Target: Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council
Goal: Conservative religious organization must stop connecting homosexuality with pedophilia
The Family Research Council (FRC), a conservative religious organization, has been in support of the Boy Scouts of America since the group’s recent announcement that it would continue to prevent gay individuals from becoming members or leaders in the organization. Several companies have decided to stop donating money to the Boy Scouts because of the organization’s stance on LGBT rights. In response to growing opposition to the anti-gay policy, the FRC has publicly come out in the Boy Scouts’ defense. The FRC states that the policy is only meant to keep children safe, incorrectly associating homosexuality with pedophilia. The FRC must stop using this false and dangerous connection to justify discrimination against the LGBT community.
It was recently discovered that the Boy Scouts organization has been failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse within the organization for decades, but kept a secret list of leaders who were deemed unsuitable for leadership. In addition to accused abusers, this list illogically included gay leaders who had done nothing inappropriate to earn a spot on the list. The FRC now claims that the Boy Scouts must continue to reject gay members in order to clear its reputation and avoid additional lawsuits from abuse survivors. Because several companies have stopped funding the organization, the decision to continue to discriminate has instead caused it to lose money that it was hoping to save by avoiding lawsuits.
Although the FRC insists that this stance is unrelated to homophobia and only meant to protect children from harm, studies consistently show that men who sexually abuse boys are just as likely, or even more likely, to identify as straight. The FRC cites its own study that found a connection between pedophilia and homosexuality, but that study has been disproved by more reliable researchers. Children must be protected from those who might abuse them, but separating gay men from children does not accomplish this goal; it only perpetuates a harmful stereotype that does nothing for the safety of children.
Incorrectly equating pedophilia with homosexuality does nothing to protect children from harm. It misleads all children and teaches them to be intolerant of others, and teaches gay children to be intolerant of themselves. The FRC must acknowledge that homosexuality is unrelated to pedophilia and that by making this false connection, the group is supporting discrimination and hurting children.
Dear Mr. Perkins,
Your organization recently showed its support for the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory practice of prohibiting gay individuals from joining by claiming that the group is not acting out of homophobia, but for the protection of the children. There have been many allegation of child sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts, and your organization has defended the anti-gay policy by arguing that abuse will be prevented if members of the gay community cannot join.
With the exception of the study done by the FRC, every time researchers have tried to determine whether or not there is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, they have found no such association. You are not protecting children by falsely accusing gay individuals of being abusers; giving children misleading information about the relationship between sexual identity and abusive tendencies will only hurt them.
The problem of child sexual abuse cannot be stopped by discriminating against the gay community. Your organization must admit to spreading false information about the connection between homosexuality and pedophilia, and stop perpetuating this dangerous stereotype.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: anja_johnson via Flickr