Know Thy Enemy: Marriage Backlash Quotes Released

July 29, 2003

Task Force Compilation Exposes Those Who Would Deny LGBT Equality

"This is a 9/11, major wake-up call that the enemy is at our doorsteps. This will redirect the stream of what is morally right and what is morally wrong into a deviant kind of behavior. There is no way that homosexuality can be seen other than a social disorder."
- Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, Traditional Family Coalition

Today the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released a compilation of negative and often vitriolic reactions of religious right and political leaders since the Supreme Court's decision in Lawrence v. Texas and the decision of the Canadian government to extend the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian people.

Know Thy Enemy: Quotes about the Sodomy Ruling and the Same-Sex Marriage Backlash, contains quotes from a wide variety of public opinion makers, including Rev. Jerry Falwell, President George W. Bush, and Sen. Rick Santorum. The compilation will be updated online on a regular basis.

"We expected a backlash to the developments in Canada and the Supreme Court's Lawrence decision," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. "What we didn't expect was the degree of vitriol and misinformation that has spewed forth. The right is portraying a long-overdue court decision saying that the police cannot break into the bedrooms of America as the death knell of American values. This campaign of misinformation and hyperbole is clearly aimed at promoting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to outlaw the recognition of marriages between persons of the same sex."

Foreman added, "The Task Force is committed to exposing these anti-gay extremists for what they are. As we have for the past 30 years, we will fight them every step of the way to make sure the voices of fairness and decency prevail."

To access a PDF download of Know Thy Enemy, log on to the Task Force publications library.

NOTE: The Federal Marriage Amendment (HJ Resolution 56) was introduced by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) with original co-sponsors Rep. David Vitter, (R-LA), Rep. Collin Peterson, (D-MN), Rep. Mike McIntyre, (D-NC), Rep. Ralph Hall, (D-TX), and Rep. JoAnn Davis (R-VA). The Task Force urges all fair-minded people to call their elected representatives to register their opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. If you do not know who your representative is, log on to the House Web site.

According to her official Web site, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave encourages the people in Colorado's Fourth Congressional District to take a moment to write her and share their comments: 1208 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515 Phone: 202-225-4676 or Fax: 202-225-5870.

Also, for those outside of her district who wish to write Rep. Musgrave, you may send an email to: Please be sure to include your full name, address, telephone number and email address.


The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.