Friday, October 06, 2006

United Church of Christ Speaks Out.

The United Church of Christ speaks out against the right wing pseudo-Christian Family Research Council and their incessant need to demonize gay people.

The Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, is condemning remarks by Tony Perkins, president of the right-wing Family Research Council, who is using the Mark Foley congressional scandal to scapegoat the larger gay and lesbian community.

“Perkins recent remarks are destructive to gay and lesbian persons and their families and distract the nation’s attention from the real issue at hand, which is protecting young people from sexual predators,” said Thomas.

On October 2, Perkins issued a statement claiming "the real issue" in the Foley scandal was a "link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse.” On Oct. 3, Perkins made similar accusations on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” where he likened homosexuals with “sexual deviants.”

Thomas said the former congressman’s sexual orientation should not be part of the public debate. The American Psychological Association, in addition to numerous other reputable medical and scientific groups, has found that “gay men are no more likely than heterosexual men to perpetrate child sexual abuse.”

“To suggest that gay and lesbian persons should be barred from public service, as Perkins has implied, is akin to suggesting that white, straight males should be kept out of politics because of Bill Clinton’s sexual misdeeds,” Thomas said. “To attach this debate to sexual orientation is not only ludicrous, it’s dangerous. Many gay and lesbian persons serve honorably in public office.”

“If anything, this nation’s culture of silence with respect to gay and lesbian people has taught us that hiding, shame and denial, as in Foley’s case, are not healthy ways to live as a gay or lesbian person — not for them as individuals and not for us as a society,” Thomas said.

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