A prominent social conservative leader compared homosexuality to drug use on Wednesday while urging parents not to “condone and enable” a child being gay.
Tony Perkins, president of the anti-gay Family Research Council, made the remarks while speaking at the National Press Club luncheon after being asked if he would disown one of his children if they came out as gay.
Perkins, the father of five children, replied that he wouldn’t “disown my children for anything,” but advised parents they should express disapproval if their children make such an announcement.
Perkins claims that he is not advising parents to disown their gay children, but he certainly is implying it.
What exactly does he think would happen should parents follow his advice when their children come out to them? Just what is his definition of "expressing disapproval" which does not involve disowning a child or acting in a manner which implies great unhappiness which can be construed to a child as a parent disowning them?
We will never know because Perkins did not go into more detail. And we shouldn't be surprised about that. Perkins is a fraud offering artificial solutions to complex problems which do nothing but exacerbate the problems.
Dan Savage had the following to say about Perkins in a tweet:
Hostile parents double gay kids already quadrupled suicide risk. Perkins literally urging parents 2 kill their kids.
While I wouldn't make the statement so succinctly as Savage, I will say this:
Perkins has no degree in psychology, psychiatry, or pediatrics. Those who do - and therefore KNOW what they are talking about - say the following:
1. Parents who are intolerant of their lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) teens may increase the risk that their kids will suffer health problems in young adulthood, such as an increased risk of suicide, depression, drug abuse, and unsafe sex, according to a new report.
Researchers interviewed 53 families with gay teens to identify certain parental behaviors as "accepting" or "rejecting," then surveyed 224 young-adult white and Latino gays and lesbians (ages 21 to 25) to see which of these behaviors they'd experienced during adolescence.
The results? Higher rates of family rejection were strongly associated with poorer health outcomes. Among respondents who had high levels of family rejection:
more than two-thirds said they had tried to kill themselves (vs. about 20% among those who reported the lowest rates of rejection)
many reported high rates of depression, illegal drug use, and substance abuse
46% said they'd had unprotected sex with a casual partner in the past 6 months (nearly twice the rate of those in the least-rejected group) - "Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults," Pediatrics, Jan. 2009.
2. I have heard too many LGBT youths tell horrifying stories of violent abuse and rejection from their parents. The teenage boy from upstate New York, who, when his father learned he was gay, he beat him to a pulp, then threw him out of the house and told him that if he tried to come back, he would kill his son and bury him in the backyard. Or the boy from Florida whose father put a gun to his head and said "You are no longer my son. Leave the house now." The 17-year-old transgender child whose mother attacked him when she learned of his male identity, ripping out a piece of his scalp, and screaming homophobic abuse as her child fled. Or the 15-year-old boy who came out to his family at a picnic in rural Delaware. His father, a Christian minister, jumped on him and tried to strangle him. That evening he gathered his belongings into a few garbage bags and banished his son from his home. Or the family that drove their daughter out into the backwoods of New Jersey and tossed her from the car for being a lesbian. This is clearly not something to joke about
Research now documents the terrible scope of this crisis. Approximately 50% of LGBT youth whose sexual orientations and gender identities become known to their families experience some degree of family rejection. A recent report published by the Center for American Progress estimates that there are over 100,000 homeless LGBT youth on the streets of our nation, and that LGBT youth make up to 40% of our nation's homeless youth population. - Carl Siciliano, Family Rejection of LGBT Youth Is No Joke
Of course Perkins will claim that he was telling parents to reject the "lifestyle" and not the child, but don't fall for the false semantics.
If you pardon my candor, when it comes to gay children and their families, Tony Perkins doesn't know his ass from his elbow.