Late last month, Towleroad noted the arrest of a militant, Christian fundamentalist who was obsessed with attacking the queer community, on charges of masturbating in front of children in a public park.
The description of the alleged pedophile's and known homophobe's activities is rather striking.
The Times-Picayune adds:"Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices."
Here's the article from 2003 about Storms' campaigns to end Southern Decadence, which included a Christian parade and 'purity' rally decrying the depravity:Last year, Storms videotaped public sex acts on Bourbon Street and made the tape available to state legislators, hoping to bring an end to the celebration.
"There's no economic gain that justifies an orgy in the streets," Storms said. "That's all it is -- a three-day orgy in the streets."
In 2005 Storms sued gay rights group Action Wisconsin, claiming the group defamed him by saying that he advocated the murder of gays. He lost the lawsuit, a decision that was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Storms was then ordered to repay the group $87,000 in court costs.
Setting aside the specifics of this case, it is instructive to look at the larger pattern. Child molestation is quite common among Republican Party leaders, especially those in the Christian Right.
And the venomously heterosexist Roman Catholic Church is infamous for the rampant child rape in its clergy.
Why do heterosexist groups draw so many pedophiles? Part of it starts with their own rhetoric. Heterosexist bigots love conflating homosexuality with pedophilia (and bestiality and necrophilia) in fact free efforts to justify prejudice against queers and to emotionally abuse the LGBT community.
The false association provides an opportunity for child rapists. Homophobic organizations tend to be places where their child raping members can camouflage themselves, hiding behind the same rhetoric that slanders and libels queers. The pedophiles instinctively hope that joining a group that is against LGBT people will make it seem like they are equally against child rapists and wouldn't think of doing the things that they actually do.
That certainly explains part of the draw that these hate groups have for child rapists. However, there is another aspect of this whole thing that can get lost.
Fanatically religious people and socially extreme right folks tend to be the least moral and ethical people in all of their personal dealings.
At work, its the fundies and the rightists who are most likely to lie to and about coworkers. Rabid Catholics are much more likely to try to weasel their way out of work than the general population. They are the most likely to mistreat their neighbors and romantic partners.
Being rabidly religious, or rightist, allows people to feel moral while living completely amoral lives. It's always that group over there that's bad, not them. It's the queers who are immoral, not the tax cheats. Women who have abortions are the ones to point the finger at, not people who cut people off in traffic just to save a few seconds, if that.
In this context of diversionary "morality," it is hardly mysterious that child molesters are drawn to the bastions of the bullshit. By being a hateful religious or political extremist, they can project their own heinous actions on other groups of people, whether they be Muslims (in the US, Christians in Muslim countries), queers, government workers, women who aren't doormats, atheists, or whomever else becomes the flavor of the month.
The rightist and rabidly Christian child rapists are taking what their political and religious compatriots do to its most extreme. A child molester who lies about "teh gays" not only feels camouflaged, but also is socialized in these institutions to feel like one of the good people.