Dennis Hastert is the poster boy for all of the anti-gay Republicans who demonize and strive to stigmatize gays even as they seek gay sex on the down low or, in the case of Hastert, molest under aged boys. Indeed, the pattern is so consistent, that the "godly folk" - if they had any brains (admittedly, a very big if) - ought to start immediately questioning Republicans who jump on the anti-gay bandwagon. A piece by Michelangelo Signorile at Huffington Post looks at the utter hypocrisy of Hastert - and by extension other GOP homophobes. Here are column excerpts:
No, it wasn’t African-American young men of the ‘90s — supposedly feral, “fatherless” and “godless” urban youth hell-bent on murder and mayhem — who were “super-predators,” a myth since exposed and which was created by the Princeton political science professor John DiIulio (who later became George W. Bush’s 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 1994 crime bill, have been used by anti-LGBT religious conservatives to argue against marriage equality. They promoted the notion that gays would destroy “traditional marriage,” which supposedly would contribute to a breakdown in the family, causing deviant and dangerous consequences.
Some of those arguments against marriage equality were informed by a similarly debunked myth that gay men are likely to be sexual predators, the lie perpetuated by anti-LGBT hate 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 now say molested at least 4 boys, including a 14-year-old and one who years later took his own life.
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 1999 to 2007 that demonized gays in part by portraying gay men as sexual predators.
[As] a Politico report last year . . . revealed that Hastert had a file in his office labeled “Homosexuals,” which included the sexual predator smear against gay men:
The records show that Hastert’s office kept a legislative file titled “Homosexuals,” filled with policy statements from social conservative groups like 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 1996 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’s “Homosexuals” file, has perpetuated the lie that gays are more likely to engage in sexual assault against boys — among the defamatory claims that earned it the label of “hate group“ by the Southern Poverty law Center — and its leader, Tony Perkins, has called pedophilia “a homosexual problem.”
The Hastert story 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 entire minority group that was under a barrage of attacks from religious conservatives, continually denying them civil rights and demonizing them and pummeling gay people over and over again, with bill after bill, informed by lie after lie. If there’s a true definition of a super-predator, Dennis Hastert is it.
If there is a Hell, Hastert should have a special reserved seat - along with all the predator Catholic priests and the Popes, cardinals, bishops and others who covered up for them and aided and abetted their molestation of children and minors. They are all cut from the same hypocrisy filled cloth.