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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HRC Refutes Vatican Official’s Statement on Pedophilia and Sexual Orientation

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today responded to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone who recently linked pedophilia with gay men claiming to have “read it in a document written by psychologists.”

HRC Director of Religion & Faith Harry Knox made this statement:
"Cardinal Bertone's statement makes clear that he is more interested in diverting attention away from decades of Vatican cover-ups of pedophile behavior than he is in living up to his pastoral role. As a pastor he should not just take one misguided paper at face value. He should actually get to know gay people and read the voluminous opinions of medical and psychological experts that make clear pedophilia is not related to sexual orientation. As a pastor, he should be spending night and day seeking to heal the wounds inflicted by the Church on the victims of pedophile priests. Instead he sends out red herrings at the expense of millions of souls for which Christ died."

Pedophilia is an illness that has specific diagnostic criteria – entirely separate from one’s sexual orientation. Indeed, several scientific studies show no tie between gays and pedophilia.

•              “The belief that homosexuals are particularly attracted to children is completely unsupported by our data.” (Groth and Birnbaum, “Adult Sexual Orientation and Attraction to Underage Persons.”)

•              “A gay man is no more likely than a straight man to perpetrate sexual activity with children.” (Stevenson, “Public Policy, Homosexuality and the Sexual Coercion of Children.”)

•              “A child’s risk of being molested by his or her relative’s heterosexual partner is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian or bisexual.” (Jenny and Roesler, “Are Children at Risk for Sexual Abuse by Homosexuals?”)

More information is available from Dr. Gregory Herek, whose blog at debunks the “junk science” that is far too often taken as fact.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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