This morning, I had an interesting chat with a Charlotte resident and qnotes reader who was upset at The Associated Press’ use of the term “gay agenda” in a story yesterday.

The piece, entitled “Obama embraces incremental response to gay agenda,” explored the president’s achievements on LGBT equality issues and initiatives and contained thoughts and responses from LGBT advocates and activists. You can read the piece, alternatively titled “Obama inches toward gay agenda” in other publications, at

The piece itself wasn’t bad. In fact, it was quite an interesting read. The AP writer’s use of the term “gay agenda,” was unfortunate.

I’ll let the GLAAD Media Reference Guide do the explaining…

Offensive: “gay agenda” or “homosexual agenda”
Preferred: Accurate descriptions of the issues (e.g., “inclusion in existing non-discrimination and hate crimes laws,” “ending the ban on openly gay service members”)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are motivated by many of the same hopes, concerns and desires as other everyday Americans. They seek to be able to earn a living, be safe in their communities, serve their country, and take care of the ones they love. Their commitment to equality is one they share with many allies and advocates who are not necessarily LGBT. Notions of a so-called “homosexual agenda” are rhetorical inventions of anti-gay extremists seeking to create a climate of fear by portraying the pursuit of equal opportunity for LGBT people as sinister.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

2 replies on “AP: Use of ‘gay agenda’ draws ire”

  1. Re the “gay agenda,” I understand the negative connotation that QNotes and GLAAD are talking about. The editor could have easily substituted “equality” for “agenda.” But then on the very same page of your blog, in your “related stories” list, I see the headline “Employment next on ENC agenda.”

  2. here we go making a mountain out of a mold hill. yet many of those small negative connotation we our selves use.

    I guess soon we will be requesting the complete rewrite of our own history.. This is nothing wrong with the term gay agenda; since we as people do have one. there is nothing wrong the term homosexual, since that what we are.

    GLAAD is the second biggest mistake we have made in our community, the first is HRC, which if they get rid of Joe still might be able to do some good.

    Once I read that the term dyke was a negative and degrading, yet in our pride festivals we have our loving sister on their bike, known as dykes on bikes, we can’t have it both ways

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