Group promoting man-boy love is the focus of police inquiry

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Four years ago this month, after two dozen men were indicted for sex crimes in the nearby town of Revere, a conference was held downtown at the Community Church of Boston. About 30 men stayed on to talk of the difficult issue discussed at the conference, and they decided to form an organization to promote understanding of their kind of love and to seek a change in the law.

Thus, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where many of the laws on sexual conduct date from the Puritan period, was born the most provocative name of any homosexual organization in the United States: the North American Man-Boy Love Association, dedicated to the proposition that state laws establishing a sexual age of consent should be repealed.

"We had no idea where it would go," says David Thorstad, 41 years old, a freelance editor in New York, one of the founders of the group, known by its acronym Nambla. For the next several years it produced literature and held conferences in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore, promoting the legitimacy of emotional and sexual love between adult men and young boys and arguing that the state laws that made such relationships illegal should be repealed. [...]

The public assumes that boys are enticed and seduced by men, Mr. Thorstad said. But children are sexual and should have freedom of choice, he insisted, and in the cases he knows of the boys often approach the men. That view gets some qualified support from a critic, Mr. Gold of the Gay Task Force. "All I know is that I've met people of 35 who would be taken advantage of if one had sex with them," he said. "And I know that when I was 13 or 14, I was running around looking for someone to have sex with."

source: Article 'Group promoting man-boy love is the focus of police inquiry';; New York Times; 1 January 1983