Friday, October 06, 2006

The Gay Bash Highway of Lies and Division

The Gay Bash Highway of Lies and Division
By Cody Lyon
Right wing organizations are working overtime to convince their flocks that gays and their “deviant” lifestyles are somehow to blame for the Mark Foley, page and text messaging scandal still unfolding in Washington. Republican party leaders and strategists, who’s knees are surely knocking with fear about November 7th, appear to have given a green light to the loudspeakers of the far Right, with the hopes that the false “all gays are pedophiles” rhetoric might shift voter focus from those who bear real responsibility in what appears to be a cover-up. So, in attempt to fire up the base, they dispatched some of the usual suspects of the Conservative Right onto the politically popular gay bash highway. Along this highway will be mistruths, lies and hypocrisy, current Republican Party strengths.

Concerned Women of America kicks off the campaign of misinformation with a divisive approach stating “The fact that Americans find Rep. Foley’s alleged conduct reprehensible shows we have not bought into the false ideology that all sex should be celebrated” and “not all diversity should be accepted.” The official CWA statement sums it up with “some lifestyles, such as aberrant sexual behavior, are just too damaging to individuals, and that society and especially children should be protected from them.”

It doesn’t take a lot of thought to figure out which lifestyles CWA finds aberrant.

Linda Harvey over at Mission America is a little more blunt when she says of Mark Foley “like many homosexual men, he likes young teen boys”

Over in another important, high profile corner of the “right”, Tony Perkins, leader of the “Family Research Council” said “pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two.”

Perkins turns up the heat arguing that “almost all child molesters are male and less than 3% of men are homosexual, about a third of all child sex abuse cases involve men molesting boys—and in one study, 86% of such men identified themselves as homosexual or bisexual.”

The statistics he cites are from a report assembled by Perkin’s own Family Research Council.

Titled “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse” this report was written by Dr. Timothy J. Dailey, a staffer at FRC. Dailey’s Ph.D is in Religion, not psychology. The report was first made public at the height of the Catholic Church Priest scandal. Within its contents, FRC cites work and evidence from studies written and compiled by A. Nicholas Groth, Ph.D.

Note that in a June 2002 letter later published by the Human Rights Campaign, Dr. Groth wrote to the Family Research Council asking that his name be withdrawn from the FRC’s report. Groth wrote “homosexual men pose less risk of sexual harm to children from both an absolute and a percentage incidence rate-than heterosexual males.” Groth also said in the same letter “I would appreciate your removing any reference to my work in your paper lest it appear to the reader that my research supports your views.”

Further disputing the current Right Wing blame game campaign is the fact that The American Psychological Association, The American Academy of Child Psychiatrists, The National Association of Social Workers and The Child Welfare League of America have all stated that there is no correlation between homosexuality and child abuse.

But, of course that won’t prevent the occasionally loose-lipped disciples of Right at Fox News from making some correlations of their own as they did the other night on Bill O’Reilly’s show.

FOX Reporter Major Garret bantered with Bill O’Reilly on September 29th about Foley’s behavior worrying that “It raises suspicions that never had before surfaced publicly about whether or not Mark Foley’s sexual orientation in any way impacts his job—this is the first time those two things have been joined together” said Garret.

90’s Republican Revolution king, Former House Leader Newt Gingrich jumped on the current Republican meltdown claiming on the same network that if Party leaders had acted to quickly to call out Foley on his inappropriate behavior, they might have been accused of gay bashing.

Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Vice President Denis Dison told the “San Francisco Chronicle” that “it’s an absurd notion to say the (Republican) leadership is so afraid of offending gay people that they’d let a child predator stay in office, while they aren’t afraid of trying to amend the constitution.”

In the desperate attempt to fire up the conservative base, the barrage of falsehoods and mistruths will probably continue to flow. Republicans will do their best to shirk responsibility for its leader’s negligence in this disturbing episode. And, since it’s a well known fact that the GOP big tent never really rolled out a red carpet for gay people, who better to sacrifice than homosexuals.

In a recent e-mail statement, The National Gay Lesbian Task Force chairman Matt Foreman said “the GOP has one response when it’s in trouble—blame the gays.”

Perhaps he is correct in this instance. Gay marriage was a sure fire issue that energized evangelical voters in the last Presidential election. When the party is seeking to fire up its base, gay is the way.

The gay bash highway leads to an even more dangerous freeway of divisive and nasty politics that the United States will hopefully soon exit.

There are darker truths that rise to the surface within the Foley scandal. Thus far, much of the Right Wing and Republican response to hypocrite Foley’s misdeeds smells of the purest form of corrupt and smarmy political rot.

The LGBT civil rights organization Human Rights Campaign’s President Joe Solomonese wrote in the “Huffington Post” that “If Republicans are smart they will admit their complicity, establish safeguards to better protect these young pages and realize that blaming gay America for their misdeeds and mishandling won’t fly this time.”

From the White House down, the recent incarnation of the Republican Party power has cultivated a political culture that thrives on false correlations and mistruths. Accepting blame is not an acceptable option. Selling lies, pointing fingers, making false correlations between unrelated issues while planting seeds of fear and doubt has become what they do best. Dividing the country is what they’ve done.

No comments: