Homosexuality is not a civil right
Homosexuality Is Not a Civil Right

Daniel S. Garcia & Robert E. Regier

The Declaration of Independence declares that all people are guaranteed God-endowed inalienable rights, among them being life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. For that purpose—safeguarding rights—governments are instituted.

Those rights are natural, attached to people solely because people are created in God’s image. There are other rights that are not endowed by God but by the civil authority. Those rights are relative and alienable—that is, conditional—and are based on one’s citizenship.

When protecting one’s inalienable and civil rights, the government must discern between liberty and license. This requires that rights attach to persons because of their humanity, not because of their behaviors, and certainly not those behaviors that Western legal and moral tradition has regarded as inimical to the "Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God," as stated in the Declaration. Yet, today some advocate granting "rights" to behaviors hostile to the most fundamental forms of self-government—family, church, and community. This is especially the case with homosexual activists, who ironically seek to hijack the moral capital of the civil rights movement.

Essential to the homosexual agenda is the idea that homosexuals are fighting for basic civil rights denied them by an oppressive society. This argument strikes a sympathetic chord among many Americans, whose decency and sense of fair play demand that all people be treated fairly. However, a closer look at the truth about homosexuality and the political goals of the "gay rights" movement shows that homosexuals are not an oppressed minority, that opposition to special legal protection for homosexuality is not bigotry, and that extending such protection is dangerous to individuals and society.

Contrary to their claims of "discrimination," there is no effort to deny homosexuals the same rights guaranteed to all Americans. The truth is that homosexuals have the same rights, with the same restrictions, as everyone else. Homosexuals have the right to free speech, freedom of religion, due process under the law, the right to engage in commerce, to enter into contracts, own property, vote, along with a host of other rights. In fact, an ACLU handbook lists dozens of rights homosexuals already enjoy.1

Most people agree that homosexual activists’ claim of "discrimination" rings hollow. In a 1999 Wirthlin Worldwide poll of more than 1,000 Americans, 75 percent of the respondents said that "homosexuals have not suffered the same kind of legal injustice (such as not being able to vote, get an education, or earn a living) as black Americans have.2 In this country all citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the law. What homosexuals are actually calling for is not equal protection but special protection.

Homosexuals are restricted from serving in the military as are a dozen other groups, such as older people, young people, single parents, and others who detract from the military’s mission. However, military service is not a right but a privilege and a duty for some. That privilege is conditional upon one’s behavior; homosexual behavior is discordant with the health, safety, cohesion, and morale of the military.

The notion that homosexuals are a true minority group is false. Homosexuals do not meet the three criteria that characterize minority groups that have been accorded special legal protections.

As a group, homosexuals are among the most advantaged people in the country. Though different research and marketing firms use different homosexual population numbers, ranging from the actual one percent to an inflated 10 percent or more, research shows that homosexuals fare at least as well or better than the rest of the country.

  • They have median annual household incomes of $45,776. Nationally, the median income for a family household is $35,492, according to 1996 figures from the U.S. Census.3 According to a study by researcher Greenfield Online in conjunction with homosexual marketing consultant Spare Parts, homosexuals’ annual household income is $57,300. Georgia Tech Graphics Visualization & Usability Center found that homosexuals’ annual income is $52,000.4 Market researcher Overlooked Opinions found that male homosexuals reported household incomes of more than $50,000 in 1990, compared to the national average of about $37,000.5

  • As for individual incomes, heterosexual men earn $29,162 while homosexual men earn $28,618 a year.6 Another 1997 study of "gay" newspaper readers conducted by Simmons Market Research Bureau in New York found that the average homosexual’s income was $47,000.7

  • According to the Miami Daily Business Review, homosexuals have "extraordinarily high disposable income, and are a very attractive target for advertisers." The Review reports Simmons Market Research Bureau findings that 21 percent of homosexuals have household incomes exceeding $100,000; 31 percent have personal income exceeding $65,000; 61 percent have a four-year college degree, compared with the U.S. mean of 18 percent; 17 percent hold masters degrees, compared with 4 percent of the U.S. population as a whole.8

Homosexuals display political power far beyond their numbers, despite constituting only about 1 percent of the population.9 "The Gay vote is large, powerful, and able to swing a closely contested election," proclaimed National Gay & Lesbian Task Force spokesperson David Elliot at a National Press Club event in September 2000.10

  • The top eleven homosexual activist groups spent approximately $36 million in 1999 fighting for homosexual "rights," according to the Washington Blade.11 That does not include the over $1 million budget of the homosexual legal arm of the American Civil Liberties Union. Homosexual groups across the country reported a total budget of nearly $100 million in 1999, according to a Gill Foundation study.

  • Homosexual political action committees contributed almost $800,000 to federal candidates. Individual Democratic "gay" activists also raised approximately $5 million for the Democratic National Committee. The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest homosexual advocacy organization, has a $21 million annual budget12 and boasts on its website that their political action committee also spent more than $2.5 million in the 2000 election. Both President Clinton and Vice-President Gore have courted the homosexual vote at political fund raisers.

  • Openly homosexual politicians hold various high public offices in Congress, including Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), and Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.). According to the Blade, 118 openly "gay" candidates ran for federal, state and local office on in the 2000 elections—43 of them incumbents.

  • Homosexuals were appointed by the Clinton administration to key positions in the federal government. Among sub-cabinet appointments are: Bruce Lehman, Commissioner, U.S. Patent Office; Nan Hunter, Deputy General Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services; Roberta Achtenberg, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing, Housing and Urban Development; Victor Zonana, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs/Media, Department of Health and Human Services; Julian Potter, White House Gay Liaison; and Fred Hochberg, U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator.

  • In addition, homosexuals enjoy support from every major news organization, whose coverage long ago crossed the line into outright advocacy of homosexual causes. More than six hundred journalists attended a conference of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in September 2000. Homosexuals and their allies such as CNN producer Rose Arce and NBC Nightly News producer Barbara Raab hold influential media positions.13

Minority groups share immutable, benign, non-behavioral characteristics such as race, ethnicity, disability or national origin. Homosexuals are the only group to claim minority status based on behavior. There is no reliable scientific evidence which shows that homosexual behavior is biological in origin. A comprehensive examination of genetic claims for homosexuality in the Archives of General Psychiatry (March, 1993) concludes, "There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biologic theory."14

  • In a critique of studies that claim to prove a "gay gene," homosexual activist and author Edward Stein, Ph.D., said, "Genes in themselves cannot directly specify any behavior or psychological phenomenon. . . . The terms ‘gay gene’ and ‘homosexual gene’ are, therefore, without meaning. . . . No one has . . . presented evidence in support of such a simple and direct link between genes and sexual orientation."15

  • Perhaps the biggest indicator that homosexuality is not genetic or immutable is the existence of thousands of people who have come out of the homosexuality.

Rather than being considered a minority group, homosexuals are more accurately described as a special interest group. But even that description may be overly generous. Unlike lobbies such as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Realtors Political Action Committee, which represent legitimate concerns, homosexuals are pressing for government-enforced approval of activities that have been condemned in all successful cultures as immoral, unhealthy, and destructive to individuals and societies.

Using civil rights arguments is an exploitation of good people’s sympathy. A 1987 article in the homosexual magazine Guide outlined the strategy homosexuals should use to gain special protection—a strategy even more effective today, given a complicit media.

In any campaign to win over the public, gays must be cast as victims in need of protection so that straights will be inclined by reflex to assume the role of protector. . . . Our campaign should not demand direct support for homosexual practices, but should instead take anti-discrimination as its theme.16

Indeed, homosexual activists actively avoid public discussion of homosexual behavior. In the 1989 book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Hatred and Fear of Homosexuals in the 90s, a blueprint for homosexual political power, the authors warn that:

The public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself.17

Homosexual activists realize that when people become aware of the common homosexual practices18 (not to mention the more debased acts), they will see that these behaviors do not merit special protection in the laws.

Granting special legal protection to homosexual behavior would also harm civil society by undermining the institutions of marriage and family. Throughout the world, marriage and family are held in highest esteem. They are recognized as the foundations for civil society. The value and benefit of marriage and family as the genesis of each new generation are reflected in our nation’s laws, which afford them special privileges and immunities. If homosexual behavior were to receive the same status, marriage and family would be reduced to just one of a number of lifestyle choices. The effort to redefine the family is really an effort to destroy the common definition and has no logical stopping point. If marriage no longer means the union of a man and a woman, then why not "marry" three men, or two men and a woman? Putting homosexual behavior on a par with marriage and family sends the wrong message to a nation already overburdened with family breakdown and its attendant pathologies.

Granting special legal protection to homosexuals would also take away rights from others.

  • Parents could lose the right to protect their children from school-endorsed exposure to homosexuality and other various "sexual orientations."

  • Private religious and civic groups would no longer be able to exclude homosexuals. For instance, the Boy Scouts of America were sued and brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2000 to explain why they had "violated" New Jersey’s law against discrimination against homosexuals. Though the Scouts won by a razor-thin 5 to 4 margin, the writing on the wall was clear: homosexual activists have pressured local and state governments into giving homosexuals special legal protection instead of securing the inalienable religious and associational rights of private organizations. That is tyranny masquerading as "tolerance."

  • Landlords, even those in duplexes and family-centered complexes, could be forced to rent to open homosexuals.

  • Good people of conscience are losing the right to disagree. For example, two Madison, Wisconsin women were forced to pay fines, attend a political re-education class, write a letter of apology and informed that they were to be monitored by a public agency for two years because they declined to room with a lesbian.19

Opposition to extending special protection to homosexuals is not based on ignorance or bigotry, as homosexuals often claim. It is based on informed judgment about homosexual behavior and the political agenda of homosexual activists. If pro-family concerns were not based on fact, logic and careful thought, they might indeed be guilty of prejudice. But homosexuality is not a civil right. It is a behavior that people can and have changed.


Daniel S. Garcia is a former policy analyst for Family Research Council and is currently working on Capitol Hill. Robert E. Regier is a policy analyst in the cultural studies department of Family Research Council.


1. Nan D. Hunter, Sherryl E. Michaelson, Thomas B. Stoddard, The Rights of Lesbians and Gay Men: The Basic ACLU Guide to a Gay Person’s Rights, Third Edition, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale and Edwardsville, 1992.

2. Wirthlin Worldwide poll of 1,013 respondents, July 23–26, 1999.

3. "South Florida Rolls Out Welcome Mat for Gay Tourists," The Orlando Sentinel, May 10, 1998, p. L2.

4. "Fewer Gays Are Wealthy," Advertising Age, October 19, 1998, p. 58.

5. Ronald Alsop, "Are Gay People More Affluent Than Others?" The Wall Street Journal, December 30, 1999.

6. Demography, The Journal of the Population Association of America, April/May 2000, www.popassoc.org, quoted in "Study Finds Gays Who Have Partners Earn Less," The Houston Chronicle, May 27, 2000, p. A29.

7. Ibid., Alsop.

8. Marcia Philbin, "Branching Out," Miami Daily Business Review, October 6, 2000, p. A13.

9. John O.G. Billy, Koray Tanfer, William R. Grady and Daniel H. Klepinger, "The Sexual Behavior of Men in the United States," Family Planning Perspectives, 25 (1993). See also, J. Gordon Muir, "Homosexuals and the 10% Fallacy," The Wall Street Journal, March 31, 1993, p. A14.

10. Lisa Keen, "Groups Tout Clout," The Washington Blade, September 22, 2000.

11. Lou Chibbaro, Jr, "Budgets Up, Donors Down," The Washington Blade, June 11, 1999.

12. Will O’Bryan, "Human Rights Campaign Heads into Third Decade," The Washington Blade, October 20, 2000.

13. Peter LaBarbera, "Homosexual Reporters/Homosexual Activists," Family Research Council, CultureFacts, September 14, 2000.

14. William Byne and Bruce Parsons, "Human Sexual Orientation: The Biologic Theories Reappraised," The Archives of General Psychiatry, 50 (1993): 228–39.

15. Edward Stein, The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 221.

16. Marshall K. Kirk & Erastes Pill, "The Overhauling of Straight America," Guide Magazine, November 1987, pp. 7–14.

17. Marshall K. Kirk and Hunter Madsen, After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Hatred and Fear of Homosexuals in the ‘90s (New York: Bantam, 1989), pp. 177–8.

18. A.P. Bell and M.S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1978), pp. 308–9; Karla Jay and Allen Young, The Gay Report, (Summit, New York, 1979); Jeffrey A. Kelly et al., "Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk Behavior Among Gay Men in Small Cities; Findings of a 16-City National Sample," Archives of Internal Medicine, 152 (1992): 2293–7.

19. Emily Adams, Chronicles, July 1992, p. 10.

Above article from the Family Research Council -- more excellent information at their web site.

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