This article has been getting some buzz:
I've skimmed it. A few observations:
i) He says he doesn't view kiddy porn, but why take his word for it? Would he admit to viewing kiddy porn?
ii) He makes all the same rhetorical moves as homosexual activists.
iii) It's a tearjerker designed to elicit the sympathy of readers. Manipulate the reader's emotions by telling a good sob story.
iv) It reads like the all-too familiar opening gambit: "we need to open a dialogue," "we need to have a national conversation"–which is the first move towards mainstreaming a traditional taboo.
v) Seems to me that he's making a faux admission of a problem. It's like political candidates who volunteer revelations about their "youthful indiscretions."
That's not a confession of guilt. To the contrary, that's designed to preempt criticism. Now that they've gotten that out of the way, they can move ahead with their campaign. It's really a way of neutralizing the issue, under the expectation that an "understanding" audience will and allow them to put that that chapter of their life behind them.
vi) Many opponents of homosexual marriage have pointed out that once you buy into the arguments for homosexuality, why stop there? Why not pedophilia? Proponents of homosexual marriage usually feign outrage at that comparison, but it's not just hypothetical. The Salon article is one of those softening-up exercises designed to incrementally reduce resistance to pedophilia. And the process will be accelerated in this case because many people have already accommodated the same arguments for homosexuality.
vii) Moreover, this doesn't just involve social outcasts. Take the "Spies, Lords and Predators" investigative report.