Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Equality California calls out the Family Research Council's lies

From The New Civil Rights Movement comes a lesson in knocking the religious right on its ass:

Equality California (EQCA) today released a video attacking Tony Perkins, head of the certified anti-​gay hate group Family Research Council, for his ties to the KKK, and calls out Perkins’ lies about SB 48, California’s FAIR Education Act that ensures the LGBT community, minorities, and the disabled are fairly included in public school education lessons.

The EQCA video replays Perkins’ FRC video, noting often the “lies lies lies” Perkins tells.
There is a very strong movement under way to stop SB 48, which become effective in January. One group, Stop SB 48, has been very effective at organizing and regularly send out fundraising emails and “notes from the field.”

Last month, opponents of SB 48, the FAIR Education Act, were allowed to collect signatures as a first step to put a repeal referendum on the ballot. Like marriage equality in Maine, SB 48 could be repealed before ever going into effect.

Fortunately, EQCA has put together a strong coalition to protect SB 48, but its a very tight battle.

The rest of the story is at The New Civil Rights Movement webpage, but below is the video and it is awesome:

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Religious right cause celebre backfires and other Wednesday midday news briefs

Students of Florida’s Barfing Teacher Come Foward - The religious right thought they had the perfect cause celebre when Florida high school teacher Jerry Buell was fired for comments he made about marriage equality and then was reinstated. And now, it is slowly but surely backfiring in their faces.

NC: Republicans hold court at press conference touting anti-gay marriage amendment legislation - Will this madness finally prevail in North Carolina?

Let’s Face it – Homophobia is so Gay
- Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out ruminates over the latest scandal involving an anti-gay politician's questionably gay behavior. Is there like one every week? Warning, this link contains a blurred, yet still graphic picture.

Focus On The Family: Basic LGBT Info Is ‘Sexualizing Our Schools’ - Focus on the Family was one of the few major anti-gay organizations not given hate group status by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Watch how the organization attempts to rectify this.

'Porno Pete' LaBarbera tries to correct me and fails miserably - Sorry but I simply HAVE to include my post from this morning because the entire thing is hilarious. A certain religious right leader publicly calls me out and you know I had to respond with the facts. He besmirched my honor and if my "honor" is going to be besmirched, it will be by a man with a HEAVY bank account. LOL

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'Porno Pete' LaBarbera tries to correct me and fails miserably

Peter LaBarbera is angry at me.

The American Family Association's One News Now is probably spooked with me.

It's an interesting controversy which has brewed over a comment I made on One News Now's site.

On the particular piece, the author, Jerry Newcombe, said the following:

I know a man (Matt Barber) who was fired from a job with a Fortune 500 company a few years ago because on his own time, on his own computer, at his own home, he posted a blog expressing his own opinion, opposing same-sex “marriage.” He was confronted by his boss at the office and asked if he was the same Matt Barber as on the blog. He was.

Now those who follow this blog know the story of Matt Barber, who is now affiliated with Liberty University. He was originally employed with AllState Insurance before being fired for writing an anti-gay column while using a company computer and also identifying himself as an employee of the company. Barber was able to become a religious right cause celebre and soon, an active player in this so-called culture war as an employee of Concerned Women for America and now the Liberty Counsel.

I wrote a comment to Newcombe's piece saying the following:

Sorry but Mr. Newcombe is inaccurate about one part. Matt Barber used his company’s computer AND identified himself as an employee of the company [Allstate] in his column. That’s why he was fired.

I should have known that it was strange when not only my comment but the ability to leave any comments was eliminated from the article.

And now I see why. This morning on his site, "Porno Pete" LaBarbera (apparently he hates it when I call him that) put the following comment on his website:

Below is a longer version of an article I posted in Facebook responding to homosexual activist Alvin McEwen, who repeated an oft-used bit of “gay” misinformation about Allstate’s 2005 firing of pro-family advocate Matt Barber. (Barber sits on the Americans For Truth Board, is Associate Dean at Liberty University School of Law, and is Director of Cultural Affairs for the Liberty Counsel.) Alvin is a bitter fellow who — although purporting to factually correct alleged pro-family falsehoods — regularly dishes them out himself (go HERE to see him viciously slander me as “Porno Pete”). In posting a response to an AFA column by pro-family writer Jerry Newcombe (reprinted at bottom), McEwen writes:
Sorry but Mr. Newcombe is inaccurate about one part. Matt Barber used his company’s computer AND identified himself as an employee of the company [Allstate] in his column. That’s why he was fired.
Here is my correction of Alvin’s tendentious “correction”:
Matt Barber is a good friend of mine, a Christian man of high integrity, and a Board Member for my organization, Americans For Truth. As one living in Illinois who was intricately familiar with Matt’s case, I want to set the record “straight” here and correct the lies that homosexual activists like Alvin McEwen repeatedly spew about his unjust firing.
Barber was fired after writing a column (which was published by conservative websites) against the homosexual agenda — on his home computer, on a Saturday. He did NOT identify himself as an employee of Allstate, but a third-party blog publisher did so by mistake. A staffer with the homosexual lobby group Human Rights Campaign then “reported” Barber’s web article to Allstate’s HR depart, and Matt immediately was called in on a Friday afternoon. Ironically, he was told that Allstate “celebrates diversity,” and that his (traditional) values did not reflect those of Allstate. Barber was suspended and informed that he likely would be fired for writing the column. He was then escorted by Allstate security guards off the corporate grounds. Monday morning, Barber was canned over the telephone.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security [see graphic above] investigated the firing and found Barber innocent of misconduct; IDES made this judgment (emphasis theirs): “The claimant was discharged from ALLSTATE INS. CO. because AN OUTSIDE ORGANIZATION HAD COMPLAINED ABOUT AN ARTICLE HE HAD WRITTEN WHILE ON HIS OWN TIME.”
Furthermore, even if Barber had used his company laptop for personal use (which he did not), Allstate policy allowed such personal use — especially for employees who traveled frequently, as did Barber.

Barber sued Allstate and as the trial date approached, Allstate frantically contacted Matt’s attorneys and begged for a cash settlement so that the details of his discriminatory firing would not become public.
Needless to say, Allstate had to pay Barber a very significant sum of money to make the embarrassing scandal go away. Had the case gone forward, Allstate’s blatantly anti-Christian (and anti-conservative, anti-family) employment policies would have been exposed. This would have included Allstate’s self-serving lies designed to discredit Barber, which were disseminated to the media — and which Alvin McEwen cynically regurgitates here. — Peter LaBarbera, Americans For Truth.

First of all, let's look at this charge from LaBarbera:

The Illinois Department of Employment Security [see graphic above] investigated the firing and found Barber innocent of misconduct; IDES made this judgment (emphasis theirs): “The claimant was discharged from ALLSTATE INS. CO. because AN OUTSIDE ORGANIZATION HAD COMPLAINED ABOUT AN ARTICLE HE HAD WRITTEN WHILE ON HIS OWN TIME.”
"Porno Pete" even has a copy of the letter on his site, which I won't reprint here. You can go there to read it if you want. However, that letter had to do with Barber receiving unemployment benefits. The Illinois Department of Employment Security found that Barber did not commit willful misconduct, so he was therefore able to receive benefits.

But in relation to whether or not AllState was correct in firing Barber, the letter is irrelevant.

During the controversy, AllState contended that Barber was fired "because he used the company's information technology systems and other resources for his personal journalism activities, many of which took place on company time."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peter Sprigg's definition of 'love' includes lying, bearing false witness

Peter Sprigg (FRC) routinely publishes misleading studies about gays

Peter Sprigg, a spokesman for the Family Research Council, recently made the following statement on a radio show:

People are afraid of the homosexual activists and they’re particularly afraid of this character assassination that comes in the form of the word ‘hate.’ Nobody wants to be accused of participating in ‘hate’ and so throwing that word ‘hate’ around becomes a trump card even when nothing that we have done can reasonably be called ‘hate.’ On the contrary, everything we do is motivated by love for the people who are hurt by this lifestyle.

Bear in mind that this is the same man who said that he wants to deport gays and lesbians out of the United States:

And also wants to pass laws designed with leading the way to put gays and lesbians in jail:

Right Wing Watch (who provided the transcript and video of Sprigg making his comments) also pointed out several other ways Sprigg has demonstrated his "love" of the gay community:

  • Argued that gays and lesbians shouldn’t be judges because a gay judge can’t “be held up as a role model.”
  • Opposed allowing same-sex partners or their adopted children from collecting their deceased partner or parent’s Social Security benefits.

Now Sprigg has said and done all of these things because he claims that homosexuality is a "dangerous" lifestyle.

This, of course is a lie, but Sprigg's role in furthering this lie needs more examination.

Sprigg, you see, has personally published misleading studies about the gay community

If one took a look at many of these studies (which I have on many occasion and the links are below), you would find a disturbing pattern of a distorting legitimate studies and research and an intentional omission of crucial portions of these studies which would serve destroy Sprigg's thesis of the supposed "dangers of homosexuality."

Sprigg has committed these offenses in studies and papers such as

Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality ,

The Top Ten Harms of Same Sex Marriage,

Federal Report Confirms 'Nuclear Family' Best for Children's Health

His piece, The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality demonstrates a specific example of Sprigg's sleight-of-hand behavior. Amongst other egregious errors, Sprigg takes pro-gay health information totally out of context. Check out this passage by Sprigg:

Even the pro-homosexual Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:

• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”

The GLMA also confirms that:

• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”

Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense.

Now compare what Sprigg said as opposed to what GMLA actually:


“Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”


Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. The likelihood of depression or anxiety may be greater, and the problem may be more severe for those men who remain in the closet or who do not have adequate social supports. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide because of these concerns.


“ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.


Research indicates that lesbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women. This may be due to added stressors in lesbian lives from discrimination. Lesbians need support from each other and from health care providers to find healthy releases, quality recreation, stress reduction, and coping techniques.

I hear that Sprigg is also a minister, so he should have a better idea than most about lying in God's name and bearing false witness.

And if he truly loved the gay community, he would apologize to us for both offenses.

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The anti- marriage equality lies begin in Minnesota and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Flier belier: Debunking MN For Marriage's latest handout - Here we go again. They are beginning their anti-marriage equality campaign in Minnesota with a bunch of lies. Jeremy Hooper debunks every last one.

Marriage Equality - Simple answers to NOM's complicated lies - here is something folks in Minnesota and other places can use, courtesy of Hooper and myself.

El Paso Priest: Calling Gays “Putrid” Constitutes “True Pastoral Care for Homosexuals” - Don't you just love it when folks demonstrate how much they "love" the gay community?

Why Opponents Of Marriage Equality Are Trying To Block The Release Of The Prop 8 Trial Tapes - That's a good question. What are they afraid of?

Fischer: Make Homosexuality "A Criminal Offense" - Somehow I have a feeling that the American Family Association won't lose that hate group status any time soon.

Rick Perry Doesn’t Like Romney Because He’s Too Gay Friendly - Surprising? No.

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Unfair attack on Charlotte Pride does not go unanswered

Last Saturday, Charlotte held its Pride event and it was very successful.

Of course, like so many gay pride events, it did have its protestors. An area minister, Michael Brown, sought to interrupt the event with something he called "God Has A Better Way," in which he and a large number of folks wearing red t-shirts infiltrate the pride event, try to preach to the folks there, and generally attempt to disrupt the festivities.

The attendees at Charlotte Pride have learned to take Brown and his nonsense in stride, not allowing his nonsense to interrupt their day of fun and self-awareness.

Needless to say, Brown had some very pointed comments about this year's Charlotte Pride which he published in the American Family Association's One News Now.

Did I say pointed? I meant to say hilarious. The title of the piece, When Drag Queens Lead the Way gives you a clue as to what direction Brown is headed:

. . . At the Wells Fargo Plaza, drag queens lip-synced to pop music for a cheering crowd. One in a hot pink wig and matching knee-high boots danced to Katy Perry's 'California Girls.'" Say what?

How many other community groups feature prominent performances by drag queens at their events? Can you imagine crowds at an Hispanic Pride event, or Black Pride event, or Asian Pride event -- just to name a few -- being entertained by men wearing dresses (or less), hot pink wigs, and matching knee-high boots? And this is part of the LGBT's strategy "to promote acceptance"? How telling. And how telling that, unmentioned by the Observer, there was a large truck stationed next to the festival offering "Free HIV Testing." Yes, just another typical community event.

 . . .  It is also a bit disconcerting to watch young men greet each other with exclamations of "Hey girl!" before exchanging pecks on the cheek. (Does your average child find it confusing to hear men call each other "girls"?). There were also other men who were, quite sadly, all too conspicuous. They walked around Pride Charlotte in various stages of their sex-change journey, with long hair, female breasts, and undeniably male features -- and all this at an event designed to "promote acceptance" in the wider Charlotte community.

To say the least, I am disappointed with two things. I was unable to attend Charlotte Pride and that's a shame because it sounds like they had a very good time.

Secondly, I am uninspired by Brown's prose. In the immortal words of songstress Peggy Lee - "is that all there is?" If it were "Porno Pete" LaBarbera talking, he would have at least added something sexual.

What's wrong with drag queens wearing hot pink wigs and matching thigh high boots? The important thing is that they match. Can't have a drag queen who doesn't know about color coordination.  And what's wrong with lip-synching to Katy Perry? We don't all do Judy Garland impressions (although between me and you, I do a mean Nina Simone).

And while we are on the subject, Charlotte Pride lasted for several hours. I know that there were speeches and other entertainment besides the very talented drag queens. It's interesting that Brown focuses so much of his animus on them. 

Also to answer Brown's question, SC Black Pride had quite a few number of drag queens performing this year and they were all good.

Lastly that comment about young men greeting each other with exclamations of "Hey Girl" before kissing each other on the cheeks simply cannot be true. He forgot to mention that after we kiss each other on the cheek, we  finger snap in Z-formations.

Now those with common sense, after reading Brown's very vapid interpretation of the events at Charlotte Pride, would simply laugh themselves silly. Brown is obviously attempting - rather pitifully - to claim that the Charlotte Gay Pride event - and by extension - the lgbtq community- are somehow dangers to America and especially children.

He packs his piece with almost every anti-gay stereotype imaginable. Even his snark about HIV testing (which is a very good idea to have at any public event) was a backhanded way to infer about the supposed promiscuity of the gay community. I'm surprised he didn't try to push some nonsense about "recruitment." Or is he saving that for next year?

But Brown's piece has its defenders.

Recently, One News Now - in an effort to drum up more hits to the site - has allowed readers to post comments after articles which would then be filtered to Facebook. Some readers of Brown's piece have expressed shock over the supposed absolute chaos and calamity started by people dancing to folks imitating Katy Perry and gay men greeting their friends. Naturally their comments also question the lgbtq identity in general.

And then there are others, like myself, who are being, what I like to call, the ambassadors of common sense and asking "why is this even a big deal" or "If Brown doesn't like gay pride so much, then why did he go?"

It's a fun discussion. Read it or even better - give your opinions of Brown's piece. In a respectful manner of course.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Family Research Council statement needs a little 'editing'

Tony Perkins, FRC
Last year when the Southern Poverty Law Center named several religious right groups as anti-gay hate groups, many of them united (with the Family Research Council - one of the groups named - leading the way) in a campaign with the semi- catchy title of Start Debating/Stop Hating.

Start Debating/Stop Hating was a way in which these groups attempted to deflect the much-deserved criticism given to them by SPLC for their usage of nasty propaganda and junk science against the gay community. They claimed that they were the victims of a "liberal conspiracy."

Central to this campaign was a mission statement which claimed that FRC - and other groups - were under attack for merely defending "Judeo-Christian" values.

The mission statement was concise, to the point, and full of more pathos than an episode of Lassie. Therefore, I decided to print the mission statement with a little bit of tweaking. FRC's statements are in bold. My additions are below each bold statement.:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination.

" . . . hatred for men, which is very typical of a lesbian experience" - Kristi Hamrick,  October 16, 1996, Family Research Council web site.

"Homosexuals say they don't want the children, but boy they put a lot of energy into going after them." - Robert Knight of the Family Research Council writing in a Focus on the Family newsletter, quoted by People for the American Way, "Hostile Climate," 1997, p.15

"The homosexual rights movement has tried to distance itself from pedophilia, but only for public relations purposes." - "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys," FRC publication, July 1999

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that. The group, which was once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman. How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents “hate groups.” No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate.

"Militant homosexuality is fundamentally opposed to religion, family, and anything that presupposes a natural moral order, a transcendent God, or something else higher than ourselves. The activist homosexual agenda and worldview are fundamentally incompatible with Christianity or any form of true religion, because homosexuality is ultimately narcissism" - THE ASSAULT ON CHRISTIANS BY THE MILITANT HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT, Steven A. Schwalm, Family Research Council.

"In fact, most mothers are more concerned with protecting their children from homosexual activists, who insist on their supposed 'right' to propagandize young schoolchildren." -  Americans for Truth About Homosexuality  press release, July 12, 1998

"Judge Walker has already decided this issue for himself, and has no business putting himself in a place where his own personal value judgments could be substituted for the express will of the people of California. He is Exhibit A as to why homosexuals should be disqualified from public office. Character is an important qualification for public service, and what an individual does in his private sexual life is a critical component of character. A man who ignores time-honored standards of sexual behavior simply cannot be trusted with the power of public office." - American Family Association's Bryan Fischer, August, 2010

These types of slanderous actions have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them,:

We use a lot of hyperbole and I think that's always dangerous. You know, we say things like 'Teachers will be forced to (teach same-sex marriage in schools)!' " he continues. "Well, that's not a completely accurate statement and we all know it isn't, you know?" - Marc Mutty, who led an effort in one of those states - Maine - to stop marriage equality.

 as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement:

"I think fruits are decorative. Hang up where they can be seen and appreciated. Call Wyoming for display instructions." - Tim Ravndal, president of the Montana Tea Party Movement making a "joke" about Matthew Shepard's murder.

According to University of Washington professor Matt Barreto, who directed the poll, the Tea Party's frustration with Washington "is going hand in hand with a frustration and opposition to racial and ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians." - More Than Half Of Tea Party Supporters Say Gays And Lesbians Have Too Much Political Power, The Huffington Post, June 2, 2010

Religious right leader ignores reality and other Monday midday news briefs

I had an awesome, buttkicking post on the Family Research Council all ready for this morning. However thanks yesterday to someone trying to steal my cable, my internet connection got knocked offline and it was bumped in such a way that I couldn't even get hooked up with wireless. But I'm back and not to worry. That post on FRC is upcoming. But now for the news briefs:

SC Pride prepares their 22nd parade on Saturday - That's right. Come Saturday, we will be having our 22nd pride parade in the Palmetto City. And I'm riding on a float. I ain't walking with these feet. By the way, the question posed by this link is kinda dumb, but we are winning.

Concerned Women For America’s Crouse Grows Agitated When Host Contradicts Gay Adoption Claim - Religious right modus operandi - when the proof is shown to their faces, they kick it aside. I would love to see Crouse try that in front of Sen. Al Franken.

'Gee, odd': Another conservative, another misappropriated holy war - Oh Rick Santorum. You are a caution!

GOP Rep Who Promised To Eradicate Homosexuality If He Were God To Challenge Openly-Gay Tammy Baldwin For Senate Seat - Oh this is going to be good!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Homophobe claims that gay people do not exist

Linda Harvey, the former advertising executive who "found Christ" and therefore considers herself a crusader against all things gay, has gone into territory so wild that she has surpassed Matt Barber and "Porno" Pete LaBarbera for lunacy.

Harvey has declared that gay people . . . do not exist:


Harvey: There’s one big fact that’s not backed up. There is no proof that there’s ever anything like a gay, lesbian or bisexual or transgendered child, or teen or human. One of the other things you’re gonna see as I mentioned is a big campaign GLSEN’s gonna roll out this year calling for 'respect,' respect! Not just for people, but for homosexual lifestyle. The PR campaign to hold up gay as a good thing: the lifestyle, not the person, because there are no such humans.

Actually when you think of it, her ramblings are in accordance to the religious right mindset when it comes to the gay community. To them being gay is not a sexual orientation, but an act. A "filthy, wild, passionate, hot, sweaty" act involving lots of sex.

I wish.

According to The New Civil Rights Movement, this is the latest in a string of recent outrageous statements Harvey has made about the gay community:

 . . . also on her weekly radio show, Harvey actually said that ending the concept that people are gay would “make a serious dent” in ending HIV, and called for government shut down of gay bars.

So what could we do to make a serious dent in the HIV and syphilis disease track?,” Harvey had asked. “One obvious approach is to stop promoting homosexual behavior to kids and falsely calling it an identity like race. We could also close down homosexual bars and bathhouses, that would be a start. God never created people to engage in these unnatural acts.”

Harvey has also said schools should ban openly gay and lesbian teachers and classified the It Gets Better Project as “evil.”

Kids should not be put in the confusing position of having a teacher they like and respect in many ways who’s also known to be practicing homosexual behavior,” Harvey said, and added, “Out and proud homosexuals should not have jobs that involve children.”

Seriously there are no way two ways to put it -  Linda Harvey is a homophobic nut. She is so homophobic that she probably won't sing the Christmas carol "Deck the Halls" because of the line about "gay apparel."

I always get exasperated at folks who question the need to focus attention on the ramblings of some religious right characters. "Why are you giving them so much attention," they ask. "Just ignore them."

Well we can't ignore them because some of them - like the Family Research Council -  have too much power to make our lives a living hell. And in Harvey's case, we shouldn't ignore them because there are times when they are our best weapon. Sure, there are people who probably feel the same way Harvey does, but I feel safe to say that the vast majority of folks who, if listening to the above diatribe, would feel that same way I do.

That Linda Harvey is like a Happy Meal with a few fries short of completion.

Sometimes you have to give homophobes free reign to speak. Hell, amplify their voices if you can. Our path to equality lies with not only folks realizing that we are harmless but that many of those who oppose us are basically out of their minds.

Related post: Linda Harvey and Gary Glenn - the sad meeting of two homophobic people

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Know Your LGBT History - Set It Off

Set It Off (1996) is the only case in which the presence of a seemingly stereotypical gay character actually saves the movie.

Set It Off is a "hood movie" in which four black women decide to rob banks because the "system" has done them dirty.

And therein lies the problem. The movie bends over backwards so much in order to showcase how three of them are wronged that the scenes and the characters become ludicrous.

First, there is Frankie (Viveca Foxx) who loses her job at a bank because she forgets the correct procedure of how to handle a robbery. This is probably because the robber blasted a woman right in front of her.

The scene where she is fired is also one where she is grilled by a merciless and uncaring police officer (John McGinley) simply because she knew one of the robbers from her neighborhood.

Did I mention that during this same scene, her clothes are still marked with blood and brain matter from the shooting victim?

Then there is Stonie (Jada Pinkett) who prostitutes herself to a hateful man so that she can get some money for her brother's college tuition, only to find out that her brother is not going to college. And to make matters worse, her brother is later brutally slaughtered by the police in case of mistaken identity.

There is Tisean (Kimberely Elise), a whimpering, simpering single mother who loses her child to a heartless social worker (Anna Maria Horsford) because the child accidentally ingested some chemicals at her job where she takes him because she cannot afford daycare.

And then there is Cleo (Queen Latifah), a stereotypical "butch" lesbian who, luckily for us has no backstory of victimhood. All she wants is to get high, take care of her car, and her girlfriend (big props to the movie for not only devoting time to Cleo's relationship with her girlfriend  but also showing it in a positive light).

Maybe the writer felt that Cleo didn't deserve a backstory. Whatever the case may be, it was up to Queen Latifah to fill in the gaps on Cleo and she does so in an excellent performance that, if the movie was better, would have probably garnered her an Oscar nomination.

Cleo is the spark that the movie needs. It is she who comes up with the idea of robbing banks, it is she who provides the guns, and it is she who saves the group from capture in a wild scene.

That's not to say that she is not without her faults, but that's what makes the performance good. In Cleo, Queen Latifah creates a three-dimensional devil-may-care characterization which is solely missing in movies these days:

This being a "hood movie" means unfortunately that the characters are headed for a sad end. Only one of them survives (Stonie) to escape.

However when Cleo is killed, it is spectacular and sad at the same time. I remember being told by friends who saw the movie at the theatre that the following scene had many women in the audience crying:

Past Know Your LGBT Posts:

Gay equality is NOT a 'white' issue and other Friday midday news briefs

Gays Are Us: Why LGBT Equality Is Not a “White” Issue - Preach the gospel, my brother!

Grant helped anti-gay marriage effort - What the hell?

NOM Stirs Up Islamaphobia: Gays Issue ‘Fatwa,’ Wage ‘Jihad’ Against Christians - Brian Brown, president of NOM, loses his mind. Must be time to beg for money again.

Sexual Orientation Added to Clayton Schools' Non-Discrimination Policies - And the move got a standing ovation, too.

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel - This story NEEDS more attention.

Finally . . . from The Dallas Voice:

Go ahead and laugh. You KNOW you want to.

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The right pushes sad new homosexuality = pedophilia angle

Matt Barber tries to smear the gay community again.
 A few weeks ago, members of the religious right was attempting to connect a polygamy court case to the gay community and marriage equality. Now it's pedophilia. Next month, it will probably be bestiality

While the gay community have been busy with other matters, members of the religious right are perpetrating a slow but consistent march to a claim that acceptance of homosexuality will soon lead to the acceptance of pedophilia.

The key here is that these folks are not saying that pedophilia and homosexuality are connected, but rather are using a faulty "slippery slope" argument, i.e. - "just like the gay community is receiving more acceptance, pretty soon the pedophiles will be getting more acceptance."

It began when the Liberty Counsel's Matt Barber and a researcher by the name of Judith Reisman attended a recent symposium of a group - B4U-Act - who is seeking to  reduce "stigmatization and stereotyping of people who are attracted to children."

Barber is no stranger to the gay community for his offensive anti-gay comments, but Reisman is not that widely known.

All you need to know about her is that she is a former songwriter for the show "Captain Kangaroo" who suddenly became a researcher (she does have a doctorate, but it's in communications). According to writer Terry Krepel, she was given a federal grant of more than $784,000 to study 30 years worth of Playboy magazines. Her findings were dismissed as "paranoid pseudoscientific hyperbole."

Reisman later wrote a silly book accusing sex researcher Alfred Kinsey of child abuse. When the Kinsey Institute easily batted down her charges, she sued it for defamation and emotional distress, claiming that it tried to censor her book. Not only was the case dismissed, but it was dismissed with prejudice, which means Reisman could not re-file it.

One shouldn't worry too much about Reisman, however, because she has made a name for herself in right-wing circles not only through her anti-Kinsey nonsense but also by claiming that gays are recruiting children:

At a May, 1994 conference of Christian right leadership in Colorado Springs described by the Washington Times as "top secret," Reisman introduced her theory of a proselytizing homosexual movement. "I would suggest to you," she told the conference, "that while the homosexual population may right now be one to two percent, hold your breath, people, because the recruitment is loud; it is clear; it is everywhere. You'll be seeing, I would say, 20 percent or more, probably 30 percent, or even more than that, of the young population will be moving into homosexual activity."

Anyway, Reisman and Barber attended this ridiculous symposium of this virtually unknown group and reported on what was said there. Their report was pretty much ignored by folks with common sense.

Naturally this means that the religious right, including the National Organization for Marriage, and other right-wing sources welcomed the report with open arms and publicized it as legitimate.

And now, according to Equality Matters, this now includes Fox News. Apparently publicizing Barber and Reisman's sojourn is the latest in the "slippery slope" angle Fox is trying to push to connect the gay community to pedophilia:

On August 11, the website posted a column by Fox News contributor and anti-gay pseudoscientist Dr. Keith Ablow, in which he compared homosexuality to pedophilia and asserted that both gays and pedophiles could alter their sexual orientations as a result of environmental factors.

On August 25, posted yet another Ablow column  -- "Paving the Way for Condoning Child Rape” -- in which the “Fox News Medical A-Team” member lamented a recent symposium put together by B4U-Act, a group that seeks to reduce the stigmatization and stereotyping of people who are attracted to children:
But, now, there should be no doubt that our culture is poised to begin embracing pedophilia as a lifestyle choice, just like homosexuality. A group of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals called B4U-Act, which has representatives from Harvard and Johns Hopkins, gathered recently in Baltimore to organize their push to change the negative perception of pedophiles and encourage them to get help in a nonjudgmental environment.
While B4U-Act is not representative of mainstream psychiatry, and while the American Psychiatric Association (APA) did not participate in the group’s meeting, psychiatry has a history of caving into cultural pressure to stop defining controversial illnesses as pathological. You won’t even find ego-dystonic homosexuality—meaning, homosexual impulses that cause an individual to feel distressed and which that individual does not want to give into—in the DSM, anymore. [emphasis added]

Take note of the highlighted parts of Ablow's column - B4U-Act is not in the mainstream of psychiatry nor did the American Psychiatric Association participate in the group's symposium. Those are facts.

Ablow's sad speculation about the field of psychiatry is merely a poor job of trying to deflect from those facts.

Equality Matters goes on to say that also published an article - on the front page - about the B4U-Act symposium and made a dubious claim:

Critics of the effort also note that the movement likens its fight for pedophilia acceptance to society's more recent embrace of homosexuality. They warn of a slippery slope to a time when pedophilia is "just another lifestyle choice" that won't warrant criminal charges—and will leave young children at risk.

Equality Matters said that the article did not identify the "critics."

Followers of Fox News - most specifically the televised shows - know that when hosts, such as Megyn Kelly or Gretchen Carlson, say things like critics say or some folks claim, it's usually an introduction for them to sneak in a talking point.

And now  Peter LaBarbera and his hate group, Americans for Truth, is involved. He will be featuring an interview with Barber on the symposium. My guess is that we will be hearing less about the unknown group and more about the so-called "evils of homosexuality."

So it appears that there is an abandoning claiming that gays are pedophiles in lieu of the false claim that "if America accepts homosexuality, pretty soon it will accept pedophilia."

It's a ridiculous claim. A few weeks ago, members of the religious right was attempting to connect a polygamy court case to the gay community and marriage equality. Now it's pedophilia.

Next month, it will probably be bestiality.

It's always amazing to me how people whose goals are always destructive can think of so many avenues to  pursue them.

The right's attempt to connect an unknown group's desire to push pedophilia to the very real legitimacy of same-sex relationships and families says less about homosexuality and more about their desperation to smear the gay community.

It's hilarious on one point because it's doomed to fail. However, it's sad on two other points.

The first point is how the gay community yet again has to endure the pedophile smear. The second point is personal. It just pains me to realize that folks like Barber and Reisman are making gobs of money by appealing to the ignorance of the mysterious, but much-moneyed folks who fund their mess.

Oh well. That adage of  "God generally shows what he thinks about money but whom he gives lots of it to" definitely applies here.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Rick Perry's homophobia problem is more serious than originally thought

In 2006, Governor Perry stood on a stage with a pastor who said that only one percent of all gays and lesbians will live to see old age and that homosexuality is a "breeding ground for disease."

 During the 2008 election, continuous scrutiny of the relationship between then candidate Obama and his pastor, the controversial Jeremiah Wright, opened a new door in how deeply the press scrutinizes not only a candidate's faith but his or her relationship with controversial religious leaders.

Almost four years later into this quandry steps Texas Governor Rick Perry. Even before his star was on the horizon as the front runner for the Republican nomination (at least for now), there were serious questions about the religious leaders he aligned himself with.

And his recent prayer event didn't quell any matters because it featured many questionable individuals including the American Family Association (which had been declared as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) and various leaders who believed a multitude of strange things, including the idea that demons rule the Democratic Party (Alice Patterson) or that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol (John Benefiel).

It's safe to say that if Obama had a singular Jeremiah Wright problem, then  Perry has a multi-Jeremy Wright problem.

But it is in the area of gay equality in which these problems stand out. At the prayer rally, Perry aligned himself with many figures who have viciously opposed gay equality (amongst them were Tony Perkins from another hate group - the Family Research Council and Cindy Jacobs, who once claimed that the repeal of DADT was killing birds.)

But this isn't the first time Perry has teamed with pastors to not only stand against gay equality but verbally bash the gay community. According to the Austin Chronicle in 2005, Perry attended a private two-day event designed to garner him support for the office of governor and rally around a vote against gay marriage in the state.

An attendee of the event - who remained anonymous - taped it and presented it to the Chronicle. According to the Chronicle:

Though the audiotape is of poor quality, there is no mistaking the fever-pitched gay-bashing theme of most of the speeches. The group is fashioned after a similar evangelical organization in Ohio that worked to pass that state's marriage amendment in November and helped produce a narrow victory there for President Bush. Critics accuse the Ohio group of operating in tandem with the Bush presidential campaign, managed by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now running for Ohio governor in 2006. Blackwell was one of the featured speakers in Austin. Other guests who spoke in Austin included two key players in the Republican Party of Texas – Vice Chair David Barton, a self-described Christian nationalist, and former executive director Susan Weddington, who now heads Perry's faith-based initiatives program. Weddington called Perry "a spiritual giant."

Additionally, Ohio evangelical Pastor Rod Parsley lambasted the "homosexual agenda" and railed against Islam; Arlington minister Dwight McKissic – other than Blackwell, apparently the only African-American speaker at the event – delivered a hellfire condemnation of gays and lesbians, climaxing his address with the biblical story of the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and declaring, "God has another match!" The crowd roared. "He said the most horrible things," the attendee said. "He was the most difficult to listen to." 

The article also said that while Perry didn't make any  "directly incendiary comments," he made it clear that he supported the anti-gay marriage amendment.

The bill passed, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, when Perry signed the bill the next year, one pastor had some very interesting comments in defense of not only the bill, but also Gov. Perry - a defense which involved some seriously venomous and untrue comments about the gay community:

Nearly 600 evangelical Christians packed into the gymnasium of the Calvary Christian Academy in Forth Worth, Texas, to witness a ceremony on a Sunday in June. With a flourish of his pen, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the first bill while the televangelist at his side praised Jesus.

Gov. Perry shared the stage with celebrity Pentecostal faith healer Rob Parsley, whose television program is carried by 1,400 stations nationwide. In the audience were the leaders of two prominent family values action groups: Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

The first document Perry signed that day was a parental notification law requiring girls under 18 to obtain parental permission before having an abortion. The second proposed that the state constitution be amended to specifically prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying. (Texas voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment this Nov. 8.)

Parsley heaped praise on Gov. Perry for "protecting the children of Texas from the gay agenda." Then he rattled off a series of shocking statistics: "Gay sex is a veritable breeding ground for disease," he said. "Only 1% of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States of America is 43 years of age. A lesbian can only expect to live to be 45 years of age. Homosexuals represent 2% of the population, yet today they're carrying 60% of the known cases of syphilis."

The televangelist did not reveal where he got those numbers.

The article does on to say what many in the gay community probably already know about those phony numbers. They are the results of the discredited studies of Paul Cameron - a man who once claimed that gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums.

The point is this - while it is fun to laugh at Michele Bachmann's dodging of her questionable past of anti-gay activism (because let's face it - girlfriend doesn't have a chance in hell of winning any presidential election), more attention needs to be paid to Perry.

While the gay community is distracted by the antics of Bachmann and her husband, the real danger to our equality is trying to sneak into the Oval Office..

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Marriage equality = bestiality? and other Thursday midday news briefs

Perkins: Homosexuality Is "Man Shaking His Fist In The Face Of God" - For those needing to keep score, according to Perkins, homosexuality is a great sin against God but lying on the gay community is a-okay with the Man upstairs.

Christian Broadcaster Warns Parents That 'Glee' Feeds Kids a 'Steady Diet' of Homosexuality: VIDEO - Oh heck! Who told him? Geez how can the gay community take over American society when we have so many blabbermouths?

I'll ask: Why's NOM telling supporters to fear DADT repeal? - Okay why is NOM jumping into the situation regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

New York Clerk: Same-Sex Marriage Could Lead To Bestiality - I just don't understand some folks who call themselves Christians.

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Eddie Long's accusers speak out even after settlement

From one of my online buddies, Rod 2.0 Beta comes the news that two of the men who accused Atlanta pastor Eddie Long of sexual coercion are coming forward, even after settling the case for an undisclosed huge amount of money. Why are they coming forward? Just watch the video:

Related posts:

Anti-gay pastor Eddie Long's fifth accuser in lawsuit

Eddie Long scandal underscores failure of the black church

Eddie Long scandal - Chronology of what has happened and where we are now  

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Family Research Council will continue to lie even after GLSEN embarrassment

No matter how the Family Research Council tries to spin the controversy regarding GLSEN's cease-and-desist letter, it will remain as a well-deserved kick in the organization's ego.

I don't know what's worse for FRC - the fact that it quietly reshot the accusatory video or throughout the entire situation, it has given no comment thereby giving credibility to the belief that the organization knew that it had lied on GLSEN.

No doubt about it, this embarrassment proves that FRC does deserve its hate group status given by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

My guess is that the organization will continue to dodge the GLSEN controversy and continue to lie on the gay community. And I know this by looking on its webpage.

In the section of FRC's site talking about Human Sexuality, the organization is pushing a brochure written by Peter (gays should be exported out of the United States) Sprigg called The Top Ten Myths about Homosexuality.

Of course the brochure is junk. I wrote on it last year and I said the following:

According to Sprigg:

The homosexual movement is built, not on facts or research, but on mythology. Unfortunately, these myths have come to be widely accepted in society—particularly in schools, universities and the media. It is our hope that by understanding what these key myths are—and then reading a brief summary of the evidence against them—the reader will be empowered to challenge these myths when he or she encounters them.

According to Sprigg, these "myths" include the following:

  • People are born gay.
  • Sexual orientation can never change.
  •  Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.
  • Homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

At first glance, Ten Myths looks legitimate. However, a more intensive look reveals it to be a mishmash of inaccurate theories, cherry-picked work, and studies taken out of context created to justify homophobia

The following are just a few of the problems with Ten Myths:

1. Ten Myths repeats the lie that the Robert Spitzer study proves that homosexuality is changeable, excluding the fact that Spitzer has said on more than one occasion that his research was being distorted.

2. Ten Myths utilizes the work of  the organization National Association for  Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The website Truth Wins Out calls NARTH  a discredited “ex-gay” fringe organization that peddles fraudulent “cures” for homosexuality.

According to Truth Wins Out, several NARTH members have been embroiled in controversies including:

Gerald Schoenwolf, PhD, a member of NARTH’ “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a piece on the group’s website that seemed to justify slavery

NARTH psychiatrist Joseph Berger, MD, another member of its “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a paper encouraging students to “ridicule” gender variant children.

Also, according to Truth Wins Out:

NARTH’ co-founder, Joesph Nicolosi encourages male clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as “dude”. NARTH therapists have been known to practice rubber band therapy, where a gay client is made to wear a rubber band and snap it on his wrist when sexually stimulated. It is a mild form of aversion therapy meant to “snap” the client out of the moment of attraction. NARTH members have also been known to practice “touch therapy”, where a client sits in the therapist’ lap for up to an hour, while the therapist caresses him.

Earlier this year, another member of NARTH, George Rekers, resigned from the organization after caught coming from a vacation overseas with a "rentboy."

3. Ten Myths cites Ex-gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation by Stanton L. Jones and Mark A Yarhouse as proof that people can change their sexual orientation. However in 2009, the American Psychological Association repudiated this study for bad methodology. Furthermore, Ten Myths does not address the conclusion by the APA last year that programs created to change a person's several orientation does not work.

4. Ten Myths pushes the inaccuracy that a man who molests a boy is automatically gay even though the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America, all say that the homosexuality and pedophilia are not linked

5. But the most egregious inaccuracy in Ten Myths - and also something that says a lot about the mindset of its author, Peter Sprigg - is the following passage:

Even the pro-homosexual Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:

• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”

The GLMA also confirms that:

• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”

Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense.

So Sprigg's point is that the lgbt orientation itself is indicative of negative behaviors (i.e. drug and alcohol abuse) and not the homophobia that lgbts face.

But strange enough, the source which he cites - the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association - says that homophobia is the reason for many of these health problems. Sprigg deliberately omits information pointing this out:


“Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”


Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. The likelihood of depression or anxiety may be greater, and the problem may be more severe for those men who remain in the closet or who do not have adequate social supports. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide because of these concerns.


“ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.


Research indicates that lesbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women. This may be due to added stressors in lesbian lives from discrimination. Lesbians need support from each other and from health care providers to find healthy releases, quality recreation, stress reduction, and coping techniques.

So what does this prove? It proves that FRC will freely lie on the gay community until it gets caught. And then most likely it will try to dodge the controversy.

What can the gay community do about this? We continue to expose them. We continue to not only remind people that FRC is a hate group, but we also remind them why FRC is a hate group. We remind people of things like the GLSEN controversy and Sprigg's homophobic comments every chance we get.

No matter how much money or influence FRC may have. No matter how many networks its spokespeople can appear on. No matter how large its mailing list may be, the simple fact of the matter is that the truth is on our side.

And sometimes, truth is all you need.

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Huffington Post taking serious look at NOM's disclosure violations and other Wednesday midday news briefs

National Organization For Marriage Repeatedly Rebuked For Disclosure Violations - This is BIG. The Huffington Post is taking a serious look at NOM's disclosure violations. About time too. My writing arm was getting tired.

MEMO: Circumventing campaign finance law for donor secrecy
- And if you want a detailed history of which states NOM has tried to dodge disclosure laws, go here.

NOM's featured press conference speaker: 'There is a direct connection between earthquakes and homosexuality' - Sorry for the third NOM-related item but this is a hoot. A NOM affiliated rabbi blames the gay community for yesterday's earthquakes.

NJ School District Pulls Gay-Themed Books From Summer Reading List - Their explanation was that their aim is not causing controversy but getting students to read. They failed on the first point but I bet they have succeeded on the second.

INDIANA: Male Hooker Hiring Lawmaker Won't Resign, Says "I'm Not Gay!" - That's like saying "I'm not gay. But those annoying parts of my body are."

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GLSEN forces Family Research Council to change fraudulent video

Last week, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) issued a cease-and-desist letter via its attorneys to the Family Research Council "demanding that FRC cease distribution and publication of a video clip containing false and defamatory statements about GLSEN, as well as any other similar false and defamatory statements that may be contained in a longer video associated with that video clip."

The cease-and-desist letter has to do a video in which Tony Perkins, head of FRC, and Brian Camenker, head of the Massachusetts anti-gay group Mass Resistance claimed that GLSEN and the Massachusetts Public Schools distributed an explicit safe-sex guide called The Little Black Book to fifth to ninth graders at a conference in 2005.

This story had been debunked by several groups, including Media Matters .

If one were to look at the video now, he/she would see the following:

The new video (seen below) does not say that GLSEN had anything to do with distributing The Little Black Book. However it continues to refer to Brian Camenker regarding GLSEN and repeats the nonsense regarding "Fistgate," a controversy which Camenker played a huge role in.

To get the true story on "Fistgate," click on the link. Needless to say the controversy, like the original claim about The Little Black Book which FRC was forced to take back, is a lie.

I should also mention that Camenker's group, Mass Resistance, is also Southern Poverty Law Center declared hate group, just like FRC.

The bottom line is this - why should anyone believe any claim about GLSEN coming from FRC?  The organization's reponse to GLSEN's cease-and-desist letter clearly showed that it erred (intentionally?) in its claims about GLSEN and The Little Black Book.

And FRC didn't even have the good Christian grace to apologize. Instead the organization takes the tone of "we may have been wrong about that charge, but these new charges prove our point."

Not true, FRC.  Your repeated attacks on GLSEN only prove yourself to be a homophobic, lying  group hiding behind the mask of Christian integrity.

A killer wearing the facial skin of his victim would look better than you right now.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poor study used to defend DOMA gets worse

Earlier today, I mentioned how Speaker of the House John Boehner's hired team of lawyers was using bad research to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

I zeroed in on a poor study, No Difference?: An Analysis of Same-Sex Parenting. which was a part of the team's documentation. This study, written by George Dent, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, contained many errors, including citing the work of discredited researchers such as Paul Cameron and George Rekers.

I also made note that the Dent's study also cited work from the American College of Pediatricians, a group designed to pass along anti-gay junk science as fact.

In fact, I said the following about Dent's citation of ACP material:

The particular study by the ACP cited by Dent, Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, is filled with several errors which I talked about two years ago, including:

1. Outdated work

2. Extreme distortion of studies not meant by to used to gauge the effects of same-sex parenting.

3. And researcher complaints.

In citing Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, Dent tries to pull a double deception. Not only does he cite this poor study done by ACP, but he actually takes some of the individual bad work from the study and cites it on its own throughout his study in general.

It is here that I want to go into more detail.

As I said before, not only does Dent cite the study cited by ACP, but he also pulls out material from the study and cites it in other parts of his own study, thereby becoming guilty of the same errors committed by the ACP, including:

1. Outdated sources - Both the ACP study and Dent's study cite the following two references as proof that gay couples are more apt to be less faithful:

David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison, The Male Couple: how relationships develop (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1984)

A. P. Bell and M. S. Weinberg, Homosexualities: a study of diversity among men and women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978)

But neither study can be used to generalize about the gay community. The authors of The Male Couple said:

“We always have been very careful to explain that the very nature of our research sample, its size (156 couples), its narrow geographic location, and the natural selectiveness of the participants prevents the findings from being applicable and generalizable to the entire gay male community.”

A passage in Homosexualities clearly says:

“. . . 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.”

2. Extreme distortion of studies not meant by to used to gauge the effects of same-sex parenting -  Both the ACP study and Dent's study cite the following study to claim that gay men cannot be monogamous and are not good child rearers:

Maria Xiridou et al., The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection in Amsterdam (Editor's note - Dent made an error in giving the name of this study in his paper. He called it Maria Xiridou et al., The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection in America. This is inaccurate because the study took place in Amsterdam. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here.)

From this study, both ACP and Dent claimed - men in these partnerships had an average of eight casual partners per year.

But the Xiridou study only looked at casual relationships between gay men. It had nothing to do with the lesbian population and certainly nothing to do with children in lgbt households. Xiridou's study was designed to "access the relative contribution of steady and casual partnerships to the incidence of HIV infection among homosexual men in Amsterdam and to determine the effect of increasing sexually risky behaviours among both types of partnerships in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy."
For this study, Dr. Xiridou received her information from the Amsterdam Cohort Study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS Among Homosexual Men.

Xiridou's study cannot even be used gauge an effect of marriage equality because the researchers conducting the Amsterdam Cohort Study of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and AIDS Among Homosexual Men studied 1,800 gay men between the years of 1984- 2001.

Same-sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001.  Wouldn't that make her study useless for defending DOMA?

3. Researcher complaints - Both the ACP study and Dent's study cites the work of Dr. Judith Stacey and Dr. Kyle Pruett. On several occasions, both Stacey and Pruett have complained about how their work has been distorted by the religious right to demonize the gay community.

Keeping all of this in mind, I have a question:

How much are we (the taxpayers) paying for this mess?

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Bigot claims that gay 'gyrating nude bodies' will ruin America and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Boehner's DOMA defense contains junk science, bad sources

Government's defense of DOMA contains references to the work of Paul Cameron and George Rekers

Yesterday, it was discovered that one of the experts,  Professor Lisa Diamond, cited by Speaker of the House John Boehner's legal team in their defense of DOMA complained that her work was being distorted.

Boehner's team is defending DOMA against Edie Windsor, an 81-year-old woman suing the federal government for not recognizing her union with her late partner.

The portion having to do with Lisa Diamond's work is in documentation provided by the lawyer chosen to defend DOMA, Paul Clement (see the documentation here.) Clement is using this documentation as an attempt to get the case dismissed and for the judge to deny Windsor's motion for summary judgment.

Diamond's complaint is detrimental to this pursuit.  But I think I have found another potentially huge problem.

There is a portion of Clement's documentation which bears much scrutiny. It is the section called "Plaintiff Misstates the Science on Same-Sex Parenting" and it is a huge mess.

Part of this section (pg. 24) cites George W. Dent, Jr., No Difference?: An Analysis of Same-Sex Parenting.

Dent is a law professor at Case Western Reserve University who has written many negative papers on marriage equality and homosexuality in general. In the paper cited by Boehner's legal team, he pulls out all of the stops to make the case that same-sex parenting is inferior to heterosexual parenting, even the citing of  folklore:

Every child with homosexual guardians has lost at least one biological parent. Loss of a parent is universally regarded as a great misfortune. If the child has one biological parent, the other adult is a step-parent. In fables step-parents are typically hostile to their step-children.

If you pardon me for being so bold, anyone who takes Dent's paper as credible is dealing in folklore themselves. There are several problems with it including:

On page four, Dent cites both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, both discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies and Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year's scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a "rentboy."

On page two, Dent cites the work of Walter Schumm's study Children of Homosexuals More Apt To Be Homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data.

Schumm's study was criticized for using the same false methodology as Cameron's work. i.e. citing sources "from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on"

Furthermore, in 2008, Rekers and Schumm testified for Florida's gay adoption ban. The judge overseeing the case, Cindy Lederman, criticized both of them. She said about Rekers:

"(His) testimony was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence. Dr. Rekers' beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions that are not consistent with science. Based on his testimony and demeanor at trial, the court cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy."

And about Schumm, she said:

" (He) integrates his religious and ideological beliefs into his research," citing several of his writings, including one with Rekers, in which a theological argument against homosexuality is offered."

Regarding Cameron, Dent's paper not only cites him directly, but also indirectly.

On page 13, Dent cites a book called Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt to make criticisms about gay health. However, Schmidt is not a credible researcher in the field of gay health. He is a professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and according to Rev. Mel White of the group Soulforce, Schmidt cited Cameron's discredited studies many times in Straight & Narrow (5th letter to Jerry Falwell.)

Another huge problem with Dent's paper is on page 16 when it cites a paper by the American College of Pediatricians (Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?).

The American College of Pediatricians is not a credible organization, but an organization created to give credibility to junk science about the gay community. Last year, over 14,000 school district superintendents in the country were sent a letter by ACP inviting them to peruse and use information from a new site, Facts About Youth. The site claimed to present "facts" supposedly not tainted by "political correctness."  Of course these were not facts, but ugly distortions about the gay community, including:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes

The particular study by the ACP cited by Dent, Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, is filled with several errors which I talked about two years ago, including:

1. Outdated work

2. Extreme distortion of studies not meant by to used to gauge the effects of same-sex parenting.

3. And researcher complaints.

In citing Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time for Change?, Dent tries to pull a double deception. Not only does he cite this poor study done by ACP, but he actually takes some of the individual bad work from the study and cites it on its own throughout his study in general.

One has to wonder what other "surprises" Boehner's defense of DOMA contains. They may not be accurate but they are certainly entertaining.

Related post: 

Why is Boehner using distorted work to defend DOMA?

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