Cover Story

Big Problem

"Big Problem" Continued...

Issue: "Brothers up in arms," Oct. 26, 2002

These executives and board members were particularly concerned about the safety of the children under their care. BBBSA national, supported by gay activists and liberal media commentators, has argued that children are at no greater risk of being molested by a homosexual than by a heterosexual. But statistics logged in a stack of peer-reviewed journals undermine that claim. For example, the Journal of Sex Research found that homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses in the United States, even though homosexuals make up no more than 5 percent of the U.S. population. While it may be true that most adult male homosexuals are attracted to other grown males, it is also true that pedophile themes abound in gay literature.

BBBSA has witnessed the problem directly in some affiliates. For example, in 1999 Tim Brown, a 34-year-old BBBSA mentor, sexually molested his 10-year-old Little Brother. America's Most Wanted featured his story in April 2001, and police apprehended Mr. Brown four days later. Also, the Keene, N.H., police department conducted a three-year homosexual Internet child pornography sting operation (1997-2000), which netted two Big Brothers, a 30-year-old advertising representative, and a 49-year-old college professor.

Just last month authorities charged Scott A. Wagner, 34, of Newark, Ohio, with raping a 12-year-old boy. The boy had been visiting Mr. Wagner's home as a client of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Licking County. On Sept. 27, a grand jury indicted Mr. Wagner on 73 child-sex-related charges involving young boys. Also in September, the Columbus Dispatch reported two molestation cases from 2001 that involved assaults on young boys by Big Brothers in Toronto and Newton, Mass.

Many more cases may be out there, but conventional media outlets are loath to report them. The lack of news coverage of those cases reflects conventional media support for the gay agenda. The day after the Dispatch reported on Big Brothers molesting Little Brothers, the Family Research Council sent to 130 national, family, and political editors in Washington, D.C., a press release recapping the story and questioning BBBSA's new policy on gay mentors. Not one publication picked up the story. Not one asked the obvious question: In light of these cases, is matching young boys with homosexual mentors really a sensible policy?

How the new policy came to be is still somewhat of a mystery. BBBSA's national office says that policy-change resolutions are discussed and formulated by local affiliates in the group's 12 national regions: "The top five resolutions, as determined by members of the National Forum, are forwarded to the National Board. In 2001 one of the top five resolutions dealt with nondiscrimination" against homosexual mentors. The process sounds very democratic. But no one at BBBSA will say who the "members of the National Forum" are, and how they determined that the resolution to accept sexual diversity among child mentors was among the top five.

The head of one local affiliate told WORLD, "So many directors I talk to say, 'How did that happen? I don't remember that being brought up.' Many issues go through that we are fully aware of all along the way, but this one was done and over before we even became aware of it." A BBBSA board member from an East Coast affiliate said, "I've been on the board of my agency for a couple of years. The first I heard [about the new policy] was when my wife heard about it on American Family Radio."

BBBSA's national office has refused to answer tough questions. Noreen Shanfelter, director of media relations for the organization, did not return three calls from WORLD. She stopped corresponding with Family News in Focus reporter Steve Jordahl when he asked how matching homosexual men with boys made sense. Nor has she returned calls from Focus on the Family's Mr. Maier.

The national office claims that it has had a nondiscrimination policy concerning homosexuals for the past 25 years, but only now has made it a requirement for local affiliates. Some local directors question that, especially since the national office has not produced documentation to support its claim. The dissenting directors speculate that the 25-year assertion may be a way of quelling protest, as in, "We've been doing this all along, so what's the big deal?"

Nor is the new policy a big deal according to conventional reporters, who have been ready to give BBBSA's new direction a positive spin. On Sept. 26, BBBSA of Sedgwick County (Kansas), an affiliate complying with Standard 22, held a mentor sign-up event called "Big for a Day." When a "married" lesbian couple showed up to volunteer, KWCH Channel 12 made it their top news story. "This year," said KWCH's Sky Arnold in his on-scene report, "Big Brothers Big Sisters has decided couples like Beth and Cathy Gillespie can't be turned away simply because they're lesbians." The camera then focused on two women. "Because she is my wife," said Beth of Cathy, "doesn't mean that I'm going to molest a child." Then the pair signed up to get a Little Sister.

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