By Andrew Potts
The Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace has claimed that gay men are overwhelmingly to blame for child abuse in churches and schools.
Wallace made the claims, which were caught on film, inside NSW Parliament during a forum on internet censorship in September, hosted by the Fellowship of the Round Table.
The Fellowship holds events in Parliament’s Jubilee Room three times a year and Wallace had attended to debate the issue with speakers from the NSW Greens and the Australian Sex Party.
When an audience member compared the lack of pedophilia in the Australian adult film industry to hundreds of cases involving clergy, Wallace shot back, “Some of you won’t like this but this is fact, OK.”
“The churches who have been the victims of this have had a policy where they do not accept homosexuals as part of their clergy.
“Yet in Australia over 70 percent of the offences have been committed by homosexual clergy …. the church would have not admitted [these people] into positions of authority had they known about their sexual preference.”
The ACL head claimed this figure was as high as 90 percent in American churches and that gay men were the majority of offenders elsewhere in the community.
“The sort of figures that we’re talking about here are also replicated in schools, in all sorts of places which are not churches.”
Wallace’s comments upset several in the audience, including a woman who asked if Wallace was able to cite studies supporting his claim.
“I can, actually. I don’t have them here with me now but yes there are. Many, many,” Wallace said.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will address the Australian Christian Lobby’s national convention next month.
According to the ABS Personal Safety Survey 2005, girls are nearly three times more likely to be sexually abused in Australia than boys.
According to Living Well, an online resource for male victims of sexual abuse, supported by the Queensland Government, around 20 percent of male victims are molested by women.
Research has consistently shown that few men who molest boys identify as homosexual or gay.
Wallace was contacted for comment but did not reply before going to print.