an undated “memorandum” put out by the Concerned
Women for America, a radical right organization that routinely
attacks LGBTQ families. The document is entitled, “Correct
Terminology When Debating Homosexual Issues.” It’s good to know
that as we work daily to expand protections for LGBTQ families
through visibility, these people are looking for even sneakier ways
to undermine our struggles and our very identities as LGBTQ
The document begins with the following paragraph:
Our choice of words can be influential to a reader or a
listener. We are called to be savvy in our use of language in order
to be effective. In Matthew 10:16, Jesus tells us to be ‘wise as
serpents, and harmless as doves.’ Choose words carefully when
communicating the truth in love.
The “memo” goes on to show two columns, YOU SHOULD SAY and YOU
SHOULD NOT SAY. Here are some highlights:
You should say: homosexual. You should not say:
‘gay’ or lesbian.
You should say: so-called homosexual ‘marriage’. You should
not say: ‘gay,’ or lesbian, or same-sex marriage. The
public instinctively rejects ‘homosexuality’ and the activists know
this, which is why they try to insert the less threatening words.
When we call a spade a spade, we win.
You should say: homosexual lifestyle. You should not say:
‘gay’ or lesbian. Lifestyle signifies one has a choice in
You should say: special rights. You should not say: equal
rights or equal protection. Those who practice homosexual
behavior already have the same rights as everyone
We, too, know that “our choice of words can be influential to a
reader or a listener.” Interestingly enough, our choice of words is
about dispelling the myths and correcting the misinformation
regularly spewed by the radical right, as seen above. Ours is a
struggle for greater peace and community, protections for loving
families, respect and reconciliation.
This “memo” was sent to CWA members as part of a fundraising
campaign, which just goes to show how money-hungry these people
are. They could pack up and go home and nothing in their worlds
would change. If we stopped fighting, they’d tear our families
apart and send us back 50 years into the closet.
The top ten anti-gay organizations in the United States
have a combined annual budget of 1 billion dollars. Their
messages of hate spread far and wide. We’ve got to stick together
as a community of LGBTQ parents and allies, ready to combat their
harmful lies. To learn more about how we do it, check out Family
Pride’s OUTSpoken Families
Speakers Bureau. It’s a one-stop-shop for LGBTQ family
advocacy–from changing the hearts and minds of your neighbors to
preparing yourself to speak to legislators, reporters and more.
And don’t let the Concerned Women for America get you down. We’re
going to win this fight. We have to–our families actually
are at stake.