Thursday, March 27, 2008

A study ripe for the picking. How long will it take for the anti-gay industry to pick it

A study recently reported in Medical News Today said the following:

The odds of substance use for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth are on average 190 percent higher than for heterosexual youth, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers published in the current issue of Addiction. What's more, for some sub-populations of LGB youth, the odds were substantially higher, including 340 percent for bisexual youth and 400 percent for lesbians, researchers found.

Now the question I have is how long will it take for our friends Peter, Matt, Janet, and the rest of the anti-gay industry to use this study.

If they do, they will be forced to omit a crucial part:

"Homophobia, discrimination and victimization are largely what are responsible for these substance use disparities in young gay people," said Michael P. Marshal, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, who led the study. "History shows that when marginalized groups are oppressed and do not have equal opportunities and equal rights, they suffer. Our results show that gay youth are clearly no exception."

If they were to do this, it wouldn't be anything new. In 1998 Boston pediatrician Robert Garafalo complained that his study was being distorted. Garafalo had said that there is a danger of at-risk behavior amongst gay youth.

Anti-gay industry groups cited that ad naseum. However, they omitted that Garafalo found that the homophobia these youths were facing was a reason for their at-risk behavior.

Ironically when Garafalo complained, he was attacked as a "thrall of political correctness."

So back to my original question. Just how long will a distorted version of this recent study appear on anti-gay industry webpages, propaganda films, or worse, be cited by well-meaning but ignorant legislators (i.e. Sally Kern)?

Stay tuned for further updates. I have a feeling that they will be coming soon.

How are they going to spin this one?

It's the story that continues to get interesting.

Sally Kern met with members of the local PFLAG in her area:

Kern did not express an apology during the meeting, nor did she back away from any of her earlier comments.

Nevertheless, PFLAG said it believed the meeting was the beginning of a dialogue. It was her first meeting ever with a group working within the LGBT community.

And she made a commitment about workplace rights. During the meeting she told the PFLAG group that "I agree with" the idea that gay and lesbian Americans should not be fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.

Meeting with her constituents is the first thing Kern has done right in this situation. I'm curious to see how her comments about job discrimination will sit with members of the anti-gay industry.

Bear in mind, many of these groups think that protecting lgbts from job discrmination is a no-no, so I am anxious to see if they what they are going to do next.

Are they going to use what Kern said to show how much of a good legislator she is, turn their backs on her,

Or ignore her comments altogether.

My money is on the last option.