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Governmental Affairs Director, American Family Association
- Updated: April 21, 2023
—LGBTQ people are “disordered” and incapable of military service: “Have we been so lulled into silliness and foolishness that we think that transgendered soldiers who are confused about their sexuality who want to undergo gender reassignment, homosexual soldiers who are constantly thinking about their sexuality—and I say that with authority, having interviewed so many ex-gays and talked about this for years, there is an obsession—their identity, they think, is their sexuality. How many of you who are heterosexual would first of all say to someone in describing yourself, ‘I’m heterosexual, I have sex with the opposite sex’? You have much more of an identity than that, don’t you? Well for homosexuals, they claim that as an identity, it’s all about sex, so that is a disorder in itself. You can write me, I realize that’s angering words but that is a disorder because that’s not who you are, you are much more than that. It is a disorder, it is disordered thinking and if we think that soldiers that are obsessed with these issues are going to provide strong defense for our nation, I think we are foolishly denying whatever is true.”
—Insisted transgender people will “mainstream pedophilia.”
—Claimed: “This whole business of the rainbow, and gay, and pride, is just a ruse for something that is so horrendous for the people involved. I have to communicate … my heart goes out to men and women who are caught in the throes of this, who are really losing their opportunity to shake loose of it.”
—When Supreme Court overturned criminal bans on gay sex, Rios described it as a “sad moment in American history;” said it was “an immoral act” on par with “the Dred Scott decision declaring slaves two-thirds persons.”
—Warns that God is going to punish LGBTQ people (among others): “I would not want to be in the shoes of any of the left right now. I would not want to be in Barack Obama’s shoes. I would not want to be in the shoes of homosexual activists. I say that with humility and with fear for them because God will even the score, he will sort things out, he will be God and he will not be mocked. Whereas they think they are getting away with breaking all kinds of moral laws and mocking everyone in the process, they just don’t know God, they don’t know who they are up against and we do. And that should bring out some mercy in us because I wouldn’t want to be—what did that old evangelist say: ‘it’s a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.’”
—Says (at 5:52) “‘gay’ is the wrong name” because “it’s broken hearts and disease.”
—Once equated “leaving the gay lifestyle” with quitting smoking, stopping an affair, or quitting pornography.
—Protested a company’s choice to use Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson, objecting to “the private choices she has publicly flaunted.”
—Claimed: “When homosexual men get together, they don’t look for activities to enjoy common interests, they look for activities to find and expedite sex.” Added: “Gay bars aren’t for drinking … it’s all about hooking up anywhere … everywhere … with as many people as possible.”
—Declared secular Jews to be “the worst enemies of the country.”
—Claims (at 2:40) that “you can stop being gay“ then says (3:25) that celibacy is better than “acting on the homosexuality or adultery or pedophilia.”
—Equated a federal marriage ban that still allowed for civil unions with a ban on slavery that still allowed for chattel: “The case I continue to make is what it would be like if we were sitting here, 150 years ago, and we said that we wanted an amendment to outlaw slavery, but if states want to have ‘owned people,’ they just have to call it chattel. Just don’t call it marriage, or don’t call it slavery. An amendment that protects marriage in name only is troublesome to us and does not go far enough.”
—While president of CWA, constantly promoted materials telling gays to “leave the lifestyle.” Here’s one such promotion.
—Wrote of gay advocacy groups: “Organizations formed around gay advocacy are at odds with the moral principles that bring sanity and clarity to it all.”
—When NY gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said he didn’t want kids “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option,” Rios called him “the hero of this race,”
—Admonished Republicans who support marriage equality, predicting that “the other side of this sordid story” will prevail: “One can only look to Massachusetts to see the devastating effects of gay marriage and the LGBT movement on public schools where children are encouraged to change genders without parental approval or knowledge, and public school girls’ bathrooms are accessible to boys who think they are girls. If this madness is what [Laura] Bush, Colin Powell, or Dick Cheney want for their grandchildren in the misguided notion of ‘fairness’ then so be it. But when one day, the other side of this sordid story is told, they will be glad the wisdom of Phyllis Schlafly prevailed and not their fickle, feckless leadership in dangerous times.”
—Demanded that the American public “has a right to know if candidates are gay,” equating that information with a Republican senator’s adulterous affair.
—Boycotted McDonald’s because of their support for LGBTQ consumers.
—Went after gay public figures for simply having and publicly acknowledging their same-sex spouses.
—Warns that America may not be ready for war because of gay soliders: “When I think about the folding in and the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and the homosexual takeover of so much of our military I’m not sure how effective those naval ships will be.”
The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.
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For GLAAD Media Institute Alum Kevin Anderson, interviews with journalists have become increasingly prevalent in…