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Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council and a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, was recently the keynote speaker at an annual spring benefit for the Community Pregnancy Center of Northwest Ohio, reports the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.
Perkins opposes gay rights and has publicly accused the "homosexual lobby" of trying to "indoctrinate children as young as kindergarten in the homosexual lifestyle."
At the benefit Perkins discussed Gov. Ted Strickland's recent decision to reject federal funding for abstinence-only sex education. "Our young people are yearning for something to challenge them to be holy," said Perkins. "I hope you replace the money the government is stealing, but will double that money to reach children with life-affirming abstinence."
The pregnancy center does not want to lose federal and state funding for its programs. Its Web site says it is "a Christian agency providing free assistance for unplanned pregnancy, post-abortion trauma counseling, and abstinence-until-marriage education." A 2005 study by researcher Scott Frank, of Case Reserve Western University, showed that the abstinence-only courses he reviewed "contained false information about contraceptives; contain false information about abortion; misrepresent religious convictions as scientific fact; perpetuate destructive, inaccurate gender stereotypes...and do not provide information for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) populations."
Earl Pike, executive director of AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, who supports Strickland's decision, says, "Tony Perkins represents the far right, not the majority of Ohioans, and his involvement only makes it clearer that abstinence-only-until-marriage efforts are based on ideology, not science, in the interests of our young people." (The Advocate)