- Posted September 19, 2013 by
DC, District of Columbia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Advocates Criticize Republicans for Politically-Driven Sex Offender Hysteria
In response to congressional candidate Martha Robertson’s September 29 fundraiser, at which Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary is scheduled to perform, the GOP has referred to him as a “pedophile” and asked Robertson to “disinvite” him. Forty-three years ago, Mr. Yarrow was convicted of a statutory offense for consensual but illegal sexual conduct with a teenage fan while on tour with his band.
Shana Rowan, Executive Director of USA FAIR and a New York resident, said today that the GOP’s use of the term “pedophile” is blatantly incorrect, and statements made by Yates County Chair Sandra King and Seneca County Chair Sue Ann Fisher are an obvious attempt to skew the truth for political gain.
“The clinical definition of a pedophile, according to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM, is an adult who is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children, not young men who have had sexual contact with teenagers. This is the kind of politically-driven hysteria that leads to harmful knee-jerk legislation.” said Ms. Rowan.
Ms. Fisher stated in the press release that “she…protests Ms. Robertson’s collaboration with a convicted child predator in her upcoming political fundraiser…if Martha Robertson has any respect for women in New York’s 23rd District, she will cancel this event.”
Ms. King stated that she is “a retired New York State Trooper, and this callous insult to women across the state demonstrates that Ms. Robertson is unfit to hold public office.”
Ms. Rowan countered: “Thanks to emotionally-charged sex offender policies supported by both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, thousands of women in New York State are suffering collateral damage as the wife or mother of someone on the sex offender registry. Together, we have witnessed our registered family members accept responsibility for their actions and do everything they can to become productive, law-abiding citizens, despite the obstacles imposed by said laws. Mr. Yarrow has served his sentence and even received a presidential pardon. If we are unwilling to allow a man who has expressed remorse for a forty-three year old crime committed in his youth to move on with his life, what kind of incentive are we giving other former offenders to become contributing members of society?”
Ms. Rowan points to hundreds of studies – many of which can be found on their website, www.usafair.org – that have found the registry has been largely ineffective in various capacities.
She finished, “an intelligent stance is one that acknowledges not all sex offenders are the same, embraces new research, and empowers citizens with the truth – not propaganda.”