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Southern Poverty Law Center

National Organization for Marriage continues to spread lies about gays

Friday, May 25, 2012

About the worst thing said about gay men, an allegation that is regularly dragged out by certain religious-right organizations, is that they molest children at rates vastly higher than their heterosexual counterparts.

It is as devastating a charge as one can make in a country where jailed pedophiles, known in prison parlance as “short eyes,” are frequently murdered by self-righteous fellow inmates.

But it is also completely false, a demonizing construct long ago debunked and denounced by virtually all relevant scientific organizations and serious researchers.

That’s why the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the leading opponent of same-sex marriage but also a group that prides itself on keeping its criticisms of homosexuality both civil and factual, does not employ the accusation.

Or does it?

Last Nov. 15, the Ruth Institute, a project of the NOM Education Fund, published the first eight paragraphs of an essay by anti-gay activist Michael Brown that asked what topic even far-right radio host Rush Limbaugh might be afraid to bring up in the face of “political correctness.”

The part of the essay on the Ruth Institute website didn’t say what that topic was, but gave a “Keep Reading” link to a site run by an openly gay-bashing hate group, the American Family Association.

There, it took readers another three paragraphs to get to the red meat: “Could it be that the [Penn State] sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature? And could it be that even Rush Limbaugh didn’t have the guts to address this? (Contrary to the protestations of some, a man who is sexually involved with boys is a homosexual pedophile; a man who is sexually involved with girls is a heterosexual pedophile.)”

Jerry Sandusky

Brown was clearly suggesting that accused pedophile Jerry Sandusky, Penn State’s assistant football coach until the scandal broke, was a gay man. But actually, as is well known, that’s false.

Anti-gay activists claim that all men who molest male children are homosexual. But researchers long ago established that there are two types of molesters: fixated and regressive. Fixated molesters — the stereotypical pedophile — typically molest children of either sex, but have no sexual interest in any adult and can’t be considered heterosexual or homosexual.

Regressive molesters are attracted to adults, but may “regress” to children under stress; most of them have been found to be heterosexual in their adult relationships. That’s why the American Psychological Association has officially concluded that “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men.”

To NOM’s many critics in the LGBT community, this is par for NOM’s course. For more than a year now, gay rights activists have alleged that NOM is playing a shell game, avoiding the most egregiously false defamations of gay people on its own website, but linking directly to others who don’t.

The charge had enough impact that Maggie Gallagher — who co-founded NOM in 2007, is past chairwoman of the board, and remains a key NOM spokeswoman — felt forced to respond.

In a Dec. 9 post entitled “A Link Is Not An Endorsement,” Gallagher said such an argument “would lead to the absurd conclusion” that NOM agrees with the editorial positions of The New York Times or The Advocate, an LGBT newspaper.

She didn’t mention the fact that the anti-gay article “leaders” on NOM’s site are almost always presented without any hint of criticism and, to all appearances, do seem to be endorsed by NOM. Some are simply republications of essays without any introductory commentary, while others feature laudatory introductions.

Gallagher added a noteworthy comment to her recent post: “I would like to say personally that nothing in any argument I’ve ever made on gay marriage rests on the idea that same-sex couples harm their children at any higher rates than anyother family form. (If there is data that shows this, I’ve never seenit.)”

Repeat Offenders

Gallagher may be entirely sincere, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. NOM seems hard-pressed to avoid talk of pedophilia as it campaigns against gay marriage.

Just this Dec. 7, for instance, NOM’s Ruth Institute posted a gushing recommendation for a book titled Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk, a jeremiad by Mathew Staver, head of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel. “Anybody who cares about the future of our society should read this book,” NOM said.

The 2004 book that NOM says “gives you real answers” isn’t further detailed on the NOM site, but it is jam-packed with precisely the kind of misinformation that Gallagher suggests she abhors. Perhaps most remarkably, the book claims that “29 percent of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6 percent of the adult children of heterosexual parents… Having a homosexual parent(s) appears to increase the risk of incest with a parent by a factor of about 50.”

Staver’s citation for this hair-raising claim is remarkable — a debunked 1996 article co-authored by Paul Cameron, an anti-gay ideologue whose fraudulent studies have been denounced by the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association and many others. The reality, says the American Academy of Adolescent and Child Psychiatry, is children of LGBT parents “are not more likely to be sexually abused.” Adds the American Psychological Association: “Fears that children in custody of lesbian or gay parents might be at heightened risk for sexual abuse are without basis in the research literature.”

Again and again, NOM seems to come back to pedophilia. Last June 8, it posted a video of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) at the Eagle Forum Collegians 2011 Summit, countering arguments for same-sex marriage by warning that it would open the door to all kinds of marriages, including pedophilic unions.

“For instance, if you just care about somebody and you have a committed relationship, why not allow one man and two women, or three women, to marry? … Why not allow group marriage?” she said. Then Hartzler got to her punch line: “Why not allow an uncle to marry his niece? Why not allow a 50-year-old man to marry a 12-year-old girl if they love each other and they’re committed? So, pretty soon, if you don’t set parameters, you don’t have any parameters at all.”

And last Aug. 18, in a “Dear Marriage Supporter” open letter, NOM President Brian Brown wrote about a highly controversial group of scholars and others working to de-stigmatize those attracted to children who do not act on their impulses. “When you knock over a core pillar of society like marriage, and then try to redefine Biblical views of marriage as bigotry, there will be consequences,” he said. “Will one of the consequences be a serious push to normalize pedophilia?”

That hardly seems likely, although just five days after Brown’s post another NOM blogger suggested that the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision, decriminalizing gay sex, would “lead to the normalization of … pedophilia.”

Continue reading at the Southern Poverty Law Center

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35 more reader comments:

  1. They’re upset because they know they are going to lose this fight.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:45pm
  2. Like we rape little kids, have sex with animals, convert the unwilling…that’s old news. While I’m laying here in bed watching Boy Meets World. Big threat….right here. *points to herself*

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:46pm
  3. homophobic freaks

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:46pm
  4. You know what they say about projecting one’s faults onto the opposition aka transference. These people must be truly deeply sick.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:48pm
  5. Such sad, angry, ignorant people.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:50pm
  6. VERY sick individuals….

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:50pm
  7. In other news: penguins can not fly and the US is in debt.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:51pm
  8. They see that the world is changing around them, not the way they’d like, and they don’t know what else to do.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:51pm
    According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.

    Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester — the stereotypical pedophile — cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because “he often finds adults of either sex repulsive” and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may “regress” to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.

    The Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends. Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from the playground, as much religious-right rhetoric suggests.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:54pm
  10. Yeah, but this has been happening for forty fucking years, Stephen! Wouldn’t you think they’d have adjusted by now? That’s what gets me.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:55pm
  11. (P.S. When I say ‘this’ I mean the gay rights movement.)

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:55pm
  12. They have gays confused with priests….

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 1:57pm
  13. They’re just angry closeted mo’s. Tee Hee Hee

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:05pm
  14. My 5 year old nephew is a well brought up young child who has always been shown love and good morals, in fact his mother is christian and he even attends play group at the local church on Sundays. His teacher filed a letter to my sister saying that the child calls other kids “penis head” yet the child has been going through a faze of calling people “peanut head” and laughing hysterically because from learning it from cartoons he thinks its funny. My point is the teacher has a highly sexualised mind and quite a perverted one at that to make such claims that every word from my nephew’s ‘baby babble’ is sexual related. So for these idiots to say such things, LGBT people are not the real offenders here, they just have too much of a dirty mind they cant help but fantasize of two men abusing a young child. Perverts are everywhere whether gay straight bi ect ect. but for them to not even think of a young child being brought up well by a gay couple instead they fantasize about if a parent is gay, then sex acts MUST be happening…because their dirty imaginations say so. Sick.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:10pm
  15. Most GaYS ARE VICTIMS of Molestations conditioned systematically in poor rural societies even in open civilized countries such as wright here in our back yards as we seen in the infamous “200 men” show on the Opera Winfrey show molested by their own fathers, brothers, cousins, nephews. I am a victim molested by a Pastor who in turn molested 4 other young men from the same church when I was just 14 years old. It is an abomination.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:11pm
  16. As Robert’s story shows, it’s a massive case of projection. The numbers of clergy that have been caught up in molestation scandals is staggering – and that’s just the ones where the victims have been brave enough to come forward.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:12pm
  17. Jerry Sandusky is heterosexual. Studies show that those that molest prepubescent boys identify as heterosexual men. Let’s not forget that some heterosexual men also molest girls. However, we do not see the religious right demonizing hetersexuality. The Christian right is the biggest joke and I love their made up pseudo science. They use such flawed scientific methods and studies to come up with conclusions that support their own biased thinking. No credible scientific organization supports this. I mean come on people and think!

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:18pm
  18. Hi Robert Garbau…your claims are false. Most gays are not victims of molestation. That has been debunked for some time. However, those that do molest, many were molested in the past. However, to think molestation leads to homosexuality is a very false statement.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:21pm
  19. ” The road to truth is long and lined the entire way with annoying bastards.” Alexander Jablokov

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 2:44pm
  20. Times are changing nothing will ever stay the same forever, they just need to accept this, these are modern times which calls for updated ways of thinking. they dont like changes well too bad.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 3:38pm
  21. They have no legitimate stand to take, therefore they lie.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 4:20pm
  22. this man and group are homophobic and they need to understand there are more straights doing molesting than gays. i was a social worker for 26 years and i saw the straights do more molesting.

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 4:29pm
  23. IN other news, summer is hot

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 4:40pm
  24. These people are seriously possessed by Satan…Have you all seen their latest “picture’?It’s two nooses and it says “How to stop gay Marriage! From your friends at National Organization for Marriage”…assholes

    Posted on Friday, May 25, 2012 at 8:05pm
  25. ASS H–ES

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:38am
  26. Blame others for your sins.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:39am
  27. They are only basing this off of child molesters that like little boys. Not all molesters are gay. They choose to target little boys. <– this is my opinion. I was raped not molested. The person who raped me had a girlfriend and had been with her for a long time.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:41am
  28. And the prison’s are full of child molesters, funny though, they are straight men.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:43am
  29. *gags* It’s actually an easy association to make…because gays are ALREADY loathsome and ungodly in the eyes of many….might as well rape kids and farm animals. The sad thing is that people WANT to believe it simply because the idea of two men or two women is already beyond belief to them….And these so-called experts….will spew such hate while saying “this is science, I’m not a hater….I have LOTS of gay friends!”. is wrong with it comes to stuff like global warming, tax breaks, and fact we’re running out of oil…but trust science to “prove” gays are pedos.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:44am
  30. the ones who “ban” it do it behind closed doors…. they are only doin it to create anger which feeds their demons…. u dont need their vote to “make it ok” does their opinion really matter? its technically just a piece of paper…. which can be burned and never heard of again…

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:48am
  31. no..its not just a piece of paper..its the principle of the matter..and why should my ol lady have to work to get insurance when if “that piece of paper” was ours..she could be on mine? Hmm….

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 8:57am
  32. NOM=The KKK of the 21st Century=Social Terrorism!

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 9:14am
  33. Typical, blame the unidentified for the sins of others. That’s how the people in power always do…..

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 9:31am
  34. I would tell them to get their facts straight, but they wouldn’t know a ‘fact’ if it bit them in the ass.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 10:04am
  35. NOM is fucking stupid, pardon the french.

    Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 11:53am