Tony Perkins this morning appeared on CNN and told Soledad O’Brien that the Boys Scouts allowance of gays into Scouting would lead to increased instances of child sexual abuse, pedophilia, and will cause scouts to worry their fellow scouting tent mates might be attracted to them. Perkins also suggested including gays in Scouting would violate the BSA’s code on “honor, duty, and morality.”
O’Brien wasn’t having any of it, and clearly had done her homework. While Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, a certified anti-gay hate group, blathered about one hundred years of the Scouts upholding “core values,” O’Brien reminded him of other supposed “core values” that turned out to be prejudice and discrimination.
Igor Volsky at Think Progress notes:
O’Brien disputed these claims during an interview with Perkins, pointing out that “core values” and moral codes evolve over time. “I remember when I was in school,” she said. “If you were a teacher and you were pregnant, you were removed from the classroom. It was considered morally inappropriate to have a pregnant woman in the classroom. Blacks in the military was morally problematic.” “How come this doesn’t fall into the same kind of guidelines?” O’Brien asked.
Perkins responded by arguing that unlike the immutable characteristic of race or gender, gay people can change their sexual orientation to become straight and insisted that allowing them into the Boy Scouts would lead to inappropriate sexual relationships and increase instances of pedophilia:
PERKINS: We’re talking about comparing immutable characteristics with characteristics that are not immutable. First, the Boy Scouts have had a long history of struggling with an issue of protecting the boys. Last fall they were forced by the court to release about 15,000 pages that identified 1,900 predators within the Boy Scouts. [...]
O’BRIEN: Are you saying that someone who is gay is a pedophile, Sir?
PERKINS: No, I never said that. You said that. I didn’t.
O’BRIEN: I’m asking the question. You are saying that you would be worried about –
PERKINS: They are trying to create an environment that is protective of children.This doesn’t make it more protective.There is a disproportionate number of male on boy — when we get on pedophilia, male on boy is a higher incident rate of that. We never said all homosexuals are pedophiles. that’s not what we’re saying.
Good As You’s Jeremy Hooper responds to Tony Perkins’ claims:
Tony, whether he owns it or not, is conflating an attraction to adult men with an attraction to boys. This is reprehensible and offensive! No one sexual orientation geared towards adult humans is just a hop, skip, and jump away from an attraction to little boys. Tony, led by both his political agenda and his documented animus for LGBT people, is 100% suggesting that homosexuality is just that short hop away from pedophilia. The least he could do is own his game plan!
And no, I will not take a shred of responsibility for the straight-identified heterosexuals (often married, often Christian, often conservative) who abuse children. Most all of us, LGBTQA or S, condemn this behavior in the strongest way available to us. Tony knows this. It’s just that Tony also knows that he can get some mileage out of making gay people seem like the pathway toward complete child violation, corruption, or even destruction, so he intimates and hints and just throws these kinds of things out there in hopes that enough people will hear the dog whistle that he’s delivering behind the layer of protestation (e.g. “No one’s saying all gay men are pedophiles”) that he thinks gives him cover. We see right through it, Tony.
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