While the NRA is ostensibly an organization focused on gun rights, members of its leadership have attacked LGBT people for years, including blaming a mass shooting on gay marriage, calling societal acceptance of transgender people “perverted,” claiming gay people “created” the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and labeling gay people “despicable,” “perverts,” and “degenerates.”
The NRA Has Attacked Gay People For Decades
NRA Top Lobbyist On May 20: Societal Acceptance Of Transgender People Is “Perverted” And “Twisted.” Chris Cox, who is the NRA’s top lobbyist and directs political efforts as the head of the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, said at the NRA annual meeting that “everything we’ve always known to be good, and right, and true has been twisted, perverted,” before citing as an example, “The media tells them Bruce Jenner is a national hero for transforming his body, while our wounded warriors, whose bodies were transformed by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades, can’t even get basic healthcare from the VA”:
CHRIS COX: The America we know is becoming unrecognizable. Everything we believe in, everything we’ve always known to be good, and right, and true has been twisted, perverted and repackaged to our kids as wrong, backwards, and abnormal.
Who are our kids supposed to respect and admire? The media tells them Bruce Jenner is a national hero for transforming his body, while our wounded warriors, whose bodies were transformed by IEDs and rocket-propelled grenades, can’t even get basic healthcare from the VA. [NRA Annual Meeting, 5/20/16]
NRA Head Wayne LaPierre: Obama Admin. Is “In The Toilet” Because Of Efforts To Prevent Discrimination Against Transgender Students. NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre railed against the Obama administration’s recent guidance explaining that public schools must allow transgender students to use facilities, like bathrooms and locker rooms, that correspond to their gender identity:
WAYNE LAPIERRE: Felons with guns, criminal gangs with guns, and drug dealers with guns are getting away with murder literally in places like Chicago and Detroit and beyond. Where the full weight of existing federal enforcement of federal firearms laws is absent. A Clinton White House would be a dangerous extension of the Obama White House. And where has this White House put its full weight? In the toilet. In bathrooms in North Carolina, in school districts all over our country. [NRA Annual Meeting, 5/20/16]
NRA Board Member Blamed Isla Vista, CA, Mass Shooting On Gay Marriage. After a gunman motivated by his hatred of women went on a shooting and stabbing spree in Isla Vista, CA, in 2014, Ken Blackwell, NRA board member and senior fellow at anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, blamed the shooting on “the attack on … natural marriage”:
KEN BLACKWELL: When you see there's a crumbling of the moral foundation of the country, you see the attack on the -- on natural marriage and the family that has been a part of the, not only the moral foundation and the upbringing of our children but the teaching of sexual roles and the development of human sexuality in our culture. When these fundamental institutions are attacked and destroyed and weakened and abandoned, you get what we are now seeing and that is a flood of these disturbed people in our society that are causing great, great pain. And as opposed to dealing with the foundational problems, we look for ways of blaming the Second Amendment, or blaming knives or blaming cars when they are used. At the end of the day, you have just underscored the problem. This is a convenient way of avoiding talking about what's at the root cause. [5/29/14, Right Wing Watch via Media Matters]
Blackwell Compared Gay Marriage To Incest. In a 2009 column on D.C. legalizing gay marriage, Blackwell compared same-sex marriage to incest and also bizarrely suggested that transgender and bisexual people would use same-sex marriage laws to demand participation in polygamous marriages:
Remember, we've all been schooled in that LGBT formulation. That means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered. The advocates of counterfeiting marriage cannot leave out their B and T. So, what will that mean? How can they deny 'marriage equality' to a bisexual person who wants to marry two significant others? Or what about a person who has attempted through surgery and drugs to change his sex? Should such a person, if married, be denied the right to marry another person? If love and commitment make a marriage, why cannot brothers and sisters marry? Or fathers and daughters? What the District [of Columbia] Council has done is to open the door to polygamy, to incest. [Patriot Post, 12/21/09, via Media Matters]
Blackwell Claimed That Gay People “Created” HIV/AIDS Epidemic. During the discussion over whether the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy should be repealed, Blackwell wrote in his column, “Already, this alternate lifestyle has created what the gay groups themselves refer to as a Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Do the American people want to bring this health crisis into the ranks of our volunteer military?” [Patriot Post, 2/23/10 via NRA On The Record]
NRA Board Member Ted Nugent Mockingly Suggested The NBA Should “Host A Homosexual Night” Where “Homosexuals Could Come Down On The Court, Hold Hands And Prance Around The Court To Music By The Village People.” NRA board member Ted Nugent slammed the NBA’s decision to fine then NBA star Kobe Bryant for using an anti-gay slur, complaining in a 2011 Washington Times column, “Bryant committed this egregious verbal foul because he used a word demeaning to homosexuals, the most protected class of people in America”:
Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was socked with a $100,000 fine by the NBA last week for calling a referee what the NBA thinks is a derogatory, ugly and vile name.
To be exact, Mr. Bryant committed this egregious verbal foul because he used a word demeaning to homosexuals, the most protected class of people in America.
Gay rights groups applaud the decision of the NBA, which must make all the homosexual basketball fans feel peachy and special. Who knows, maybe the NBA will use Mr. Bryant's $100,000 to buy courtside seats for gay basketball fans. Yeah, that's the ticket. Show some gay pride, NBA.
Those among us who work tirelessly to shut down (and shout down, if the need arises) speech they disagree with must also be absolutely gay with pride and satisfaction over this fine.
If the NBA had any true gay convictions, the NBA should host a Homosexual Night. During halftime, the homosexuals could come down on the court, hold hands and prance around the court to music by the Village People. The NBA could then give each homosexual a pink basketball as a symbol of solidarity.
Homosexuals are a protected class in America. If you think what happened to Mr. Bryant was a travesty, just wait until you see what homosexuals in the military do when they claim they have been mistreated because of their sexual orientation. [The Washington Times, 4/19/2011, via Media Matters]
Nugent Said It's “Despicable” When Men “Have Sex With Each Other's Anal Cavities.” From a 2000 interview on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes:
TED NUGENT: I got to tell you, guys that have sex with each other's anal cavities -- how can we offend guys that actually have anal sex? Don't you think that might offend some of us who think that's despicable? [Fox News, Hannity and Colmes via Nexis, 6/29/00]
Former NRA Board Member Praised Dictator Robert Mugabe For Calling Gay People “Perverts Who Do Not Deserve Civil Rights.” Jeff Cooper, a longtime board member whom the NRA honored by naming a shooting range after him when he died in 2004, praised Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe in his often-homophobic “Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries” newsletter:
Reluctant as we may be to compliment a dictator who prefers to be addressed as "Comrade," we are compelled to do so in the case of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. He officially refers to homosexuals as "perverts who do not deserve civil rights." In his words,
"Let the Americans keep their sodomy, bestiality, stupid and foolish ways to themselves. Let the gays be - gay - in the United States and Europe, but they shall be sad people here."
Cooper: “Lesbians Make Lousy Shots” Compared To “Normal Girls.” Cooper wrote in 1997 in his newsletter, “We are now given to understand by a police firearms instructor of wide background and experience that lesbians make lousy shots. Normal girls, on the other hand, tend to do rather well on the range. Is there a point to be learned here?” [Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries, November 1997, via NRA On The Record]
NRA Board Member, Iran-Contra Figure, And Fox News Contributor Oliver North Mocked Gay People During A GOP Fundraiser. According to the Williamson Daily News, during a 1993 GOP fundraiser held in Virginia, NRA board member Oliver North “told the crowd that he tried to telephone [Bill] Clinton, but the White House switchboard wouldn’t let him through until he disguised his voice with a lisp.” When a local LGBT group asked him to apologize, North responded, “If it angered some subset, that's their problem.” [Williamson Daily News, 3/18/1993, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3/20/1993, via NRA On The Record]
NRA Board Member And GOP Rep. Don Young On Gay Artist’s Work: “Butt Fucking ... You Think That’s Art?” During a speech before high school students, NRA board member Don Young slammed the art of gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe:
U.S. Rep. Don Young said he was just trying to educate high school students when he used an obscenity to refer to anal sex while denouncing government funding of the arts.
Young, Alaska's lone congressman for 22 years and a former teacher, told the auditorium full of 15- through 18-year-olds that the federal government has funded "photographs of things that are absolutely ridiculous" and "photographs of people doing offensive things."
When students asked which pictures he was talking about, Young said, "butt f------.... You think that's art?"
At West Valley High School, his words Friday had the roughly 150 students laughing or grumbling.
Later, Young told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that he thought his comments would have lacked impact if he had used different words. "I was a teacher. I was trying to educate," he said.
NRA Board Member Described Gay People As “Degenerates.” In 1993, Wayne Anthony Ross, NRA board member and Sarah Palin’s failed nominee for Alaska attorney general, wrote a letter in response to an anti-discrimination ordinance. The letter read, in part:
This bill seems to give extra rights to a group whose lifestyle was a crime only a few years ago, and whose beliefs are certainly immoral in the eyes of anyone with some semblance of intelligence and moral character.
It is a shame that you folks don’t have some causes you could become involved in that are of benefit to society in general. Instead, you support degenerates.
None of you has done anything publicly (to my knowledge) to attempt to protect the millions of lives of innocent children killed each year through abortion, yet you collectively contribute $5,000 to the cause of sexual perversion. [Wayne Anthony Ross, 1993, via The Mudflats, Anchorage Daily News, 4/11/2009]