As legislators and other government officials promote "gay" friendly laws, they are unwittingly laying the foundation for special protections for pedophiles, including the right to work with children, family advocates warn.
Linda Harvey of Mission America said the push for equal rights for pedophiles will become more common as LGBT groups continue to assert themselves.
"It's all part of a plan to introduce sex to children at younger and younger ages to convince them that normal friendship is actually a sexual attraction," she said.
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In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association declassified homosexuality from its list of mental disorders after intense lobbying by homosexual-rights groups.
At the time of the delisting, critics warned that it would eventually lead to acceptance of other types of sexual deviancy, including pedophilia. Supporters of the "gay" lifestyle decried the comparison, insisting that no such thing would ever occur.
However, it appears the critics were right on the mark.
In 2003, a group of mental health professionals formed B4U-Act to begin a slow but inexorable push to redefine pedophilia as a sexual orientation in the same way homosexuality was in the 1970s.
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The organization calls pedophiles "minor attracted people," and the website states its purpose is to "help mental health professionals learn more about attraction to minors and to consider the effects of stereotyping, stigma, and fear."
B4U-Act later held a symposium in which a new definition of pedophilia was proposed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders of the APA.
In 2010, two psychologists in Canada made national news when they declared that pedophilia is a sexual orientation just like homosexuality.
Van Gijseghem, psychologist and retired professor of the University of Montreal, told members of Parliament, "Pedophiles are not simply people who commit a small offense from time to time but rather are grappling with what is equivalent to a sexual orientation just like another individual may be grappling with heterosexuality or even homosexuality."
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He went on to say: "True pedophiles have an exclusive preference for children, which is the same as having a sexual orientation. You cannot change this person's sexual orientation. He may, however, remain abstinent."
When asked if he should be comparing pedophiles to homosexuals, Van Gijseghem replied: "If, for instance, you were living in a society where heterosexuality is proscribed or prohibited and you were told that you had to get therapy to change your sexual orientation, you would probably say that that is slightly crazy. In other words, you would not accept that at all. I use this analogy to say that, yes indeed, pedophiles do not change their sexual orientation."
Dr. Vernon Quinsey, professor emeritus of psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, agreed with Van Gijseghem, saying pedophiles' sexual interests cause them to prefer children, and "there is no evidence that this sort of preference can be changed through treatment or through anything else."
In July 2010, Harvard Health Publications declared: "Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges."
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If the APA would declare pedophilia a sexual orientation on a par with homosexuality, it would have huge ramifications for existing anti-discrimination laws.
The common process has been for homosexual advocates to add "sexual orientation" to a list of nondiscrimination factors in cities and states.
However, such references are not directed specifically toward homosexuality and could be interpreted to protect a host of other people with "orientations," such as bisexuals and transgenders.
Supporters of the LGBT lifestyle vehemently deny the connection, insisting age-of-consent laws would prevent pedophiles from claiming the same rights as homosexuals in employment, housing and other areas.
At face value, the claim appears to have merit, however the problem is psychologists make a sharp distinction between pedophiles and child molesters.
Dr. Gregory Herek, a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science and past recipient of the APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology, argued the point in an article titled "Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation."
Herek said the problem is the average person fails to understand correct terminology, which he says is "confusing" and "misleading" regarding pedophiles.
"Pedophilia and child molestation are used in different ways, even by professionals," Herek stated. "Pedophilia usually refers to an adult psychological disorder characterized by a preference for prepubescent children as sexual partners; this preference may or may not be acted upon."
He said that by contrast, child molestation and child sexual abuse refers to actions taken by the perpetrator.
Based on this definition, a pedophile has not broken any laws, since he has not actually engaged in a sexual act with children. Analysts say with no laws being broken if pedophilia were to be declared a sexual orientation, it would fall under the definition of sexual orientation in all appropriate legal statutes.
This could prove especially problematic for employers who hire people to work with children, such as in daycare centers or schools. If a pedophile were to apply for a job, as long as he could claim he has not engaged in the act of child molestation, a claim of discrimination might be supported if he was rejected based on his "sexual orientation."
Harvey said that while there are currently age-of-consent laws that prohibit adults from engaging in sex with children, there is a push to change that.
"There are people who advocate for sexual freedom who have been attempting to lower the age of consent for quite some time," Harvey said. "One of the things I see happening is they are going active in freeing and empowering youth to be who they are. They are attempting to de-stigmatize sex between older youth and younger children.
"For instance, they will be pushing under anti-bullying laws that there is nothing wrong with a 16-year-old having sexual relations with an 11-year-old. Once you have passed that barrier and established that is a sexual orientation because that is something that people just do it is a logical step to make the leap to pedophilia."
She noted that the process that is being played out with mental health professionals such as B4U-Act is the same as what happened in the 1970s.
"The definition by psychologists between pedophilia and child molestation is very important. They want to first establish the idea of an identity of people who are attracted to children," she said. "The next step is to play the victim card, saying there are people who are hateful to them and criticizing them is hateful because it is an orientation and therefore they cannot help it.
"They reason that if they never act on their sexual impulses towards children then what is the problem? Common sense says that if they have these feelings they will act on them. It is not inborn just like there is no biological basis for homosexuality. However, the militant lobby for pedophiles will defend their right to have that orientation and that's where they are going to go first. They will not go to behavior right away because they know people won't go with them on that, but they will go with the idea of desiring what you want to desire because you do not know where it comes from."
There are also those who advocate legalizing child pornography, contending it helps prevent pedophiles from becoming child molesters.
Milton Diamond, a University of Hawaii professor and director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society, once stated that child pornography could be beneficial to society because, "Potential sex offenders use child pornography as a substitute for sex against children."
Diamond is a distinguished lecturer for the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. The IASHS openly advocated the repeal of the Revolutionary War-era ban on homosexuals serving in the military.
On its website, the IASHS lists "basic sexual rights" that includes "the right to engage in sexual acts or activities of any kind whatsoever, providing they do not involve nonconsensual acts, violence, constraint, coercion or fraud."
Other rights are to "be free of persecution, condemnation, discrimination, or societal intervention in private sexual behavior" and "the freedom of any sexual thought, fantasy or desire." The organization also says that no one should be "disadvantaged because of their age."
What should be even more alarming to parents is that the APA has downplayed any mental health issues that children may experience resulting from sexually abuse by adults.
In 1998, the APA issued a report claiming "that the 'negative potential' of adult sex with children was 'overstated' and that 'the vast majority of both men and women reported no negative sexual effects from their child sexual abuse experiences.'"
WND previously reported laws in states such as California and New Jersey barring so-called "gay" conversion therapy could actually prevent mental health professionals from offering counseling to pedophiles.
Attorney Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, which has filed a lawsuit against the California law, said under the bill's language a mental health counselor could be sanctioned if there was an attempt to get a pedophile to change his behavior or speak negatively about the behavior.
"If someone were to say their sexual orientation is toward young children and a licensed mental health practitioner were to counsel against those tendencies as opposed to affirming the behavior it is problematic and could result in an ethical code violation by the counselor," Staver said. "This is an issue that is clearly lurking in this statute."
"This language is so broad and vague, it arguably could include all forms of sexual orientation including pedophilia," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. "It's not just the orientation that is protected, the conduct associated with the orientation is protected as well."
Many may not realize that the federal government has already granted pedophiles protected status.
The Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act lists "sexual orientation" as a protected class; however it does not define the term.
Republicans attempted to add an amendment specifying that "pedophilia is not covered as an orientation." However, the amendment was defeated by Democrats in Congress shortly after President Obama took office.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., stated that all alternative sexual lifestyles should be protected under the law.
"This bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice and to guarantee that all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability or all of these 'philias' and fetishes and 'isms' that were put forward need not live in fear because of who they are. I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this rule."