), where Mitt Romney gave the commencement address this year. Falwell got his first big win in 1981, after the city of Washington, D.C., briefly decriminalized gay sex. Falwell successfully lobbied Congress to overturn the decision, warning that D.C. would become “the gay capital of the world.”

Paul Weyrich
Considered the father of the religious right, Weyrich helped give birth to a lot of right-wing groups. He coined the phrase “moral majority” and cofounded the organization of that name in 1979 with Jerry Falwell. He helped found in 2002 a coalition called the Arlington Group credited with lobbying for anti–gay marriage measures on ballots in several states in 2004. And he was a founder of the influential think tank the Heritage Foundation, which began operations in 1973. There are more, and all of them further his point of view. Weyrich once claimed that psychologists and psychiatrists say gay men are “preoccupied” with sex. He praised Rick Santorum as “the most important United States Senator that we have in this country.”

Rick Santorum
The "man on dog" senator from Pennsylvania got an astonishing number of votes in the Republican presidential primaries this year with his unabashedly antigay agenda. Can that many people really agree with his plan to annul all same-sex marriages and reinstate the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy? His homophobic ideas are too many to list here. Just Google “Santorum” and you’ll find plenty.

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