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.”