Frank Kameny Responds to AFTAH Report that He Spoke at NAMBLA Event in 1981

Americans For Truth contacted homosexual activist icon Frank Kameny and he e-mailed us the following response to our report about that he spoke at a NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) meeting in 1981. Our report was based on an account in NAMBLA’s 1997 publication, “A Way Forward”; see excerpt in our story; we have no further information about what he said because NAMBLA did not include any information about Kameny’s talk to them.

We certainly don’t share Kameny’s assessment that this is a “tempest in a teapot and much ado about nothing” — as NAMBLA is about as sick as it gets in this world. But I will reserve comment on his note until later. — Peter LaBarbera 

P.S. There was a typo in our original story and we neglected to include the name “Mel Boozer” (a Democratic “gay” activist who also spoke at a NAMBLA meeting) in the NAMBLA excerpt. You can read the corrected story HERE.

Kameny, who turned 82 on Monday (May 21), writes:

Peter:

In your website I have found no actual quotations supposedly made by me at this 1981 Baltimore meeting which I supposedly attended.

1.  The mere addressing of a group says absolutely nothing about the content of that address, and does not in the least necessarily imply support.

2.  Starting about 1966 and continuing until very roughly 1985 or a bit earlier, (and to a lesser degree through to the present), I was making some 100-150 public appearances per year — radio, television, panel discussions, private groups, political contexts, formal testimony, schools at various levels, etc.,etc, etc.  So few of them stand out individually.

I have no memory of actually appearing before NAMBLA, but that does not constitute a flat denial.  I just don’t remember an actual appearance.

However, I do recall being in communication with them at their initiative, almost certainly in connection with this meeting, by telephone or by mail (that was before email and the internet), and I may well have provided a statement, but I have no specific recollection whatever of what was said.  As I recall it (subject to a fallible memory) the head of the group in Baltimore — or one of the higher ups — was someone who had been active in the Gay Movement otherwise, and of whose connection, until then, with NAMBLA I knew nothing. That was my sole contact with NAMBLA at any time at all, before then, then, or later.

3.  In current colloquial terms, I am a “First Amendment Absolutist.” Therefore, on First Amendment grounds, of course, (i.e. specifically: Freedom of Speech) I support NAMBLA’s right to advocate whatever they wish, including advocacy of changes of law to legalize their preferences and voicing of whatever defense and justification they may choose to offer for the relationships which they favor.  The First Amendment allows no other position. That says nothing at all about my own preferences, or about my agreement or disagreement with those exercising those First Amendment rights.

4.  For myself personally, I have never knowingly violated the “age of consent” laws nor have I been tempted so to do — my personal inclinations do not lie in those directions –  and, in fact, have gone so far as to “card” people to determine that they were “legal” before anything occurred.  The age of consent, in most states, is 16, although it is higher in some and lower in just a few.

5.  Despite all the hysteria about NAMBLA it is a VERY tiny organization.  Within the past two or three years, when some tv commentator was making a fuss about it, I checked with what I considered reliably knowledgeable sources.  I was told that its total membership, nationally, was a few dozen — perhaps as many as 100.  So it hardly warrants all the fuss that some, including you, make about it.

6.  Now, if YOU have any specific information as to what I am supposed to have said at the Baltimore meeting which I am supposed to have addressed, let me know, with specific quotation, and I will then respond.  I was unable to find any such information on your website. Otherwise I can tell you no more.  I repeat: To the best of a fallible memory, with regard to events supposedly occurring some 26 years ago, I did not address NAMBLA but was in communication with them.  I support NAMBLA’s First Amendment right to speak and advocate as they choose, as I support those Constitutional rights for all.  I do not share their inclinations for myself.

Frank Kameny

He sent this addendum in a second e-mail a short while later: 

Addendum:  Except for a very few,very recent instances, I have NEVER turned down an invitation to appear or to speak except when there was a direct, head-on unresolvable time conflict with another appearance.

Thus, if, in fact, NAMBLA did invite me to speak to them back then, (and the contact would have been at their initiative not mine), I would have accepted the invitation, as I was accepting all invitations.

That implies absolutely nothing at all as to the content of what I might have said, or as to my views on anything whatever including NAMBLA.

Again, if in fact I did appear, (and it now appears that I probably did) I have no recollection whatever as to what I said.

The whole thing is a tempest in a teapot and much ado about nothing.

Frank Kameny

 

 

This article was posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 at 11:30 pm and is filed under GLBTQ Targeting Youth and Schools, Homosexual Pedophilia & Pederasty, Homosexual Quotes, News. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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