Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in religious right lies Part 2

Ye shall know them by their fruits - Matthew 7:16

The lies continue and they are doozies!

Janelle Hallman, a researcher from NARTH (National Association for the Research and Treatment of Homosexuality), an organization pushing discredited ex-gay therapy, cites Paul Cameron in her book, The Heart of Female Same-Sex Attraction: A Comprehensive Counseling Resource.

Lifesite News, a Roman Catholic "news" site, refers to a discredited Paul Cameron study that he falsely claimed to have presented to the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007 .

Discredited researcher Paul Cameron tours Russia where his history of distortions is virtually unknown. He speaks at Moscow State University and repeats much of his discredited work, including lie about gays and child molestation.

Insure.com, a publicly traded insurance company, continues to cite work from discredited researcher Paul Cameron even after it is alerted on his many censures and breaches of professional ethics.

In a brochure, The Slippery Slope of Same Sex Marriage, the Family Research Council cites the 2001 Dutch study by Maria Xiridou despite the fact that the study had nothing to do with same sex marriage.

In an article published in the American Family Association's One News Now, ex-gay organization PFOX claims that a "recent study" says that "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 study in question, Risk Factors for Attempted Suicide in Gay and Bisexual Youth by Remafedi, Farrow, and Deisher, is not recent because it was published in 1991.

Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and one of the authors of the study mentioned by PFOX (see above entry), claims the "ex-gay" organization 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.

Elaine Donnelly testifies in front of a Congressional committee looking at the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law that deals with gays in the military. Her testimony, rife with fear stories of transgenders in the military, lesbians taking pictures of women in the shower, and gay men with AIDS, does nothing to help her argument in the eyes of the Congressional committee.

Robert Knight, of the right-wing Media Research Center, attempts to spin Donnelly's failed testimony as that of a "valiant woman facing an ultra liberal committee."

"Ex-gay" Greg Quinlan inaccurately claims that the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, said that homosexuality is not hardwired. Dr. Francis had gone on record in 2007 declaring that he never made this statement. When confronted with his inaccuracy by the webpage ExGayWatch, Quinlan accuses ExGayWatch of making up Dr. Collins's rebuke.

Dr. Collins confirms that he did complain about the inaccuracy of the "hardwired" quote.

The Maryland anti-gay industry group pushing the referendum against the anti-discrimination law protecting transgendered citizens is dealt a death blow when a court decision stops their efforts. The law goes into effect immediately afterwards. One News Now, however, inaccurately claims that the anti-gay industry group gained 900,00 valid signatures. They are off by a huge amount. The group only received 26, 813 valid signatures.

Professor Michael King of University College in the United Kingdom accuses the Catholic website LifeSite News and One News Now of distorting his work on the rate of depression and suicide in the gay community.

While misrepresenting Dr. King's work, One News Now adds to the distortion by citing the work of the discredited Paul Cameron.

Lisa Diamond, University of Utah professor, accuses anti-gay group NARTH of grossly and deliberately distorting her work on sexual orientation.

In a successful attempt to pass Proposition 8, a law that would outlaw gay marriage in California, the religious right group 'Yes on 8' spreads the following stories - not passing Proposition 8 will lead to pastors being arrested for not performing gay marriage and children will be forced to learn about homosexuality. On that last point, the group gets an assist from David Parker who films an interview with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins. Parker exaggerates his tale of being arresting including claiming that his son brought home a book about homosexuality. The book in question was about differing families and only one family featured in the book was of a same sex nature.

Members of the religious right make the claim that the gay community is conducting an organized campaign of violence and intimidation against the voters of Proposition 8. To prove this, they cite an incident of a 69-year-old woman who has a styrofoam cross ripped out of her hand during a silent vigil protesting Proposition 8. They omit the fact that the woman, Phyllis Burgess, pushed her way through the crowd of protestors to be on camera even at the point of allegedly knocking down a disabled man.

An uncoordinated wildcat gay rights group in Michigan, Bash Back, invade a local church where they allegedly pull a fire alarm, make out at the pulpit, and shout blasphemies in front of children. However, area police say the church exaggerated some details of the story. Also some religious right groups incorrectly link the group Bash Back with the Proposition 8 protests, which have been peaceful.

Mike Heath, head of the Main Family Policy Council, accuses the gay community of "hate crimes against Christians" because of the Proposition 8 vote, including a bomb sent to a missionary in Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a blatant lie because the incident and the organization the missionary was involved in had nothing to do with gays, Proposition 8, California, the Mormon church, etc.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman declares that Florida's ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional. She especially criticizes the testimony of George A. Rekers, an expert that the state called on to testify about its ban. Lederman says Dr. Rekers’ beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with the science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court can not consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy. This is the same conclusion that a judge in Arkansas reached regarding Rekers' testimony regarding that state's adoption ban in 2005. During his Florida testimony, Rekers repeated Paul Cameronesque lies about the gay community and even said he would consider banning Native Americans from adopting children for the same reasons he would consider banning gays.

President-Elect Barack Obama faces a firestorm of criticism from the lgbt community due to his selection of prominent pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren faces criticism due to his support of Proposition 8 in California and his comparing lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia. In an address on his church’s website, Warren accuses his critics of “Christophobia” and claims that he never compared lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia. However, an interview on Beliefnet.com clearly shows that Warren did compare lgbt relationships to incest and pedophilia.

The American Family Association complains that Campbell Soup is lending support to the alleged “homosexual agenda” because the company ran an ad in two issues of the lgbt-oriented Advocate magazine. The AFA is especially critical of the ad content because it features two lesbians and their son. This complaint comes at the same time the AFA’s newsite, One News Now, are calling lgbts “intolerant” for their anger over Rick Warren.

I am highly optimistic about 2009. The lgbt community are becoming more aware and highly skilled in exposing religious right distortions.

Consistency is the key to our victory. As long as they tell lies, we need to be there to tell the truth.
Liberty Counsel throws out another bad spin

Like clockwork, the religious right is telling lies about the yesterday's decision in New Jersey regarding the church owned pavilion and the lesbian couple who sued for access to it for their wedding.

Even before yesterday's decision, the religious right distorted the case to make it seem that lgbts are forcing Christians to "accept" gay marriage.

However the church lost the case because it was accepting tax breaks for the pavilion and a proviso for these tax breaks said that the pavilion to all with no exceptions

But of course Matt Staver and the Liberty Counsel spins the case to make it seem that lgbts are attempting to harm Christians:

“The clash between same-sex unions and religious freedom has arrived, and that clash will increase. We’ve seen a pastor arrested in Sweden for preaching that homosexuality is contrary to biblical principles. When the alarm was sounded, some thought it was all hype. But when a church has to sacrifice its religious convictions in order to invite the public to use its facilities, the threat to liberty is not hype. Whenever a right is granted to same-sex unions, then a right is taken from religious liberty and freedom of speech. Same-sex unions pose a serious threat to freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion.”

Jeremy from Goodasyou exposes Staver's statment for the lie that it is:

FACT: The New Jersey pavilion was open to public usage, without any hesitation until gays and lesbians wanted to start using the building for same-sex civil unions. It's not a religious matter -- it's about allowing the heterosexual public to use your facility, but not the homosexual public.

FACT: Nobody is trying to force churches to marry ANYONE (straight or gay). But this building was not and is not a church, and folks like Mat Staver KNOW IT! They are exploiting the fact that the building had church ties, all the while overlooking that those church ties had never previously been used to bar straight couples.

FACT: The Swedish pastor that the right loves to use, Ake Green, was arrested (but later acquitted) because Sweden, unlike America, has strict hate speech laws. Plus, it was only after his words were published publicly that he caught scrutiny.

FACT: Nobody is proposing similar laws here in the states, regardless of what folks like Staver want folks to believe. In fact, gays and progressives are more commonly on the side of protecting unpopular speech. For an example, see how Barney Frank was one of only 3 members of Congress to vote against a law designed to restrict Westboro Baptist's funeral-picketing pastime.

FACT: As a movement, gays and progressive allies are seeking CIVIL MARRIAGE EQUALITY. The way "religious freedom" REALLY applies to this matter is in regards to how everyone's civil liberties should be protected from being stifled by others' faith-based beliefs!