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How The Catholic Church Propels Online Anti-Gay Rhetoric

by | Aug 27, 2022

A new report published by the Human Rights Campaign reveals that anti-gay rhetoric spiked following the passage of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law earlier this month. The report found that since January 2018, there was a 400% increase in posts containing anti-transgender language on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit. 

The report also showed how social media platforms enabled extremist politicians and their allies to peddle inflammatory, discriminatory rhetoric against LGBTQ people.

The word grooming was viewed over 72 million times in online posts between January and July. We must say, the rhetoric being used against our community is downright absurd. We are accused of grooming, but nobody bats an eyelid at the Catholic Church. 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being religious or Catholic. Yet, the USA weaponizes religion to attack our community. The numbers behind the attacks being propelled to our community do not surpass those of the Catholic church. In fact, they are far less. 

It’s not to say there are no instances of grooming in the LGBTQIA+ community. Of course, all communities will have these issues. Eli Elrick, for example, has been accused of grooming and rape multiple times over.  

A countryside Catholic church on a fall day.

But compared to the number of child molestation and grooming cases uncovered in the catholic church are much higher, where homosexuality is often condemned. 

It leaves us wondering if the point of the anti-gay rhetoric is to protect children, why are we being attacked instead of the catholic church? And, how does it affect LGBT youth?

The reality is politicians in America have a lot of power and influence. In the South of the United States, right-wing politicians are leading the way for people to quickly and easily speak negatively of our community. 

Florida politicians have also been involved in promoting anti-LGBTQ2A+ hatred. Christina Pushaw, a spokesperson for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), tweeted in March that opponents to the “Don’t Say Gay” law are probably “grooming kids.” DeSantis was able to sign the bill into law just days after.

DeSantis himself claims that the bill protects children from being indoctrinated with transgender issues and R-rated sexual education. The same education these people are demonizing will hurt the LGBTQIA+ youth in their communities. When we fail to educate the youth in our community, we do not equip them with the knowledge needed to stay safe. As a result, we see a sharp rise in HIV positive youth

Florida isn’t the only place where teachers have been censored for discussing LGBTQ2S+ issues in their classes. Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, South Carolina and Tennessee are states that have written their own variations of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Alabama has officially passed their bill into law. A new bill requires public schools to inform parents if they teach sex ed classes that include topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Critics warn the legislation could be misapplied to punish teachers who discuss these issues.

Adam Polaski has been saying for months that these so-called “anti-gay” bills are nothing new and that they follow a similar path as “no promo homos” legislation from the 1980s and 1990s. Several of those laws are still legal today. 

Apart from an increase in HIV rates due to these bills, the negative online rhetoric we are seeing could force people into the closet. It will lead to incredible levels of depression and anxiety. Our community is already predisposed to a higher risk of attempted suicide

So, our question to you, the readers of The HomoCulture, is simple. Do you feel the anti-gay rhetoric that’s increasingly being seen online is led by right wing politicians? Or, do you feel that people are really starting to feel this way towards our community? 

If you believe the latter, what can we do to prevent this type of hatred from being spewed across the internet? Can we do anything to prevent the negativity that will undoubtedly affect the LGBTQ+ youth in our community? Let us know your comments below. 

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Sean Kivi

Sean Kivi


Sean Kivi holds a master's degree from the University of Nottingham in translation studies from Spanish to English. He specializes in writing about gay culture and its influence on discourse. Sean speaks Spanish fluently and focuses on translating gay-themed literature to English and analyzing the discourse to understand how our culture is universal yet distinct in countries worldwide. He has translated for authors in Mexico and completed case studies related to machismo and its influences on gay culture in Latin America.

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