chapter  1
10 Pages

Dear Abby, "The Gay Agenda," and the New York Times

InOctoberof1992,justintimeforthereferendaonAmendment2inColorado andMeasure9inOregon,1aright-wingChristianorganizationcalled"The Report"releasedatwenty-minutevideoentitled"TheGayAgenda"(The Report1993;orig.1992).Itisaslickandmanipulativepieceofanti-gaypropagandathatmayhavebeenseenbyafewhundredthousandpeopleinshowings oncabletelevisionandinchurchbasements,Congress,andthePentagon.Its distributorshandeditoutfreebythedozensduringtheOregonandColorado campaigns,anditsmakersclaimthat70,000copieshavebeendistributed.2The video'scenterpieceiscarefullyselectedfootagefromtheNewYorkandSan Franciscogayprideparadesshowingpreciselythosespectaclesmostlikelyto shockaconservativelyreligious,nonurbanaudience:publicpartialnudity (withaparticularemphasisonbare-breastedwomen),costumedportrayalsof s/mscenes,dragqueens(includingSanFrancisco'sSistersofPerpetual Indulgenceintheirnuns'habits),andtender,affectionate,open-mouthed kissesbetweenmen.