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: Ralph Reed on the cover of The Advocate, Antonin Scalia, Laura Schlessinger

Ralph Reed
As Pat Robertson’s handpicked executive director for the Christian Coalition, Reed was considered “the face” of the religious right during much of the ’90s. So we put his perpetually smiling countenance on our cover in 1997. Then his God-given talent for raising money by scaring people with social issues got Reed stuck in an ethics scandal.

Roy Cohn
This closeted gay aide to Sen. Joe McCarthy presumably used his gaydar to help root out the rest of the country’s homosexuals during the Red Scare of the 1950s. But his homophobia will be remembered forever thanks to the numerous fictional portrayals he inspired after he died in 1986 of AIDS complications, in such works as Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and the award-winning cable movie Citizen Cohn.

Boy Scouts of America
The BSA is in the news these days for kicking out a pack leader because she’s a lesbian. But the organization started barring gay scouts and leaders long ago, earning a Sissy Award in 1992 and leaving a trail of celebrities and companies condemning its policies. Change seemed finally on its way when headlines this year reported the group is reconsidering. But a spokesman was quick to dash those hopes in multiple media interviews.

Antonin Scalia
This Supreme Court associate justice wrote the dissent in the case that struck down antisodomy laws, Lawrence v. Texas, railing in a defense of discrimination that the court had bowed to the “homosexual agenda.”

Laura Schlessinger
The “doctor” (she has a Ph.D. in physiology) said in 1998 that homosexuality is a “biological error” and in 1999 that “a huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys.” Pressure from gay rights groups shamed Paramount for signing a TV talk show deal with the homophobic radio hack. Due to the international protests the show was more controversial than popular, and not long after it first aired in 2000, advertisers fled. The show was soon canceled.

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