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FIRST-PERSON: From Michael Jackson to Peter Pan

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)– Mirror, mirror, on the wall: Who’s the smartest of them all?

Is it Michael Jackson, enticing young boys to his Neverland Ranch so he can spend time with them?

Is it the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which recently gazed into their own constitutional Never Land and found a fundamental right for gays to enjoy all the benefits of marriage, presumably including the right to adopt young children?

Or is it Peter Pan, the inhabitant of the original Never Land, who quickly realized that what the Lost Boys really needed was a mother?

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m sticking with Peter Pan.

While the liberal media on one coast of our country celebrates a court ruling in favor of gay marriage, the liberal media on the other coast castigates a pop star for his unusual friendship with young boys.

“It’s great that gays will soon be adopting children just like straight couples,” the papers and intelligentsia of the Northeast say.

“Where are these kids’ mothers? Why would they let their boys stay with Jackson in the first place?” the papers and intelligentsia of the West Coast wonder.

And nobody in mainstream media draws any connection. Why? Because this topic is so taboo that they won’t even mention it, much less debate it.

But their thundering silence does not change this fact: There is an indisputable connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. Why is this so taboo? Because it leads to the inevitable conclusion that placing children in the care of homosexual couples is not in the best interest of the children.

Let’s start with some statistics. The American Family Association completed one of the most comprehensive studies on this link in 2002. The AFA reviewed three large and generally accepted data sets — the General Social Survey, the National Health and Social Life Survey and the U.S. Census Data — as well as crime statistics concerning child sexual molestations. Their conclusions were as simple as they were alarming: While only 3 percent of the adult population is homosexual, this segment of the population is responsible for one-third of all child sexual molestations. In other words, homosexuals are more than 10 times as likely to commit an act of child sexual molestation as their straight counterparts.

While this may come as news to some, it is not at all surprising to me. As a lawyer, I spent some time in the 1980s and ’90s defending the Boy Scouts of America from claims that they failed to properly screen troop leaders in order to prevent access by pedophiles to scouts. Plaintiff lawyers, not at all worried about being politically correct, were quick to trot out earlier studies showing essentially the same link. Their argument: The Scouts didn’t work hard enough to screen out homosexuals. Seems ironic, doesn’t it, considering what the Scouts have been through lately.

This link results, in part, because the line between homosexuality and pedophilia can become so blurred. Consider, for example, the recent scandals in the Roman Catholic Church. Everybody in the media talks about the problem of pedophile priests. But is it really a problem of “pedophilia” (which the media still likes to condemn) or “homosexuality” (which the media is quick to protect)?

Listen to Father Charles Fiore, a Catholic priest for 42 years and a former teacher in various Catholic colleges, including a stint at the Dominican Pontifical University, the Angelicum, in Rome. He has personally counseled more than 100 victims of abuse at the hands of priests. “The problem is not clerical pedophilia, but homosexuality. Strictly speaking, pedophilia is the sexual molestation of a pre-pubescent child of either sex, but more than 90 percent of the cases of clergy abuse involve teenage young men.”

The future of this issue — where to draw the line between homosexuality and pedophilia — is foreboding if we look for guidance to the same nations that our Supreme Court recently did in its case nullifying the Texas sodomy statute. Britain has lowered the age of sexual consent to 16. It’s 15 in Germany and Italy. In Canada it’s 14. And it’s all of 12 years old in Spain, Holland and Portugal. A 12-year-old boy who may not even have reached puberty yet can now consent to sexual intercourse thereby making it protected homosexuality as opposed to prohibited pedophilia. And these are the nations our courts look to for guidance?

Which brings us back to our opening question. Yes, Michael Jackson may be nothing more than the target of some money-hungry families. He’s innocent until proven guilty. And yes, there are high percentages of homosexuals who are just as repulsed by child molestation as anyone else. But there is also a statistical link between homosexuality and pedophilia that is undeniable. And it creates a risk for children.

If adults want to choose a homosexual lifestyle, the law now gives them that right. But the risk to children, as well as a host of other social and developmental reasons, should prevent courts from placing children into that environment. And we should not base our nation’s laws on those of countries who have erased any vestige of a line between homosexuality and pedophilia by lowering the age of consent to ridiculous levels.

Peter Pan had it right all along. The Lost Boys didn’t need Tinkerbell. They needed a mother.
Randy Singer is executive vice president of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, an attorney and author of two novels, “Directed Verdict” and “Irreparable Harm.”

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