Washington Post celebrates "National Coming Out Day" by publishing Perkins's anti-gay screed

Blog ››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

Continuing the paper's tradition of giving a platform to bigots, the Washington Post felt it appropriate to open its arms to Tony Perkins's anti-gay bigotry on "National Coming Out Day."

In a column on the paper's On Faith blog, Perkins complained that "homosexual activist groups like GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) are exploiting" recent incidents of gay youth committing suicide after anti-gay "bullying." Perkins suggests that these tragedies are not caused by the homophobic attacks these individuals were subjected to, but rather because "homosexuals experience higher rates of mental health problems in general, including depression," and, according to Perkins, there's no "evidence to link this with society's general disapproval of homosexual conduct." Unfortunately for Perkins, the article he links to says no such thing.

Perkins links to a February 2002 American Psychologist article, which reported on the "results of several breakthrough studies are offering new insights on gay men, lesbians and bisexuals." While Perkins is right, "Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals," he's totally wrong that these rates have nothing to do with discrimination. In fact, the article immediately goes on to report that "[d]iscrimination may help fuel these higher rates." The article reported: "In a study that examines possible root causes of mental disorders in LGB people, [Susan] Cochran [PhD] and psychologist Vickie M. Mays, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, explored whether ongoing discrimination fuels anxiety, depression and other stress-related mental health problems among LGB people. The authors found strong evidence of a relationship between the two." Several other studies back up this finding.

Undaunted that research completely undermines his bigoted claims, Perkins goes on to blame the "homosexual movement" for the contributing to the "sense of despair" that could have led to the recent suicides that have gripped headlines nationwide:

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 goes on to declare that being gay is a "self-destructive behavior," like "the excessive use of alcohol, drugs, reckless driving, or heterosexual activity outside of marriage." He announced that "homosexual conduct... qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large. It is not loving to encourage someone to indulge in such activities, no matter how much sensual pleasure they may derive from them."

National Coming Out Day, brought to you by the Washington Post.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, LGBT
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