Tuesday, February 22, 2011

National Organization for Marriage makes the case for being an anti-gay hate group

The constant refrain of the anti-gay group the National Organization for Marriage is that they are unfairly being called bigots and haters "simply" because of their opposition to gay marriage.

But, just like when the Family Research Council makes this claim, NOM isn't telling the entire story. Their opposition to gay marriage only scratches the surface.

Just like almost every organization claiming to stand up for morality and "Judeo-Christian" ethics, NOM is slyly pushing anti-lgbt propaganda which has been consistently refuted.

Take for example, the following piece on its blog:

 If you followed the link provided by NOM's blog, you would find a piece written by Mike McManus published in the Daily Reporter.

The information in his piece is highly flawed. Take this passage for example:

 . . . but one study reports 80% of men and 86% of women have been faithful to their spouses for life.

By contrast, a 1978 study found that 75 percent of white, gay males claim to have had more than100 male sex partners. In fact 15 percent claimed over 500 partners and 28 percent said they have had more than 1,000!

Is this an atmosphere in which children should be raised? I think not. The media portrays gay marriages with children as normal. They are not.

Of course McManus is comparing two different studies - one involving married couple and the other involving gay couples who are not married. And he conveniently does not tell anyone the year of the study involving heterosexual couples. That's because it was published in 1997:

A telephone survey conducted for Parade magazine of 1,049 adults selected to represent the demographic characteristics of the United States found that 81 percent of married men and 85 percent of married women reported that they had never violated their marriage vows.

It would seem that McManus rounded off the numbers.

Now let's talk the 1978 study he cited concerning gay men. As admitted by McManus, the study was published over 30 years ago. The study was a part of a book entitled Homosexualities which only looked a certain portion of the lgbt population (gay men in the city of San Francisco). It also did not look at same-sex households, so  McManus is inaccurate in using it to discredit same-sex households raising children.

In addition, the authors of Homosexualities (Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg) said that their book should not be used to generalize about all gays in general:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

And if that isn't bad enough, McManus continues to cite bad work:

Second, gay sex is physically harmful. “The medical consequences of gay promiscuity is that gays have a greatly increased likelihood of contracting HIV/AIDS, syphilis and other STDs,” writes Dr. John Diggs Jr. in “The Health Risks of Gay Sex,” published by the Corporate Resource Council.

One study estimated a 20-year-old gay male has a 50 percent chance of becoming HIV positive by age 55. Gay men contract syphilis at 3-4 times the rate of heterosexuals. A Seattle study found that 85 percent of syphilis cases were among homosexuals.

I've written about Diggs's flawed study before so allow me to skip to the main points of why it's bad work:

  • Diggs cites a Canadian study twice in order to claim that gays have a shorter lifespan than heterosexuals. But his citation of the study is a mischaracterization. In 2001, the six original researchers (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. O’Shaughnessy, Julion Montaner, and Martin T. Schechter) who conducted that study went on record saying that religious conservatives (like Diggs) was distorting their work.
  • In another section entitled Physical Health, Diggs claims that gays are victims of “gay bowel syndrome.” Gay Bowel Syndrome is an obsolete medical term and even the CDC does not use it. In fact, if one was to look at the endnotes of Diggs’ study, he would find that two of the sources he quoted concerning “gay bowel syndrome” were from articles in published in 1976 and 1983, which is consistent with the years that the term existed. One last source was a letter to the editor printed in 1994 but Diggs does not make it clear as to the circumstances surrounding it.
  • Diggs uses convenience sample studies, like those conducted in STD clinics, claiming that they are indicative of the gay population at large.
  • Diggs claims that there are five distinctions between heterosexual and homosexual populations including levels of promiscuity, physical health, mental health, lifespan, and monogamy. However, he spends very little time comparing the two dynamics (heterosexual and homosexual populations.) He uses all of his time castigating gay populations.
  • Diggs uses an out of date book, The Gay Report (published in 1979) to claim that gays are engaging in deviant sexual practices. Only once does he attempt to tie the alleged deviant practices of gays in 1979 to present day; and to do so, he cites two events which took place regarding bondage workshops. However, there is a strong indication that heterosexuals took part in these events as well as gays. Diggs ignores this dynamic.

You will recognize that in his piece, McManus referred to the same distortion as Diggs regarding the supposed "short lifepan" of gay men.

The irony is that some of the falsehoods in McManus's piece are exactly the reason why the Southern Poverty Law Center  called out groups like the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council for passing along anti-gay propaganda.

The National Organization can't have it both ways. Either the organization does aid and abet anti-gay hate groups in pushing homophobic propaganda, and therefore can be labeled as bigoted or the group can disown this propaganda, starting with McManus's piece which it gave a platform to.

There is NO third way.

Related posts:

National Organization for Marriage called out AGAIN for distortive tactics

PolitiFact catches anti-gay group NOM in a huge lie about gay marriage and children

Big hat tip to Goodasyou.org

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