How Dennis Hastert Demonized Gays as Predators While He Was the True 'Super-Predator'

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 11:34 PM

Bush'south first director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives) based on junk science. The same twisted ideas that led to the "super-predator" myth, which we've seen raised and debunked again during the current Democratic primary race amid discussion of the one thousand nine hundred ninety-four crime bill, have been used by anti-LGBT religious conservatives to argue against marriage equality.

How Dennis Hastert Demonized Gays as Predators While He Was the True 'Super-Predator'

No, it wasn't African-American youthful men of the 'ninety -- supposedly feral, "fatherless" and "godless" urban youth hell-bent on mayhem and murder -- who were "super-predators," a myth since exposed and which was created by the Princeton political science Prof John DiIulio (who later became George W. Bush'south first director of the Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives) based on junk science.

The same twisted ideas that led to the "super-predator" myth, which we've seen raised and debunked again during the current Democratic primary race amid discussion of the one thousand nine hundred ninety-four crime bill, have been used by anti-LGBT religious conservatives to argue against marriage equality. They promoted the notion that gays would demolish "traditional marriage," which supposedly would contribute to a breakdown in the family, causing deviant and risky consequences.

Some of those arguments against marriage equality were informed by a similarly debunked myth that homosexual men are likely to be sexual predators, the lie perpetuated by anti-LGBT detest mongers for decades, using junk science to exploit and further rampant homophobia in society in same the way the "super-predator" myth used it to exploit and further racism.

Meanwhile, the true example of a "super-predator" appears to have been former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a man who prosecutors presently declare molested at least four boys, including a 14-year-old and one who years later took his own life. Since the statute of limitations on those crimes, which took space decades ago, has expired, Hastert will only get up to six months in jail on charges stemming from bank withdrawals of large sums of cash in violation of federal law, in what prosecutors declare was for the purpose of "hush money."

Worse yet, through the years, as he covered up the sexual assaults he committed as a wrestling coach back in Yorkville, Illinois, Hastert pushed policies and positions as a House member and as the Speaker of a far-right GOP majority from one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine to two thousand seven that demonized gays in portion by portraying homosexual men as sexual predators.

"We should continue to be proactive warding off pedophiles and other creeps who wish to get advantage of our children," the IL congressman stated in promoting a bill to stop exploitation of children online shortly before he became House Speaker. That was brought to light in a Politico report latest year which revealed that Hastert had a file in his office labeled "Homosexuals," which included the sexual predator smear against homosexual men:

The records indicate that Hastert'south office kept a legislative file titled "Homosexuals," filled with policy statements from social conservative groups love the Traditional Values Coalition and the Family Research Council that criticized same-sex marriage and Clinton administration efforts to prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians. The file also includes a one thousand nine hundred ninety-six Weekly Standard article, "Pedophilia Chic" that warned that "revisionist suggestions about pedophilia" were being embraced by the left.

The scurrilous Weekly Standard piece raged on about teens supposedly being lured into sex by adult gay men. The Family Research Council, whose statements filled Hastert'south "Homosexuals" file, has perpetuated the lie that gays are more likely to be engaged in in sexual assault against boys -- among the defamatory claims that earned it the label of "detest group" by the Southern Poverty law Center -- and its leader, Tony Perkins, has called pedophilia "a homosexual problem."

It was because of the demands of Family Research Council and other anti-LGBT groups, based on claims about damage to the family and children, that Hastert, who defined himself as a social conservative from early in his career, led the effort as House Speaker to pass a federal marriage amendment, defining marriage as between a man and a woman in the Constitution. He'd also backed the Ethical Majority when he was in the IL Legislature, voting down an anti-discrimination measure to protect gays.

What was curiously not in Hastert'south files, according to the Politico report, was anything about the scandal that enveloped former GOP congressman Tag Foley, who was exposed in two thousand-seventh for having sent sexually explicit messages to teenage boys in the House page program. Hastert in fact was accused of dragging his feet in dealing with Foley'south activities, his office having known about it for months but either covering it up or simply not acting with the speed expected from the office of a House member who was so concerned about child predators.

The Hastert legend is revolting on so many levels. He sexually assaulted boys who trusted him as their wrestling coach, scarring them for life. And while he covered it up over a period of decades, he also assaulted an all minority grouping that was below a barrage of attacks from religious conservatives, continually denying them civil rights and demonizing them and pummeling homosexual people over and over again, with bill after bill, informed by lie after lie. If there'south a true definition of a super-predator, Dennis Hastert is it.

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