Milo Yiannopoulos is a controversial figure well known for his unfiltered opinions on hot-button issues in America.
Through his highly provocative approach to politics, Yiannopoulos has gained over a million followers on social media. An openly gay conservative, Yiannopoulos was chosen to speak at CPAC this year.
Upon the announcement, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted:
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 18, 2017
There was a lot of backlash for the decision. But things went to the next level when audio surfaced of Yiannopoulos making remarks about his alleged relationship with Father Michael in an interview with Joe Rogan.
In the audio, Yiannopoulos says:
“We get hung up on this child abuse stuff, to the point where we are heavily policing relationships between consenting adults.”
Then, he talks about how boys having relationships with men helps “discover who they are.” (See the “unedited” transcript at RedState.)
Note: The following content contains graphic language and may upset some viewers.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 20, 2017
The audio created a fiery backlash with many accusing the gay conservative of supporting pedophilia.
Yiannopoulos responded with a post on Facebook:
A note for idiots (UPDATED): I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very…
A note for idiots (UPDATED):
I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.
If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.
Some facts to consider:
1. I have outed THREE pedophiles in my career as a journalist. That’s three more than any of my critics and a peculiar strategy for a supposed pedophile apologist.
(a) Luke Bozier, former business partner of Louise Mensch
(b) Nicholas Nyberg, anti-GamerGate activist who self-described as a pedophile and white nationalist
(c) Chris Leydon, a London photographer who has a rape trial starting March 13 thanks to my reporting.
2. I have repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophiles in my journalism.
3. I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.
4. The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
5. National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform.
6. I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
7. I said in the same “Drunken Peasants” podcast from which the footage is taken that I agree with the current age of consent.
8. I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.
9. This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.
10. In case there is any lingering doubt, here’s me, in the same interview the other footage is taken from, affirming that the current legal age of consent is about right: “And I think the law is probably about right. It’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about ok. But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.”
The explanation didn’t convince CPAC to keep him as a speaker.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 20, 2017
“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulous to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulous has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.
We initially extended the invitation knowing that the free speech issue on college campuses is a battlefield where we need brave, conservative standard-bearers.
Over 100 people will speak at CPAC starting on Wednesday. We give great thought to who is invited to speak, but the CPAC platform is not an endorsement of everything the speaker says or does. We continue to believe that CPAC is a constructive form for controversies and disagreements among conservatives, however there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.”
Yiannopoulous has yet to respond to CPAC removing him from the speaker’s list.