Tony Perkins, president of the Christian-based Family Research Council (FRC), says being “abnormal” is what's driving gay teens to depression or suicide.

Perkins helms one of the nation's most anti-gay groups. The FRC objects to government recognition of gay unions, allowing gay troops to serve openly in the military and claims that being gay is not a choice.

In a NPR story titled Religious Undercurrent Ripples In Anti-Gay Bullying aired Wednesday, Perkins dismisses claims that open objection to being gay plays a part in gay teen suicides.

“There's no correlation between inacceptance of homosexuality and depression and suicide,” he says.

“These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict,” he says.

In the online version of the article, Perkins is quoted as saying that kids know being gay is “abnormal,” which is the cause of their depression.

Countering the claim is Warren Throckmorton, an evangelical who teaches psychology at Grove city College in Pennsylvania, who says many of the teens are only perceived to be gay.

“The common element is not gay identification,” he says. “The common element is anti-gay harassment. And so it isn't a matter of them being gay and unhappy. It's a matter of others tormenting them with gay slurs.”