I’ve been disturbed this week by a story posted on a leading conservative anglican website. The news piece is a report about two gay policemen in the UK who have been acquited of child porn charges:
A pair of homosexual police "partners" have been cleared of charges of possession of child pornography, both in their shared home and on the computers used in their work. The jury of eight women and four men at Southwark Crown Court returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on all six charges.
Prosecutor Tim Hunter had told the court, "The case is that the images on the disk are illicit or illegal and they didn’t seem to relate to a professional task."
The story has been lifted from lifesitenews.com and includes the following concluding paragraphs:
In 1990, the Journal of Homosexuality, a peer reviewed academic journal that publishes research into same-sex attraction and examines homosexual practices, produced a special double issue devoted to adult-child sex, entitled "Male Intergenerational Intimacy".
In one article, a writer said that a "loving" paedophile can offer "companionship, security and protection" and that parents should look upon a paedophile who loves their son "not as a rival or competitor, not as a thief of their property, but as a partner in the boy’s upbringing, someone to be welcomed into their home…"
A British university professor wrote in the same issue, "Boys want sex with men, boys seduce adult men, the experience is very common and much enjoyed".
Why the final paragraphs? It reads to me as a very crude attempt to link homosexuality with paedophilic behaviour. But in the legal case cited there is absolutely no evidence that either of the two gay men have ever had sex with children, consensual or otherwise. Indeed, good research shows that the are many men and women who look at child pornography but never engage in sexual contact with children, in the same way that may people look at S&M porn without ever engaging in it.
I have to ask in all seriousness, what does this story have to do with the current debate in the Anglican Church over blessing same-sex unions? Are the two policemen Anglicans? Are they even Christian? There’s no indication that they are. Given that, why is this particular website bringing up the story? The only reason I can think of is of a unconscious prejudice against homosexuals.
And I think this conclusion is confirmed by the fact that another story has been headlining in the British media this week which also involves children and sex. But in this story, the man in question has had sex with under-age girls and is obviously heterosexual, as well as wanting you to be in his gang. I think most of us agree that sexual abuse is entirely worse than just viewing child porn, even though that itself is objectionable.
Has the conservative anglican website that ran the gay policemen story run anything on Gary Glitter? No, and I think that demonstrates my point. If the website was really interested in raising the issue of child porn and the clergy and laity then in the past few weeks they would have picked up on this story and this story and this story.
They didn’t. So what then was the reason for highlighting a gay couple with absolutely no connection with the Anglican Communion caught with child porn?