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Gordon Klingenschmitt Exploits Abuse Allegations to Tar All LGBT People

Gordon Klingenschmitt

The antigay preacher claims an abuse case in Minnesota shows schools shouldn't hire LGBT teachers.

The reliably and virulently homophobic preacher Gordon Klingenschmitt has latched on to accusations of child sexual abuse against a gay Minnesota couple to say all LGBT people should be barred from teaching.

A police investigation found substantial evidence that the couple had indeed sexually abused several underage boys, but the case against them never went to court because the men, Aric Babbitt and Matthew Deyo of South St. Paul, committed suicide in August, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. In late December, the newspaper carried a detailed account of the allegations and evidence.

Babbitt was an elementary-school teacher in the South St. Paul district, while Deyo worked in information technology at the district's high school and was studying to become a chiropractor. They claimed their contact with the boys was consensual (although age-of-consent laws would still make it illegal), but they chose to die rather than face a civil or criminal trial.

While there is much evidence against Babbitt and Deyo, Klingenschmitt does not see it as evidence against two individuals; he instead paints it as proof that all LGBT people pose a danger to children. In his opinion, the school district should have declined to hire the men simply because they're gay. (Such discrimination, by the way, is banned by Minnesota law.)

"If anything, they should've been disqualified [for school employment] immediately because of their immorality," Klingenschmitt said this week on his Pray in Jesus' Name online program. "The immorality inside of these two men [indicates] that they are unfit to be a good example to little children."

Klingenschmitt, who has often said homosexuality comes from demons and claims to have exorcised them, also contended that a "demonic spirit" led the school board to hired the men.

Of course, the scientific data shows that LGBT people are no more likely to abuse children than straight or cisgender people. "According to the American Psychological Association, children are not more likely to be molested by LGBT parents or their LGBT friends or acquaintances," reads a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group. "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."

Klingenschmitt and his followers are unlikely to be swayed by science, but at least the Colorado Springs-based preacher is no longer in a position to make public policy. Klingenschmitt was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2014, but last year he decided to make a run for the state Senate -- and lost in the Republican primary.

Watch his latest hate-spewing below, courtesy of Right Wing Watch.

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