By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com February 06 2013 4:25 PM ET
The Boy Scouts of America announced on Friday that it's recommending admitting gay youth — but not adults. So far there's been no explanation for why adults shouldn't be allowed.
But right-wing pundits have for a long time lobbed heinous antigay allegations that contend gay adults are likely pedophiles. Keep reading to find six of the most egregious statements made recently by wingnuts trying to defend the BSA's antigay policy, including designated hate group Family Research Council, a former governor, and several religious leaders.
Of course, numerous studies have demonstrated that pedophiles are more likely to be heterosexual than gay — one study from Canada, published on the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health, found that among convicted sex offenders, the ratio of those identifying as heterosexual compared to homosexual was 11:1.
The president of the antigay Family Research Council was wrong when he told CNN's Soledad O'Brien today that his organization has never equated homosexuality and pedophilia. Perkins is obviously speaking from both sides of his mouth, since he has in fact made that connection countless times in recent years. Just this morning, Perkins's FRC ran a full-page ad in USA Today that claimed the BSA's ban on gay members "is part of the BSA's efforts to protect Scouts from sexual abuse." The ad went on to cite the organization's so-called Perversion Files, an internal blacklist that FRC's ad says contains the names of "hundreds of sexual predators who had managed to hide their attraction to boys and enter the Boy Scouts.
Appearing on the Christian Broadcasting Network, conservative televangelist Pat Robertson said that if the BSA lifts its ban on gay scouts, we will see "predators as Boy Scouts, [and] pedophiles who will come in as scoutmasters," according to LGBT blog The New Civil Rights Movement. Robertson also said that Congress and the "politically correct crowd" shouldn't be "fiddling with the Boy Scouts."
While supporting the Boy Scouts' decision not to allow gay troop leaders and scouts, Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee equated gay people with child molesters last July. The former Arkansas governor and failed presidential candidate was reacting to a caller's story of being abused by a scout leader while serving as a Boy Scout.
"You make us all understand why the Boy Scouts made a decision that at least I think was the right one," he told the caller.
"Tim" said he had been repeatedly abused and offered a theory on what caused it. "I believe homosexuals try to target groups like that to get a leadership area in," the caller said. "If there hadn't been a homosexual in my troop, I wouldn't have been traumatized for about three years."
Huckabee shared that the leader of his own childhood scout troop had molested other boys. "We didn't even know what a homosexual was in those days," he said.
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention appeared on CNN Tuesday to allege that gay scoutmasters might be pedophiles while still saying that wasn't his point. Despite CNN anchor John Berman's note that as a Cub Scout, his pack had den mothers who were obviously members of the opposite sex, Land continued to attempt to distort the truth.
"Homosexuals by definition are attracted to people of the same sex," said Land. "Now, I’m not accusing homosexuals of being pedophiles. But I’m accusing homosexuals of being what they say they are — attracted to males."
"Do parents really want to allow their teenage boys to go on camp outs with men who are attracted to the same sex?" Land continued. "They wouldn't let their girls go on campouts with men who are attracted to women. This verges on being beyond the realm of the rational. … This is going to lead to human tragedy, and the human tragedy is going to be, sadly, boys and men that are going to end up in relationships that are going to be tragic."
Bryan Fischer, a right-wing radio host and director of issues analysis for the antigay American Family Association, didn't bother with subtlety or tact when he weighed in about the BSA's ban on Twitter last month.
A homosexual does not belong in the same tent with young boys any more than a man belongs in a tent full of Girl Scouts.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) January 29, 2013
Fischer has a long history of virulently antigay remarks, including calling gay people Nazis, saying that AIDS is caused not by HIV but rather by gay sex and drugs, and issuing calls to recriminalize consensual sex between adults of the same gender.
Conservative radio pundit and president of the antigay, antichoice Christian organization Mission: America, railed against not only gay scoutmasters, but gay scouts themselves, saying they present a serious threat to straight scouts.
"It's about more than the adults in charge and potential abuse," Harvey wrote in a column for right-wing site WorldNetDaily last month. "The kids themselves bring a whole new threat level, mostly to other kids."
Lest anyone be confused about the specifics of that "threat," Harvey continues. "First, there's the long-standing concern about pedophilia," writes Harvey in her January 29 column. "This new policy introduces homosexual attraction into the troop environment where previously sex separation kept that complication out of the character development of these young men. If homosexual identity is allowed, you also open the door to same-sex flirting, innuendo, 'dating.' What about the 25-year-old homosexual Scout leader and a 14-year-old Scout? What about the 14-year-old Scout and a 12-year-old? What about two openly homosexual adult leaders who display their attraction for each other in front of all the boys? And so on. And with males, attraction quickly goes to the sexual level. But now, that’s OK."