Anti-gay evangelical Tony Perkins ‘covered up sexual assault claims’ against politician

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An anti-LGBT activist that claims to speak for ‘traditional values’ has been implicated in an alleged cover-up of sexual assault allegations against a GOP official.

Wesley Goodman, a married Republican lawmaker in Ohio with a long history of campaigning against LGBT rights, resigned last week after being caught having gay sex in his office.

But the official’s tryst was not the only charge against him.

Allegations have been made that while a candidate for office, Goodman sexually assaulted an 18-year-old boy at a fundraiser event, unzipping his trousers and fondling him him.

The boy’s stepfather reported the incident to Tony Perkins, the evangelical activist who organised the conference.

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Tony Perkins (Getty)

According to the Washington Post, Mr Perkins – the head of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council – assured him that the incident would “not be ignored nor swept aside”.

The newspaper reports that Mr Perkins “privately asked Goodman to drop out of the race”, but was ignored.

After this, Mr Perkins apparently decided not to speak out publicly, and Goodman subsequently went on to win the seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Mr Perkins declined requests to comment from both the Post and the New York Times.

His group is a hardline opponent of LGBT rights, insisting that homosexual conduct is “by definition unnatural”.

Perkins has been condemned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League in the past for repeatedly linking gay rights to the Holocaust and comparing gay people to Nazis.

Perkins insisted Christians are “going to find ourselves being loaded in cattle cars like it was when the Nazis took over before we realize we are in such terrible danger”.

He claims that Christians are being sent to “camps”, and that soon gays are “going to start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians”.

The SPLC notes he compared gays to paedophiles, saying: “While activists like to claim that paedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. It is a homosexual problem.”

Perkins has also claimed that letting gay people serve in the Boy Scouts will increase the risk of child molestation.

Despite insisting he is simply an activist for ‘religious freedom’, Perkins simultaneously says that clergy who support gay rights don’t deserve “true religious freedom”.

He also branded the ‘It Gets Better’ anti-bullying campaign “disgusting”, saying: “It’s part of a concerted effort to recruit [kids] into that lifestyle.”

Ahead of the Supreme Court court ruling in favour of equal marriage, Perkins threatened a “revolution” in the United States over the issue.

Perkins has been influential within the Trump Presidency, with Trump consulting directly with the activist during his election campaign.

It was recently revealed that Donald Trump’s former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon secretly corresponded with FRC activists.

Bannon, who runs far-right news service Breitbart, served as chair of Trump’s election campaign, and was the Republican President’s Chief Strategist from January to August this year.

But according to Buzzfeed News, Bannon has secret links with figures inside the Family Research Council – which is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBT hate group.

Buzzfeed published extracts from emails that Bannon exchanged with FRC official Chris Gacek, who aids the group’s work fighting against LGBT rights and liberal values.

In the emails, sent in August 2016, Gacek and Bannon hatch a plot to use Breitbart for an apparent attempt to infiltrate social media giant Facebook by flooding company’s job vacancies with far-right applicants.

Gacek suggests an opening is “perfect for Breitbart to flood the zone with candidates of all stripe who will report back to you (…) with INTEL”.

Bannon loops in then-Breitbart columnist and ‘alt-right’ figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos, asking him to “get on this”.

It is unclear whether the plan was ever put into effect.

Perkins previously called for the US State Department to be ‘purged’ of gay people and LGBT allies.

He said: ”Over the last eight years, the State Department under Hillary Clinton and John Kerry has elevated the promotion of the Left’s view of human sexuality… to the detriment of fundamental human rights like religious freedom.

“I’ve personally heard the concerns… over how the administration has linked foreign aid to the adoption of the State Department’s LGBTQ and pro-abortion agendas.

“To carry out this extreme agenda, the Obama administration has systematically filled the ranks of State with LGBTQ and abortion activists.

“Unless the next secretary of state is willing to resist and remove this embedded agenda, the promotion and protection of true human rights, like religious liberty, will continue to languish.

He added that Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the CEO of oil company Exxon Mobil, “must have the courage to stop the promotion of this anti-family, anti-life agenda” within the State Department.

Making the threat clear, he added: “The incoming administration needs to make clear that these liberal policies will be reversed and the ‘activists’ within the State Department promoting them will be ferreted out and will be replaced by conservatives who will ensure the State Department focuses on true international human rights like religious liberty which is under unprecedented assault.”