Right Wing Hastens to Hold Up Gay Adoptive Dad, Alleged Pedophile, As Typical of All Gays

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday June 29, 2009

Pundits on the right lost no time in seizing on the shocking case of a gay adoptive father who allegedly offered his five-year-old son as a sex object online.

Pointing to the case, which culminated in a June 26 arrest, a June 29 Christian News Wire article titled "Lombard Demonstrates Why Gays Should Not Be Able to Adopt" reported the broad outlines of the case, in which Duke University Center for Health Policy Associate Director Frank Lombard allegedly offered an undercover officer the sexual services of his young adopted son.

The article also used the case to decry, in equally broad terms, adoption by same-sex couples, taking the occasion to promote a purported study reportedly done by discredited researcher Paul Cameron.

Cameron, a long-time anti-gay activist and chairman of the Family Research Institute, was quoted in the article as saying, "The cant that 'gay parents are no more likely to molest' is not based on evidence but liberal ideology."

Cameron, whose membership in the American Psychological Association was discontinued by the APA in 1983, and who was specifically cited in a 1984 resolution by the Nebraska Psychological Association that read, "[The NBA] formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality," has, nonetheless, gone on to author a number of studies purporting to prove various claims about gays, including that they die younger than straights and that children reared by gay couples are "more apt to report sexual confusion... more apt to be socially disturbed... more apt to abuse substances... less apt to get married... more apt to have difficulty in attachment and loving relationships..."

Cameron's claims were examined by an online essay by Dr. Gregory Herek that observed, "His conclusions are generally at odds with other published research, and objective indices show that his work has had no apparent impact on scientific research on sexual orientation."

Cameron was not alone in hastening to exploit the shocking allegations made against Lombard.

A Web site purporting to be run on behalf of the Republican Party of Vermont, RPV.net, posted a June 28 article on the story in which it was reported that Lombard allegedly told an undercover officer that he had carried out an instance of abuse against the child while using a chat room under the user name "Perv Dad for Fun."

Lombard, the article said, then offered the boy to the officer for sex, inviting the officer to cross state lines in order to abuse the child.

The article said that Lombard had spoken of drugging the boy.

But the article quickly turned to the politics of the case, asserting, "The big question remains on how Duke University and the media will address this in light of explosive nature of gay adoption and homosexuality in the current political environment."

Added the article, "So far the mainstream media has been mum on this issue even though they were quick to rush judgment in the case of the Duke Lacrosse players which were later found to be innocent."

The article went on to cite a case in the United Kingdom in which two adoptive fathers were found to have been molesting their four sons.

The article also referenced a UK case in which a ring of pedophiles was broken up and several men arrested, including a prominent GLBT equality advocate, James Rennie, who allegedly sexually assaulted an infant.

The article went on to reference research that asserts that gays are up to 40 times more likely to abuse children than are straights--a claim that has been challenged on methodological grounds.

Statistically, well over 90% of pedophiles are heterosexual.

But anti-gay activists say that there are a disproportionate number of gays among pedophiles, basing their claim partially on an estimate that gays only constitute between 1% and 2% of the general population.

However, the methodology for gathering the data for such studies relies heavily on self-reporting, the reliability of which is uncertain.

The article quoted Dr. Judith Reisman, whose Ph.D. is on communication, but who has made claims as to the physiological effects of pornography on the brain (unsupported by any research), as well as comparing GLBT youth organizations to the Hitler Youth.

The article also repeated claims that gays suffer more sexual abuse as children, then grow up to become abusers in their turn.

Asked the RPV Network article, "Can modern political correctness and political activism be resolved with a growing body of evidence showing a clear connection between male homosexuality and child abuse?"

In a June 29 Town Hall.com posting, columnist Mike Adams leapt wholesale into a tenuously forged argument that indicated that in order to be true to its stated values, an open and affirming church would need to welcome pedophiles--an argument that overlooked the pathological nature of pedophilia.

Adams' column related that Frank Lombard had been a member of the vestry for the Carrboro, NC church The Episcopal Church of the Advocate.

Adams also noted that on his Facebook page, Lombard counted himself as a fan of the openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson.

Indicating that following Lombard's arrest his name was removed from the vestry listing, Adams deadpanned, "The church that says 'We affirm, and welcome to our community and worship life, people of every kind of household and every stage of life and faith and doubt' is apparently excluding Frank Lombard."

Adams went on to pose several questions with relation to the Lombard case.

"Frank Lombard stands accused of molesting a five year old," wrote Adams. "Is this arrest thwarting an effort by Lombard to promote tolerance of pedophilia in the Episcopal Church?

"More specifically, Frank Lombard stands accused of molesting his five year old adopted son," Adams continued.

"Is this arrest thwarting an effort by Lombard to promote tolerance of incest in the Episcopal Church?"

Continued Adams, "Finally, Frank Lombard stands accused of telling a stranger he could rape his five year old adopted son.

"Is this arrest thwarting an effort by Lombard to promote tolerance of rape in the Episcopal Church?"

Anti-gay rhetoric from the right often includes references to incest, rape, and pedophilia, as well as a claim that gays are "sinful" in pursuing relationships with members of the same gender.

Adams referenced that last point as well, writing that, "many defenders [of gays] drew a line (read: manufactured a standard) by saying that Jesus never specifically condemned homosexuality in the New Testament.

"But there is a huge problem: Jesus never specifically condemned pedophilia, incest, or rape in the New Testament either."

The June 29 column was not the first that Adams had written on the Lombard case. A June 28 column took Duke University to task for the way the University's faculty conducted itself during the 2006 case in which a number of white players on the school's lacrosse team were accused, falsely, of raping an African American stripper.

One blog, Rights Juris, refused to engage in anti-gay politics or to paint all gays with Lombard's alleged misdeeds. Instead, the blog asked whether the Internet might be making pedophiles more visible by giving them a forum in which to meet and chat (and be detected and caught).

The blog also called for stricter sentencing for convicted pedophiles, noting, "The majority of us find this kind of behavior incomprehensible and I think we look the other way all to often as a way to minimize the ever growing problem of child pornography and pedophilia.

"If it makes us uncomfortable to even think about it, imagine how children that are being raped and exploited feel.

"I wish we would put our childrens' safety first, and pedophiles and their so called rights be damned," Right Juris added.

The blog went on to add, "I also believe that those that *simply view* child porn, should receive the same sentence the participating pedophiles do. It is my sincere hope that the death penalty will be on the table eventually."

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.