They lie in Canada too : ‘Ex-gay’ Christian singer misrepresents statistics
Today comes a reminder that religious right lies about the lgbt community don't take place solely in America.
Over a week ago, Canadian "ex-gay" and Christian recording artist David MacDonald published a piece entitled Gay Sex is Downright Dangerous and Abstinence Won't Kill You: I Should Know
Be forewarned, however. The piece does not contain any salacious details on his past sexual history. MacDonald chooses to repeat the inaccurate mantra that "homosexuality is a deadly lifestyle."
And he has statistics to "prove" this assertion. An added feature of these "statistics" is that they come from gay advocates in five Canadian cities.
The statistics are as follows:
Life expectancy of gay/bisexual men in Canada is 20 years less than the average; that is 55 years.
GLB people commit suicide at rates from 2 to 13.9 times more often than average.
GLB people have smoking rates 1.3 to 3 times higher than average.
GLB people have rates of alcoholism 1.4 to 7 times higher than average.
GLB people have rates of illicit drug use 1.6 to 19 times higher than average.
GLB people show rates of depression 1.8 to 3 times higher than average.
Gay and bisexual men (MSM) comprise 76.1% of AIDS cases.
Gay and bisexual men (MSM) comprise 54% of new HIV infections each year.
GLB people are at a higher risk for anal cancers.
I emailed MacDonald and he generously supplied me with where he received the statistics.
They came from a complaint by Canadian gay rights groups who were demanding that the government do more for lgbt health issues.
MacDonald seems to be under the mindset that since pro-gay groups are saying these things, then it proves his point.
While MacDonald was somewhat accurate with his citations, he still misrepresented them.
In his piece, MacDonald claimed that the lgbt orientation is a dangerous lifestyle and the statistics he cited proves this. But that’s not what the complaint said.
From page two of the complaint:
The health status of GLB Canadians is among the poorest of any population in Canada. These health and wellness issues have been linked through research to the experience of living in a homophobic and heterosexist culture that undermines the dignity of GLB people and impinges on their ability to strive for success and happiness. We assume that Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will tend to reflect the homophobic and heterosexist culture from which their personnel are drawn. On that basis, we insist that they have a responsibility to rise above that tendency in order to achieve their Mission and Vision as they apply to GLB Canadians. Research into the causes and nature of health and wellness of GLB people is limited and needs to be supported at levels that will allow the appropriate catch-up relative to similar research aimed at the general population. What research exists to date clearly demonstrates that GLB people are significantly impacted by homophobia and heterosexism.
In other words, while the complaint by the pro-gay groups acknowledges unhealthy behaviors in the gay community (although it may be inaccurate about the lifespan claim - that sounds like the 1997 Canadian study that has consistently been distorted by the religious right), it places the blame solely on lgbts having to live in a homophobic society as well as inaction by the Canadian government on lgbt health issues.
And this point is made time and time again throughout the entire complaint.
However, MacDonald doesn't say a word about this point in his piece.
This is a tactic we have seen so many times with members of the religious right - i.e. use statistics to claim that the lgbt orientation is dangerous while omitting the explanation behind the statistics that clearly lay the blame on a third factor (i.e. homophobia, lack of research in the health and well-being of the lgbt community).
In this case, some may say what’s the big deal? It’s just some wannabe Christian singer in Canada?
I say it’s perfect look into the mindset of someone so wrapped up in proving what he thinks the Bible says about homosexuality that he is willing to ignore what it says about truth.