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Posts for December, 2007

Anti-Gay Policies Endanger Children

An Opinion

Timothy Kincaid

December 5th, 2007

sea-scouting.jpgFor many years, anti-gay activists have strived to convince the American public that gay people are inclined to molest children. They create fraudulent “statistics” that define every man that molests a male child as “homosexual”, even though this man may be married to a woman, have also molested many female children, and have no interest whatsoever in adult men.

It is true that some gay men are predators, as are some heterosexual men. But there is no clear evidence that gay men are any more likely to molest children than straight men.

Nonetheless, parents and other good intentioned people can fall victim to this anti-gay propaganda. And, seeking to protect innocent and vulnerable children, they can be swayed to take anti-gay actions that do not in any way benefit children. Often these actions can result in quite the opposite, direct harm to kids.

Take, for example, the Boy Scouts’ policy of excluding gay scouts and leaders. I believe that this policy, while it may feel to some parents as though it is a protection, actually places children in greater harm.

It does this in two ways. First it provides a false sense of security. Parents may believe that no one is going to be sexually interested in their children because there are no gay men involved. And any unusual behavior or undue attachment may be overlooked.

Second, those kids who are experiencing same sex attractions have no roll models or confidants with whom they can talk. They are left at the mercies of whomever is willing to listen. And this is a pedophile’s dream.

Sadly, the harm of this anti-gay policy is illustrated today.

In 1997, the city of Berkeley stated that it could not subsidize organizations that exclude residents based on sexual orientation or religion. Leader Eugene Evans led the charge – all the way to the Supreme Court – to fight for free berthing. The Sea Scouts did not win their battle, but Evans did become a darling of anti-gay activists. And surely parents felt safer knowing that their children were sailing with a man who was an anti-homosexual warrior.

But now Evans has been arrested for molesting at least four of the boys under his charge.

This sad example makes clear two things. First, identifying as gay or as anti-gay are not indications of pedophile tendencies or behavior. Parents should not fear gay men more not place greater trust in anti-gay activists. Second, policies that exclude gay men and women add no further level of protection and may, indeed, serve to lower a parent’s guard.

Unfortunately, there will still be those who are willing to sacrifice the innocence or protection of children to advance their anti-gay goals.

Hat tip Pam’s House Blend