New Favorite Wingnut Word: Disordered

I’m sensing a new meme developing among the anti-gay right. Lately I’ve seen several of them claim that being gay is “disordered,” though I have no idea what they actually mean by that. Illinois State. Rep. Jeanne Ives is the latest to do it in response to the legalization of same-sex marriage there:

“They’re trying to redefine marriage. It’s a completely disordered relationship and when you have a disordered relationship, you don’t ever get order out of that. So I’m more than happy to take a ‘no’ vote on the issue of homosexual marriage.”

And of course, she’s very brave for saying this.

“I’m more than happy to stand up and take a courageous vote here on this issue because it’s the right thing to do. Essentially what they’re trying to do is not just redefine marriage, they’re trying to redefine society. They’re trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy. And we can’t allow that to happen. The rights to marriage… it’s really a natural right…

“It’s the natural right of the child to be with both parents, either in an adoptive nature or in a biological nature. To not have a mother and a father is really a disordered state for a child to grow up in and it really makes that child an object of desire rather than the result of a matrimony.”

Yes, pandering to ignorant bigots and scapegoating gay people, that’s incredibly “courageous.” That is some serious word salad.

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  • mvemjsun

    The bad guys are not defining their new approach likely so that the good guys have to guess. Then they can accuse us of using a strawman. Assuming they have enough brains for that.

  • Just a guess. Calling being gay, “being disordered”, puts it in the category of an illness. Being an illness makes it a little harder to demonize those who “suffer” from being teh GAY; otoh it will ensure that Marcus Bachmann and quacks like him will be able to continue “curing” teh GAY.

  • Disordered = not conforming the model of relationships mandated by nature God, I would guess.

    It’s sort of like the intelligent design argument– they realize that actually coming out and saying “God says so” isn’t going to do it, so they’re trying to find ways to make the universe say so.

  • jba55

    Isn’t “disordered” when someone messes up your carefully arranged whatever? As in “it was all nice and neat until Jim disordered it.” Course I have OCD so that might affect my thinking on the subject.

    I wish there was a way to return “courage” to meaning doing something that actually involves some kind of risk. “Hero” too. Putting on a uniform makes one a hero these days, you don’t need to do something heroic.

  • Isn’t “disordered” when someone messes up your carefully arranged whatever?

    Yes. Marriage is God’s carefully arranged whatever, and now the gays have come along and disordered it. God had all of the socks neatly matched and lined up in the drawer, and those darn homosexuals have thrown them all over the place, matched up the blacks with the browns, and generally made a mess of things.

  • Randomfactor

    “Disordered” means “I can’t tell which one’s supposed to be the master and which one’s the slave.”

  • Ben P

    “It’s the natural right of the child to be with both parents, either in an adoptive nature or in a biological nature. To not have a mother and a father is really a disordered state for a child to grow up in and it really makes that child an object of desire rather than the result of a matrimony.”

    What huh?

    This is the part that just completely throws me.

    I understand the sentiment in the first sentence, although “natural right” is using a word that’s just wrong. You can say it’s desireable for a child to have both parents but there’s certainly no “right,” and suggesting that child should have “a right” to both parents is a little disconcerting because I’m inclined to ask what precisely else you would order? We already have an awful lot of state machinery dedicated solely to (a) ensuring that children have parents that provide at least a safe environment to the child, and (b) ensuring that non-custodial parents compensate the others for the cost of raising the child.

    But then you go to not having two parents makes the child an “object of desire.” I can’t even tell what she means by this? Is she suggesting the child is merely the “result of desire.” Or is she suggesting a child without two married parents is somehow going to be molested?

  • arakasi

    And yet another anti-SSM advocate puts forth a (rather poor) argument against divorce and pretends it’s an argument against same-sex marriage.

  • oranje

    When they jump right to the Mrs. Lovejoy “think of the children” argument, you know they’ve got nothing. The appeals to a natural order are hilarious, and the notion that this is going to disrupt breeders breeding makes my head hurt.

    That was a word salad with chunky bigot dressing. Eww.

  • I’m more than happy to stand up and take a courageous vote here on this issue because it’s the right wingnut bigot thing to do.


  • It is not particularly new: the current (as of 1997) revision of the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, section 2358, says:

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    The word “disordered” is used in several places in RCC dogma and canon law to refer to homosexuality; the earliest reference I can find was from 1986 in a letter written by — why, Ratzo himself, written while he was head of the Holy Inquisition Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a letter called Letter ot the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.

  • This isn’t new. It comes from Persona humana, a document put out by the Catholic Church (more specifically, the office formerly called the Inquisition) in 1975. It’s also front and centre in the catechism. I guess the Protestants are picking it up because it sounds good to them. But don’t feel left out. The same documents also call masturbation intrinsically disordered.

  • felicis

    Generally, bubble sort is a reasonably efficient algorithm for getting order out of any disordered set- it’s incredibly fast when the set has only two elements…

  • garnetstar

    She’s right on one thing: what bigots object to in marriage equality is not breakdown of the family or destruction of heterosexual marriage. It’s that being gay, the existence of gay people, will become normal, not hidden. That is what they mean when they talk of the destruction of society: a society in which gay people are ordinary citizens and not evil deviants. As she says, “some sort of legitimacy”.

  • “Disorderd” = having a lifettyle or worldview more complex than the most simple and orderly worldview in the room.

  • ajb47

    Ben P @8:

    “object of desire” stuck out to me, too. I think it refers to their unfounded belief that homosexuality leads to pedophilia.

  • DaveL

    To not have a mother and a father is really a disordered state for a child to grow up in and it really makes that child an object of desire rather than the result of a matrimony.

    Wait, what? Did a state rep just go on the record that she finds children from broken homes sexy?

  • raven

    To not have a mother and a father is really a disordered state for a child to grow up in …

    1. 40% of US children are born to single mothers.

    2. The divorce rate is 50%.

    Teenage pregnancy and divorce are also higher among fundie xians than the general population.

    The vast majority of children in single parent homes are victims of heterosexual xian “disorder”.

    Fundies seemingly have never heard of Google, the search engine. Or facts and reality either.

  • raven

    Divorce rates are one proven way to produce single parent households.

    Documentation for the claim above that fundies have a high divorce rate. The divorce rate for atheists is lower than average. Growing up in Oogedy Boogedy fundie religions is bad for children.

    Google captures.

    Hey Fox, What About This “War on Marriage?” Divorce Rates Are …

    www .alternet. org/…/hey_fox,_what_about_this_%22war_on_marria…

    May 10, 2012 – Divorce Rates Are Highest Among Evangelicals … were divorce rates among Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians the … Non-denominational** 34% … rates were still higher in the Bible Belt as of 2009 according to a US …

    Atheism & Divorce: Divorce Rates for Atheists are Among the Lowest … › … › Atheist Families, Marriage

    Atheism & Divorce: Divorce Rates for Atheists are Among the Lowest in America. Why Do Conservative Christian Defenders of Marriage Get Divorced More …by Austin Cline – in 1,350 Google+ circles

    Divorce Rates Amongst Born-again Christians Compared To Other …

    www. nairaland. com/…/divorce-rates-amongst-born-again-christians

    “There is consensus that the overall U.S. divorce rate had a brief spurt after WW2, … [li]Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for … Barna uses the term “non-denominational” to refer to Evangelical Christian …

  • slc1

    To the surprise of no one, Hillary Clinton joins her husband and the president in supporting same sex marriage.

  • Trebuchet

    I think “disordered”, to these clowns, simply means “mentally ill”. But since homosexuality is no longer classed as a mental illness in the DSM, they have to use another word. The target audience understands it perfectly well.

  • abb3w

    Maybe they’ve been reading too much of Modesitt’s “Recluce” fantasy series?

    (More seriously, I think it’s a mindset where “disordered” equals “nonconforming” equals “bad” similar to what Gretchen suggested, with the illness connotations democommie noted.)

  • Phillip IV

    “Disordered” is just another in a long list of right-wing words signifying a completely unspecified objection. Other favorites in that category are “unacceptable” and “inappropriate”. It’s basically just taking a personal dislike and couching it in a term implying a violation of some standard, with the added implication that said standard is widely held an possibly indisputable, but without ever actually specifying the standard.

    On a positive note, the term is a lot more circumspect than its predecessors of a few years back, when it was still considered perfectly acceptable to refer to gay relationships as “sick” or “disgusting”.

  • dingojack

    A Wingnut to human translation

    Disordered (dis.’’d): what follows with be a word salad with chunky bigot dressing.



    Phillip IV – in other words, it goes against ‘common courtesy’ (ie I think it’s icky, embarrassing, annoying, incomprehensible and/or etc. Everyone thinks like me, therefore they will conform to my standard).

  • kermit.

    Gay marriage legitimacy is one of those liberal ideas that threaten order, that is, the neat and unrealistic world which is explicable and to some degree controllable. Now it’s all messy and icky and changing fast and utterly baffling and scary. but that’s only the psychological motivation behind RW distaste for gay rights.


    My dictionary definition says:


    1. plus ungood

    2. double plus ungood (obsolete)

    See also

    Liberal, Scientific, Educated, Elite, Godless, Cooties

  • D. C. Sessions

    It makes more sense if you compare it to the opposite — in German: “Alles in Ordnung.”

  • Stacy

    it really makes that child an object of desire rather than the result of a matrimony

    I think she’s making a distinction between children who are had, regardless of method (adoption, sperm donor, surrogacy, or old-fashioned way) because their parents want them, which is liberal and Bad, and children that happen whether their parents want them or not, because marriage = one man + one woman having procreative sex without contraception as Baby Jesus intended, which is Good.

    Calling wanted children “objects of desire” just serves to make reproductive choice sound scary. Shorter her: “Every child a wanted child” is liberal propaganda, and separating sex from procreation is Satan’s work.

  • Trickster Goddess

    To be fair, they are right that my gay relationship is disordered. Neither of us seems to find the time to tidy up our apartment.

  • skinnercitycyclist

    I’d rather be “disordered” than “deranged”…