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Poll: Foley's Homosexuality Not Issue In Scandal


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Poll: Foley's Homosexuality Not Issue In Scandal

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

October 13, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Washington) The Human Rights Campaign released a new nationwide poll on Friday that shows the attempts by some anti-gay right-wing leaders and anti-gay groups to brand the Mark Foley scandal as a gay issue have failed.

The new, nationwide poll shows that, by a 2-to-1 margin, voters believe that "this type of behavior is typical of politicians" over "this type of behavior is typical of gay men."

The poll also showed support for either civil unions or marriage for same-sex couples at 66 percent, which is consistent with other polls on the same question, HRC said.

"Some right-wing leaders and politicians have tried to divert attention from the congressional leadership's failure to investigate Mark Foley's abhorrent behavior, and their cover-up in order to hold on to power, by insisting that his being gay was the central issue," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

"Conservative politicians have tried to promote prejudice against gay Americans, rather than push for accountability in this scandal. Today's poll shows that Americans reject their outrageous claims."

Since the scandal was made public on September 29, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Buchanan and other conservative leaders have spoken out numerous times to national media outlets pushing the idea that the affair is a gay issue, in what LGBT groups and Democrats call an attempt to shift the public's perception of Foley's inappropriate behavior and alleged cover-up by the Republican leadership on gays.

Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc. conducted a poll of 806 registered voters nationwide from October 9-11, 2006.

Solmonese said that the Human Rights Campaign has been monitoring "what seems to be a coordinated effort to place blame on the gay community and equate Mark Foley's disgraceful behavior to the fact that he is gay."

On October 2 Tony Perkins in a mailing to supporters of his Family Research Council said: "Democrats seeking to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) are right to criticize the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with male pages. But neither party seems likely to address the real issue, which is the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse."

The next day the conservative think tank The Arlington Group issued a statement saying: "We are very concerned that the early warnings of Mr. Foley's odd behavior toward young male pages may have been overlooked or treated with deference, fearing a backlash from the radical gay rights movement because of Mr. Foley's sexual orientation."

Pat Robertson on his "700 Club" television show on Oct 5 said: "The news is the Republicans have formed a circular firing squad, and they're firing away. It's just insane, this atavistic spirit to find blame just before an election. They'd be better to say, 'Well, this man's gay, he does what gay people do, and so don't worry about it.'"

A day later Pat Buchanan said: "If the Republican House leadership is guilty of anything, it is of being too tolerant, of allowing Political Correctness, a fear of being called homophobic, to trump common sense. Whether we admit it or not, many male homosexuals have a thing for teenage boys, which is why so many of them wind up with black eyes when they try to pick them up."

©365Gay.com 2006


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