Why can't Peter LaBarbera stop misrepresenting
I have talked to Peter LaBarbera via email and I can tell you this: he truly believes that homosexuality is a sin.
And there is nothing wrong with believing this.
However, Peter crosses the line when he stoops to misrepresentations to further his beliefs.
Today's post on his Americans for Truth (in name only) page further accentuates this point.
Peter takes a bunch of quotes from gay authors and columnists (many over 10 years old) to further the lie that lgbts on the whole are promiscuous and that we want to destroy the institute of marriage.
First of all, the opinions of a few lgbts do not speak for the entire community. Anyone with a small shred of common sense knows this.
But I guess Peter thinks that common sense don't matter when one is fighting a "holy war."
And to make matters worse, he misrepresents big time. I want to talk about two.
The first is when he pulls a quote from noted gay author Micheangelo Signorile:
“[Legalizing “same-sex marriage”] is also a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture. It is the final tool with which to dismantle all sodomy statutes, get education about homosexuality and AIDS into public schools, and, in short, usher in a sea change in how society views and treats us.”–Michelangelo Signorile, “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do,” OUT magazine, May 1996, p. 30.
The misrepresentation of this quote is nothing new and Peter is not the first to do it. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition used the same quote to claim that lgbts want to destroy marriage:
“Traditional marriage is under attack. Homosexual activist Michelangelo Signorile, writing in Out! in its Dec./Jan. 1994 issue, says that homosexuals should ‘fi ght for same-sex marriage
and its benefits and then, once granted, redefi ne the institution of marriage completely to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution.’”—Lou Sheldon, Traditional Marriage Is Worth Protecting!, The Traditional Values Coalition
Signorile was quick to cry foul. The following passage is from my book, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:
As it turns out, Sheldon’s usage of Signorile’s quote is a distortion. Signorile complained about it in a column entitled Opponents Peddling Selective, Defective Readings. He said the quote in question was written about a same-sex marriage controversy in Hawaii in 1993.
Signorile said he had interviewed people in the gay community with different opinions on same-sex marriage. He also said he quoted those who said same-sex marriage was oppressive and that gays should not attempt to partake in it. Others he talked to said marriage is a good way for gays to civilize and assimilate themselves.
He further said:
“Both of these positions, I found were pretty extreme. I looked at still other points of view and I also proposed what ‘might’ be a compromise— I didn’t even say whether or not I agreed with it or not—stating that redefining the institution of marriage to change its negative aspects while demanding full marriage rights was one way to go.”
In other words, Sheldon (and LaBarbera) took Signorile's comments out of context.
Now let's look at this second misrepresentation:
“Take sex. Traditionally, a commitment to monogamy — to the extent that it was not simply an adjunct of property law, a vehicle for guaranteeing property rights and succession — was the chief mode of sacrifice imposed upon or adopted by married couples as a means of showing their sacred valuing of their relation. But gay men have realized that while couples may choose to restrict sexual activity in order to show their love for each other, it is not necessary for this purpose; there are many other ways to manifest and ritualize commitment. And so monogamy (it appears) is not an essential component of love and marriage. The authors of “The Male Couple” found that:
[T]he majority of [gay male] couples, and all of the couples together for longer than five years, were not continuously sexually exclusive with each other. Although many had long periods of sexual exclusivity, it was not the ongoing expectation for most. We found that gay men expect mutual emotional dependability with their partners [but also believe] that relationship fidelity transcends concerns about sexuality and exclusivity.
The big question here is what exactly is The Male Couple and why didn't Peter give more information regarding the book.
Probably because The Male Couple was published in 1984 (over 20 years ago), which would make it an out-of-date source.
Also, the authors of The Male Couple, McWhirter and Mattison, said that their book should not be generalized to represent the entire gay community:
“We always have been very careful to explain that the very nature of our research sample, its size (156 couples), its narrow geographic location, and the natural selectiveness of the participants prevents the findings from being applicable and generalizable to the entire gay
Maybe Peter missed that part.
Or maybe he just doesn't give a damn. You tell me.
Now his last quote is a hoot:
Make Anti-Gays Look Nasty
“We intend to make the anti-gays look so nasty that average Americans will want to disassociate themselves from such types.”–Marshall K. Kirk and Erastes Pill, “The Overhauling of Straight America,” The Guide (homosexual) magazine, November 1987.
Well Peter, when you lie as pathetically as you did in this column, you make our jobs easier.