Tuesday, December 07, 2010

More religious right attacks on SPLC fail to yield results

The attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center by religious right groups continue and like the others, the new attacks are not only pitiful, but give ammunition to the idea that the SPLC was correct in branding these organizations as anti-gay hate groups..

This time, the attacks are coming from Peter LaBarbera, head of the group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (surnamed Porno Pete by members of the lgbt community for his "penchant" of going to subcultural leather events, taking pictures, and describing in intimate details all of the "interesting" encounters he saw there between gay men while ignoring the heterosexuals attending said events) and Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute.

Conveniently, both groups have been profiled as anti-gay hate organizations by SPLC for their attempts to smear the lgbt community through junk science or outright lies.

LaBarbera said the following:

The leftist SPLC is now slandering conservative, Christian and Tea Party groups by mislabeling them as “hate groups” on a par with genuine, fringe hate groups like the KKK. American taxpayers should insist that the federal government have no role in legitimizing the SPLC, which has politicized “hate” and turned it into a fund-raising business to demonize conservatives – including mainstream pro-family groups that oppose homosexual activism.

LaBarbera's whining about being unfairly smeared for supposedly simply standing against homosexuality is rather ironic. Days before, he published the following picture on his site:


The man in this doctored photo, for those who don't know, is openly gay Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA). LaBarbera put this awful thing on his page to illustrate a ridiculous phony panic he made earlier about gay TSA agents getting their "thrills" by feeling up men.

Seems to me that there is no difference between this picture and a photo of a black man with a toothy grin biting into a huge slab of watermelon.

For all of LaBarbera's posturing about being "persecuted due to his supposed Christian beliefs, it's things like this picture which more than makes the case for SPLC.

Higgins (Illinois Family Institute) took it upon herself to attempt to debunk SPLC's list of anti-gay myths in a piece below LaBarbera's whining. However, she doesn't seem to be familiar the rules of debunking claims, especially the first rule that if you debunking a claim, you simply must address the claim.

You read that right. She doesn't even try to debunk SPLC's anti-gay myths more than she offers a weak explanation as to why there is nothing wrong believing these myths.

For example:

SPLC - MYTH # 1
Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals.


According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men.


Anti-gay activists who make that claim allege that all men who molest male children should be seen as homosexual. But research by A. Nicholas Groth, a pioneer in the field of sexual abuse of children, shows that is not so. Groth found that there are two types of child molesters: fixated and regressive. The fixated child molester — the stereotypical pedophile — cannot be considered homosexual or heterosexual because “he often finds adults of either sex repulsive” and often molests children of both sexes. Regressive child molesters are generally attracted to other adults, but may “regress” to focusing on children when confronted with stressful situations. Groth found that the majority of regressed offenders were heterosexual in their adult relationships.

HigginsThe SPLC thinks that the belief that same sex parents harm children constitutes hatred. The first problem is that Schlatter and Steinback fail to define harm. If one believes that homosexuality is morally flawed, then a household centered on a morally flawed relationship cannot be beneficial.


It is entirely possible that a brother and sister in an incestuous relationship or that polyamorist parents could raise children, providing for their physical needs, comforting them, and teaching them their ABCs. But most of society believes that such relationships would harm children because they would teach children that incest or polyamory are morally permissible. Would Schlatter and Steinback include organizations on their “hate groups” list that propagate the belief that incestuous parents or poly-parents harm children?

As I pointed out in an earlier post, in its profiles and list of anti-gay myths, SPLC cited many sources including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, The Child Molestation and Research Institute, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Organization of Male Sexual Victimization, Nicholas Eberstadt, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, The Palm Center, and Richard J. Wolitski, an expert on minority status and public health issues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For her supposed debunking, Higgins cited only one source (and it was the distortion of the 1997 Oxford study which supposedly said that gay men have a short life span. In an absolute bizarre move on her part, Higgins refutes her own point that gay men have a short life span by also citing the 2001 complaint of these researchers that religious right groups were distorting their work).

Higgins's entire argument seems to be "yes we say all of those awful things about lgbts .  . . but . . . but . . . "

At the end of the piece, LaBarbera and Higgins tries to shift the argument by providing links to article that supposedly demonize SPLC.

But I didn't bother to read those links. After seeing the depths of duplicity LaBarbera and Higgins sunk to in order to defend their own organizations, I have a problem with believing anything they say.

You see that's the problem of being caught in a lie. People have a problem with believing anything that you say.

And it's a much deserved denouement for LaBarbera, Higgins and the rest involved in anti-gay groups.

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1 comment :

ColdCountry said...

Pete's one to talk about mislabeling things after what he did with that pic you show, not to mention the way he defaced Jeremy Hooper's wedding picture. Pete is such a vile, petty little man, and his sophomoric attempts at stirring up hate and discontent are pathetic.