The hosts of a controversial Christian radio show that often touches on the subject of homosexuality have become the latest anti-gay propagandists to repeat a shockingly inaccurate claim about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Speaking during the Aug. 24 episode of Minnesota-based radio show "The Sons of Liberty," co-hosts Bradlee Dean and Jake McMillan both repeated a startling claim: that homosexuals are responsible for half of all murders committed in large cities.
Dean, founder and executive director of nonprofit Christian youth organization You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, told listeners that he was quoting from a New York City judge named John Martagh. The Huffington Post later learned the quote came from a 1992 newspaper column cited from time to time in anti-gay rhetoric.
Stated casually, and with an almost comical lack of context, Dean’s assertion implies that the LGBT population -- estimated between 1.7 and 3.4 percent of the population -- has a dramatically high murder rate compared to the straight population.
McMillan then argued, and Dean agreed, that the allegedly sky-high proportion of murderers in the LGBT community is possible due to the inherent immorality of same-sex orientation. McMillian explained in the episode that the LGBT community is more likely to include homicidal members because “when a person’s mind has gone to that extent of committing an abominable act [like homosexuality], sin, it shows what else they are capable of."
It's important to note that other conservatives have used this so-called statistic about homosexuality and murder, usually bundling it with a series of similarly dubious "facts" that allege homosexuals are often child molesters and pedophiles. These statements have been parroted across the Internet and were referenced on Facebook earlier this year by a Michigan GOP official. In each instance, the figures are attributed to the same 1992 column, written by Dr. J. Kaifetz for The Post-Tribune newspaper of Gary, Ind.
Two years ago, curious minds over at the Southern Poverty Law Center's Hatewatch blog tracked down Kaifetz, a Christian evangelist, who told the Center that he could no longer remember the origins of those statistics.
Hatewatch also uncovered some interesting facts about John Martagh, the judge quoted by Kaifetz in his Post-Tribune column. Martagh apparently led a campaign in the 1950s to increase penalties against “perverts,” but Hatewatch was not able to find any independent record of Martagh's quote other than Kaifetz's recollection. Martagh died in 1976 but is survived by his son, also named John Martagh, who is a Republican lawmaker supporting, ironically enough, same-sex marriage.
Given Bradlee Dean's history of controversial statements, hearing him present a discredited statement as fact should surprise few. Even during the same segment last weekend, Dean referred to President Obama as a "homo,” called gay MSNBC host Rachel Maddow a "shim” and claimed homosexuals “don’t have rights given to them by God.”
Dean did not respond to a request for comment.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mistakenly identified the SPLC as the Southern Policy Law Center, instead of its correct name, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Watch conservative pundit and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones discuss the perils of the so-called "homosexual agenda" with Bradlee Dean in 2011.