So Wayne Besen has been likened to Adolf Hitler by a notoriously extreme ex-gay proponent for whom the extra attention of mentioning his name would be undeserved. (And so I won’t.)

By no means is every ex-gay or every person who disagrees with homosexuality a Nazi or a fascist. But there is a particularly ugly anti-gay type who, it seems to me, is the natural descendant of Nazi anti-semitism. This is the type who trades in on vicious insinuations and accusations of paedophilia, depravity and disease-spreading.

In The Antigay Agenda: Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right, Didi Herman writes:

These themes of disease and seduction are strongly reminiscent of older, anti-Semitic discourses. Jews historically were associated with disease, filth, urban degeneration, and child stealing (see, e.g., Gilman 1991; Mosse 1985). Some of these antigay themes also draw upon anticommunist discourse … Although Communists were not represented as carrying physical disease, their ideology was likened to a germ, infesting and desensitizing the innocent. Jim Woodall of Concerned Women for America (interview by author, 1995) similarly used the word “desensitization” in relation to the “gay agenda” and youth. The fate of children is paramount within both genres.

The accusations have all been heard before. The claim that a certain group of people are corrupting society, spreading disease and seducing the young into perversion has been made of others before us. And when gays and lesbians have long since ceased being an acceptable scapegoat, the same accusations will doubtless be hurled at others.

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