Not to mention one of the worst enemies of Womankind
By Lucas Grindley
September 05 2016
With her death Monday, Phyllis Schlafly is being hailed as a conservative icon, leader and activist. But to LGBT people, she’ll be remembered as one of the worst homophobes of all time.
The Advocate this year named Schlafly among “The 50 Biggest Homophobes of the Last 50 Years.” Even what conservatives would remember as one her most famous accomplishments — creating the Stop ERA group that blocked the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — was tied up with her homophobic beliefs. Schlafly argued that the ERA, which was designed to stop women from being discriminated against, would lead to same-sex marriage and other rights for gays and lesbians. The scare tactic ensured the amendment fell three states short of ratification at the deadline in 1982.
Schlafly spent a lifetime trying to prevent LGBT people from gaining equality, while spreading an onslaught of falsehoods — and she did all of it despite having a gay son.
After Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio announced his support for marriage equality — and revealed his son is gay — Schlafly attacked, saying voters would kick him out of office, even though “They’ll feel sorry for him, maybe he was pressured by his son to do this.”
Schlafly certainly never budged on her views about same-sex marriage. After the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the law was clearly motivated by antigay animus, Schlafly was outraged. She stuck by the idea that supporting “traditional marriage” isn’t supporting discrimination. But groups such as Right Wing Watch have extensively catalogued her homophobia while heading up the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization launched by her Stop ERA campaign.
Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling favorably on marriage equality, she called on governors to ignore the justices, who she said “think they’re God or something.” And after the ruling, she kept right on insisting “we don’t have to obey it just because a few judges said so.”
In her syndicated column, she called on Congress to pass a resolution that affirmed the “dignity of opposite-sex married couples,” once again using it to idealize couples where “a provider-husband is the principal breadwinner and his wife is dedicated to the job of homemaker.”
Schlafly said the true purpose of same-sex marriage was to “wipe out the Christian religion.”
“The use of same-sex marriage to attack Christian businesses but not businesses run by members of other religions,” she said, “demonstrates what is really driving the demand for the new constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
It wasn’t the first time she’d suggested gays and lesbians were faking their support for marriage equality.
“I do think that the main goal of the homosexuals is to silence any criticism,” she said in 2013. “Most of them aren’t interested in getting married.”