Press

NGLTF Executive Director Blasts Family Research Council Report on Homosexuality and Child Abuse as Homophobic, Dangerous

Date: 
May 31, 2002

Reacting today to a report released by the Family Research Council (FRC) claiming that gay men are avid child abusers, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director Lorri L. Jean called the report "methodologically unsound, totally lacking in credibility, and a blatant attempt to forward a homophobic agenda in the name of research."

"The American people must recognize this so-called report for what it truly is: nothing more than hateful, pathetic, and misleading propaganda that has little to no basis in fact," Jean said in a statement. "Its solitary goal is to create an atmosphere of hate while capitalizing on tragic events unfolding within the Catholic Church. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will not stand idly by while foot soldiers for religious fanatics wrap their tool of discrimination in the guise of scientific inquiry."

As proof of its claim that gay men account for one third of all child abuse cases, the FRC report, entitled "Homosexuality and Child Abuse," cites only a single study conducted by researcher Kurt Freund, and reported in the Journal of Sex Research. However, contrary to the blatant misrepresentations by the FRC, Freund's report actually finds that "homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to be attracted to children."

"The so-called 'researchers' at FRC are trying to mask the fact that even the research they cite to make their point actually proves them wrong," Jean said. "It is astounding that an organization that claims to promote Christian values can with such hostility and willfulness spread lies about a group of people. This is more than offensive; it's dangerous. If there is one instance of discrimination or worse, a hate-motivated crime against any member of the GLBT community because of the FRC's histrionic misinformation, the responsibility is squarely on their shoulders and consciences."

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute has already prepared a brief on the most current research looking at the purported link between child abuse and sexuality, and found that most valid current research concludes that homosexuals may in fact be less likely than heterosexuals to abuse children. The Policy Institute's brief is available for download at
http://www.ngltf.org/downloads/ChildSexualAbuse.pdf.

The Family Research Council has a long history of producing misleading and disreputable "studies" spreading lies about gay and lesbian people. A 1999 FRC report entitled "Homosexual Activists Work is to Normalize Sex with Boys" relied heavily on discredited psychologist Paul Cameron, as did several previous "studies" on homosexuality. In the 1980's Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association, and at a 1985 conservative conference proposed "the extermination of homosexuals." He has also called for tattooing (essentially branding) people with AIDS, and castrating homosexuals. The 1999 report relying upon Cameron's "research" claimed that gay parents were more likely to molest their children than heterosexual parents.

Family Research Council officials have made similar hate-filled comments in recent years. After Matthew Shepard was murdered in a hate crime, Heather Farish of FRC rejected any responsibility on the part of the anti-gay right wing, saying "Don’t blame AA because a drunk was beat up." An FRC press release issued the day of Shepard's funeral said that "homosexuals are included in a list of sinners, who, if unrepentant, will not inherit the kingdom of God." Robert Knight, Gary Bauer and other FRC staff have portrayed homosexuality as a "deathstyle" and "life destroyer" and maintained that gays are less productive than other Americans. FRC also characterizes GLBT people as a threat to American security, to Christianity, and as "a gun to put at the head of anybody who disagrees with them." A quote by Anthony Falzarano on the FRC Web site claimed that a 'gay cabal' controls the American media, including Hollywood and the Washington Post. "You know, the gays are in control of Hollywood; they are in control of television."

For more information, please contact Jubi Headley, Director of Communications, at 202-332-6483, ext. 3303.

–30–

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.