The 45 Biggest Homophobes of Our 45 Years

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



Above from left: Michael Savage, Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson

Maggie Gallagher
Numerous Republican presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney, have aligned themselves with the National Organization for Marriage, which Gallagher founded in 2007. The candidates signed a NOM pledge vowing to ban same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution, repeal it in the District of Columbia, and investigate NOM’s enemies with a new presidential commission.

Early '90s Shock Jocks
Ringleader of all radio shock jocks Howard Stern was shamed in 1990 with a Sissy Award for joking that lesbians would turn for him — “Probably cure ’em forever,” he said — and claiming gay men actually like being hit, tortured, and bruised. He’s long since changed his tune, like a lot of '90s shock jocks. But it was a Connecticut DJ by the name of Sebastian who was blamed for inciting violence with punch lines about castrating “fags” as a way to end the AIDS epidemic. “When I say I hate fags, I’m saying I hate what they’ve done to our society,” said Joseph Schlosser (his real name) in a 1989 newspaper interview meant to clear up the controversy.

Michael Savage
This shock jock of the political kind lost his television show on MSNBC in 2003 after telling a caller “You should only get AIDS and die, you pig.” He also used the term “sodomite,” which you don’t often hear unless you’re standing near a funeral protest by the Phelps family.

Fred Phelps
The leader of the Westboro Baptist Church defies description with his twisted “God hates fags” logic for protesting funerals of everyone from Matthew Shepard to Iraq war casualties, but it’s worth pointing out he first made our Sissy list back in 1992, then quickly made the Hall of Fame in 1994.

Pat Robertson
The failed Republican presidential candidate, multiple Phobie award winner, and founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network is also a hobbyist weatherman. When Hurricane Gloria threatened his Virginia Beach headquarters in the 1980s, the power of his prayers reportedly turned it away. So he had a warning for gay pride revelers in Orlando in 1998: “I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you.” Robertson had previously blamed gays for an earthquake in Southern California, Hurricane Andrew, cold weather bothering the East and Midwest, and famine in East Africa.