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Tony Perkins: ‘Tolerance And Diversity’ Are To Blame For ‘Congressmen Chasing 16-Year-Olds’

By Amanda Terkel  

"Tony Perkins: ‘Tolerance And Diversity’ Are To Blame For ‘Congressmen Chasing 16-Year-Olds’"

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Yesterday on CNN, Tony Perkins, President of the conservative Family Research Council, blamed the Foley scandal on America’s belief in “tolerance and diversity.” He also excused the House leadership’s neglect of the issue, saying they may have been “fearful of acting because they would be seen as homophobic or gay bashing.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/10/tonyperkinscnn.320.240.flv]

This scandal has nothing to do with Foley’s sexual orientation. Preying on children — of any gender — is unacceptable.

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Full transcript below:

JOHN KING: As we speak sir, John Shimkas is still the chairman of the Page Board. Would you send your child to Washington to be a page?

TONY PERKINS: There’s no defense of this behavior. It’s outrageous. It’s shocking. But it shouldn’t be totally surprising. When we told up tolerance and diversity as the guideposts for public life, this is what you end up getting. You get congressmen chasing 16-year-olds down the halls of Congress. It’s a shame. It’s a tragedy and it does need to be addressed. But not just the symptoms here. We need to go to the source of the problem. And if the leadership was negligent, it should be dealt with and should be dealt with in the most severe way possible. But what prevented the leadership from acting? Were they fearful of acting because they would be seen as homophobic or gay bashing?

‹ Boehner throws Hastert under the bus.

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