14 Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Villains Of 2014

14 Of The Worst Anti-LGBT Villains Of 2014

2014 was, without a doubt, a milestone year for mainstream lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

However, that doesn't mean that the usual anti-queer cast of characters weren't actively working against our movement -- from world leaders to reality TV stars.

As we continue to make progress to better the lives of the LGBT community, it's important to remain aware of those who are still trying to deny full rights and citizenry to queer individuals. Let's take a look back at 14 of the worst anti-LGBT villains of the past year.

Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of "19 Kids and Counting" fame joined a strange group of reality TV stars turned anti-LGBT activists this year when it was revealed that Michelle publicly campaigned against an anti-discrimination bill. She became the voice of a robocall that encouraged individuals to oppose a civil rights proposal in her home state. The couple later found themselves under fire when they posted a photo of themselves kissing and put forth an open call for couples to share their own photos. The pair then allegedly removed a photo of a same-sex kiss that was posted along with a message about marriage equality.

The controversy was met with a petition to have "19 Kids And Counting" taken off the air -- which was met with a counter-petition by fans.
National Organization For Marriage
The National Organization for Marriage continued its fight against marriage equality. However, the organization is reportedly $2.5 million in debt according to its 2013 tax filings.
Sweet Cakes By Melissa
Polarizing Oregon bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa found itself at the center of a national debate in 2013 when the business refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. In January, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries ruled that Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated Oregon’s anti-discrimination statute. The move caused the Kleins to become a symbol of the religious right's campaign for the right to discriminate against queer individuals on the basis of religious freedom, with the couple ultimately making the decision to close their business and work out of a private kitchen. In September, Melissa Klein broke down in tears at the Values Voter Summit, claiming that she and her husband were facing a $150,000 fine.
Phil Robertson
In late 2013, GQ published a profile on "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson in which the reality star made a number of anti-gay comments, including comparing gay sex to beastiality. Following the profile, Robertson was temporarily suspended from the A&E hit series but eventually reinstated. The controversy followed Robertson into 2014, with other anti-gay comments coming to light including a sermon that stated "[Gays are] full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant, God-haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless." He has continued to spew anti-gay rhetoric at other public appearances.
Anti-Gay NFL Coaches And Players
When Michael Sam was historically drafted into the NFL and kissed his boyfriend on national television, it sparked a national debate about deeply entrenched homophobia in the sports world. A number of former and active NFL coaches made anti-gay comments in wake of Sam's draft, including claims that he was "bringing baggage" to the locker rooms and comments from players such as, "gays should be rounded up and put on an island, and nuked it until it glows."

In what many claim was a result of the NFL's homophobia, Sam was cut from the NFL in September. Sam recently told Oprah that other gay NFL players approached him following his coming out.
Pat Robertson
Mario Tama via Getty Images
It certainly wouldn't be a line-up of villains of the queer community without the inclusion of longtime anti-LGBT pundit Pat Robertson. The "700 Club" host made a number of eyebrow-raising claims about queer individuals -- many of which seem to lack even basic logic. Among some of the most notable were remarks that gays would "die out" due to their inability to reproduce, claims that a gay teen was having crushes on boys because he was raised by a single mother and calling gay rights advocates "terrorists."
Kirk Cameron
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images
Kirk Cameron is another regular face on the annual list of anti-LGBT villains, with the former child star spewing more anti-LGBT rhetoric in 2014. In wake of the Grammys' mass gay wedding at the closing of the awards, Cameron claimed that the event was an "assault on the traditional family."
Vladimir Putin
2014 opened with international LGBT activists focused on Russia, the site of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed into law a bill that put a ban on gay "propaganda" throughout the nation, raising questions about how this would affect international LGBT athletes during the Winter Games. The law sparked a highly documented climate of fear and violence for LGBT Russians that carried into protests at the Sochi Olympics. The games passed without any high-profile acts of violence against LGBT athletes, though the Russian anti-gay "propaganda" law remains in effect.
Yoweri Museveni
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Things looked more dire than ever for LGBT Ugandans earlier this year when President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill that toughened penalties for gay people, including "life sentences for gay sex and same-sex marriage." In a historic ruling in August of this year, a Ugandan court struck down the country's anti-gay law. Though lawmakers are currently trying to push another anti-gay bill into law, no such legislation has passed in parliament.
James David Manning
A new polarizing anti-gay religious figure went viral earlier this year after his church, Harlem ATLAH Missionary Church, posted a sign that read, "Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman. A white homo may take your man." The church then later replaced the sign with one that read, "Jesus would stone homos," along with "Stoning is still the law." And later, "Harlem is a sodomite free zone. Stop sodomizing our children in schools across America." Perhaps most bizarrely, pastor James David Manning claimed that Starbucks is using the semen of "sodomites" in their drinks.

Harlem ATLAH Missionary Church has since become the target of LGBT activists who aim to counter the hate in their neighborhood, including a protest in front of the church with free Starbucks.
Westboro Baptist Church
Damon Dahlen, AOL
It wouldn't be a line-up of villians without the Westboro Baptist Church. In fact, this longtime anti-gay organization even paid a visit to our offices earlier this year to protest (we greeted them with cupcakes). When they weren't screaming their hate around New York City, Westboro members spent their time threatening to protest elsewhere -- oftentimes not following through -- including Robin Williams' funeral and Michael Brown's funeral.
Steven Anderson
A sermon delivered by Arizona pastor Steven Anderson arguing for the execution of gay people went viral in December. Specifically, the religious leader claimed that "we can have an AIDS-free world by Christmas" if gays were "executed." Watch it for yourself above.
Bryan Fischer
Another regular face on this annual list is Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. The radio show host can usually be depended upon to make anti-LGBT arguments that defy logic, including this year's claim that the "homosexual agenda" is the "greatest threat to liberty" ever seen by the U.S. and that the NFL "discriminated against everyone but Michael Sam" by signing the athlete.
Sandy Rios
Sandy Rios is another pundit from the American Family Association whose comments often land her in hot water with the LGBT community. In March of this year, Rios went on a rant about out service members, claiming in the process that gays and "trannies" should be banned from the military.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misidentified the NFL team that drafted Michael Sam as the Ravens; he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams.

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