There is no law against being a pedophile. You can legally have a sexual interest in children. It is the action of that interest that is illegal. But that is going to change.
The Origins of the Pro-Pedophilia Movement
The modern pro-pedophilia movement has its roots in the controversial work of Alfred Kinsey. Kinsey's 1953 book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male has been a major resource for this movement. Kinsey collected data from pedophiles, including ex-Nazi commandant Dr. Fritz von Balluseck, who offered his victims a choice: rape or the gas chamber. With Dr. Balluseck's "research," and the information from other pedophiles, Kinsey charted the length and frequency of infants' and children's orgasms. He stated the children and infants reacted with "violent convulsions of the whole body; heavy breathing, groaning, sobbing, or more violent cries, sometimes with an abundance of tears (especially among the younger children)." That was how he measured their orgasms.
According to Janice Shaw Crouse,
Five of these infants and children were subjects for months or years, and it is reported that much of the "testing" occurred when they were either strapped or held down. There is no evidence that the institute followed up to see whether they were adversely affected as a result of this sexual abuse/experimentation. We do know that today many of the adult "subjects" refuse to discuss Kinsey's research; some 50 years later, they don't even want to talk about the horrific experience
Kinsey concluded that children as young as two months old "derive definite sexual pleasure" from sexual stimulation and that children needed sex with each other, and with adults.
From 1948 to 1972, pedophilia and homosexuality were both considered paraphilias by the American Psychiatric Association (APA.) A paraphilia is a term used to "describe a family of persistent, intense fantasies, aberrant urges, or behaviors involving sexual arousal to nonhuman objects, pain or humiliation experienced by oneself or one's partner, children or other nonconsenting individuals or unsuitable partners." In 1973, the APA removed homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the homosexual agenda exploded on the mainstream.
Neatly tucked away inside that agenda was the sub-agenda to legalize pedophilia. The "1972 Gay Rights Platform in the United States" called for the "Repeal of all laws governing the age of sexual consent." This platform was endorsed by liberal Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who sent a supportive telegram. There were other homosexual organizations, such as the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Rights Coalition and the Gay Alliance Towards Equality, that also opposed the age of consent laws. Their support of the cause would disappear in 1977.
There were several events in 1977 which shined a spotlight on pedophilia. A Toronto newspaper for homosexuals, The Body Politic, printed a story titled "Men Loving Boys Loving Men." That publication resulted in a raid of their offices.
Also, weeks apart, Judianne Densen-Gerber, director of New York's Odyssey House, a drug-addiction treatment facility and Anita Bryant of Save Our Children started separate campaigns attacking gays as child molesters and being involved in child pornography.
And police in Revere, MA, raided a house where it was discovered that boys were given beer and marijuana by the men in the house, who encouraged them to lounge around with their shirts off. Eventually, the boys were encouraged to have sex with each other, and with the men in the house. The raid lead to 24 indictments and massive media coverage. One member of the media took exception to the raid.
A now-defunct homosexual newspaper in the area, the Boston-based Fag Rag thought the raids were motivated by politics and decided to fight back. They formed the Boston-Boise committee, named because of a similar incident that happened in Boise in the 1950s. Their campaign was successful and the prosecuting District Attorney was not re-elected. The new DA said that no man should fear prison for having sex with a teenager. All charges were dropped. The Boston-Boise group would then spawn the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). It would quickly become a pariah.
The Rise and Fall of NAMBLA
In 1979, the conference that organized the first gay march on Washington included "Full rights for gay youth, including revision of the age of consent laws" as one of its five demands. A contingent of lesbians at the National Coordinating Committee squashed that demand and substituted one that read: "Protect Lesbian and Gay Youth from any laws which are used to discriminate against, oppress, and/or harass them in their homes, schools, job and social environments." It appears these women did not want to be associated with the pro-pedophilia movement.
In 1980, another lesbian group called the Lesbian Caucus - Lesbian & Gay Pride March Committee urged women to separate themselves from the New York City Gay Pride March. They felt it was dominated by NAMBLA and NAMBLA supporters. A year later the Cornell University gay organization Gay PAC (Gay People At Cornell) rescinded an invitation to David Thorstad, founder of NAMBLA. He was to be the keynote speaker at the annual May Gay Festival. From then on, gay rights groups would take every opportunity they had to block NAMBLA from participating in gay pride parades. This motivated a leading gay rights figure, Harry Hay, to wear a sign saying "NAMBLA Walks With Me" in the 1986 gay pride march in Los Angeles.
Because of the attacks they had received, labeling them as child molesters and of recruiting teenagers to a life of homosexuality, gay rights groups distanced themselves from NAMBLA and ended the radical inclusive attitude of the early years of the movement. Support for NAMBLA disappeared. However, one homosexual rights group still allowed NAMBLA as a member, and it would cost them a powerful position.
In 1993 the United Nations conferred consultive status to the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). The ILGA included NAMBLA in its membership. As early as 1993, the ILGA wanted all its members to treat all sexual minorities with respect. It wrote, "The recognition of pedophiles as a distinct 'sexual minority' is a key demand of advocates of adult-child sex. By making claims as a 'minority,' pederasts can essentially follow in the footsteps of homosexual activists and demand legal and societal changes to guarantee their rights.' The UN appoiontment did not go over well in the United States. Senator Jesse Helms drafted legislation withholding $119 million in UN contributions until then President Bill Clinton could certify that "no UN agency grants official status, accreditation, or recognition to any organization which promotes, condones or seeks the legalization of pedophilia, that is, the sexual abuse of children." No senator opposed the bill and Clinton signed it into law in April 1994. Even though the ILGA adopted a resolution that stated "young people have the right to sexual and social self determination," they still voted to remove NAMBLA from the organization. The ILGA claimed the move was because it was decided that NAMBLA's "predominant aim is to support or promote pedophilia." How they missed that position before is unknown and unbelievable. The UN reversed its decision to grant the ILGA consultive status, and has refused to grant it to them since.
NAMBLA continued to take a beating in the 1990s. In 1994, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said it "Deplores the North American Man Boy Love Association's goals." Also in '94, the Board of Directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force stated that: NGLTF condemns the organizational goals of NAMBLA."
NAMBLA was involved in a number of civil and criminal cases through the 1990s and early 2000s, the most controversial being Curley v. NAMBLA. In 2000, the parents of Jeffrey Curley, Robert and Barbara Curley, sued NAMBLA over the death of their son. Salvatore Sicari and Charlie Jaynes took Jeffery to the Boston Public Library where the two men accessed the NAMBLA website. Jaynes later tried to sexually assault Jeffery, who fought back. For his efforts, he was gagged with a gasoline soaked rag and later killed. Jaynes then sexually assaulted the boy's dead body. According to the lawsuit:
Jaynes and Sicari "stalked Jeffrey Curley... and tortured, murdered and mutilated [his] body on or about October 1, 1997. Upon information and belief immediately prior to said acts Charles Jaynes accessed NAMBLA's website at the Boston Public Library." According to police, Jaynes had eight issues of a NAMBLA publication in his home at the time of his arrest. The lawsuit further alleges that "NAMBLA serves as a conduit for an underground network of pedophiles in the United States who use their NAMBLA association and contacts therein and the Internet to obtain child pornography and promote pedophile activity."
The ACLU defended NAMBLA in this case, winning a dismissal "based on the specific legal issue that NAMBLA is organized as an association, not a corporation." A wrongful death suit remains against some individual NAMBLA members and the NAMBLA Steering Committee members. The ACLU is assisting the defendants in this case as well.
The media exposure of NAMBLA's goals and activities has been enough to do the association in. Today, I am unaware of any gay rights group that supports or condones NAMBLA or its goals. NAMBLA is today considered non-existent, composed only of a few members who maintain the website and publish a newsletter.
The movement to normalize and legalize pedophilia, however, continues.
Third Party Advocates
In 1977, Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote "Sex Bias in the U.S. Code" for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In it, Ginsberg advocated lowering the age of consent from 16 to 12. She writes:
"Eliminate the phrase "carnal knowledge of any female, not his wife, who has not attained the age of 16 years" and substitute a federal, sex-neutral definition of the offense. ... A person is guilty of an offense if he engages in a sexual act with another person. ... [and] the other person is, in fact, less than 12 years old."
She was an attorney for the ACLU at the time and later appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. She remains on the Supreme Court today.
In 1981 a study was done at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands by the co-director of the research program of the Department of Gay and Lesbian Studies. For the study, Dr. Theo Sandfort interviewed 25 boys ages 10-16 currently involved in sexual relationships with adult men. He interviewed them in the men's homes and concluded that "For virtually all the boys...the sexual contact was experienced positively..."
In 1982, the American Civil Liberties Union took a case to the Supreme Court to legalize the sale and distribution of child pornography. In New York v. Ferber, the ACLU fought to make the sale and distribution of child porn was safe under the First Amendment.
They made the same case later to the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography:
As legislative counsel for the ACLU in 1985, Barry Lynn told the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography (of which Focus on the Family President Dr. James C. Dobson was a member) that child pornography was protected by the First Amendment. While production of child porn could be prevented by law, he argued, its distribution could not be. A few years later (1988), Lynn told the Senate Judiciary Committee that even requiring porn producers to maintain records of their performers' ages was impermissible.
"If there is no federal record-keeping requirement for the people portrayed in Road and Track or Star Wars," he said, "there can be no such requirement for Hustler or Debbie Does Dallas."
The Journal on Homosexuality published "Male Intergenerational Intimacy: Historical, Socio-Psychological and Legal Perspective" in 1990. In its forward, Gunter Schimdt, Professor of Sex Research at the University of Hamburg in Germany details:
"successful pedophile relationships which help and encourage the child, even though the child often agrees to sex while really seeking comfort and affection. These are often emotionally deprived, deeply lonely, socially isolated children who seek, as it were, a refuge in an adult's love and for whom, because of their misery, see it as a stroke of luck to have found such an 'enormously nurturant relationship'."
Schimdt also wrote about how the legal prohibition of pedophilia was uncivilized:
It looks as though children who are not emotionally deprived are, so to speak, "immune" to the advances of an adult seeking sexual contact. Each individual case must be looked upon on its own merits and, for this reason the threat to make all pedophile acts punishable by law can barely be labeled civilized; on the contrary, it is unjust, for it implies the discrimination and persecution of a minority and should be abolished.
Richard Gardner, M.D., published "True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse." In it, he asserted that America's attitude toward sexual encounters with children were out of step with the rest of the world. He claimed the Bible was responsible for the American view of pedophilia and said, "...of all the ancient peoples it may very well be that the Jews were the only ones who were punitive towards pedophiles."
In a July 1998 issue of the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin featured an article by authors Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch and Robert Bauserman titled: "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples." In the article, the authors goal was "...to address the question: In the population of persons with a history of CSA [child sexual abuse], does this experience cause intense psychological harm on a widespread basis for both genders?"
They concluded that "the negative effects (of child sexual abuse) were neither pervasive nor typically intense and that men reacted much less negatively than women." It caused a firestorm of criticism in the mainstream.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger attacked the article in March of 1999 as a mainstream effort to normalize pedophilia. In typical swift fashion, a year after the article was published it was unanimously condemned in the Congress. The article was accused of sample bias, due to "excluding victims so traumatized that they did not go on to attend college." The authors were also accused of bias. In the 1990 article from the Journal of Homosexuality mentioned above, co-author Robert Bauserman asserted that the ideology that labels all boys as "victims" and all adult pedophiles as "perpetrators" was wrong. He also complained that objective research was impossible because of the social climate that condemns man-boy sexual relationships. Bruce Rind asserted that the terms "victims, survivors, offenders, and perpetrators were scientifically invalid." In their report, they actually use themselves as a reference to support these assertions.
Stephanie J. Dallum authored an argument denouncing the study titled: "Science or Propaganda? An examination of Rind, Tromovitch & Bauserman (1998)." She concluded:
After a careful examination of the evidence, it is concluded that Rind et al. can best be described as an advocacy article that inappropriately uses science in an attempt to legitimize its findings.
In 1999, Harris Mirkin wrote an article in the Journal of Homosexuality titled "The Patterns of Sexual Politics: Feminism, Homosexuality and Pedophilia." His position is that pedophilia is a "culture and class specific creation" and it can and should be made legal. He compares the fight for legalization of pedophilia to the civil rights effort of the Black community. Mirkin writes that if the legalization of pedophilia is to succeed, the discussion has to move past moral issues to the rights of children to enjoy sex. This shift would push the focus from "never allowed" to "when is this allowed." This, he supposes, would be the gateway to legalization.
An article simply title "Pedophilia" was featured in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2002. Peter J. fagen, Ph.D., et al., made the assertion that pedophilia is just another sexual orientation:
During psychosexual development, no one decides whether to be attracted to women, men, girls or boys. Rather, individuals discover the types of persons they are sexually attracted to, i.e., their sexual orientation.
Dr. Fred Berlin of the John Hopkins Department of Psychiatry supports that position. In an article that appeared in Behavioral Health Management, Douglas Edwards cites Berlin, stating that Berlin rejects the idea that pedophilia is a conscious choice, but rather a life-long sexual orientation.
Judith Levine published Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex in 2002. The book featured a forward by former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. Levine writes, "Pedophiles are not generally violent, if there is such a thing as pedophiles at all. More important, sexual contact with a child does not a pedophile make."
Jan LaRue, chief council for Concerned Women of America and Mary Eberstadt, research fellow at the Hoover Institute, pointed out that Levine's assertions were based solely on pro-pedophilia sources, like the NAMBLA Bulletin.
The Los Angeles Times gave Levine an award for her book.
There are other instances where pedophilia is minimized, tolerated and ignored. The State of California passed a bill dubbed the Pedophilia Protection Act, removing the requirements of mandatory reporters. This was in reaction to the discovery of Planned Parenthood treating children as young as six for sexually transmitted diseases, yet not reporting it. It seems in California, the protection of Planned Parenthood takes precedent over the protection of children from abuse.
Hyper-atheist Richard Dawkins asserted that if a Catholic priest were to sexually abuse a child, the abuse would do less damage than if the priest taught him the Bible. In a short essay for The Dubliner, Dawkins wrote:
Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place.
Dawkins has allowed his hatred of religion to blind him to the damage of pedophilia. This does little to hurt religion, but plenty for the effort to legalize pedophilia.
Hungary was considering allowing children as young as 14 to be in porn, since they had already lowered the age of consent to that age. There was an outrage from the conservative members of Hungary's government. As of today, the change hasn't happened.
The current movement to legalize and normalize pedophilia may seem unrealistic to some. I have yet to have someone agree with me when I claim that it will be legal in the next 25-30 years. But there are many, as I have detailed here, who see pedophiles as an oppressed minority. They see the road to freedom as being the same road homosexuals marched down. The first step would be the removal of pedophilia as a mental illness, a move the APA has already considered. Then, using the research of Kinsey and others mentioned above, the move would be made to abolish the age of consent. With the seeming support of science, this could be possible and it would effectively legalize pedophilia. With the legal burden lifted, the effort would then shift to normalization and acceptance. This is done by pedophiles casting themselves as a minority, a victim of a culture that rejects them. March after march makes the sight of a fifty year old man giving a six year old boy a deep tongue kiss nothing more than a sign of America's tolerance, regardless of who gets hurt.
There are some things we should not tolerate. The legalization and normalization of pedophilia is one of those things.