Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Research Council is mad at Sen. Al Franken

The Family Research Council is furious at how Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) rebuked Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery during yesterday's DOMA hearing.

Franken called out Minnery for distorting a 2010 Health and Human Services study to make the case that two-parent heterosexual households are better at raising children than same-sex households:

The study in question, published by a division of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department in 2010, found better health outcomes among children in nuclear families – a point Minnery, senior vice president for public policy, said means children are better off with straight, married parents.

But Franken pointed out that the study’s definition of “nuclear family” does not specify the gender of the parents in such families, suggesting a lack of evidence that same-sex couples’ kids are less healthy than the children of straight couples.

In an email, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins said:

Homosexual activists are gloating over an exchange Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) had with Tom Minnery (of Focus on the Family affiliate CitizenLink) at yesterday's hearing on a bill to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Minnery had cited a December 2010 federal study which showed that children raised in a "nuclear family" have better health outcomes. Franken, however, triumphantly noted that a "nuclear family" was defined (in part) as one headed by "two parents who are married to one another"--not two opposite-sex parents. But did Franken forget the law he wants to repeal? DOMA says, "In determining the meaning of . . . any ruling, regulation, or interpretation o f the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States , the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Since this was a federal study published by a federal agency based on a federal survey conducted by federal (Census Bureau) employees, its definition of "married" is bound by DOMA. Even if, by chance, the interviewers or authors violated that law, the survey data was collected from 2001 to 2007. During that time (and only from mid-2004 on) there was only one state (Massachusetts) in which homosexual couples could "marry." The vast majority of homosexual couples raising children fall in the categories of "unmarried biological or adoptive family," "blended family," or "cohabiting family"--all of which have poorer outcomes for children than the traditional "nuclear family."

Seeing that the Family Research Council had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of this study, Perkins's words are moot.

The words of the lead author of the study, Debra L. Blackwell, Ph.D.,on the other hand, has more credibility. And she said Franken was right:

The survey did not exclude same-sex couples, said Debra L. Blackwell, Ph.D., nor did it exclude them from the “nuclear family” category provided their family met the study’s definition.

The study’s definition of nuclear family is: “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family.”

That means the study does not provide evidence that straight couples’ children necessarily fare better than same-sex couples’ kids, as Minnery claimed.

Perhaps in this case it would have been better for Perkins to pretend that the exchange between Franken and Minnery never happened.

Good thing for the gay community that Perkins doesn't have that much restraint.

Related post - Tom Minnery's lies are commonplace in religious right data

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'Gay barbarians' glitterbomb Bachmann's clinic and other Thursday midday news briefs

Gay ‘Barbarians’ Demand Ex-Gay ‘Discipline’ From Bachmann Clinic - Marcus Bachmann's clinic gets glittered.

Tom Minnery, you were wrong - The author of the study that Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery distorted has issued a public statement. And guess what she said . . .
What a difference - a look at the 1996 DOMA debate on the Hill - It stings a little but it's still good to look back. They wouldn't dare say that crap now.

DOMA: Keith Olbermann Recaps Senate DOMA Debate With Evan Wolfson - And now to add perspective, a look at how things are now.

 Center For Military Readiness Criticized For Lax Oversight- An anti-gay group having tax problems. Doesn't the group know that paying your taxes is the Christian thing to do?

Latest Response Rally Endorser: The Antichrist Is Gay - Aw heck, my cover has been blown!

Lawsuit Challenging Anti-LGBT Environment in Minnesota’s Anoka-Hennepin School District - Excellent news!

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Christian Post article misses the point about 'bigots'

The Christian Post recently came out with an article asking how can Christians who stand against marriage equality not be called "haters" and "bigots."

But based on who the article chose to quote, it seems that those at The Christian Post missed the point:

Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies with the Family Research Council, believes that Christians need to make it clear that they are motivated by love.

"I think that's kind of the major challenge that we face,” he commented to The Christian Post. “We in the pro-family movement ... those of us who are Christians, we know in our hearts that we are motivated by love, not hate. The definition of love is not that you let people do whatever they want.”

Bear in mind this is the same Peter Sprigg who said he would like to see gays exported from the United States.

The article conveniently did not mention that.

And Sprigg also said he thinks "homosexual behavior"  should be criminalized, which is another point the article omitted.

Lastly, Sprigg has been known, on occasion, to manipulate legitimate studies about the gay community to totally distort their meaning. Of course the article omitted that point.

The article also quoted "professional ex-gay" Greg Quinlan:

But what worries Greg Quinlan, president of the Pro-Family Network, is that many Christians aren't standing in opposition to gay marriage for the sake of getting along with those on the other side of the debate.

"I am intolerant,” he said, “but I don't hate. Yes, there is a difference ... We have to turn the definitions around."

"Christians have to understand how to tell the truth in love, but it isn't love until you tell the truth. Now, we have to not be concerned about what other people think of us. We have to stop trying to be nicer than Jesus."

Of course the article didn't talk about the following comment by Quinlan at last year's "Truth Academy," which was run by another supposed Christian, Peter LaBarbera:

“I wasn’t your flaming faggot, you know. I can say that because I’ve been there and done that. You know, the one’s whose wrists are so limp that when the wind blows they slap themselves in the face. I wasn’t one of them,” Quinlan said, as the small audience chuckled.

Maybe it's just me but if you are writing an article about why some "Christians" are considered as "haters," and then omit details about the anti-gay behavior of the "Christians"  whom you freely quote in the article, you are doing a half-assed job of addressing the issue.

This is the second article in two weeks which seems to intentionally avoid the true issue as to why some "Christians" bear the label of "haters" when it comes to gay equality. Last week, an "interfaith" website, Beliefnet, attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center for designating several religious right organizations as hate groups. Beliefnet made it seem that SPLC "unfairly labeled these groups as "haters" because they "merely" disagreed with gay equality. The site did not talk about how the organizations spread propaganda and lies about the gay community.

While the article by The Christian Post did not attack SPLC and did mention the exact reasons why it named certain religious right organizations as hate groups, it did not go into enough detail before opening the floor to representatives of these groups to ramble on about how much they "love" gay folks. And the irony is that it was printed the same day in which a supposed "pro-family" expert was busted in front of Congress for misrepresenting a study to make the case against same-sex households.

Until true Christians address those in their midst who spread lies about the gay community - i.e. we recruit children, we are diseased ridden monsters out to destroy American society, we have a short lifespan, we have lots and lots and lots of sex, we want to wreck the idea of marriage, we want to "force people to accept us" - they should expect the labels of "haters" and "bigots" to be thrown not only with frequency, but also with accuracy.

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