Friday, May 25, 2007

Boston Pride's Sex Offender Says His Crimes Just His "Personal Life"

So, things have actually worked out for the best on the Boston Pride Sex Offender scandal. If we had reported Boston Pride committeeman Bill Berggren's criminal history before Weekly Dig got it out, we may never had heard the responses from Pride officials and some in the "gay" community -- that his criminal record was no big deal. After all, the Pride people wouldn't give us interviews! So now we have the Weekly Dig and Bay Windows quotes we wouldn't have had otherwise.

Read Mr. Berggren's resignation letter (below) carefully. Note his attempt to cast his CRIMINAL record as just part of his "personal life". No, Mr. Berggren, what you do in your bedroom -- with teenagers, with pornography involving young people -- is NOT just a private affair. It is exploitation of underage children, and therefore communally recognized as harmful to society. It is therefore PUBLIC business. That's what being convicted of a crime means: a violation of society's standards. Maybe you didn't have a public audience while the activity was going on, but that doesn't mean that activity was just "personal".

Unless one escapes to some little island pederast paradise, one must accept the fact that society recognizes the criminality of certain sex offenses. And once one is convicted of sexual offenses, he has no "privacy" concerning that conviction. Does Mr. Berggren's state of denial tell us he's still not accepting society's standards? Remember that this man also holds a high position at the "gay" newspaper, In NewsWeekly, so is still in a very high-impact public position. The Dig reported: "Berggren, who is officially classified as a Level 2 offender (“moderate” risk of re-offending), doesn’t feel his record is an issue.

Bill Berggren resigns from Pride Committee
by Lissa Harris

Weekly Dig 5/24/2007

Boston Pride fundraising committee chair Bill Berggren
resigned voluntarily from his position, in response to an article we ran yesterday that highlighted his criminal history and current status as a registered sex offender. From the Weekly Dig:

Here’s what Berggren had to say:
“I’m a little disappointed. I’ve never hidden anything about my life … I have a lot of support in the community. My phone has been ringing all day long with people telling me not to resign. But I feel at this time it’s the best thing for the community,” he told Bay Windows.

And here’s his resignation letter:
“To: The Board of Directors, Boston Pride Committee

May 23, 2007
Dear Members of the Board:

It is with a heavy heart that I am submitting my resignation as fundraising chair of Boston Pride. The resignation is effective immediately.
My resignation comes in the wake of a malicious attempt to bring my personal life into the public sphere. This has precipitated a hasty judgment from some members of the community, and I anticipate the enemies of Pride will seize this opportunity to attack the organization. In order to protect Boston Pride from unnecessary attacks two weeks before Pride Week, I am quickly stepping aside.
This is not an easy decision, but I feel that the message and spirit of Pride is more important than any one individual. I hope members of the community and the media will accept this matter as closed and continue to enjoy Pride as we all intended it. I also hope and ask for my privacy to be respected during this time.
Sincerely, Bill Berggren”