Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades – a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement's rise to political power.
For Christian Right leaders, the gay rights movement and its so-called "homosexual agenda" are the prime culprits in the destruction of American society and culture. In the words of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, the battle against gay rights is essentially a "second civil war" to put control of the U.S. government in the right hands, meaning those who reject gay rights.
The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement. One of those has been defamation. Many of its leaders have engaged in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as "perverts" with "filthy habits" who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and "convert" them to gay sex. They have disseminated disparaging "facts" about gays that are simply untrue — assertions that are remarkably reminiscent of the way white intellectuals and scientists once wrote about the "bestial" black man and his supposedly threatening sexuality.