Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday afternoon news briefs

IOWA TOMORROW - Everyone is talking about it so I figure what the hell.

Exodus Maintains Month-Long Silence Amid Ugandan Gov’t Calls For LGBT Arrests - It's not as if Exodus will take a courageous stance on this mess. If they did, I know I'm in Bizarro World.

Hate Crimes and Scare Tactics - The Washington Post calls out the Family Research Council on their lies about hate crimes legislation. And suddenly the day just got better.

Birthers form "citizen grand jury," "indict" Obama - MAKE IT STOP, PLEASE!!
South Carolina's main newspaper serves up 'Sanford fried chicken'

While this is not a gay issue per se, I have to point something out about the situation involving SC Governor Mark Sanford's fight against President Obama's stimulus package.

One reason is that I am resident of South Carolina and it affects me as well as every other resident of the state be they lgbt or heterosexual.

The second reason is because of what I saw on the editorial page of The State, South Carolina's main newspaper.

To put it nicely, Governor Sanford is being destroyed, annihiliated, and figuratively tarred and feathered for his stance against taking stimulus money to help education.

I don't think that I have ever seen an editorial page take such as vocal position. Other than one letter to the editor and a some comments, Sanford has absolutely NO support.

And as well he shouldn't. He was elected to be the guardian of the citizens of South Carolina. And how can you be a guardian if you choose your political future over the needs of those you are elected to serve.

The entire editorial page is here.

But I am also including a link to each editorial, column, and letter to the editor:

The state of South Carolina vs. Gov. Mark Sanford

Online Extra: Sanford driving down GOP?

Leatherman: Budgetary Armageddon

Bolton: Maybe bailouts aren’t so bad after all, governor

Clyburn: A modern-day Alice in Wonderland

Thursday’s Letters to the Editor

It's just unbelievable.
Does the religious right mean to lie on lgbts or are they just too strident?

On the Opposing Views webpage, a huge discussion is underway regarding whether or not the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) is a hate group (I posted about it earlier this week).

I am heavily into the discussion and provided several reasons as to why I feel IFI is a hate group
One commentator brought up an interesting point as an answer to my posting proof of IFI's bad research:

Your argument shows that the group has a habit of using bad data, not that they engage in hate activities. The evidence you site, if verified, only shows that they are not rigorous in their research. For the “knowingly lie” standard to apply you would have to show intent to deceive. Poor research practices do not show intent.

That is a good point. When IFI and other religious right groups cite Paul Cameron's discredited and misinterpret legitimate studies, are they doing it intentionally or are they just being so strident that they aren't aware of what they are doing?

This issue has never been addressed like it should but if you ask me, the poor research practices do say a lot about intent if a grop continues to use the inaccurate and distorted studies even after shown that said studies are wrong.

And in the piece in question that got IFI into trouble, there is somewhat an acknowledgement by Peter LaBarbera that there is a problem, although he tries to blame the alleged "radical homosexual boogeyman" for it:

Paul Cameron's work has been targeted for ridicule by homosexual activists, and he has been demonized by the Left, but this should not discount his findings.

Generally speaking, religious right groups are aware of Cameron's history. I have recounted the story of meeting former Concerned Women for America and Family Research Council veteran Robert Knight in 2004. I asked him point blank why did he cite Cameron's work even after knowing of his history for lying.

Knight's words to be were: “Yes we have used his research. So what?”

Knight, by the way, lashed out at Massachusetts pediatrician Robert Garofalo in 1998 when Garofalo complained that CWA and other religious right groups were distorting his work. Knight (who has never done any work in the field of pediatrics) called Garofalo a "thrall of political correctness." (Boston doctor says ads distorted his work on gays, The Boston Globe, August 4, 1998)

Garofalo's work, by the way, is still being distorted by the Family Research Council.

And then there is this situation:

In 2002, Micah Clark, then the executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, spoke in front of the Indianapolis City Council in order to get them to reject domestic partners health benefi ts for city employees. He quoted a Cameron statistic and was grilled on it by a council member.

This is what he said happened:

“The author of the (domestic partner benefit) bill . . . tried to come at me for using a Paul Cameron study. I diverted that one pretty well by pointing out that I have spoken with Dr. Paul Cameron and her information was wrong. In any event, I said it was published in a well respected peer review journal and the research has not been disproved. I have been waiting for that one for years.” (Indianapolis Rejects Domestic Partner Benefits, Concerned Women for America, August 8, 2002)

Religious right groups (Concerned Women for America, Traditional Values Coalition, American Family Association, etc.) are aware in fact of what they are doing when they misquote legitimate research and especially when they cite Paul Cameron's discredited mess.

The problem is that no one has legitimately put them on the spot about it.