WPost Asks Notorious Homophobe to Write About Gay Youth Suicides

In light of the recent and tragic spate of gay youth suicides, the Washington Post‘s On Faith blog chose to honor National Coming Out day with a guest post (10/11/10) by raging homophobe Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

The post, titled “Christian Compassion Requires the Truth About Harms of Homosexuality,” accused “homosexual activist groups” like the Gay Lesbian and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) of being the real bullies, pushing kids to come out and believe they can’t change, which he argues is “likely exacerbating the very problem they claim they want to solve.”

As evidence, Perkins cites two studies, claiming that they show that depression amongst gays is not connected to discrimination. Trouble is, as Box Turtle Bulletin‘s Jim Burroway explains, the two studies show exactly the opposite. Which wouldn’t be unusual for Perkins, whose group (as John Aravosis points out) often relies on the pseudo-scientific “studies” of the Family Research Institute, which, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “churns out hate literature masquerading as legitimate science.” (Its head, Paul Cameron, once argued that “extermination of homosexuals” might be needed in the next three to four years.)

Yet Perkins is a regular in the corporate media Rolodex. In response to the push for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (Extra!, 5/10), Perkins put out a press statement saying a repeal would “jeopardize our nationâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s security to advance the agenda of radical homosexual lobby.” CNN felt that merited not one but two chances for Perkins to talk about the issue (Larry King, 2/2/10; Newsroom, 2/2/10). With Perkins so busy at CNN, MSNBC had to settle for his colleague Peter Sprigg (2/2/10), who warned that repealing DADT was “guaranteed” to lead to sexual assault–by, not against, gays.

The heartening thing about the Post column is that the comments on the post are overwhelmingly, and fiercely, critical of “On Faith” blog editor Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn’s decision to give space to Perkins on this subject and not factchecking his propaganda. The question is, when will corporate media outlets finally start listening to them and stop lending legitimacy to bigots spouting lies?

UPDATE: If you’d like to contact the editors about their decision, here’s the email: onfaith@washingtonpost.com

About Julie Hollar

Managing Editor of Extra! Magazine
Julie Hollar is the managing editor of FAIR's magazine, Extra!. Her work received an award from Project Censored in 2005, and she has been interviewed by such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, Agence France-Presse and the San Francisco Chronicle. A graduate of Rice University, she has written for the Texas Observer and coordinated communications and activism at the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas. Hollar also co-directed the 2006 documentary Boy I Am and was previously active in the Paper Tiger Television collective.