Paul Cameron on The Daily Show: Not as funny as you think
From what I understand, our friend Paul Cameron was on the Daily Show earlier this week. - http://www.exgaywatch.com/blog/archives/2006/09/paul_cameron_on_2.html#comments
Now I did not see the clip (the disadvantages of not having cable and having dial up) but from I understand, he provided a good laugh to the many who saw it.
But don't the laughter fool you. Cameron may have looked like a buffoon but he is anything but stupid.
He is a classic example of a headless monster in that he has been refuted and discredited many times by legitimate sources but the anti-gay industry continues to prop him up as a legitimate researcher and critic of the gay community.
And even when he is not referred to by name, so-called "pro family" groups feature his work as legitimate.
An earlier post on this blog demonstrated how Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition simultaneously claims that Cameron's work is not credible but still refers to it (Paul Cameron, the Traditional Values Coalition, a little game that I like to call "Time Line")
I think a few more examples of Cameron's influence is in order via another book excerpt:
In May 2005, Cameron announced the completion of another study that supposedly proved that homosexuality is more dangerous than cigarette smoking and being overweight. What he did was take over 10,000 obituaries from the gay newspaper the Washington Post and compare them to a CDC report entitled AIDS Cases in Adolescents and Adults, by Age - United States, 1994-2000. He claimed that this supported his early gay life span study.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said otherwise. Ronald Valdiserri, deputy director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, said Cameron uses bad methodology. He also said:
"[The CDC] does not collect statistics on the life span of gay men. While gay men continue to be severely impacted by HIV and AIDS, AIDS-related death data cannot be used to indicate that homosexual men live shorter lives than heterosexual men overall."
The CDC's condemnation meant nothing to the Agape Press. In June 2005, it claimed that Cameron's life span study had been proven to be correct.
"New government research has found what most conservatives have been saying for years about the dangers of the homosexual lifestyle. . ."
Agape Press did not print a rebuttal from the CDC to this statement.
Nor did the CDC's rebuke mean anything to Rev. Bill Banuchi, head of the New York chapter of the Christian Coalition.
In June 2005, he said that gays should wear warning labels. His rationale was the following:
"We put warning labels on cigarette packs because we know that smoking takes one to two years off the average life span, yet we 'celebrate' a lifestyle that we know spreads every kind of sexually transmitted disease and takes at least 20 years off the average life span according to the 2005 issue of the revered scientific journal Psychological Reports" - Christian Coalition: Gay Warning Labels, 365Gay.com, June 13, 2005
Even the Southern Baptist Convention used this study. In that same month, the convention looked at a resolution issued by evangelist Voddie Baucham, Jr calling for churches to "investigate whether their local school district has a 'gay-straight' alliance or other homosexual clubs." The resolution also tells churches to "encourage parents' removal of their children from schools that have curricula or programs that treat homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle."
Part of this resolution referred to Cameron's study:
"Whereas, there is evidence that the homosexual lifestyle reduces life expectancy more than smoking;"
In May 2005, a 16-year-old teenager by the name of Zach Stark told his parents that he was gay. His parents put him in a reparative, or ex-gay program entitled "Love In Action." Zach's situation became widely known because of a blog he was keeping about his coming out. His parents were faced with negative scrutiny as to how they could place their child in such a program.
Zach's father, Joe Stark, explained their decision on a July episode of Pat Robertson's "The 700 Club." One of the reasons he gave cited a bastardized version Cameron's life span statistic:
"We felt very good about Zach coming here because . . . to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn't give him today," Stark said. "Knowing that your son... statistics say that by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead."
In June 2005, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed two bills; one dealt with abortion, while the other was a "defense of marriage" bill. Accompanying Governor Perry was televangelist Ron Parsley. Parsley had this to say about homosexuality:
"Gay sex is a veritable breeding ground for disease. Only one percent of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States discounting AIDS is forty-two years of age . . . A lesbian can only expect to live to be forty-five years of age." Perry schmoozes with gay bashers, Austin Chronicle, June 10, 2005
Not only was Parsley quoting a Cameron statistic, but he even generalized about the lesbian population even though lesbians made up only two percent of Cameron's sample group. Parsley repeated that lie in an August 9, 2005 issue of Agape Press. He said the following:
"I'm against the homosexual lifestyle because the average life expectancy of a homosexual and a lesbian in the United States is forty-two and forty-five versus seventy-five and seventy-nine. These people are fighting for a lifestyle that is robbing them of half of their life expectancy." - Pastor Contends Christians Have An Obligation to Warn Homosexuals, Agape Press, August 9, 2005
Cameron's claim that homosexuality is more dangerous than cigarette smoking has even made its way to the lower echelons of the Bush Administration. In July 2005, U.S. Senator Arlen Specter asked that the national Health and Human Services look at a certain website because it allegedly showed inaccurate information about homosexuality and contraception.
The website, 4parents.gov, had information from an organization called the National Physicians Center for Family Resources. Health and Human Services had hired the organization to create its content. The chairman of the National Physicians Center for Family Resources board John Whiffen said the organization was correct regarding what it had printed about homosexuality. He said:
"It's fairly well-accepted that somking is not a good idea. It takes seven years off of your life. It appears that male homosexuality takes more than that off your life." - Specter seeks review of teen health site, Washington Blade, July 29, 2005
Paul Cameron is no laughing matter and it would be in our best interest to tell the truth about him every chance we get.