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Big Brothers Big Sisters open to homosexual mentors

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WASHINGTON (BP)–The national youth mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has implemented a policy that bans discrimination against open homosexuals as volunteers and mentors of children at its 500 affiliates around the United States, CNSNews.com reported July 18.

But the policy essentially puts the children at risk of being molested, a family group has warned.

Big Brothers Big Sisters on July 1 put into effect a resolution approved by the organization’s leadership not to exclude any mentor on the basis of “race, age, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

Noreen Shanfelter, a BBBSA spokeswoman, said the non-discrimination policy essentially is not new.

At its annual meeting in February, the national membership, which includes donors, passed a resolution calling for the policy that’s already in effect at the national level to be the practice at all of its affiliates around the country, she said.

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“We believe there can be qualified mentors in any of the categories, and that’s the reason for the non-exclusion,” Shanfelter said.

Family groups, however, have condemned the move. William Maier, a child and family psychologist with Focus on the Family, is urging parents to contact BBBSA’s corporate sponsors to protest the policy.

James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family, who endorses BBBSA in his book “Bringing Up Boys,” rescinded his endorsement and said he will remove the group as a referral organization in future editions, Maier said.

Family groups have many concerns with the policy, Maier said. “Given the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, it seems just reckless and irresponsible for Big Brothers Big Sisters to be initiating this new policy,” he said.

Research indicates a large number of homosexual men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners, Maier said. Some researchers found that 73 percent of the homosexual men they surveyed had engaged in sex with boys ages 16 to 19 or younger, he said.

Many pedophiles consider themselves to be homosexual, he added. A study of 229 convicted child molesters found that 86 percent of offenders who molested boys described themselves as homosexual or bisexual, Maier said.

“Even putting aside the pedophilia issue, the question is, How can a gay man teach a fatherless boy what it means to be a husband and a father? And how can a lesbian woman teach a girl without a mom what it means to be a wife and a mother? They’re unable to provide that.

“The decision just seems completely irresponsible on the part of Big Brothers Big Sisters,” Maier said.

Maier accused the organization of caving to the kind of pressure militant homosexuals and their allies put on the Boy Scouts of America.

“I do believe that it’s politically motivated,” he said. “I can’t see how this could be in the best interest of children.”

When he worked as a child and family psychologist at the Long Beach Child Guidance Center in California, Maier said he referred hundreds of single mothers to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“I believed so strongly in what that organization does and what they stand for and I have supported them for years and I would continue to support them if they would rescind this new policy,” he said.

Maier also expressed concern about the organization’s school-based program in which school officials match up the child with the mentor.

Although the parent or guardian gives permission for the child to be in the program, the child could be matched up with a homosexual without the parent’s knowledge or consent, Maier said.

“In other words, that decision is made by the school, and the parent may have no knowledge of that,” he said.

Shanfelter said it’s standard Big Brothers Big Sisters policy to thoroughly screen volunteer applicants and reject anyone it believes would not be safe and effective. The organization also seeks to honor individual preferences of the parents or guardians when selecting which volunteer will be matched with their child, she said.
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Morahan is a senior staff writer with www.CNSNews.com. Used by permission.