Is NAMBLA Gunning (Literally) for New York AG?

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday March 11, 2009

The pedophile group NAMBLA (the "North American Man Boy Love Association") was reported to have posted a reward for the murder of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, in part for Cuomo's support for "civil commitment" laws designed to keep child molesters in prison beyond the term of their court-ordered sentences.

The initial article in The New York Post was published on Mar. 9, and drew an immediate response from NAMBLA, which issued a press release that same day calling the story a "hoax."

The NAMBLA release denounced the Post story, which had reported that an posting had appeared online at a news group offering "$10,000 to shoot Andrew Cuomo in the face!"

Stated the release, "We have done nothing of the sort, to Mr. Cuomo or anyone else, now or ever."

The release added, "Contrary to the many falsehoods which have been directed against us over the years, NAMBLA is an organization dedicated to the changing of laws, not the breaking of them."

The NAMBLA release addressed the issue of civil commitment, saying, "It is true that we oppose civil commitment. We do so for the same reasons so many other sensible groups and individuals do--it is an end run around everyone's constitutional and legal protections."

Continued the release, "Civil commitment programs are an ex-post facto use of mental health facilities as prisons and are based on misinformation about recidivism rates (which study after study by states and the federal government have shown to be very low)."

A follow-up story appeared in The Post on Mar. 10, claiming that a "sweeping criminal investigation" had failed to yield any arrests and that despite Internet provider Verizon attempting to eradicate the offer of a bounty on Cuomo, the message popped up again elsewhere online.

The Post quoted an investigator as saying, "This is, like, Whack-a-Mole--you knock it down, and it pops back up."

The story said that a spokesperson associated with the Attorney General had "confirmed the threat."

The follow-up repeated the essential allegations of the first story, including that the offer read, in part, "I am an official of NAMBLA, and I can confirm that we have raised the cash to reward any individual who manages to accomplish this task."

Cuomo had recently been viewed as a possible successor for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Senatorial seat, left vacant when Clinton accepted an offer from the Obama administration to assume her new position.

However, New York governor David Paterson chose state Rep. Kristen Gillibrand to occupy the Senate seat, at least until the 2010 election, when a permanent replacement for Clinton could be voted into the office.

Despite public perceptions, often reinforced by anti-gay religious and conservative rhetoric, that pedophiles are mainly homosexual, Cuomo is viewed as being pro-gay rights. An Feb. 2, 2008 article posted at The Gothamist about a recent court decision to uphold New York's recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, despite the state not offering marriage equality itself, noted that, "State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said that he was unaware of any decision on such matters, but stated that it was his job to defend state agencies, so if he fights the decision, it's only because his arm is being twisted (wink, wink.)"

At a meeting with editors at Crain's New York Business, Cuomo was asked what he would do if he were forced to argue against gay marriage, since he came out in favor of it and New York State at that time did not recognize it.

"I would recuse myself," he said, "because it would be a conflict of interest." That is, he could not involve himself in a case in which he did not believe.

Scientific studies indicate that at least two thirds of incidents of child molestation are perpetrated by heterosexuals. (Some estimates place the rate of straight offenders at a much higher percentage.) Moreover, the evidence, based on testimony and physiometric testing of offenders' responses, indicate that straight pedophiles who molest boys are attracted to their "feminine" pre-pubescent characteristics.

In light of the alleged threat, security around Cuomo has been increased, The Post reported.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.