The Washington Post let anti-gay activist Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council (or as Box Turtle Bulletin calls it, the Family "Research" Council) contribute an op-ed to its 'On Faith' section yesterday. In it, Perkins blames the recent teen suicide tragedies on the victims themselves, writing:
Some homosexuals may recognize intuitively that their same-sex attractions are abnormal--yet they have been told by the homosexual movement, and their allies in the media and the educational establishment, that they are "born gay" and can never change. This--and not society's disapproval--may create a sense of despair that can lead to suicide.
Perkins also uses his platform to attempt to exonerate himself from blame.
Some homosexual activist groups lay blame at the feet of conservative Christians who teach that homosexual conduct is wrong, as well as pro-family groups such as Family Research Council which oppose elements of the homosexual political agenda, such as same-sex "marriage."
The Christians and pro-family leaders I know are unanimous in believing that no person, especially a child, should be subjected to verbal or physical harassment or violence--whether because of their sexuality, their religious beliefs, or for any other reason.
If Perkins truly believes that no person should be subjected to verbal harassment, why then, just a few paragraphs later, does he call them 'abnormal,' and 'self-destructive?' Why then, has he spent the last several years telling anyone who will listen that gay people are not fit to serve their country?
Jim Burroway from Box Turtle Bulletin provides a point-by-point takedown of Perkins' argument, based largely on the resources Perkins himself linked to in his Post piece. Jeremy Hooper from Good As You gives a comprehensive list of all the anti-gay statements and actions taken by FRC in the recent past. Chris Geidner from Metro Weekly points out the horrible timing of the Post's decision, coming on the eve of the anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder, and on the heels of the horiffic anti-gay attacks in the Bronx, and the suicide tragedies of the last several weeks. Pam's House Blend also weighs in with a scathing review.
As GLAAD's Rashad Robinson wrote in Newsday last week, "Unfortunately, the negative portrayal of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and the rhetoric of anti-gay activists, especially in politics and in the media, not only tells these kids they matter less than their peers, it tells all young people that those who are (or are perceived to be) gay or bi are different or simply not good enough."
Look at FRC's history. Now look at our bullying resource page, as well as the resources provided by the experts at GLSEN. Perkins' rhetoric not only encourages and justifies anti-gay bullying, it IS anti-gay bullying - and it has no place in the pages of one of the nation's most respected news sources.
We have reached out to the Washington Post with our very serious concerns and urge you to do the same by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org