“They really truly want to equate homosexual marriage with heterosexual marriage. The sad reality is that it’s never going to be the same. The American people know marriage is not something to be messed with.”
This quote from Sandy Rios demonstrates George W. Bush’s George W. Bush successful use of containment rhetoric to tie LGBT rights, specifically that of marriage equality, to terrorism, thus placing the LGBT movement into the clearly defined category of other and thus un-American. By using interconnected rhetoric to equate anything un-American with terrorism, President Bush was able to force his own beliefs of what was morally right and what should be considered American on the general populace and therefore heighten anti-gay sentiment. The use of this rhetorical approach is frightening, as it appears to have led to an increase in homophobia in the early 2000s, as evidenced by the statistics mentioned by Lugo that show a decline in support for same-sex civil unions from 49 percent of the poll participants in May 2003 to only 34 percent in January 2004.