Monday, April 23, 2007

There wont be a post tomorrow - Gay black author Keith Boykin is coming to the University of South Carolina to speak at a forum. Naturally, I will be there so I won’t have time to post. But knowing my luck, something extremely juicy will happen tomorrow and I will have to post an entry. But barring that, I am writing in two entries:

Frustrating as hell

It amazes me how the anti-gay industry will repeat a lie over and over again, as if repetition is the same as truth.

Harold Jackson, another black pastor who sold his integrity for faith-based money, wrote a column for the conservative TownHall in which he repeats the lie about adding sexual orientation to the list of categories protected by hate crimes legislation:

In contrast, gays already are a formidable force in the legal arena and courts are often extremely deferential to their cases. Additional protection for gays is not necessary. This legislation will not just over-protect them, it will bring the threat of invasive, governmental interference with the doctrines and practice of the Church. We have faced the removal of crosses and commandments from every public facility; this same pressure could be felt within the four walls of the church.

Mr. Jackson, hate crimes legislation have nothing to do with speech!

What will it take for these folks to be called on their lies? You would be surprised to see just how many people will buy into the lie that gay people want to put a moratorium on the speech of pastors. No matter how many times the truth is pointed out, some people are determined not to listen.

But Jackson’s lying column is especially distasteful because he is an African-American like myself. And he is indicative as to how the powers-that-be simultaneously set the black and gay community against one another while denying us lgbts of color a public voice.

Let’s get to brass tacks about this thing.

Black America does not give a damn about lgbts of color. They just don’t care about us. People like Jackson get carte blanche while many black oriented tv shows, magazines, news programs or organizations go out of their way to either shut down lgbts of color or treat us like the dreaded "other."

It reminds me of an incident with a talk show in my city. Two years ago, an African-American talk show in my area, Awareness, featured a guest who made negative comments about the gay community.

To rectify the situation, the show featured a leader in the gay community on the next week’s show. The show made it a point not to get an lgbt of color. And when the person they interviewed tried to talk about a local lgbt of color group, he was gently shut down by host.

Some folks just don’t want us to exist.

I see stuff like this all of the time and it gets frustrating.

But the gay community is not necessarily blameless in this matter.

Don’t think so?

Then why is it so hard for some of them to realize that a white guy who puts on black face pretending to be a black woman on welfare is so offensive?

Tyler Chase Harper and the proliferation of ignorance

Chase Harper is the perfect anti-gay industry spokesperson. He is young, white, attractive, articulate, and sounds like he is from one of those stereotypically "good families."

But most of all, he sounds so devoutly Christian that it can make people overlook his willful ignorance.

In him, the anti-gay industry has found their new Anita Bryant: a pretty face, an articulate talker, a devout spirit, and an empty mind ready to be filled with lies.

Harper received notoriety due to his failed lawsuit against his high school. He sued because he got suspended for wearing anti-gay statements on a t-shirt.

He recently wrote a letter to Wheaton College claiming to tell the truth about homosexuality.

Part of Harper’s version of the truth is as follows:

Homosexuality is dangerous. People who are given over to a homosexual lifestyle are far more likely to experience disease, mental illness, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, suicidal tendencies, and even a shortened life span.

I don’t have a problem with someone speaking of homosexuality as a sin. Proponents of the anti-gay industry will claim that they are unfairly called homophobic just for voicing their opposition to homosexuality.

However their recent exploits in defaming the gay community to defeat hate crimes legislation (i.e. their inference that gay people want to arrest pastors in the pulpit for condemning homosexuality) demonstrates that they have no problem condemning people rather than the orientation.

So calling many of them homophobic is not off the mark.

But back to little Chase. Don’t let his blond locks and wristful smile fool you.

This ain’t Little Lord Fauntelroy. I found this interesting codicil farther down in his letter:

One could make the claim that some of these symptoms are caused by the “homophobia” of others; however, studies conducted in communities where homosexuality is widely accepted have concluded that symptoms are only aggravated in such a setting.-The dangers of homosexuality are validated by a large amount of research pulled from various sources. I encourage you to search the matter out more deeply.

In other words, little Chase is admitting that he does not know what he is talking about when he claims that homosexuality is "dangerous."

And I am sure that he does not care.

Let’s look at some of his claims using excerpts from my book:

Harper said: Homosexuality is dangerous. People who are given over to a homosexual lifestyle are far more likely to experience disease, mental illness, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, suicidal tendencies, and even a shortened life span.

The following are excerpts from my book that deal with some of Harpers' claims:

Depression - On July 14th, 1998, the Family Research Council and 14 other so-called “pro family” groups, including the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family, ran a full-page ad in The Washington Post. The ad, talking about the “dangers of homosexuality” was the second of a three-part campaign.

Full-page ads also appeared in The New York Times and USA Today. Research by Dr. Robert Garofalo was footnoted in the July 14th ad as scientific evidence that homosexuality is a “dangerous lifestyle.”

But Dr. Garofalo soon blasted the groups for what he called a misuse of his work. The ads were inferring that gay teenagers engage in drug abuse and other bad behavior (i.e., suicide) because such things are indicative of homosexuality.

“It’s a complete misrepresentation of my work,” he told The Boston Globe. “It was taken completely out of context. It comes to a complete opposite conclusion of what the paper actually said.”

Garofalo contended that his research was saying that when gay teenagers abuse drugs or contemplate suicide, it is because of the unaccepting culture they face.

Shortened Lifespan - When the anti-gay industry trots this claim out, they either rely on the discredited work of our friend Paul Cameron or the distortion of a 1997 Oxford study. Cameron’s lies have been catalogued extensively, so let me add detail about the 1997 Oxford study:

In 2001, the original researchers of the study wrote a letter to the editor in the International Journal of Epidemiology. In this letter, they said that any use of their research to prove that gay men have a shorter life span is incorrect and improper.

They said they were speaking of a hypothetical outcome that would take place if there were not better practices regarding safe sex in that particular area. They also said that conditions have improved; therefore the outcome they predicted (i.e. gay men not reaching their sixty-fifth birthday) had been averted.

Alcoholism - The chief study that has been cited for this claim is one by Professor Joanne Hall from the University of Tennessee. Timothy Dailey of the Family Research Council has used her sudy on more than one occasion. However, this is what Professor Hall said about the use of her work:

There were 35 women in the study. ONLY 35. They do not REPRESENT a population. My point was to try to get a handle on what they were experiencing—to UNDERSTAND their patterns . . . The point is—I, nor the journal Nursing Research, did not ‘find’ that the rate of substance abuse was 3 times higher for lesbians, and indeed—now we know it really is not that high at all. I, and Nursing Research, am not providing an epidemiological, quantitative statistic representing lesbians on the whole in terms of their drug use, or ability to parent a child. . .

Harper said that accepting cultures cause an increase in negative behavior amongts gays. This is a gross mischaracterization of a convenience sample from the Netherlands. The anti-gay industry often uses convenience sample studies to demonize the entire lgbt community.

It's a neat little trick they learned from Paul Cameron.

The question is just how long will Chase confuse religious aversion to homosexuality with an eagerness to be taken in by propaganda.