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The following is the FIRST EVER Ameriqueer guest column from Charleston, IL peer, Matt Mattingly. Matt and I often DISAGREE on Obama, but we very MUCH agree on this story here in two respects: sexual abuse and assault is heinous and evil; and that the gay community has an obligation to call attention to and be angry about evil committed by those who fuel our enemies' fires, rather than sweep these awful things under the rug. When we show OUR own anger as a community over these atrocities--and others, like racism, prostitution, risky sex and indiscriminate drug use--we do the responsible thing, and pull the rug out from under those who want to convince others these things are characteristic of our community. There is a little bit of self-loathing involved in ignoring these evils, and the sooner we address them, the more legitimate our fight becomes. The religious right is ALREADY trying to spin the evil of one gay man against OUR WHOLE COMMUNITY--be outraged about this child abuse as you should be, and make this about abuse NOT about being gay!

It is a horrible enough crime in itself. A 42-year old man allegedly having committed sexual acts upon his 5-year old adopted son and posting it on the Internet. Worse still, this man is accused offering up his 5-year old adopted son up on the internet for sex. Arrested in his home in Durham, North Carolina, this man faces 20 years if convicted.

To any rational human being, the guttural reaction to hearing about this story is an indescribable disgust and rage, mixed with heartfelt sympathy for the child whose childhood may very well have been stolen from him by a soulless monster. We all should protest evil acts such as this.

But we in the LGBT community must also gird ourselves against the possible rhetorical ramifications of this tragic situation for this man, an official at the Duke University Center for Health Policy is also, according to the earliest media reports, a gay man who lived with his partner and had another adopted child as well. According to the CNN article on this crime, the man told an undercover police officer over the internet that he had performed multiple sex acts on the boy and was willing to let the police officer do the same. The reports say the man claimed he had, at times, drugged the boy to perform the acts, and had managed to hide the abuses from his partner.

When those who would seek to prevent the acquisition of total equality for LGBT people seeking to marry their loved ones or adopt children put up their arguments against such rights, they often make the insidious claim that a child adopted by a same-sex couple will be confused, traumatized and perhaps even abused. We scoff at their argument, deem it to be unscrupulous and bigoted, and move on. But we cannot move on, for those who oppose equality now will have a recent event to use as Exhibit A in their argument.

In the past few weeks, we have seen the considerable affect that mobilized masses of LGBT men and women have had in their heated attitude toward President Barack Obama’s perceived inaction on gay rights issues. Whether one believes that heated attitude is just and warranted or impatient and overemotional is irrelevant, but the mobilization has seen some stirrings develop from within the Administration.

It is our responsibility – as LGBT citizens of these United States, as committed prospective partners and parents, as human beings—to aim that same power of assembly and that same anger and outrage at this 42 year old man from Durham, NC as well as all sexual predators who lust after innocent children and traffic in their flesh. By doing so, we give the appropriate emotional response to such a heinous crime and, from a cold, political perspective, find common ground with those who oppose are equality.

Ultimately, this story isn’t about same-sex adoptions or equal rights. It’s about protecting children from these monsters, and providing them with parents –heterosexual or homosexual—that will love and care for them in the way that they should be.


If you liked reading Matt's wonderful piece, please let us know!


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