Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did Concerned Women for America commit a 'super distortion?'

Sometimes we get so caught up in calling religious right groups liars and bigots that we sometimes neglect giving specific proof of our claims.

With that in mind, I want to focus on an interesting item I discovered on the Concerned Women for America's (CWA) webpage.

In the 2005 piece which remains on the webpage, Several Reasons to Oppose Same-Sex Marriage, CWA outlines several reasons why Americans should oppose same-sex marriage.

Like the majority of information put out by religious right groups, this list is full of distortions and studies taken out of context. However, there is one thing I want to zero in on:

One epidemiological study found that “gay” men lose 8-20 years off their lifespan. (Source: Hogg RS, Strathdee SA, Craib KJP, O'Shaughnessy MV, Montaner JSG, Schechter MT. Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men. Int J Epidemiol 1997;26(3):657-61)

In Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver AIDS has been the leading cause of early death among men since 1989. (Source: Hogg RS, Heath KV, Strathdee SA, Montaner JSG, O'Shaughnessy MV, Schechter MT. HIV/AIDS mortality in Canada: evidence of gender, regional and local area differentials. AIDS 1996;10:889-94)

Now those who are familiar with my work on religious right distortions know that the first citation I showed is a distortion of a 1997 Canadian study. We know this because in 2001, the six researchers listed complained about how their work was being distorted.

The fact that CWA cited this study four years after the authors' clarification says a lot about the organization's dishonest.

However, CWA has "proof" that its citation of the 1997 study is accurate:

The above confirmed in other studies as well. Studies in Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying and the International Journal of Epidemiology indicate that homosexuality can take decades off men's lives.

Please note that CWA did not name the authors of these two studies. And I think I know why.

The first study from Omega: The Journal of Death and Dying was co-authored by our friend, the discredited Paul Cameron.

That's another mark on CWA's dishonesty.

The second study is even more interesting - the study from the International Journal of Epidemiology.

I think that it is the 1997 study - the same study CWA claims is proof of the alleged short life span of gay men.

So breaking it down:

CWA says that a 1997 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology proves that gay men have short life span.

It also says other studies prove this point. One of the studies CWA lists as proof is the original 1997 study.

If you doubt me, then I invite you to search the International Journal of Epidemiology's archives like I did.

When I looked for information, I couldn't find anything talking about the "gay life span" except for the 1997 study and the 2001 clarification.

But just in case I am in error, I emailed CWA asking for more information.

I was polite but I doubt that I will receive an answer.

Continuing to distort a study even after it's been clarified as well as relying on a discredited researcher is bad enough.

But if the CWA actually has the cojones to commit such a bold act as distorting the same study in two different contexts, then I'm simply speechless.

Because I have officially seen it all.
Wednesday mid-day news briefs

Gainesville votes to keep open washroom policy for transgenders - And now, the One News Now version of the article, which is really the Associated Press article with hilarious reader comments added below.

Incidentally, drinking Pepsi makes foxes pee - As this post from and my recent run-in with James MacDonald proves, the ex-gay movement is a sham. The spokespeople claim that they just want to be left alone. But by their actions, they intentionally work to undermine lgbt progression and rights.

The Peter doesn't like being called a bigot (or Satan's Lover) - LaBarbera makes it his life's work to attack the lgbt community and then wonders why we consider him a bigot. By the way, his version of the events surrounding his "speech" conveniently omits the man calling protesters the "f" word.

Haggard suggested divorce after scandal - Ted Haggard keeps staying in the spotlight. Geez!
Good news out of Gainesville, FL!!!

This came out last night but I wanted to wait and post it this morning - nothing like good news to start the day:

Gainesville, Fla.’s Amendment 1 -- which, if passed, would have repealed a number of antidiscrimination protections for LGBT residents in the college town -- failed at the polls Tuesday. With the majority of precincts reporting, results have the amendment failing with 61% voting no and 39% voting yes.

The repeal movement began last year after the city commission revised the antidiscrimination law to include protections for transgender people in employment, housing, and public accommodations -- including restrooms.

Opponents using scare tactics about mixed-sex public bathrooms gathered enough signatures to place a referendum of the protections on the ballot. Charter Amendment 1 would have eliminated not only transgender protections but also protections for gays and lesbians in the North Florida city. It also would have forbade the city to add protected categories that are not included in the Florida Civil Rights Act, which does not recognize sexual orientation or gender identity.

If I know the religious right (and I do), this isn't the end of the "bathroom" lies. As some of the voters in this link clearly demonstrates, you can fool some of the people some of the time.

But it's still nice to see such a smackdown at the ballot box.