Thursday, December 13, 2012

Republicans secretly authorized additional $500,000 for faulty DOMA defense

Republicans in Congress are starting to cheese me off. They want to cut monies on Social Security and Medicaid, while at the same time doing the following, via Think Progress:

It has come to light that House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA) secretly approved a $500,000 increase to a contract with a private law firm to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court. While the increase was approved in September, neither the public nor the Democratic House minority was informed until this week, Roll Call reports. The contract now authorizes Bancroft PLLC and former Solicitor General Paul Clement (R) to spend up to $2 million in to defend DOMA — the second increase to what was originally a $1 million cap. The U.S. Department of Justice stopped defending the 1996 law in February 2011 after determining the law to be in conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

Two million dollars in an attempt to deny gays the right to marry. And if that's enough to get you angry, remember the fact that Clement, their lawyer, is using faulty research and tactics in his case. I wrote about this last year but let's recap:

1. Clement tried to sneak in the testimony of former NOM chair Maggie Gallagher in a way which would have kept her from being cross-examined.

2. A professor cited by Clement in a brief defending DOMA, Lisa Diamond, complained that her work was being distorted.

3. Clement is also citing - in a second hand fashion - junk science from discredited researchers. In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr.

But Dent's work - which Clement uses -  cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies. He has published work which claimed, among other nauseating false things, that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums. (Editor's note-  the piece Cameron cited to make this claim - The Straight Dope - actually said that this claim was not true. Cameron dishonestly "flipped the script" to make it seem that The Straight Dope was affirming this claim.)

Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year's scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a "rentboy."

Also, Dent cited 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 Amazon.com"

Furthermore, Dent cited 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.)

And last, but not least, Dent cited the work of the American College of Pediatricians. 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.

If this isn't enough to get you angry at Boehner and company, then you need to check your pulse. You may not have one.

2 comments :

Mykelb said...

Exactly why the religious nutcases should never, ever get into any form of office including school boards, county office, state or national office. They use their own religious bias to make policy instead of credible scientific evidence. If we allow these people to continue, someone is gonna get dead.

Chuck Cortes said...

Why I understand the stupidity of these people in the Republican party, stating that religious people shouldn't be in the Govt is probably the single dumbest thing I have heard because most of the country is religious in some way and I don't see any scientific proof that Atheist people would have a better head on their shoulders when it comes to politics. Regardless of religious belief or not we need to attack these people by their actions not their faith.