AT&T, Comcast trade group penned viscerally anti-gay memo

A horrifically anti-gay memo, written by ALEC, a trade group endorsed and funded by some of America’s largest corporations, including Google, AT&T and Comcast, has been unearthed by People for the American Way, and it’s a doozy.

The trade association that companies are members of, and help finance, is called ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), and it’s basically a special interest lobby for promoting conservatism.

Among the conservative views ALEC has pushed over the years is a virulent opposition to the civil rights of gays and lesbians. (ALEC is also a lead proponent of climate change denialism, among other pet fringe conservative causes.)

The recently-found ALEC memo, dated 1985, is beyond belief.  Even considering the age of the memo, it’s difficult to believe that Google, AT&T, Comcast and a whole host of other large American corporations would associate with a group that actively painted gays and lesbians as pedophiles, for starters.

And in the second part of this story, below, I’ll show you why this wasn’t just a one-time hit for ALEC.  ALEC has been walking hand in hand with the anti-gay religious right for decades.


The Homosexual Lifestyle

Let’s look at the just-unearthed ALEC memo. There’s a lot of reference to threat gays pose to children:

“The homosexual makes the conscious choice to pursue members of his or her own sex. In fact, it is because homosexual influence upon children alters their normal sex role development that minority status should be questioned.”


Particularly interesting (read: disgusting) is the section that ALEC titled “The Homosexual Lifestyle.”  In that section, we learn that gays can be separated into six categories:

The Blatant is “limp wristed.”

The Secret Lifer leads a “double life”

The Desperate “frequents the public restrooms, massage parlors, and bathhouses in his or her question for immediate sex.”

The Adjusted “are those who attend gay bars and pool parties to pick up a lover and try to conduct a ‘conventional’ gay marriage. However, most marriages between homosexuals are shortlived due to frequent acts of infidelity.”

The Bisexual

The Situational (prisoners)



My favorite section of the ALEC memo is the one titled “Pedophilia.”  The entire section, and most the memo, looks copies straight from the religious right – and their people are in fact quoted in the memo.

I’m not even going to quote this section – let me just publish it, in full. Read for yourself:


The memo goes on, and on.

But let’s fast forward a few decades, to show that ALEC’s anti-gay bigotry wasn’t just a one-hit wonder.

Religious right anti-gay leader runs ALEC’s effort targeting Kinsey in 2004

ALEC did a report in 2004 on Alfred Kinsey.  Kinsey has long been a sore topic for the religious right, and they’ve regularly tried to undercut his work as the religious right believes Kinsey is the basis for all modern sexual freedom, from abortion rights to gay rights.

reisman-alecSo it’s telling that ALEC produced a report on Kinsey – it’s difficult to believe that they weren’t doing the religious right’s dirty work.  And in fact, there’s proof they were.

ALEC’s Kinsey report was put together by its “Subcommittee on Junk Science.”  And who was the “scientific advisor” to this committee, and a spokeswoman for the final report? None other than religious right anti-gay research queen Judith Reisman, who now is a professor at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

Reisman is well known in gay circles as one of the top anti-gay religious right “scientists” of the past few decades.  The fact that ALEC was embracing Reisman and her anti-gay religious right agenda not ten years ago – 20 years after the hideous anti-gay memo – means that ALEC’s anti-gay animus wasn’t a bug, it was a feature.

Let me share with you one of my favorite Reisman quotes:

“‘I would suggest to you,’ she said, ‘that while the homosexual population may right now be one to two percent, hold your breath, people, because the recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere. You’ll be seeing, I would say, twenty percent or more, probably thirty percent, or even more than that, of the young population will be moving into homosexual activity.’ ” – Judith Reisman

Reisman also once did a rather infamous “study” of personal ads in order to “prove” just how perverted gays are (all she proved was the sexual desires of people who publish personal ads in one magazine).  But you get the flavor of where she’s coming from.  Virulently anti-gay.  Here’s a summary of Reisman’s “research”:

The Advocate is not a “fringe” homosexual publication. It is the largest and most respected “mainstream” homosexual periodical in America. However, The Advocate is typical in that, like other homosexual publications, it markets pornography and sexually explicit materials and personal ads.

The Reisman and Johnson Report, a new study by Drs. Judith Reisman and Charles Johnson subtitled “Partner Solicitation Characteristics as an Expression of Male Sexual Orientation,” compares five years’ worth of personal ads in The Advocate with male heterosexual personal ads in The Washingtonian, a coffee table monthly published in the nation’s capital.

The authors find that 98% of Advocate clients seek casual sex, often through prostitution. By contrast, 87% of Washingtonian clients seek long-term fidelity. A typical Washingtonian ad stresses character traits, while a typical Advocate ad stresses size of body parts, adeptness at certain sexual
acts, and such erotica as sadomasochism and fetishes.

Reisman and Johnson conclude, “There is no measured commonality of outcome, purpose, or process between the heterosexual population and the homosexual population under study.”

The report also documents that all homosexual publications contain pornography material, but few “mainstream” publications do so. If anyone is “obsessed,” with the issue of homosexuality, it is male homosexuals seeking lust, not love.

Google’s ALEC’s Reisman: It’s a “myth” that the Nazis targeted gays

Google’s ALEC’s Reisman gets particularly annoyed at the “myth” that Hitler targeted gays (one wonders if Google, AT&T and Comcast agree):

Thus we read that Washington D.C.’s new Holocaust Museum has legitimized the claims of “gay rights” leaders that the Nazis singled out homosexuals — like Jews — for massive persecution. This particular myth has grown like ragweed until it has become one of the great falsehoods of our time.

Rather, Reisman goes on to claim, gays were Nazis.

Yeah, tell that to this guy:

Gays in Nazi Germany were considered a threat to German purity. The Nazis arrested 100,000 men, with 10,000 to 15,000 sent to concentration camps to die.

Gays in Nazi Germany were considered a threat to German purity. The Nazis arrested 100,000 men, with 10,000 to 15,000 sent to concentration camps to die.

Oh that’s right, you can’t. He’s dead.  (Learn more about Hitler’s persecution of gays at the US Holocaust Museum.)

This is the woman that ALEC embraced.  This is the ALEC that Google is paying.

Oh but there’s more. Reisman recently wrote, for example, about a theory that pornography emits pheromones that turn people gay:

Liberty University professor Judith Reisman is out with a column in WorldNetDaily today which seems to blame homosexuality on “erototoxins,” or mind-altering chemicals, which she believes are emitted from pornography.

She points to a lecture which called pornography a “visual pheromone” to argue that sex-ed rewires the brain and consequently promotes homosexuality.

Reisman points to a case where pheromones were used to confuse male gypsy moths in order to prevent them from mating with females, which is apparently like how pornography could be confusing men and making them less attracted to women, or something.

I really can’t overstate how nutty, and vicious, Reisman is, and always has been.

For Google’s ALEC to embrace this woman is prima facie evidence of just how far-right, anti-gay, and downright evil the organization really is.  One need look no further than this article, which lists a number of Reisman’s recent theories, including rants about the Boy Scouts and banning masturbation, and how this will stop gay pedophiles, or something.

Seriously, go read the article, then ask yourself why ALEC would embrace this woman and make her one of their spokeswomen?

Then ask yourself why Google, AT&T and Comcast would embrace ALEC.

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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66 Responses to “AT&T, Comcast trade group penned viscerally anti-gay memo”

  1. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Stillwater would not be considered part of the Metropolitan area. Of course, Marcus could make the forty-five minute drive, but he’s such a joke that everyone would recognize him. No one would interact to him. I don’t think he would have any luck at a sidewalk sell either.

  2. Ninong says:

    Isn’t Marcus Bachmann part of the Minneapolis Gay Metropolitan Area?

  3. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Somedays I feel that Minneapolis has a 50% gay population.

  4. Ninong says:

    I should have added that other more credible sources put the percentage of the population that is gay, lesbian or bisexual considerably higher than Judith Reisman’s claim of no more than 1-2%. In a 2006 study published by the Williams Institute of the UCLA School of Law, the figures are much higher than Reisman’s.

    According to that study, 15.4% of San Franciscans are gay. Seattle 12.9%, Atlanta 12.8%, Minneapolis 12.5%, Boston 12.3%, Sacramento 9.8%, Portland 8.8%, Denver 8.2%, Washington 8.1%, Orlando 7.7%.

    According to a similar study by a Brazilian university released in 2009, these are the figures for major cities in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro 14.3%, Fortaleza 9.35%, Manaus 8.35%, Sao Paulo 8.2%, Salvador 8.05%, Brasilia 7.95%.

  5. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    That’s a lady that knows her mind.

  6. BeccaM says:

    To hear my wife tell it, she’d already decided she wanted to marry me before we’d even met in-person (our initial meeting was through an online mailing list, which eventually became lengthy email and then phone conversations).

    I was later informed I had no choice in the matter or eventual outcome. ;-)

  7. rmthunter says:

    That was my point — under those conditions, they still got 1% who admitted to being gay. One an only imagine how many were not admitting it.

  8. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I’m surprised they found 1%. I’m certain there were plenty gay husbands, but they weren’t going to admit it.

  9. rmthunter says:

    I’m reminded of a “study” that someone on the crackpot right did a few years ago that “proved” that only 1% of the population was gay: they did an exit poll at Baptist churches in, I think, Alabama, after Sunday services, and that was their result, which they trumpeted far and wide — until the laughter drowned them out.

    Reisman’s work is of the same caliber.

  10. rmthunter says:

    No, they’re paying into the kitty. ALEC exists ostensibly to write “business friendly” legislation and recruit legislators to enact it into law. They’re especially effective on the state level, but they’re also trying to gut the EPA, neutralize the Clean Air Act, penalize whistle-blowers, and anything else that might add a dime to corporate profits.

    The upside is that companies adopt and publicize inclusive personnel policies because it’s good PR. The sooner this sort of thing gets out, the better — ALEC needs to become toxic.

  11. goulo says:

    Confusing typo alert:

    “Google’s ALEC’s Reisman” appears a couple of times. It seems you mean “Judith Reisman”.

  12. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    I pass through the Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport often. I’ve always thought that the restroom in question should be designated as the Larry Craig Memorial Restroom.

  13. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Another version of the joke is:
    Q: What do lesbians do on their first date?
    A: Pick out their china pattern.

    I have no room to talk. I had an one night stand last twenty-eight years. We never did pick out a china pattern.

  14. Anonymous says:

    But Bashir was fired…oh, I mean “quit.”

  15. Anonymous says:

    Compare the gay “myth” to the saucy, unbridled sexual behavior that these Repubs have with their mistresses. Usually there’s a huge parallel. It’s all just projection.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The more chilling question is, do you want people like this owning your information? The Google empire is expanding – “don’t be evil” is the new “trust us.”
    Even I thought they had more integrity than this.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Also, why did they spell it “pedophelia”? The half-witted lack of language and reasoning skills read like satire. Apparently, there is money (and a lot of it) in being a total idiot.

  18. Bookbinder says:

    Uh-huh. Why then is there something on my screen called Google Search.?

  19. benb says:

    ALEC shopped STAND YOUR GROUND around Red States to get it passed. Now they’re angling on the ACA. Yeah, they’re proud that Ted Cruz was their keynote speaker today. Nasty group of sociopaths trying to short-circuit Demorcracy.

  20. dackmont says:

    I fear that these multinationals are trying to ingratiate themselves with countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia, etc. that have strong anti-gay movements. “Don’t be evil”, yeah, right …

  21. Whitewitch says:

    Iah…that is true.

  22. karmanot says:

    Ah, a bigot termite has the sadz.

  23. karmanot says:


  24. Lawerence Collins says:

    A decontaminate shower, aka the movie SilkWood!

  25. BeccaM says:

    ‘His or her question for immediate sex’?

    Sorry, that’s never been part of the lesbian ‘lifestyle.’ There’s an old joke in the community: “What does a lesbian bring to the first date? A U-Haul trailer.”

    But yes, Whitewitch is correct: Projection!

  26. Jafafa Hots says:

    They know they happen, they just say “she was dressed like a slut.” or “She should have known better than to be alone in the room with him,” or “Why didn’t she call the police?” or “So she called the police and they didn’t even bother to write up a report – see? She’s a LIAR.” etc.

  27. cool math says:

    Until we get money out of politics and ban paid lobbyists, nothing will change.

  28. BeccaM says:

    Oh, I don’t doubt it:

    Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) is apparently urging the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) not to support any gay candidates — specifically because they’re gay.

    Forbes is one of the co-sponsors of the so-called “Marriage and Religious Freedom Act,” which would provide a license to discriminate against same-sex couples for all businesses with a religious affiliation. Unsurprisingly, he has previously refused to implement nondiscrimination protections for gay employees in his own Congressional office. He also supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage throughout the entire country. In 2007, he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act on the House floor, arguing that protecting gay people from being fired for their identities could somehow “destroy the institution of marriage.”

  29. MyrddinWilt says:

    At Google
    Sarah Hunter

  30. Whitewitch says:

    They are the Desperate…projection…projection…projection (on their part).

  31. pappyvet says:

    Just keep the wingnuts away from the bathrooms and they will be upstanding Christians I’m sure

  32. pappyvet says:

    Very sick indeed…..just read that Nelson Mandela has crossed the bridge. Same flavor of intolerance that kept him in prison would love to do the same to gay folk I fear.

  33. karmanot says:

    Well, that certainly explains why Calista Gingrich got her guilt jewels upfront.

  34. karmanot says:

    {{{{{ }}}}

  35. karmanot says:

    anti gay bigot trolls haunt this site like termites.

  36. karmanot says:

    A full moon is essential, particularly when solo and all that fur grows on one’s palm.

  37. karmanot says:

    Only her dildo knows for sure.

  38. karmanot says:

    COKE comes to mind—-a major presence at the Nazi Olympics, Sochi , and now a genocidal player in ALEC.

  39. karmanot says:

    “The Desperate “frequents the public restrooms, massage parlors, and bathhouses in his or her question for immediate sex.”—-well, that certainly describes the GOP’s hobby of wide stance public life.

  40. BeccaM says:

    I think I need a shower after reading that… Ugh.

    Seriously though what this manifestly evil lobbying group needs is a massive dose of sunshine and transparency. Make it a PR disaster for any major corporation to be allied with them, especially those which try to claim they’re “not evil.”

  41. Bill_Perdue says:

    I heard that it was stand up, twirl around while have sex and drinking a Coke. But only on the night of a full moon.

  42. jomicur says:

    You’re absolutely right, and that certainly tallies with my own experience. But I think the problem was (and is?) a lot broader and deeper than that. People in this country have always been fucked in the head about ANY kind of sexuality, including their own. When I was a kid in the 50s it was common “knowledge” that masturbation leads to blindness and insanity. Hell, when I was teaching school in the 1980s it was a common belief among the students that a girl couldn’t get pregnant if she had sex standing up or if she’d drink a bottle of Coke right after sex. This country got off to a bad start with the Puritans and has never recovered. We LGBT people are just the likeliest, most obvious targets of the ubiquitous American sex-phobia.

  43. Bill_Perdue says:

    Loyalty to MSNBC in spite of the fact that MSNBC anchor Roberts played quisling in Russia. Very partisan.

  44. jomicur says:

    Why on earth would anyone downvote this?

  45. dcinsider says:

    John have you asked HRC for a comment?

  46. Naja pallida says:

    That’s one of the insidious things about ALEC. They’re not considered a lobbying group. Even though lobbying is obviously their only activity. They’re actually registered as a 501(c)3 charity… same as a church, you know, like the Salvation Army.

  47. nicho says:

    Until we get money out of politics and ban paid lobbyists, nothing will change.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I have to wonder – did these companies get paid huge amounts of money to do this? What is the motivation? Is it worth it?

  49. Drew2u says:

    Google’s motto: “Don’t Be Evil.”

  50. The_Fixer says:

    Right you are, that was the prevailing attitude held by people of that era. My mother was one who believed it. When I was very young (in the early 1960s), she pulled me aside after noticing a man in a local store and warned me that he was wearing makeup, and that I should avoid him at all costs. She explained that guys like him were out to kidnap and harm young kids like me. Took me a few years to put together what she was talking about. He was probably a trans man, but to her, all people who are dealing with different sexuality or gender identity issues were lumped into the same category – “perverts”.

    What’s particularly troubling is that some people still actually believe that crap.

  51. The_Fixer says:


    Remember what the purpose of ALEC is – to write laws favorable to the people who are funding them. Even if ALEC closes its doors due to bad publicity, there’ll be a replacement organization formed in short order to do what ALEC’s former members wanted, but perhaps with less ‘baggage” that comes from the religious right.

    Because, you understand it’s business. Nothing personal… just business.

    ALEC losing members is reflective of the splitting of the Republican party. There are the pragmatic business people who have only one responsibility – keeping the bottom line up. They only care about social issues if it means good PR. There are the “values voters” who look at the above memo as being true and accept its conclusions as fact. A certain proportion of them are of the Dominionist bent. Then there is the TEA party wing who would just as soon see the government operating on a just barely post-colonial level, if that.

    In light of that, running the “modern” Republican party must be like herding cats in a bird sanctuary.

  52. Whitewitch says:

    The insanity never ends…honestly….

  53. Whitewitch says:

    I think it is because most people don’t believe those things happen. You should have seen the shock, horror and denial in my family when my sister sued my parents for Child Rape…yeap, to this day most of them still side with my parents…in fact, no family member, save my sister, contacts me AT ALL ever. But they have Christmas with Mom and Dad.

    It is much easier for people to believe that only the “others” do things like that. Thankfully much of that is changing. We can hope for much much more change.

  54. Naja pallida says:

    The only reason ALEC is losing donors at all is because their activities have become uncomfortably public. All those companies leaving are just going to jump on board with the next group that does the exact same thing, just more quietly. Abandoning ALEC makes no appreciable change to what these companies are still actively spending millions lobbying for.

  55. SonOfACook! says:

    I agree.

  56. MyrddinWilt says:

    This is one of the problems with having lobbyists, they work for their party, not their employer.

    WalMart recently quit ALEC due to their role in the Treyvon Martin murder. So I doubt Google will be members very long.

  57. Billy says:

    Judith Reisman—I was wondering what was brewing at Liberty College since Jerry Falwell kicked the bucket. Jesse Helms, after he was so relentless to HIV/Aids/GLTB causes actually (a little to late but nevertheless) had a turn of Faith near his demise. It would seem that these types of people would have better things to do with their own lives. Really sad.

  58. maria says:

    They tried doing it in Arizona where Arizona Public Service (APS) asked the utility regulatory agency to allow them to charge homeowners $50 to $100 a month for being connected to the grid because homes equipped with solar panels not only use less electricity but in some months get negative bills because the panels generate more power then the home needs and the surplus flows back into the grid and the utility has to reimburse the homeowner for the difference under law. Although the reimbursement rate is only 1/6th what the utility charges, the APS saw it as a threat. They ran ads statewide claiming that those solar panel will raise the electric rates of non-solar homes by an astronomical percentage. But the regulators in November allowed APS to add a $5 monthly surcharge to homes that add solar panels after January 1, technically a defeat for APS. ALEC is pushing the cause on behalf of the utility trade group Edison Electric Institute, which issued a White Paper earlier this year stating that at the rate homes are taking advantage of alternate energy sources, grid-connected utilities will soon be in a big a need as landline telephones and girdles (outside of Rush Limbaugh’s house).

  59. Monoceros Forth says:

    You said it. The implicit dichotomy is always been between a gauzy ideal of clean-living Christian family men peacefully growing old with their beloved wives and fresh-faced children, and debauched lisping queers in nightclubs dosing themselves with meth and ketamine and sexing it up with a new anonymous lover every night.

    Myself, I’ve always thought that the ideal Bible-belt relationship usually involved three people: the husband, the nth wife he plans on divorcing when she gets her first wrinkle, and the future (n+1)th wife already waiting to apply for the position.

  60. Indigo says:

    John, I don’t need to ask myself, I need to ask Google, ATT, and Comcast why they finance that tripe . Whom do you suggest we contact?

  61. Ninong says:

    There are members of the United States Congress who share Judith Reisman’s quackpot views. In fact, many of her “scientific” claims about “recruitment of children by homosexuals” were mainstream in this country just 60 years ago, when I was a teenager. A common sentiment I heard expressed by adults back then was that it was a shame that the police couldn’t do a better job of rounding up all the queers and putting them behind bars to protect the children.

    The myth that all gays are pedophiles was the majority opinion when I was growing up. It was mainstream. You were very likely to be fired from your job if your employer learned that you were secretly one of them. That 1985 memo from ALEC reads like something from the mid-1950’s.
    I’m surprised that anyone would think Reisman is a credible source for accurate information on human sexuality after her laughable claim that only 1-2% of the population is gay.

  62. Bill_Perdue says:

    Boycott NBC/MSNBC/Comcast and other homophobic organizations.

  63. B.J. Caldwell says:

    Great post! With the news from Rachel Maddow the other night about ALECs financial woes with the huge loss of corporate sponsors left post-Trayvon Martin. The Guardian has an ALEC memo discussing their ‘Prodical Son program [sic]….yep, ALEC spelled it wrong. The prodigal son is the name of their plan to woo back some of the big corps they lost…..they need the money.
    [edited for clarity]

  64. keirmeister says:

    I’ve never understood these “studies” about the “degenerate” nature of homosexuality. It’s like these people never heard of swinging, orgies, guys cruising chicks for one-night-stands, sexual assault of little girls by their uncles, or date rape. Hell, according to these people, there must be WAY more gay porn than straight!

    Whatever. Maybe this is controversial to say, but perhaps it’s not really about gay vs. straight behavior. I think it’s probably more about the sexual behavior of MEN in general.

  65. jomicur says:

    And how many of these corporations (members of ALEC) are listed as LGBT-friendly in HRC’s corporate index? They need to hear from us, and hear from us LOUDLY.

  66. Monoceros Forth says:

    Slightly off topic: ALEC has been in the news lately for a different reason. They’re wanting state laws to punish people for installing solar panels on their homes because supposedly that makes them freeloaders:

    (It really bugs me that their acronym is “Alec” because it shares the name of a favorite fictional character of mine. Silly I know.)

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