CNN hosted Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, to comment on the upcoming vote by the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on gay scouts and leaders. CNN's decision to give Land a platform comes in spite of Land's history of anti-gay rhetoric.
During an interview Tuesday on CNN's Starting Point, Land pushed the widely debunked myth that allowing gay men to participate in the Boy Scouts would raise the risk of child sexual abuse. Land said that he was “not accusing homosexuals of being pedophiles,” but added: “I'm accusing homosexuals of being what they say they are -- attracted to males. How many people that are listening to me would allow their teenage girls to go on campouts and engage in camping activities with heterosexual males?”
Land went on to say:
LAND: Heterosexual males would not be allowed to be girl scout masters. Why? Because they're attracted to girls, to young women -- in the same way homosexual males -- I'm not talking about pedophiles. Now, I'm talking about -- homosexual means attracted to the same sex.
Do parents really want to allow their teenage boys to go on campouts with men who are attracted to the same sex. They wouldn't let their girls go on campouts with men who are attracted to women. This is -- this is -- this verges on being beyond the realm of the rational.
Land continued: “It's gonna lead to human tragedy, and the human tragedy's gonna be, sadly, boys and men who are going to end up in relationships that are going to be tragic.”
During the segment, CNN's Brooke Baldwin noted that “studies show that homosexuals are no more pedophiles than heterosexuals.”
While hosts Baldwin and John Berman pushed back against Land's outrageous comments, CNN must have been aware of Land's history of anti-gay rhetoric. Land has claimed that gay people are working to usher in the "full-blown paganization" of America and are “recruiting” children, saying this is “really child abuse.” Land has also claimed that being gay is “one sin that I know about that I find totally incomprehensible.”