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A response to David Webb, the Rare Reporter, South Florida Gay News,
by Peter Herman and Eric Tazelaar

Dear "Rare" Reporter,

We at NAMBLA read your essay dated August 2, 2011.

Contrary to your impressions of our organization or any understanding of it derived from law enforcement, television news or so-called mental health professionals, we operate "above ground" and behave legally but, more importantly, ethically. We are, indeed, quite sane and function at a high level within society, such as it is.

We do commend you for your willingness to research a very controversial topic but find your investigation perfunctory, at best and your conclusions consequently quite flawed. Your essay makes a point of examining some academic sources and recognizes the emotionally charged reactions that accompany any research presenting evidence contradicting the prevailing social views on intergenerational relationships. But your examination of this important issue is far from complete.

One of a number of researchers you did not mention and who has also swum against the overwhelming tide of irrational thought is Susan Clancy, author of The Trauma Myth, who at the risk of her career, also reached the conclusion that, absent force, early sexual experiences do not cause trauma or even fleeting emotional upset. Only when the individual, as an adult, learns of society's current views does he reinterpret the experience negatively. But for the hysteria surrounding the topic, more research done with strict scientific protocols would be possible and would lead to quite different conclusions from those informed only by unexamined prejudices and hateful agendas.

After examining only two sane essays on the subject you go on to search for groups supporting intergenerational relationships but cavalierly dismiss NAMBLA on the baseless opinions of police agencies and mental health types, forgetting that, historically, their judgments have often turned out to be quite wrong. It was not that long ago, for example, that gays were considered mentally ill and that homosexual relationships were criminally prosecuted. We will spare you a recounting of injustices taken against other minorities and scapegoats over the history of the Americas but urge you to consider that men who love boys are amongst those unjustly persecuted.

Rather than quickly adopting the familiar and facile prejudices of the crowd, such as those readily found on Facebook and deriving smug satisfaction from unofficial poll results derived therein, you could have taken a few moments to understand our positions by visiting www.nambla.org. Keep in mind that “polling data”, or what amounted to it in previous centuries, was once the basis for burning witches and homosexuals.

Anatole France once said “If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” Rationality, as exemplified by this writer, has existed in every age. Unfortunately, so has irrationality. Despite the persistent conceit held by each generation that it alone is free of the irrationality of the past, our contemporaries retain intensely irrational views, particularly in the domain of human sexuality.

One of your correspondents, you have noted, regrets society's exemplification of the gay community in purely sexual terms, thus ignoring those aspects of LGBT culture which nurture loving relationships and families and which build communities.

We agree! And we insist that men who love boys be so similarly regarded; as fellow human beings for whom relationships built upon mutual trust, respect and nurturance are paramount and who have contributed immeasurably to the benefit of their communities.

Original piece: http://www.southfloridagaynews.com/sfgn-columnists/columnists/david-webb/4177-is-pedophilia-a-sexual-orientation.html




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