Here Are 100 People Freaking Out Over Arizona's Fake "Gay-To-Straight Programs"

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Daniel X. O'Neil via Flickr

There's an astounding amount of people who were fooled by a fake news article claiming Arizona was instituting "gay-to-straight programs" in public schools.

We noticed that several people actually thought this was real, but, checking through Twitter, there are perhaps thousands of people freaking out over this completely fake program. Check out 100 of the biggest freak-outs we found:

See also:
-No, Jan Brewer Is Not Putting "Gay-To-Straight Programs" in Arizona Schools

"Uneducated," says the man who used the word "Straigjr."

98.) 97.) 96.) 95.) 94.) 93.) 92.) 91.)


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Not surprising at all that so many people believed this story.


It is more than a little disturbing that so many people thought this story was true (and some  will continue to believe it despite the retraction.) But it is also very true that the story would have no legs if Arizona did not have an existing reputation for being run by batshit-crazy conservatives like Brewer, Arpaio, Andrew Thomas, et al. 

I spent a week in Pennsylvania last month visiting the in-laws, and spent much of the time fielding questions about how I could live in such a ridiculous state. My in-laws were actually thinking about retiring here at one point; not anymore. They don't want to live in a place that would be stupid enough to elect the likes of Brewer and Arpaio to office. Even in the relatively rural county where my in-laws live, a used-car salesman like Arpaio wouldn't be able to get elected dog catcher, much less a county sheriff! I think my father-in-law summed it up best: Arizona is "Alabama with cactus."

 To be honest, I wonder if the story might have a kernel of truth in it: maybe Cathi "King" Herrod or one of her little Bible bitches over at the Center For Arizona Policy floated such a bill in the last legislative session, and someone leaked it? If not, let's hope it doesn't give our resident chapter of the Christian Taliban any ideas....

Just completed some research, based upon this article.  Of your Top 25, Matthew - I've gotta stop and go have dinner, but that was a decent sample size - it appears that only 4 Tweeters (16%) received replies pointing out that it was a fake story!  A good example of how the Internet is a swamp of misinformation and one big game of "Telephone"!

eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Way back in 1965, there was a CBS Reports documentary titled Anatomy of a Rumor. It could easily have been based upon this red herring! Anyway, this just points up what people genuinely think about the shriveled up old hag.

valleynative topcommenter

Some of those people will never get the word that this was a joke.

Notice that many of the links in these posts are broken.

When I first read the earlier article, I immediately went to Google News and found about half a dozen different sources for the story.  By the time I had read the first one, most of the others had been taken down.  The responsible thing to do would have been to display an apology at the same URL where the article had been.


@getmeouttahere"Alabama with cactus." LOVE IT!

Arizona, Texas, Florida and North Carolina are definitely in a race to the bottom. Right now, it looks like North Carolina is winning but Arizona is a close second.

valleynative topcommenter


Now think for a moment about the people who hear stories about how far to the right Arizona is and instead think, "Yes, that's the place for me to retire!" and then come here and register to vote.

That's why it's hard to get rid of Arpaio.


yunomakemefillthisou  No, it just shows how messed up Arizona is with pure evil racist bigots like Brewer and Arpaio running this place. A story like this is not that too extreme, considering all the other BS those two have pulled.... and that's why people believed it.


@valleynative Ain't that the truth. Arizona is a bit of a dumping ground for elderly right-wing loonybirds who like to spend their days listening to Limbaugh, watching Fox "News" and complaining about the government and "them goddamned libruls ruining 'Merica" while gobbling up their government-provided Social Security and Medicare.  

I used to be in a job where I had to deal with these people a lot. I vividly remember one woman I met about five years ago; she and her husband moved here from Ohio, and she told me how disappointed they were that Arizona had "so many colored people" (Yes, she used that word.) They had left Ohio because "all the blacks and Mexicans and foreigners are moving in and ruining the place." Apparently they were under the misguided belief that Arizona had no such people? (Watching Babeu and Arpaio too much on Fox, perhaps?) 

Throw in our own extensive population of home-grown loonies (thanks to our shitty education system and the influence of the Mormon church, which historically was extremely biased against non-whites) and you have an electorate that votes in the likes of Arpaio, Russell Pearce, Andy Thomas, and the rest of the batshit-crazy GOP goon squad. Maybe things will change once these old buzzards die off and are replaced by a majority electorate that is younger, less white, and less Mormon, but I'm not holding my breath. My goal is to get out of this shithole within the next five years and move to a state like CO or WA that has a fucking clue.   

valleynative topcommenter


You're right about the Mormon influence, but our schools are actually better than most people realize.  The problem is that there are a lot of parents who can't help with homework or get involved with the school at all, because of their status, and a lot of students who've been raised to think of mainstream society as the enemy, so they're not interested in school.  The fact that about half of our incoming students have never had a book read to them is a major handicap, as well.

Among students who care enough about education to take the SAT, we score above the national average.

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