Thursday, July 31, 2008
Try as I might, I cannot ignore Matt Barber's mean bleatings against McDonalds.
I really tried to ignore his latest hysterics masquerading as a reasonable column. That is until this part:
Unfortunately, the radical San Francisco-style policies both the NGLCC and McDonald's advocate run directly counter to the best interests of the vast majority of Americans outside California's "Sodom on the Bay." For example, under communist-tested, McDonald's-approved "hate speech" legislation, such as the so-called Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Christians and other business owners with traditional values would be forced – under penalty of law – to abandon sincerely held religious beliefs and adopt McDonald's own secular-humanist, moral-relativist view of right and wrong.
Why is it so hard for Barber to simply say, "yes, I believe that someone should be fired or be kept from getting a job because they are gay or lesbian."
But no. He doesn't want to say what he really believes. He wants to string words together in a ploy to hide what he really thinks.
From political perspective, it's a good idea. But from a moral perspective, it comes across like a something out of The Manchurian Candidate.
The phrase reveals the duplicity of the anti-gay industry. As much as they try to push the notion that they are the bastions of truth and morality, they have to rely on cynical political wordings to try and sway the population.
If they tried truth for a change, they would probably get laughed out of the country (i.e. Elaine Donnelly).
And by the way, Barber's assertions that the boycott is growing is wrong. At the very least, in my city, McDonalds continues to do excellent business.
In fact, I am beginning to think that maybe McDonalds manufactured this boycott to create a jump in business.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan:
there he goes again.
Our friend Peter LaBarbera has posted pictures of yet another subcultural event in California in an attempt to demonize the entire lgbt community.
You can see them if you want by going here but if you know Peter, you know what to expect - a bunch of nasty pictures with cutlines feigning shock and disgust over the events happening in said pictures.
And commentary along with the pictures and cutlines detailing just how the lgbt community are so hedonistic and nasty.
In this round of pictures, Peter outdoes his past attempts. One wonders if he asked the participants to pose.
I am beginning to think that perhaps Peter is taking too much pleasure in not only taking these pictures, but making sure that his readers get "full details" as the actions perpetrated in the pictures.
Of course he will probably say he is being "thorough."
Suuure you are, Peter. But is it really necessary to have a "click picture to enlarge" function?
Personally, I have never been to any of these events that Peter attends. Nor do I plan to.
But here in South Carolina, I have proudly participated in five gay pride parades. Our events are orderly and decent as well as family-oriented. Families join together hand-in-hand and mothers either carry their children in their arms or push strollers in our parades.
And on the sidelines, we get lots of cheers, especially from young children, teenagers, and adults who are not marching.
And I KNOW that South Carolina's parade isn't an anamoly, but a true picture of American lgbts.
But you will never see Peter at parades like these. And as much as I try, I can't get alarmed at his actions anymore.
I feel sorry for him.
Peter LaBarbera is as much of an exhibitionist as those folks in the pictures featured on his page.
PFOX continues to wallow in mess
What is the deal with PFOX?
One would think the group would give it a little rest after being embarrassed last week for not only distorting a legitimate study but trying to pass it off as recent.
No such luck. Apparently the group and its leader, Regina Griggs, are gluttons for punishment:
Regina Griggs of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays) continues to tell whoppers. In this article at OneNewsNow she tells a huge lie:
"Why are we allowing people to tell them, 'Try it -- you might like it?' Over 70 percent of young kids 13- to 24-years-old, men having sex with men, are now HIV-positive," Griggs notes.
Over 70% of 13 to 24 year olds who are men having sex with men (MSM) are HIV-positive? That's absolutely ridiculous, not even in the ballpark. Here's the most recent CDC report, which does in fact note that HIV infections have increased among MSM between 13 and 24. But 70%? Not even close.
The new CDC study found a total of 214,379 people of both genders testing positive for HIV between 2001 and 2006. 46% of them were among MSM, or about 98,000 of them. And of that total, 13,584 of them were between 13 and 24. That's up 12.4% from previous figures, so it's certainly troubling and needs to be addressed. But that sure as hell doesn't constitute 70% of all gay men between 13 and 24, folks. Not even close.
And according Emproph of Genocide for Jesus, even though Dr. Gary Remafedi, the author of the study PFOX distorted last week, has formally asked the group to remove it from its webpage, the study remains there.
Well as long as PFOX wants the punishment for lying, I say we should dispense it with vigor.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
There are several things going on today around the country.
First of all, my prayers are with those who caught up in that recent awful incident in Tennessee.
As many of you know, I lost my father almost eight years ago via a violent act by a group of ignorant men so my first thoughts are with the relatives of those who lost their lives. I pray for closure and the ability to eventually deal with having a loved one taken away.
Elaine Donnelly continues to provide us all with many moments of fun. Everyone is taking their shots at her. Now it's John Stewart and the Daily Show's turn.
I'm soooo ashamed. I watched the clip twice and laughed my ass off.
Meanwhile, Donnelly is upset as to how she was treated during the hearing and she made her thoughts known via One News Now:
Donnelly says the way she was treated during the hearing -- treatment she says included "personal insults and diversionary insinuations" -- actually demonstrated the kind of intolerance the military can expect if the new policy goes into affect. If it does, she believes it will no longer be an option to oppose any portion of the homosexual agenda -- something Donnelly calls "truly radical." - 'Deck stacked' against pro-family representatives
Never minding the stupidly offensive headline, Donnelly was not personally attacked. If she viewed anything as a personal insult, that's too bad.
The fact of the matter is that she came to the hearing unprepared and revealed herself to be way in over her head. To wit, she was appropriately dressed down.
Donnelly was so embarrassing that it ceased to become a hearing and began to resemble an episode of American Idol.
Other items - LGBTS won a huge victory in Massachusetts (that is going to make the anti-gay group Mass Resistance piss out of their noses ) and Buffalo.
And now to the crux of my post - an incident that hasn't gotten that much press as of yet, but is nonetheless very satisfying:
A federal judge scolded a Panhandle school principal, saying the administrator led a "relentless crusade" against gay and lesbian students at Ponce de Leon High School and violated their First Amendment rights.
Student Heather Gillman and the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Holmes County School District, saying that the principal prohibited the teen from wearing gay pride clothing, stickers and buttons in 2007.
Students, including Gillman, had begun showing support after the taunting of a gay student at school. In response to the taunting incident, David Davis told the gay student it wasn't right for her to be homosexual and held a morality assembly, according to testimony.
He also suspended several students for supporting Gillman, court records show.
A two-day trial was held in May, but U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak's 36-page opinion wasn't released until last week.
And I happen to have looked at the decision. Based on what I read, Davis needs to be . . . well you understand the crux of my anger when you see how this entire thing started:
This case arose from events involving a homosexual student at Ponce de Leon High School on Friday, September 7, 2007. The twelfth-grade student, Jane Doe, reported to a teacher’s aide that she had been taunted by a group of approximately five middle school students because of her sexual orientation. The middle school students allegedly told Jane that “dykes,” such as herself, were nasty,” “gross,” and “sick.” The teacher’s aide reported the incident to Principal
At the end of the school day on the following Monday, September 10, 2007, Davis called Jane into his office. Davis asked Jane if she had told the teacher’s aide that she identified herself as a lesbian. Jane answered, “Yes.” Davis then asked,“Are you a lesbian?” Jane again answered, “Yes.” Davis counseled Jane that it was not “right” to be homosexual.
He then questioned Jane about whether her parents were aware of her sexual orientation. When Jane answered in the negative, Davis asked Jane for her parents’ telephone number so that he could call them and inform them of her sexual orientation. Davis also instructed Jane to “stay away” from the middle school students or that he would suspend her. Jane left Davis’s office in tears.
Also, according to the judge's opinion:
Testimony at trial revealed that Jane’s father threatened to kick Jane out of the house upon learning of his daughter’s sexual orientation.
Judge Smoak didn't cut the former principal (he was removed from his job because of the incident) any slack:
Principal David Davis responded to Jane Doe’s complaints of harassment by other students, not by consoling her, but by shaming her. Davis interrogated Jane about her sexual orientation, informed her parents that she identified as homosexual, warned her to stay away from other students because of her sexual orientation, preached to her that being homosexual was not “right,” and ultimately suspended her for expressing her support for herself and for other homosexual students.
Regrettably, Jane’s contact with Davis during her senior year may well have been her last interaction with a school administrator before her graduation. Instead of providing Jane with a positive experience in the public school system during her final year, Davis crushed her and brought her to tears. Davis’s conduct, in the capacity of a role model and authority figure, is particularly deplorable in light of studies which confirm the vulnerability of gay and lesbian students . . .
The next time some idiot (hello PFOX) ruminates as to the supposed harm of GSAs, please remind them of this incident.
It's not the GSAs harming our children. It's the so-called doyennes of morality.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Some trifling ass individual took it upon himself to open fire on a church in Knoxville, Tenn.
The church was gay-friendly and the shooter supposedly hated "liberals," "blacks," "gays," and folks who were different from him.
Things have become so damned ugly when it comes to polarization in America.
When Bush was elected, I never thought it was the end of the world. I certainly didn't vote for him but when he was sworn it, I never felt the need to stand on South Carolina highways wailing like a banshee and tearing my clothing.
It's sad that we have gotten to the point where people are marked as the "enemy" in society.
Now at this point, I could go on a tangent about One News Now. All one has to do is read the comments on that "news site" to get the gist of what I am talking about.
However, I won't because it would make me sound a bit hypocritical, especially when one takes into account how I have talked about the lies of the "anti-gay industry."
I will say that I have never advocated violence. I have always advocated fighting lies against the lgbt community by spreading truth and letting people know the distortions told about us.
And I have said on many occasions that there is nothing wrong with someone believing that homosexuality is a sin.
My problem is when organizations are knowingly spreading false and discredited data while at the same time embracing principles like God and country.
In the long run, I don't believe that anyone who disagrees with homosexuality is inherently evil or intolerant. And I certainly don't believe that they deserve to be executed
When it's all said and done, this situation will be remembered as one of a coward who, instead of taking care of business, blamed other people for his problems and took it upon himself to hurt innocents; some who probably didn't know him from Adam and others who would have probably helped him if he talked to them rather than shoot them.
But we can all learn from this incident. We do need to watch our words and pull back from our pronouncements of doom.
You never know who we may be giving perfect excuses to.
Friday, July 25, 2008
In light of the one-two punch given to PFOX and Elaine Donnelly this week regarding their distortion of legtimate studies, I would like to create a new timeline of past complaints:
1994 - Joanne Hall, Ph.D. of the University of Tennessee’s College of Nursing publishes a study looking at the patterns of behavior for 35 lesbians who had self-identified alcohol problems. Her study is later used by various anti-gay industry groups to claim that lesbians in general have a problem with alcohol abuse and that gay adoption is not a good idea. Hall later writes a letter of complaint to one of the groups distorting her study (the Family Research Council). Her complaint is ignored.
1998 - Pediatrician Robert Garafalo complains that the anti-gay industry distorted his study regarding at-risk behavior amongst gay youth. He said the groups omitted the part of his study that said the at-risk behavior is the result of a homophobic society.
Assistant Professor of Sociology Lisa Waldner tells Frank Rich of the New York Times that the anti-gay industry is distorting a study she wrote while in 1992 in order to claim that lesbians relationships have a high rate of domestic violence.
2001 - Six researchers (Robert S Hogg, Stefan A Strathdee, Kevin JP Craib, Michael V. O’ Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T Schechter) write a letter to the editor to the International Journal of Epidemiology accusing the anti-gay industry of distorting a study they published in 1997 in order to claim that gay men have a short life span. 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.
Patrick Letellier complains that Gary Glenn of the American Family Association cherry picked passages from his book (Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them) in order to assert that domestic violence is high in gay relationships. Years after this, the book continues to be cited by the anti-gay industry in the same way Glenn cited it.
Robert Spitzer publishes a study that says a small number of people can change their sexual orientation. The anti-gay industry cites the study as proof that homosexuality is a choice. Spitzer complains as to how his work was being used, even publishing a piece in the Wall Street Journal complaining about how his work was being distorted. In 2006, he gives an interview with the Los Angeles Times in which he says he now believes that some of those he interviewed for his 2001 study may have been either lying to him or themselves.
2002 - A. Nicholas Groth writes a letter to the Family Research Council claiming that the group distorted his work in a study to prove that gays molest children at a high level. Groth, in 1983, complained that discredited researcher Paul Cameron had done the same thing. The study published by the Family Research Council is almost similar to the one published by Cameron.
2006 - Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc of the University of British Columbia complains that Focus on the Family distorted her study on lesbian teen suicide.
Dr. Kyle Pruett, a clinical professor of psychiatry in the Yale Child Study Center and School of Nursing accuses Focus on the Family head James Dobson of distorting his work.
New York University educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, Ph.D. writes Focus on the Family head James Dobson a blistering letter accusing him of distorting her work.
2008 - Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, claims the “ex-gay” organization PFOX distorted his research findings.
The Palm Center announces that a Duke University law review will be publishing a critique of a 2007 article by Elaine Donnelly. Donnelly is the president of the Center for Military Readiness, a traditional values interest group with no military or academic affiliation. According to Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin, Donelly's article is riddled with mistakes and misreadings of both Palm Center work and the "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy that governs gay service.
I repeat my question: Is anyone keeping score?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
There continues to be a degree of fallout from Elaine Donnelly's testimony at yesterday's House Armed Services personnel subcommittee regarding the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.
Washington Post's Dana Milbank practically skewers Donnelly. And I enjoyed reading every bit of it:
Inadvertently, Donnelly achieved the opposite of her intended effect. Though there's no expectation that Congress will repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and allow gays to serve openly in the military, the display had the effect of increasing bipartisan sympathy for the cause.
The question in my mind is just who invited Donnelly to testify. This woman has never served in the Armed Forces and her organization, the Center for Military Readiness, does no studies.
I wouldn't mind knowing just who is funding this woman's mess.
Another good thing about Donnelly's testimony is that it brings to light the anti-gay industry practice of creating "phony experts."
Donnelly is not an anamoly. She is just the latest in a long line of anti-gay industry "experts" who try to pass either distortions of legitimate studies or discredited studies as proof of an alleged "homosexual agenda."
Linda (gays should never be around children nor should anyone supporting gay rights be around children) Harvey comes to mind. Robert Knight, who has testified in front of Congress using Paul Cameron's work, also comes to mind.
There is also Peter Sprigg and Timothy Dailey are two others who come to mind. I know there are many others who look good on camera with nicely coiffed hair, precise speech, and smart clothing. After all, that is what they are paid.
You see there is a difference between these folks and Peter LaBarbera. For whatever reason, LaBarbera is consumed with the "homosexual agenda" that he gets carried away to the point of lunacy. And he is good for a laugh. On the odd occasion, he does something that we take seriously
But in the long run, he is merely a tool; a funneler of information.
Folks like Donnelly, Knight, Harvey, Sprigg, and Dailey create the information. They cut and paste, disseminate and distort, analyze and omit.
They have to know that some of the things they are saying are incorrect, but they say them with a straight face, as if they believe that lies in the name of God will work out to be truth.
In the past, they were able to get away with it. But now the lgbt community are more savvy. We question everything that comes out of the mouth of the anti-gay industry.
And we are quick to point out their lies, as well we should.
Not just for ourselves but for the sake of history. When it is all said and done and lgbts are at the point where we should be, someone will look back on this so-called culture war.
And I want them to know every lie the anti-gay industry told on us.
This weekend, I will be updating my other blog, Anti-Gay Lies and Liars. I will include this week's events as well as new developments regarding Paul Cameron.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Another annoying characteristics of the anti-gay industry is how they characterize their spokespeople as experts on homosexuality.
The anti-gay industry generally don’t recruit unbiased third parties in their information gathering. They create their own experts on the subject of homosexuality. And these phony experts are usually in-house employees or members of affiliated groups who already have anti-gay biases.
They also have no training or background in what they claim to have expert opinions on. It
seems that their titles are dependent on how well they look in the media, or how adept they can apply spin.
Elaine Donnelly is one of these experts. Despite the fact that she has never served in the military, she is president of the Center for Military Readiness.
This is a fancy way of saying that Donnelly's sole responsibility seems to be speaking out against allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
And she was on Capitol Hill today during a Congressional hearing regarding gays in the military.
From what I hear, she got her butt handed to her.
Or a better way of putting it is that she giftwrapped her ass and handed it to the committee:
The live feed from today's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hearing just ended. The curious can watch it here. (Warning, this thing went on forever: 2h35.)
The hearing went better than I expected, insofar as the Democratic witnesses, Navy Capt. Joan Darrah, retired Army Maj. Gen. Vance Coleman, and Marine Staff Serg. Eric Alva utterly outspoke Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Jones and Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, both of whom testitified (poorly, and in some places, damn near incoherently) on behalf of Republicans.
Donnelly managed, somehow, to answer every question from both the right and the left with, "Sexual urges would prevent unit cohesion." Jones, when asked whether or not he thought homoesexuality was immoral, replied, "No, but if I'm 6'8" and I want to be a fighter pilot, I can't." Both think a gay-friendly military would bring on the end of the world.
As this hearing evidenced, the social conservative arguments for preserving DADT, letting the Department of Defense write its own policy, or banning gay service, range from paper-thin to non-existent. The only obstacle I see to passage of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act—the bill that would repeal DADT and implement a non-discrimination policy—is good ole' fashion homophobia.
What a difference 15 years make. When hearings about gays in the military began in 1993, we got inudated with Paul Cameronesque rhetoric about sex-crazed gay men and fisting.
Now, folks seemed to have attained a degree of sense and intelligence.
Progress is good.
And Donnelly distorts legitimate work too
Law Review Questions Expertise of Congressional Witness; Misstatements and Sloppy Use of Evidence Subject of New Publication
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., July 23 (AScribe Newswire) -- The Palm Center announced today that a Duke University law review is publishing a critique of a chief Congressional witness who is testifying at today's hearings on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military. Aaron Belkin, director of the Palm Center, a research organization which studies gays in the military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said the study is to appear in the forthcoming issue of the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy.
The article, "The Importance of Objective Analysis: A Response to Elaine Donnelly's Constructing the Co-Ed Military," is a reply to a 2007 article by Elaine Donnelly in the same journal. Donnelly, who is president of the Center for Military Readiness, a traditional values interest group with no military or academic affiliation, is one of two witnesses testifying against the right of gays to serve at today's hearings.
Donnelly's testimony is largely drawn from her 2007 article, also published in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. The Palm Center study is a response to her article, which, according to Belkin, is riddled with mistakes and misreadings of both Palm Center work and the "don't ask, don't tell" law and policy that governs gay service.
"It's unclear why Elaine Donnelly has a platform at all on this issue," Belkin said. "She and her organization do no research." Belkin noted, for example, that to bolster her point that the British military has been undermined by allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly, her article cites a single footnote which refers to five newspaper and radio stories, none of which have anything to do with gays in the military.
My sentiments exactly, Mr. Belkin. More of the article is here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This just keeps getting better and better. The author of the study PFOX cited (see yesterday's post) has now gone on record.
And he is pissed:
Dr. Gary Remafedi Says ‘Ex-Gay’ Group Manipulated His Study And Should Immediately Take The Distortions Off Its Website
NEW YORK – TruthWinsOut.org published exclusive comments today by Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, who claimed the “ex-gay” organization PFOX distorted his research findings.
On its website, PFOX expressed its displeasure with The Washington Post for publishing what it called “a sympathetic article about a 15-year-old boy named Saro who described his homosexual feelings and how Gay Straight Alliance student clubs help such gay teens to deal with discrimination and bullying in high school and middle school.”
“What the article failed to describe,” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs, “is the danger of young sexually confused teens self-identifying as gays at an early age. Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20% each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling.* Early self-identification is dangerous to kids.”
Dr. Remafedi’s study was the one cited by PFOX to back their unfounded conclusions. Today, Dr. Reamafedi released the following comments to Truth Wins Out:
“My work has been cited by PFOX in response to a Washington Post article on gay-straight alliances (GSA),” wrote Dr. Remafedi. “PFOX misuses one of my studies on suicide attempts in gay youth to argue that people should not identify their sexual orientation at young ages. Our findings do not support the contention that young people choose their identity or the timing of events in identity formation. Nor is there any evidence that the availability of GSAs influences those developmental processes.”
Remafedi’s report was published in Pediatrics in 1992. The study explored patterns of sexual orientation in a representative sample of more than 34,000 Minnesota students in grades 7 to 12. PFOX, as well as Focus on the Family, distorted his findings to make the case that young people should not learn about homosexuality because they were sexually confused, and could thus be influenced by educational material.
Last year, several researchers held Dobson accountable for misrepresenting their work. Letters and videos from these scientists can be viewed at www.RespectMyResearch.org.
“We thank Dr. Remafedi for stepping forward and not allowing his research to be manipulated for political gain,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “The right wing thrives on twisting legitimate research in its efforts to confuse people. We are doing everything in our power to stop this insidious practice.”
TruthWinsOut.org is currently working to find examples where right wing organizations have twisted scientific work. If you have a case that is worthy of investigation, please contact TWO’s Director of Research, Peter Cabrera, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Hat tip to my online buddy Emproph for alerting me to this.)
And now something that is totally unbelievable. But then again, knowing my elected officials . .
‘Knowingly incorrect info’ from S.C. officials, say Brit ‘So Gay’ ad execs
COLUMBIA — Pursuing a deal to advertise South Carolina as “so gay,” tourism officials in the state hosted a visit to showcase gay-friendly hotels, bars, and beaches, two European executives told Q-Notes.
“A three-day visit was arranged for me,” said Andrew Roberts, CEO of the gay travel agency Amro Worldwide. The visit included free hotel stays and escorting by tourism representatives, at least one of whom was reimbursed for mileage.
Impressed by what he experienced during his April trip, Roberts gave the go-ahead to Out Now Consulting, the gay marketing agency selected to execute the ads.
South Carolina’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) initiated and approved the campaign at every step, according to Roberts and Out Now CEO Ian Johnson.
But SCPRT refused to pay its bill for the campaign after Gov. Mark Sanford and other state politicians reacted to a post on “The Palmetto Scoop,” a conservative blog.
‘This guy was right up there’
“Out Now certainly had no indication prior to July 10 that anyone at SCPRT was in the slightest way at all uncomfortable with our strategic gay marketing approach in this particular ad campaign,” Johnson told Q-Notes. “Which makes sense — since they were aware of it, and had approved it, at a high level, long before the campaign began. They signed off on it all the way through the launch process.”
Geez, it is getting more and more difficult to defend my state.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I received an email from PFOX regarding my question about the study PFOX head Regina Griggs cited in a recent One News Now article.
In my post below, I talked about how Griggs was claiming that GSAs actually led to lgbt children attempting suicide. According to the article:
Quoting a recent study, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is warning of the increased risk of suicide that is linked with young people who identify themselves as homosexuals before achieving full maturity -- a process encouraged by many homosexual high school clubs.
The name of the study was not mentioned in the article. I had a suspicion that PFOX was referring to the 1996 Elizabeth Saewyc study that looked at lesbian teen suicides. If it was, then PFOX would have been in error.
A controversy had come up concerning the study when Focus on the Family's spokesperson Melissa Fryrear used it to claim that teen lesbians are having problems with suicide because they are "encouraged by gay activists to come out" (I am paraphrasing here).
Dr. Saewyc said Fryrear's comments was a distortion of her research.
I was concerned that PFOX was still using the Saewyc study to reach the same conclusion that Fryrear did.
This is the email I received from PFOX:
The source is listed at www.pfox.org under Press Releases.
The press release, PFOX Exposes Dangers Of Self-Identifying As ‘Gay’ Before Maturity, is where the name of the study is mentioned.
And Griggs was right. PFOX did not cite the Saewyc study. It cited:
Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay and Bisexual Youth by Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher, in Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics 87: 869-875 June 1991
Now here is the problem. The first sentence of the One News Now article says:
Quoting a recent study, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is warning of the increased risk of suicide that is linked with young people who identify themselves as homosexuals before achieving full maturity -- a process encouraged by many homosexual high school clubs.
A recent study? Hardly. Who considers a 17-year-old study to be recent? Apparently members of the anti-gay industry if the study can be used to demonize lgbts.
There is still a deception here but I don't know who is guilty of it; PFOX, One News Now, or LifeSiteNews.com (the place where the article originated from).
I emailed Griggs again asking for clarification. Was it she who described the 1991 study as a recent one or did One News Now and LifeSiteNews.com use bad dramatic license?
This is getting good.
They just can't stop lying: PFOX tries to slip one by and Peter LaBarbera's friend cites Paul Cameron
One of the most annoying characteristics about the anti-gay industry is their tendency to repeat distortions even after the said distortions have been refuted.
A perfect example are two that I found today:
PFOX tries to distort work on gay teen suicide
I read this today in One News Now:
Quoting a recent study, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is warning of the increased risk of suicide that is linked with young people who identify themselves as homosexuals before achieving full maturity -- a process encouraged by many homosexual high school clubs - PFOX: Homosexual high school clubs increase risk of suicide
Interestingly enough, the study PFOX is referring to is not mentioned anywhere in the article.
But PFOX head Regina Griggs gives a clue as to the nature of the study:
. . ."Research has shown that the risk of suicide decreases by 20 percent each year that a person delays homosexual or bisexual self-labeling. Early self-identification is dangerous to kids."
That quote looked familiar to me so I did a little research and found the following:
Going far beyond the research results, Focus on the Family claims a recent study presented at a Canadian public health conference links "pro-gay advocates" to increased rates of lesbian teen suicide attempts, a claim that has baffled the scientist who conducted the study.
"Nothing in the brief results we presented or in our overall study could lead to such conclusions," said Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, and research director of the McCreary Centre Society.
Reacting to survey results that showed higher rates of suicide attempts among lesbian high school students vs. heterosexual teens, Focus on the Family blamed the very people trying to help teens enter a more accepting society.
"Regrettably, they think they have to embrace homosexuality because pro-gay advocates told them that they were born gay," claimed Melissa Fryrear, a spokesperson for Focus on the Family, on their website.
This was from a June 16, 2006 article in which University of British Columbia Professor Elizabeth Saewyc accused Focus on the Family of distorting her study about lesbian teen suicide.
Focus on the Family spokeswoman Melissa Fryrear claimed that lesbian teens are committing sucide because they are encouraged to "identify as lesbians" by "pro-gay advocates."
Saewyc said Fryrear's conclusion was a distortion of her study. She said:
What we have found is that sexual, racial, or anti-gay harassment, discrimination, and violence are strongly associated with suicidal attempts among young people -- and that includes heterosexual teens too." She noted her previous study of Seattle high school students, which found 4 out of 5 students experiencing anti-gay harassment identified as heterosexual, and harassed students were significantly more likely to report suicide attempts regardless of their orientation.
So now in 2008, is PFOX and Griggs trying to incorrectly interpret the study even after Saewyc cried foul?
I think so.
Of course some may say that I am engaging in pure conjecture. Fair enough. I have drafted a letter that I will email to Griggs and PFOX asking for the name of the study she referred to in the One News Now article. I will send the letter today.
I will also keep you posted on whether or not I receive an answer.
Peter LaBarbera's 'Christian friend' and Paul Cameron
On his webpage, Peter LaBarbera has endorsed a report written by Phil Magnan of the Family Bible Advocates:
Meanwhile, take a read of Phil Magnan’s report, “15 Reasons Why Homosexuality is Wrong and Hurts Society.” Phil is the founder of Biblical Family Advocates, based in San Diego. I just met him in person for the first time and came away impressed by his love for people, including those practicing homosexuality, and his love for God’s truth and His heart on this issue.
By all means, please do read the "report." Magnan's essay comes across as the standard anti-gay industry tripe which recycles the discredited studies and other distortions that have made our lives just a little bit harder.
Interestingly enough, I emailed Magnan about several errors in his work last weekend. Of course I did not get an answer back.
The following are just a few of his errors:
Magnan - The book Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them: Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence by two homosexual researchers “estimated that 650,000 homosexual men are victims of domestic violence each year, compared to figures from the FBI which showed that last year 1,300 hate crimes were reported.”
Truth - Patrick Letellier complained that Gary Glenn of the American Family Association cherry picked passages from his book (Men Who Beat the Men Who Love Them) in order to assert that domestic violence is high in gay relationships. Years after this, the book continues to be cited by the anti-gay industry in the same way Glenn cited it. (in the same manner Magnan did)
Magnan - Defining a Homosexual relationship as loving and monogamous ignores the reality of same sex relationships. Many say that the premise on which we should accept same sex unions is that some of them are "loving, monogamous relationships." Same sex unions may be loving and monogamous from a worldly viewpoint, but if they had “real godly love” they would not subject each other to unnatural sexual activity that leads each other into sin. When we lead others into sin, we are no longer walking in love. In regards to homosexual monogamy, homosexuals remain faithful to one partner about 25% of the time. This is a much lower fidelity rate, than their heterosexual counterparts, which is 80%. It is not unusual for homosexuals to have hundreds of sexual partners in a life time.
Truth - Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service completes a study which objective was “to access the relative contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam and to determine the effect of increasing sexually risky behaviours among both types of partnerships in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).” Despite the fact that this study was situated in a foreign city, only looked at casual relationships, was completed before same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands, had nothing to do with lesbian relationships or children in same-sex households, it will be cited by the anti-gay industry to speak against gay relationships, same-sex marriage, lesbian relationships, gay adoption, etc. etc. (FOOTNOTE - Box Turtle Bulletin published a excellent report today accusing the Family Research Council of distorting the study in the same manner as Magnan.)
And the piece de resistance: Magnan freely cites discredited researcher Paul Cameron:
Magnan - There is less likelihood that a same sex couple will even be alive to care for their child. One of the reasons that Homosexual couples should not be able to adopt children or take in foster children is that according to many studies, the life span of homosexuals is much lower than that of heterosexuals. These tragic conditions create a much less stable home life for that child. Giving a foster or adopted child to homosexual parents is a form of relational child abuse. The child has been placed in a home in which the parents have an inherent shorter life span.
Truth - The study mentioned was created by Paul Cameron .
* On December 2, 1983, the American Psychological Association sent Paul Cameron a letter informing him that he had been dropped from membership. Early in 1984, all members of the American Psychological Association received official written notice that "Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists" by the APA Board of Directors.5 Cameron has posted an elaborate argument about his expulsion from APA on his website, claiming that he resigned from APA before he was dropped from membership. Like most organizations, however, APA does not allow a member to resign when they are being investigated. And even if Cameron's claims were accepted as true, it would be remarkable that the largest professional organization of psychologists in the United States (and other professional associations, as noted below) went to such lengths to disassociate itself from one individual.
* At its membership meeting on October 19, 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it "formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality."6
* In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that "Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism" and noted that "Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research."7 The resolution formally charged an ASA committee with the task of "critically evaluating and publicly responding to the work of Dr. Paul Cameron."
At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted the committee's report and passed the following resolution:
The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research. Information on this action and a copy of the report by the Committee on the Status of Homosexuals in Sociology, "The Paul Cameron Case," is to be published in Footnotes, and be sent to the officers of all regional and state sociological associations and to the Canadian Sociological Association with a request that they alert their members to Cameron's frequent lecture and media appearances."
And of course those errors merely scratch the surface when it comes to Magnan's report. On my other blog, Anti-Gay Lies and Liars, I list 17 lies that the anti-gay industry spread about gays and lesbians.
Magnan seems to be trying to validate them all, even the one about gay men allegedly molesting children at a high rate.
I guess Magnan's version of Christian love doesn't involve truth.
Why is it that those who look to get into Heaven seem to be causing the most hell on earth for the rest of us?
You see this is why it is important to keep up with anti-gay industry lies and be ready to refute at almost every turn.
They keep coming up.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
First Governor Mark Sanford, now Senator Jim DeMint:
The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly defeated Sen. Jim DeMint's bid to cut the $48 billion cost of expanding President Bush's global AIDS initiative to dozens of countries beyond Africa.
DeMint's amendment to a five-year reauthorization of Bush's signature program lowered the price tag to $35 billion and removed funding for new efforts to fight malaria and tuberculosis.
"What we're doing here this week I consider obscene -- completely unacceptable," DeMint said in an angry Senate floor address before the vote. "We're talking about creating the largest foreign aid program in the history of our country, with no thought."
The Senate's 64-31 vote against the DeMint measure indicated strong bipartisan support for Bush's heralded 2003 campaign targeting AIDS in Africa, which supporters say has saved 2 million lives.
Two hours after defeating DeMint's amendment, the Senate voted 80-16 to pass the AIDS bill. Its total cost is $50 billion, with senators voting earlier in the day to divert $2 billion to domestic benefits for Native Americans.
Meanwhile, the tourism controvery heats up. Some lgbts (who don't live in South Carolina) aresaying that SC Pride is in the wrong for offering to raise money to pay for the ad.
I totally disagree. I have been a board member of SC Pride for over five years and I want to commend my fellow board members for their initiative in this matter.
You see, some of us do think that despite the attitudes of some, South Carolina is an excellent place for lgbts.
I love this state and I am tired of the stereotype that it is backwards and homophobic. One of the reasons why the stereotype is so prevalent is because very few take the initiative to affect change.
We didn't start this controversy, our Governor did. And now that it is started, we will use it to our advantage; to shine a light on this sate.
We will not sit on our asses, twiddle our thumbs, and whine about discrimination. Nor will we ruminate about how "homophobic" South Carolina is.
You see we believe that the state belongs to us also and we will not surrender our rightful place as South Carolinians to ignorant people.
Sometimes fighting battles involve thinking out of the box .
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Maybe I am wrong, but I am getting a huge kick out of this controversy regarding my state and the gay tourism ad.
On Friday it was learned that a London company was working on an ad campaign that would attract gay tourists to South Carolina. South Carolina tourism officials said they would not pay for the ad campaign because it was not agreed upon in the right manner.
Governor Mark Sanford and Greenville State Senator David Thomas objected strongly to the ad campaign. Senator Thomas demanded an investigation.
Since that time, much has taken place.
The person who was responsible for the ad campaign is said to have resigned. However, my paranoid Southern intuition tells me that maybe he was helped in that direction.
We don’t know for sure because no one is talking.
Meanwhile our esteemed Governor and Senator have removed themselves from their soapboxes of righteous indignation and onto the tables of conciliatory gestures. Both are trying to backtrack from their earlier comments
You think it has something to do with the fact that their overly aggressive condemnation of the ad campaign sends the message that lgbts aren’t welcomed in South Carolina?
Perhaps. And now the word is coming down that the state’s tourism industry could be harmed from all of their political posturing.
We will see what happens. All I know is that the more our representatives talk, the more they seem to wallow in the mess they put themselves in:
Governor Mark Sanford’s spokesman - “We welcome anyone to visit our state, but we agree with Sen. Thomas about using tax money to promote any group with a particular social or political agenda.”
Social or political agenda? We are talking about tourists here, not the Chicago Seven. The only agenda tourists have is getting a tan and lots of pictures so that they can make their friends back home jealous.
Greenville Senator David Thomas - “If the ad had said, ‘You will love the Southern Baptist beaches,’ I would also be offended. If a homosexual is attracted here, that’s great. But I have a problem with tax money being spent on ads with a social viewpoint, particularly with sexual orientation.”
Thomas is obviously tap dancing to the same tune the Governor’s office is listening to. And he is dancing as badly as the Governor.
I’m still stuck on the part about Southern Baptist beaches though. But I think I will leave that alone. No sense in causing a new controversy.
I want to say something stark and bold but modesty prevents me from being as rude as I want to be.
I hope that our representatives learn something from this. Our state has been laughed at on television and in the newspapers because of this controversy and frankly, we deserve it.
Don’t even try to sell me on the notions of Southern values and how South Carolina is entrenched in the old ways and traditional morality.
Our representatives acted liked damned fools (well, there goes the modesty).
They heard the word “gay” and conjured up images of half-naked men cavorting shamelessly on beaches complete with whips, chains, and leather chaps. Their minds spun visions so nasty and vile that they forgot that they were adults chosen by their peers to conduct business at a higher standard than that of ugly rumors and preconceived notions of sex and mindless bacchanalia.
Instead of using their heads, they acted with their emotions. They were so quick to take part in a gay version of the ‘War of the Worlds’ paranoia that they did more damage to South Carolina than any invading army, gay or otherwise.
You see when gay people talk about homophobia, this controversy is a perfect example of we mean.
This state is already in the middle of another controversy involving a high school principal who thinks that a gay/straight alliance in his school is the same as a sex club. It is obvious that the actions of Governor Sanford and Sen. Thomas aren’t isolated incidents, but patterns in a huge tapestry of ignorance.
What is that scares people so much about gays and lesbians in this state anyway? We all have gay relatives and we are all privy to occasional rumors about gay public officials. Whether we want to admit it or not, we interact with gays and lesbians almost every day.
So why does it scare people to realize that there are gays among them who lead normal, boring lives; who work, pay taxes, and even go on vacations.
Why is there this need to make gays the natural enemy of South Carolina families when many of them are the heads of those families?
Whatever the case may be, it goes way beyond believing that homosexuality is a sin. But I am not a psychiatrist so I am not going to try and analyze it from that standpoint.
I just hope that Governor Sanford, Sen. Thomas, and everyone in general learn something from this about gay South Carolinians and, most of all, themselves.
UPDATE - It has now been discovered by Q-Notes that the Governor's Office was personally involved in stopping the tourism campaign. The article is here.
Also, the Board of the SC Pride Movement has decided to raise the $5,000 necessary to pay the debt owed by the state for the "South Carolina is so gay" ads created for London Pride Week.
They will launch the campaign using the attached "South Carolina WILL BE 'So Gay'" ad on Thursday from the SC Pride website with PayPal as a way to donate. They will also accept donations mailed to them (Payable to SC Pride, PO Box 12648, Columbia, SC 29211).
Once they repay the state's debt to the UK company, all other proceeds will benefit the SC Pride 2008 Festival and Parade featuring RuPaul to ensure that South Carolina will be "SO GAY" on September 20, 2008 in Columbia, SC.
Anyone interested in donating should contact Ryan Wilson
Robert Knight returns and reminds me the nature of not being truthful
Those who have read this blog or my book know that I don't particularly care for anti-gay industry talking head Robert Knight.
He was the only major anti-gay industry talking head whom I had the displeasure of meeting and I have never met anyone whom I would probably dislike more.
Some of you may accuse me of making hasty judgements, but I assure you that I am not. There is simply no other way that I can describe somone who talks about values and morality while at the same time repeating information that he knows is false.
For those who have not read my book, Knight and I met at the University of South Carolina a number of years ago when he was affiliated with Concerned Women for America. Before then he was with the Family Research Council. During his sojourn with these two groups, he freely cited the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. He even did so in front of a Congressional committee.
On the night that he and I met, I was able to ask about his usage of Cameron's work. His answer to me was "we have used his work. So what?"
And that my friends (and forgive me for my use of hyperbole) is when I came to a true understanding of the nature of evil.
Sometimes evil has nothing to do with monsters that we see in horror movies like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger. The true and insidious nature of evil is the ability to give deceptive information with a straight face even though you most likely know that the information will lead to broken families, lgbt children being kicked out of their homes, elderly lgbts losing everything at the death of their partners, and the eventual psychological boxing in of the lgbt community in general.
That is the essence of Robert Knight. Dr. Martin Luther King once said he wanted to be remembered as a drum major for justice. Knight will be remembered as a drum major for lies.
What got me so philosophical about Knight was reading a piece he wrote in One News Now today entitled Washington Post tells kids that homosexuality is fine.
Actually the article does not takes sides. But to Knight and those like him, any article that does not include lies about the "health risks of being gay" is one sided.
Of course one good thing about his column is that while Knight gives the spiel about "gay health risks," he does not go into the lies about "gay domestic violence" and "gays having a short life span."
In the past, he would have. The fact that he cannot now is to the credit of intelligent lgbts and bloggers who have destroyed those patterns of lies.
But this is not to say that Knight doesn't try to do damage. Especially when he talks about the murder of Matthew Shepard:
(Washington Post writer Theresa) Vargas pulled out all the stops, even repeating the gay-activist-created myth that Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard "was killed for being gay." Shepard, as revealed in an ABC News investigation on 20/20 on Nov. 26, 2004, was tied to a fence and left to die after a drug deal turned into a robbery in 1998. The assailants, who were convicted of murder and given life terms, picked out Shepard not to make a savage point about hating gays but because he was carrying cash and looked like an easy mark. Nonetheless, the media have continued to follow the "killed for being gay" script written for them by homosexual activists who flooded into Wyoming and made Matthew the martyr for their cause.
Knight is referring to a 20/20 special that made the claim that Shepard was not murdered because he was gay. In all honesty, the investigation brought up points of hearsay that were never proven. According to wikipedia:
Commander Dave O'Malley — who was also interviewed by ABC and criticized the 20/20 report — pointed out that the drug motive does not necessarily disqualify the anti-gay motive: “My feelings have been that the initial contact was probably motivated by robbery because they needed money. What they got was $20 and a pair of shoes ... then something changed and changed profoundly... But, we will never, ever know because Matt’s dead and I don’t trust what [McKinney and Henderson] said.
You see, before the report, McKinney and Henderson did say that they targeted Shepard because he was gay. In addition, their girlfriends testified under oath that the two had planned to rob a gay man.
So to Knight, in the case of an anti-gay murder, a convicted murderer has more credibility than a man on trial for murder.
But such is Robert Knight, the drummer major for lies.
By the way, this link is the original Washington Post article that got Knight all up in arms. It's good journalism; something Knight knows nothing about.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It was a very big crowd during lunch at McDonalds today. Everyone was supersizing their menus and were also very nice.
I ran into a very polite, well-dressed young man. Another five minutes and I would have been engaged.
Apparently news of the AFA's boycott isn't affecting McDonalds here in South Carolina. And to a degree, that is interesting. After all, South Carolina is the buckle of the Bible Belt. Down here, we not only argue over Biblical interpretations, but also the length of baptism pools and the size of the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
Who knows. Maybe very few people down here know about it. Or maybe they do know about the boycott and the general feeling is "the AFA be damned. I'm hungry and hot. Now supersize me!"
Either way, it's really not surprising. Telling Americans not to go to McDonalds is like telling my great aunt not to go to church. The difference is that in the case of my great aunt, you might get cut.
But you have go give the AFA points (albeit very small ones) for using the words of McDonalds spokesman Bill Whitman.
Notice that I did not say twisting words because Whitman did infer that the actions of the AFA and others are motivated out of hatred.
It is something that us lgbts know all too well. Now some may say describing the AFA and other members of the anti-gay industry as hateful and homophobic is overused. Certainly it gives them a chance to play innocent. All we are doing is standing up for Christian values and traditional morality, they say. Why is that when Christians stand up for what they believe in, they are called haters?
I personally don't have a problem with describing the AFA and the others as hateful. I do have a problem with folks doing so without supplying proof of their offenses.
The fact of the matter is that no matter how AFA, Donald Wildmon, Peter LaBarbera, the Liberty Counsel, Concerned Women for America, etc. try to spin and plead ennui, they really do hate the lgbt community.
And as luck would have it, there is a paper trail. Just in time for their press conference tomorrow, too.
Read on if you have a strong stomach and feel free to pass this list to anyone else, especially "pro-boycott" supporters:
“If you look at the footage from Operation Rescue, um, vigils outside abortion clinics, you will see that the anti Operation Rescue demonstrators invariably have a pink triangle on and they are usually pretty big heavy set women who look like they’ve been over working October Fest for the last six years . . .” — Robert Knight (formerly of the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America)
"Now the Bush Administration is opening its arms to homosexual activists who have been working diligently to overthrow the traditional views of Western Civilization regarding human sexuality, marriage and family… AFA would never support the policies of a political party which embraced the homosexual movement. Period.” – Don Wildmon, AFA Press Release
"Why is the House of Representatives wasting taxpayer dollars to discuss whether or not drag queens or she-males are offended because of their cross-dressing or sexual behaviors in a business environment?” Of course, “I already know the answer: Because liberals…are aggressively promoting the normalization of cross-dressing and transsexualism in our culture.” - Andrea Lafferty, Traditional Values Coalition
" . . . I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them into the United States because we believe homosexuality is destructive to society." - Peter Sprigg, the Family Research Council
“Imagine, if you will, a 280 lb linebacker who likes to wear a dress and high heels and lipstick, you know comes to church wanting a job at the front desk as a receptionist and they turn him away because they don’t feel that that represents their values or the image that they’re trying to hold at that church, under ENDA they could be held accountable for discrimination against that individual.” - Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel
"Obviously, we’re saddened at the spectacle of the Vice President’s daughter, Mary Cheney, living in an open lesbian relationship, and now bringing a child into a home that is fatherless by design. In our view, this is another case of the “gay” movement putting its wants (in this case, having a child) above what’s best for children. “Two mommies” or “two daddies” will never substitute for a home with a married mom and a dad, and it is sad when men or women model immoral homosexual behavior before innocent children in a home setting".– Peter LaBarbera
Monday, July 14, 2008
I am feeling frunky today (frunky - not funky. Frunkly is three steps below funky). It's probably because I hate Mondays.
Nothing can sway me out of this mood, not even the news that I have exceeded my goal of selling 100 copies of my book, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters.
One hundred copies doesn't seem like a lot, but remember this book was self-published and not promoted (at least not in the usual way). My initial goal as to sell at least 100 copies and I have reached that goal within a year of Holy Bullies's publishing.
Now it's time to work on an updated (and much better) version.
That is if I can get out of this mood.
But enough of that. The more cosmopolitan readers of this site probably already know that we have lost an enemy today in the marriage equality fight.
David Benkof, who markets himself as a gay man who believes in the "sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman" has closed the veil:
"I no longer feel comfortable being allied with the people running the Prop. 8 campaign, and the same-sex marriage movement in America in general, with a few exceptions - most notably Maggie Gallagher. I have made a tentative decision not to publicize the disturbing information that caused me to end my promotion of man-woman marriage in the United States. But there is very little that I know about those subjects that a journalist, blogger, or activist cannot find out through diligent googling and asking the right questions of the Prop. 8 campaign."
-- former proprietor of the disturbing blog "Gays Defend Marriage," David Benkof to Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen, July 14
Benkof was slowly getting attention for the paradox of being a gay man who didn't believe in gay marriage. However, there was a possible problem with how he would allegedly distort the words of people he interviewed. Box Turtle Bulletin wrote an excellent report on him.
Maybe it's just the Monday frunkies talking but other than the paradox, I never took Benkof seriously. He is a talented writer but he was clearly exploiting the idea of being a gay man who opposes gay marriage.
And while his concession is good, two things about it bothers me.
The first is the part about him still being allied with Maggie Gallagher. Gallagher is yet another one of those "experts" from the right-wing that seem pop up about lgbts issues. However, her expertise seems to lie in playing Joan of Arc being burned at the stake by so-called radical gay activists.
The argument, "gays and liberals believe that if you support traditional marriage then you are a bigot" seems to almost always turn up in her writings.
Then there is this very interesting deception that she is guilty of:
Gay marriage opponents frequently buttress their arguments with the assertion that children have better outcomes when they grow up with a married mother and father. The most articulate advocate of this point is Maggie Gallagher, founder of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, a "pro-marriage" think tank.
She summarized it best in an article in the August 2003 Weekly Standard: "As a Child Trends research brief summed up, 'Research clearly demonstrates that family structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. . . .'" She goes on to argue that because that parenting structure is best for kids, legalizing gay marriage means subjecting children to less-than-optimum outcomes: "[Gay marriage] would mean the law was neutral as to whether children had mothers and fathers. Motherless and fatherless families would be deemed just fine."
Child Trends, the organization that she cites, is a highly respected, nonpartisan research center. But Gallagher slyly misrepresents the conclusions of their research review, which does not discuss straight versus gay family structure, but various forms of straight family structure. Gallagher leaves out the key sentence that qualifies the statement she cites: "Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes than do children in intact families raised by two biological parents." There is no evidence here about how children raised by gay couples fare.
A right-wing expert distorting a legitimate study? It must be a usual day in the United States.
Also there is this comment Benkof left on Pam Spaulding's site:
Since you brought it up, I thought I'd clarify. I no longer feel comfortable being allied with most of the people who run the man-woman marriage movement in the United States (not counting Maggie Gallagher). I still feel, however, that Pam Spaulding is a nasty bitch.
Okay, that pissed me off. I am talking snatching off the earrings, kicking off the shoes, putting vaseline on the face, getting ready to get ghetto on someone type anger.
My first reaction was "Oh no that $&@^ didn't!"
But then I realized that I cannot behave in such a way.
So I will just say this:
Mr. Benkof, Pam Spaulding has more integrity in her fingernail than you have in your pseudo-intellectual body. The very fact that you said what you said only goes to prove how phony you are.
But don't think that Benkof's nonsense is the only thing going on today.
Our friend Peter LaBarbera has gotten into the AFA's boycott of McDonalds. His group Americans for Truth (in name only) will join the AFA at a press conference in front of McDonalds' headquarters in Illinois. They will be joined by women who will say why they won't take their children to McDonalds ever again.
Which is fine with me. I'm sure that there will be a lot of lgbt parents who will take their children to McDonalds.
And I plan to have a supersize meal tomorrow.
And speaking of lgbt parenting, John McCain continues to be on his "please support me James Dobson and company" tour. Today he came out against gay adoption.
I liked what PFLAG had to say about this development:
"In a country where more than 125,000 children are waiting for foster parents, Senator McCain would deny loving homes to children who desperately need them simply because of an outdated prejudice about what a family may look like," said Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). "We are disappointed and saddened that a public leader who is himself an adoptive father would deny the children in America's foster care system the opportunity to thrive as part of a welcoming family. Love makes a family, but short-sighted positions like Senator McCain's can certainly tear families apart, too."
..."Senator McCain's position is out of synch with the research and science and out of step with what is in the best interests of children waiting for a home and a family," Huckaby said. "PFLAG knows the pain inflicted upon families due to misinformation about LGBT issues. We implore Senator McCain to take a serious look at the overwhelming evidence and listen to the stories of the countless children raised by loving lesbian and gay couples. The evidence is clear: children should not be denied access to the loving homes of gay couples."
UPDATE - As you all can see, David Benkof is channeling a little Joan of Arc himself via the comments page.
David, no one is lying on you. You did distort Ms. Kendall's comment just like you distorted a lot of others.
That is why your credibility is low. But I have to admire your shameless plugging of yourself.
Friday, July 11, 2008
And I thought I wouldn't have to post today.
But my home state is in the news and it involves the lgbt community:
South Carolina’s top tourism agency has canceled an overseas advertising campaign targeting gay tourists.
The campaign, tied to gay pride week celebrations in London, included ads that proclaimed “South Carolina is so gay.” A handful of other U.S. destinations joined the campaign, including Atlanta, Boston and New Orleans.
After learning last week the state had agreed to spend tax money on the campaign — and spurred by a post on The Palmetto Scoop blog — the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism said Thursday it would not pay the tour operator.
Parks, Recreation and Tourism director Chad Prosser said an agency advertising manager signed off on the contract, proposed by the agency’s London advertising contractor.
To me, this is a story of an advertising manager making a possibly unauthorized business deal. However since it talks about the gay community, leave it to our lovely legislators to not miss this sterling opportunity to bloviate about "values:"
Some lawmakers were shocked to learn about the campaign, with state Sen. David Thomas, R-Greenville, calling for an audit.
Joel Sawyer, spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford, said using tax money to support a social or political agenda is inappropriate.
I get it: an ad campaign to generate tourist money is a part of an "agenda," but passing legislation regarding "I Believe" license plates is a-okay.
Please bear in mind that this is the same governor who, in 2004, walked into the State House carrying two pigs.
He wanted to get back at the legislators who overrode his budget veto by symbolizing a protest against "pork projects."
The pigs symbolized things much better than Sanford hoped. In fact, they symbolized all over Sanford and the floor of the State House.
From what I hear, the smell was especially symbolic.
So in this talk of values, who do you choose: gay folks or the Governor who was once covered in pig droppings.
I'm choosing my lgbt brothers and sisters. At least I won't have to hold my nose when I hug them.
Box Turtle Bulletin exposes a hot mess
One of my favorite sites, Box Turtle Bulletin, has exposed an unfortunate incident involving an insurance company and anti-gay industry lies. It demonstrates how difficult it is to kill anti-gay junk science:
Insure.com is a publicly traded company with an advisory board ranging from a former US Senator to executives with various companies, including AT&T. The company is a major sponsor of Bill O’Reilly’s radio talk show and Bill gives voice to their commercial.
In addition to selling insurance, they provide information about the insurance industry. Joe White, an employee and company blog contributor, wrote two pieces in which he claimed that “being gay” was a health risk, and not just a minor one.
In an article on the business website entitled Top five ways to kill yourself and get away with it, White lists the number one way to kill yourself:
1. Being gay. A gay lifestyle is by far the biggest risk to life expectancy that goes unrecognized by insurance companies. The question has been considered by multiple studies, and the gay lifestyle is universally acknowledged to decrease life expectancy. A conservative estimate is that a gay lifestyle takes away 8-20 years from the average lifespan.
In other words, living a homosexual lifestyle has health risks at least as severe as smoking (by some estimates even more), but due to the sensitive nature of the issue, life insurance companies don’t charge different rates for gays. So gays save money on life insurance at the same rate they die young.
It turns out that Mr. White made this claim based on the distortion of the 1997 Canadian study (which I have talked about ad nauseum on this site) and the "research" of the discredited Paul Cameron.
It's like a horror movie. We just can't kill the monster.
But Box Turtle Bulletin is on the case, including contacting the CEO of Insure.com.
I commend them for their work.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I am watching (and taking part in) an interesting war of words on a blog site.
But first a little background:
I have talked about Ken Hutcherson many times on this blog, especially that so-called protest he organized against the Day of Silence at Mount Si High School in Washington.
But as it is, the war between Hutcherson and Mount Si goes back farther than the Day of Silence.
It began when Hutcherson was invited to speak at the high school during Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His anti-gay reputation got some teachers and students upset at the invite. One booed him during the assembly (that wasn't good taste and the teacher was reprimanded).
Another teacher questioned Hutcherson's opposition to lgbt rights.
Needless to say, Hutcherson's ego was hurt and he has had it in for the Mount Si High School ever since.
A group of concerned parents began a blog to support students and the teachers at Mount Si High School. It is called Mount Si Parents and is a very informative site.
Hutcherson, meanwhile, has continued to pursue action against the teachers of Mount Si High School. He recently complained to Rosalund Jenkins, the executive director of the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs.
Apparently he didn't get what he wanted from her because he has now accused Jenkins of making racist comments.
It boggles the mind, doesn't it.
But I am getting the crux of this post.
One News Now in their familiar biased fashion published an article regarding the situation. I would link the article but One News Now has banned any linkage from me.
The Mount Si Parents blog published a post accusing One News Now of biased reporting. The blog also clarified several issues.
And now comes the rub.
Allegedly, the author of the One News Now article, Jeff Johnson was very, shall we say, offended by what was said. He took it upon himself to say so. You can read his entire post if you pan down to it.
In part, it said:
Anonymous #1 said "One News Now is known for spinning incorrect and biased stories." Really? We report news from a biblical perspective and clearly advertise that fact in the "About" section on our site. If you reject the Bible as the infallible Word of God, you're not going to agree with our perspective on stories involving homosexuality. Similarly, if you are politically conservative, you're not going to agree with the perspective from which The New York Times reports political news. All news outlets report from a perspective. The difference is, we admit ours.
Anonymous #2 wrote: "Just in case there's any doubt about the credibility of One News Now as a legitimate news source, check out this PI Big Blog post about their story which identified sprinter Tyson Gay's name as Tyson Homosexual in stories about his record-setting run at the Olympic Trials."
Yes, we set up an automated filter to catch the politically correct word "gay" in reference to people who choose to have sex with others of the same gender, who are more accurately referred to as "homosexuals." And, yes, we forgot to take into account that there are some people whose first or last names are "Gay." The error has been corrected.
The Associated Press uses the word "gay" instead of the word "homosexual" because that's the word homosexual activists prefer. Those activists prefer the word "gay" because it's a very positive word that takes the focus off the fact that the issue under debate is their choice of sex partners.
By that reasoning, the Associated Press should refer to people who oppose abortion as "pro-life" because it is the term that group prefers and it's a positive term that takes the focus off their advocacy for restriction access to abortion.
But the AP is biased in favor of homosexuality and in opposition to restricting abortion. So they use the positive term "gay" to refer to those they support and the negative term "anti-abortion" to refer to those they oppose.
OneNewsNow tried to automatically write the AP's obvious pro-homosexual bias out of their stories as published on our site and the initial way we chose to do that didn't work out so well. Another News Flash: We're human. We made a mistake. The difference between us and the "mainstream" media is, when we became aware of the mistake, we admitted it and corrected it. Try to get that kind of response from a major newspaper or television news network. . .
But I will challenge anyone who uses the word "lie" to describe my reporting. You may not agree with the biblical perspective from which I report the news. That is your right and I am thankful that we live in a country where we can agree to disagree on that issue. But I ALWAYS endeavor to report the truth as accurately as possible within my human limitations of gathering information and discerning who is and is not being honest with me.
A "lie" is an intentional misrepresentation of the truth. There are no lies in my reporting, unless I quote someone who is lying, and I will not knowingly report even that kind of statement.
Needless to say, Jeff got his ass handed to him. Various returned comments said the following:
No one is accusing YOU of lying, you are merely printing Hutchersons LIES!
Any good reporter would actually fact check their sources before making such allegations.
All of the facts are readily available to anyone who wants to be informed.
Tell me Mr. Reporter man, did you contact Dr. Potratz for his side of the story?
Have you read through the archives of the local media covering this story for the past six months?
Of course not! You just take the word of a blow hard bigot like Hutch as the truth!
Do some research and pretend you are a journalist!
This isn't the first time you have printed falsehoods because you failed to research. Here is just one example;
As previously reported, one of the teachers who booed Hutcherson sponsors the school's Gay Straight Alliance -- and also happens to teach his daughter's advanced placement British literature class. According to the pastor, his daughter has continued to suffer emotional stress in that classroom since the school assembly. But his requests to have the teacher removed from the class have been denied, forcing him to enroll his daughter, who is a senior, in an online class with the University of Washington.
This is NOT true.
Dr. Potratz booed the blow hard, NOT Kit McCormick who is the GSA advisor in question.
FACT CHECK, it's not hard
As for you ONN apologetics, you folks are nothing like the New York Times, they make an effort to report the truth, you folks "report" pleasing spin for your fundamentalist audience.
As for your rewriting of AP stories to conform to your version of Political Correctness, just where was your published correction on the Tyson Gay debacle? I must have missed it, from what I saw you merely corrected the story and pretended that the error never happened. Unlike a real news source (e.g. the NYT, which publishes a correction when they make a mistake.)
So maybe you didn't intentionally misrepresent the facts in your story, but for someone, who labels himself a reporter, you showed an appalling disregard for the accuracy of your reporting. Where is your interview with Potratz to get his side of the story? Did you even bother to speak to him? Or did you just accept Hutcherson's version of events because you knew it would be pleasing to your readers (and undoubtably your bosses as well)?
Another thing journalists do is investigate, rather than just regurgitate one sides talking points. Your story reads like a Ken Hutcherson press release from a conservative activist(a fairly common thing on ONN).
Your work may not be intentional lies, but it is dishonest and disingenuous, just like your defense of it here.
A lot of times, One News Now articles are just one-person interviews with someone who takes their point of view.
If you doubt me, take a look at their site now. There are several Barack Obama articles present but none of them have any comments from the Obama campaign.
Being Christian is no excuse for bad journalism.
and let's not forget when one news now (when it was agape press) used to freely cite paul cameron as a pro-family expert without filling its readers in on his history of distortion, censures and organizational rebukes (like from the APA for example)
This discussion is still going on. Of course there are some people who are actually trying to defend Johnson. My favorite is the following:
where in the Bible (the guide for a Christian’s life) does it say “Thou shalt not be biased”??? I don’t seem to see that anywhere and since you obviously can’t accept that two people can see the same situation differently (which I alluded to in an earlier post), let me remind you of the MOST biased of all Christians, Jesus Christ Himself, when in the Gospel of John, Chapter 14, verse 6 He states: “I am the way and the truth and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.”
But I have noticed that Johnson has not posted anything else as a response.
It must be hard when you have to deal with the real world instead of the world of Dobson and Wildmon.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Something is presently happening in Arkansas that could negatively affect lgbts in the future:
The Little Rock, AR based organization largely responsible for placing a constitutional ban against gay marriage in Arkansas in 2004, is back in 2008 with an anti-gay adoption ban.
On Monday, the Family Council Action Committee (FCAC) met a deadline to submit 61,974 signatures to the Secretary of State to place a proposed law banning unmarried couples from adopting children on the November ballot. While the initiative bans both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, the organization's website lists banning gay and lesbian couples from adoption as a goal of the law.
The Arkansas Adoption Act makes it illegal for adoptive and foster care children to be placed in homes with individuals who cohabit with a sexual partner. Single people, living alone, would be free from the restrictions.
Arkansas did initially bar gays from adopting or becoming foster parents before the state court struck down the law. Then the legislature wouldn't pass a law prohibiting lgbts from adopting or becoming foster parents.
So now some folks are taking the "let the people decide through a vote" route. And while they have tried to word the law to make it seem that its not an attack on lgbts, they freely admit that it is:
“[The Arkansas Adoption Act] is about two things. It's about child welfare, first of all. Secondly, it is to blunt a homosexual agenda that's at work in other states and that will be at work in Arkansas unless we are proactive about doing something about it,” FCAC Executive Director Jerry Cox told Fox16 News.
This attempt is nothing new. After their success in banning gay marriage, the anti-gay industry have long had their sights on making it more difficult for lgbts to be foster or adoptive parents. It is obvious that Arkansas is a testing ground. If they are successful there, then they are going to try the same thing in other states.
What gets me is this part:
The FCAC lists three primary reasons for the law: For the safety of children, to increase the number of prospective homes, and to “blunt a homosexual agenda.”
Increase the number of homes? How can you increase the number of homes that will take in children by prohibiting potential foster and adoptive parents?
Sadly, that question is not answered by the FCAC in the article.
And that is the crux of the fallacy involving denying lgbts the right to be foster and adoptive parents.
According to the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning:
510,000 = Number of children in foster care on September 30, 2006
129,000 = Number of children waiting to be adopted on September 30, 2006
51,000 = Number of children adopted from the public foster care system in FY 2006
And according to the Department of Health and Human Services' s Administration for Children & Families, 984 Arkansas children were waiting to be adopted in 2005.
But I bet the FCAC law doesn't address that point.
What we get from them is the same talking point the anti-gay industry shovels about children in foster care:
Children have a right to a mother and father.
But (and here is the rub) the FCAC potential law does not guarantee that children in foster care will be placed in this type of home. In fact, it does not guarantee that children in foster care will be placed into a home at all.
You see, this talking point is not designed to do anything but create the premise that somehow two-parent heterosexual households are being discriminated against for the sake of same-sex households.
And according to national figures, this notion just isn't true.
Children don't necessarily need a home that appeals to someone's limited view of "family.
Children need homes where they can receive love and support.
And there are no studies that say they cannot receive love and support from a same-sex home.
But thanks to FCAC, Arkansas children in foster care may not get any home at all.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Well it's Tuesday and I'm all alone.
My mother has gone to Pennsylvania to participate in my uncle's wedding. That leaves me home alone until Monday. This means that I can indulge in two of my favorite guilty pleasures - butter almond ice cream and porn.
Just kidding. Butter almond ice cream is so fattening.
Seriously though, last week I alluded to the fact that I can no longer link from One News Now. Is it just me or does the site see me as a hinderance to their message?
My linkage now takes one to a Rick Astley video on Youtube. But the joke is on One News Now. I happen to like Rick Astley.
Redhaired men are my weakness.
Who am I kidding? Men with a pulse are my weakness.
However I won't be using this time alone to catch up on my quota. And when I say quota, I mean the following - according to the anti-gay industry, gay men have over 500 partners a year . . . or is it 1,000 partners in a lifetime . . . or is it 1,500 partners on Judy Garland's birthday.
Really though, just who is so damned egotistical to count sexual partners? And just what is the criteria for an official sex act. Does heavy petting count?
More importantly, why can't I find any of those slutty gay guys?
Whatever the case may be, I am waaaay behind on the quota. If I don't get some soon, then national headquarters is going to come and get me for re-education.
From what I understand, it involves being locked in a small room somewhere in the Castro and being forced to watch Barbara Streisand movies for 48 hours.
And not the good ones but the ones she made when she was blatant about wanting the Oscar for Best Director.
Something that I haven't talked about is the American Family Association's boycott of McDonalds.
Apparently because McDonalds donated $20,000 to the Gay and Lesbian National Chamber of Commerce and because the company has the audacity to protect its employees against discrimination, Donald Wildmon and that bunch has branded it public enemy number one.
You know the vernacular - "McDonalds has signed on to the radical homosexual agenda." "McDonalds is no longer for families." "Ronald McDonald and Grimace are secret lovers."
Well McDonalds has gained a loyal customer because of the boycott - yours truly.
Lastly, if you all are still here and not thinking that I am insane, I want to let you in on something that I realized last week.
Some members of U.S. Senate are pushing for that dreary marriage amendment. Not only that, but two of the sponsors are Larry "wide stance in the toilet" Craig and David "hey, prostitutes need to pay the bills too" Vitter.
Craig is a hot mess himself but doesn't the fact that Vitter is sponsoring this bill goes to prove that a lot of the things the anti-gay industry says about gay men aren't true?
They like to claim that we have so much anal sex that we end up wearing diapers.
If this was the case, then wouldn't Vitter be our ally, with his love of diapers and all?
Think about it.
And hopefully by tomorrow, I will be in a normal frame of mind.