[Content Note: Child Sexual Abuse, Homophobia]
As he is often wont to do, Bryan Fischer had some horrible things to say about gay people, this time in the context of how he’s greatly upset over the legislature’s most recent consideration of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace. In his diatribe, Fischer refers to homosexuality as sexual deviancy, and compares it — shocker, I know — to pedophilia. He even refers to ENDA as “The Jerry Sandusky Pedophile Protection Act.”
People have covered how laughably offensive it is to compare gay people to pedophiles and other sexual predators. The idea that any sex between consenting adults is the moral equivalent of non-consensual sex of any kind demonstrates a complete failure to appreciate the importance of consent when it comes to sex, and this is a failure that I’ve noted before. Today, however, I’d like to draw attention to how this kind of rhetoric, as evidenced by Fischer’s statements, also erases victims of sexual abuse and assault and trivializes their experience.
Note that Fischer mentions that Sandusky was imprisoned for “engaging in sexual deviancy.” That’s not an entirely accurate statement. Sandusky was imprisoned for raping and otherwise sexually abuses young boys. Sandusky’s crimes were not “deviating from some norm,” but violating other human beings, human beings he had some measure of power over due to his work with them. Reframing his crimes as “sexual deviancy” ignores and erases the fact that other people were harmed by his actions. They become the easily forgotten pawns in Fischer’s rhetorical campaign against LGBT people.
That’s just not right.