Yesterday evening, BuzzFeed published an article in which actor Anthony Rapp said that, more than 30 years ago when he was only 14, actor Kevin Spacey (then 26) made a “sexual advance” on him.
Spacey responded with a bizarre statement on Twitter saying he didn’t remember the incident, but said that if it happened, it was the result of “deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” As if that’s an excuse for any kind of assault.
— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017
Making things arguably worse, however, was his additional statement that “I choose now to live as a gay man.”
Not exactly the time to come out. And that, too, suggests that Spacey may have done what he did to Rapp because he’s gay.
For decades now, the Religious Right has attempted to link homosexuality with pedophilia. Spacey unintentionally gave them a major talking point to perpetuate that harmful myth.
It’s not just a lie that conservative Christians like to tell themselves. It’s justification for their opposition to the “normalizing” of LGBTQ people. It’s why they push for conversion therapy; they’re doing this for the children. It’s why they oppose the acceptance of gay leaders in the Boy Scouts.
We frequently post about Christian bigots making that link:
- Pastor Greg Locke said that a “homosexual revolution” will inevitably lead to gay people thinking, “Pedophilia is gonna be free game.”
- Christian activist Linda Harvey said that public schools that don’t condemn LGBTQ people “resemble the grooming a pedophile does before molesting a child.”
- Hate-Pastor Steven Anderson told a BBC documentary filmmaker that a “man who would have sex with another man would have sex with anything,” adding that gay people “kill themselves” and “put a bullet in your own head so that you don’t molest my kids or anyone else’s kids.”
Those are just from the past year. And now, Spacey is suggesting his own homosexuality may be relevant to story in which he once allegedly assaulted an underage boy. The accusation is awful enough. The rationale Spacey is offering is only adding to the problem.
The Daily Beast’s Ira Madison III also recalls the way Christian Right activist Anita Bryant used to conflate the two issues:
It calls to mind hateful rhetoric like Anita Bryant’s 1977 Save Our Children campaign, which sought to associate gay men and child predators. Of gay men, Bryant infamously said, “Some of the stories I could tell you of child recruitment and child abuse by homosexuals would turn your stomach.”
Let’s be very clear: In the coming days you will almost certainly hear Christians saying that they were right, that homosexuality is a disorder, that it hurts children, that calling for LGBTQ equality will only increase the number of child molestation cases we see in the future.
There’s no reason to believe any of those things. But the kinds of Christians who accept hateful rhetoric like that aren’t the kind of people who ever do research on these matters. They accept the lies in full.
And now they’ll be able to point to one of the highest profile actors of our time as evidence that they were right all along.
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