Now that some conservative Christians are blaming gays for the Ebola epidemic — with no rational reason, as usual — it’s a good time for a recap of other calamities that LGBTI people have been blamed for.
More than a dozen natural disasters are on the list, each one interpreted as God’s violent response to the existence of LGBTI people or the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage. Also on the list are various murders and massacres, somehow attributed to gays who weren’t on the scene, along with some surprising accusations, such as gays’ alleged responsibility for the existence of autism and the size of Spain’s national debt.
Regarding Ebola, the Liberian Council of Churches declared that God was punishing the nation with the disease because God was angry over Liberians’ corruption and immoral acts such as homosexuality.
Previous outbreaks of the blame-the-gays virus
In recent decades, gays have been blamed for causing the following 19 disasters, crimes and predicaments:
Famines in East Africa, from the 1970s onwards. (Televangelist Pat Robertson is an early contributor to the blame-the-gays list, as noted in “Robertson’s fault line” in The Advocate.)
Hurricane Andrew, 1992. (“Robertson’s fault line,” The Advocate.)
Northridge earthquake in California, 1994. (“Robertson’s fault line,” The Advocate.)
Hurricane Bonnie and more, 1998. (Robertson predicted in June 1998 that God would punish Orlando, Florida, with hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs and “possibly a meteor” because of a Gay Days promotion for Disney World. But when hurricane season arrived, the first major tropic storm, Hurricane Bonnie, hit land in the area of Robertson’s own headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “TV Preacher Pat Robertson Expands On ‘Gay Days’ Comments,” Americans United)
Indian Ocean tsunami, 2004. (“They’re Going to Blame the Gays for Climate Change,” The Stranger. Author/columnist Dan Savage comments: “God may be all-knowing and all-powerful, but He is, it seems, a lousy shot, the Mr. Magoo of higher powers. Same-sex couples get married in Boston, Toronto and San Francisco, and a vengeful, near-sighted God triggers an earthquake that slams a killer wave into Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka, killing a quarter of a million people who weren’t even invited to the wedding.”)
Hurricane Katrina, 2005. (“Religious leader blames hurricane on gays,” The Advocate)
Earthquake in Virginia, 2011. (“Rabbi Says Quake Is Your Fault,” The Advocate)
Tsunami in Japan, 2011. (“Jacobs: Blame Gays for Tsunami,” The Advocate.)
Hurricane Isaac, 2012. (“Hurricane Isaac Blamed On New Orleans’ Southern Decadence Gay Festival By Pastor, Locals,” Huffington Post.
Death of U.S. ambassador in Libya, 2012. (Columnist Ben Shapiro claimed that the willingness of the U.S. State Department to hire gay security personnel contributed to lax security. “Why Libya Matters,” TownHall.com)
Hurricane Sandy, 2012. (“Pastor: Blame gays for Hurricane Sandy,” Salon)
Massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut, 2012. (TV commentator and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said, “I would never say that simply taking prayer and Bible reading from our institutions or silencing Christmas carols is the direct cause of a mass murder. [But] We dismiss the notion of natural law and the notion that there are moral absolutes and seemed amazed when some kids make it their own morality to kill innocent children. We diminish and even hold in contempt the natural family of a father and mother …” in “My Fox Show Monologue,” MikeHuckabee.com)
Massacre of 34 striking miners in South Africa, 2012. (“Preacher blames gays for Marikana shooting,” Mail & Guardian.)
Bushfires in Australia, 2013. (“Australian Christian group blames bushfires on gay marriage,” Gay Star News.)
Floods in Britain, 2013-2014. (“Ukip suspends councillor who claimed floods were caused by gay marriage,” The Guardian)
Freezing weather and tornadoes, 2014. (“GOP Congressional candidate blames gays for weather, wants LGBT votes,” Windy City Times.)
Autism, 2014. (In addition to extreme weather, candidate Susanne Atanus also accused gays of causing autism. “GOP Congressional candidate blames gays for weather, wants LGBT votes,” Windy City Times.)
Spain’s $1.3 trillion national debt, 2014. (“Spanish Conservative Christian Senator Blames Gays For Country’s Trillion Dollar Debt,” The New Civil Rights Movement.)