Monday, April 01, 2013

Dave Agema saga exposes the lies of the anti-gay right

The saga of Dave Agema, the Michigan Republican leader who pushed bad junk science about the lgbt community last week, continues. From Talking Points Memo:

After standing by an anti-gay Facebook post last week, Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema on Sunday took to the social networking site again to claim there are "reems (sic) of studies showing the negative health affects (sic)" of homosexuality. According to a release from Grand Traverse County Republican precinct delegate Dennis Lennox, Agema was responding to a petition that urged the Republican Party to increase inclusivity.

According to Agema, he has "reams of studies" proving homosexuality to be a so-called dangerous lifestyle.  He originally cited information from Dr. Frank Joseph, a physician whom no one has ever heard of.  The information cited is called Everyone Should Know These Statistics on Homosexuals.

But there is something I noticed about Joseph's information which needs to be stated.

Those who have read this blog should remember this book on the left because I have referred to it many times. It is an awful comic book published in the late 1980s by a man named Dave Hafer called Deathstyle. It, as Joseph's piece cited by Agema, also purported to give "statistics" about homosexuality.

In fact, if one would compare Hafer's comic book and Joseph's piece, one would see startling similarities.

Joseph:

Homosexuals live unhealthy lifestyles, and have historically accounted for the bulk of syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, the "gay bowel syndrome" (which attacks the intestinal tract), tuberculosis and cytomegalovirus

Hafer:


Joseph:

37% of homosexuals engage in sadomasochism, which accounts for many accidental deaths. In San Francisco, classes were held to teach homosexuals how to not kill their partners during sadomasochism.

Hafer:



Joseph:

Homosexuals are 100 times more likely to be murdered (usually by another homosexual) than the average person, 25 times more likely to commit suicide, and 19 times more likely to die in a traffic accident. 21% of lesbians die of murder, suicide or traffic accident, which is at a rate of 534 times higher than the number of white heterosexual females aged 25-44 who die of these things.

Hafer:



Joseph:

 Homosexuals prey on children. 33% of homosexuals ADMIT to minor/adult sex. There is a notable homosexual group, consisting of thousands of members, known as the North American Man and Boy Love Association ( NAMBLA). This is a child molesting homosexual group whose cry is "SEX BEFORE 8 BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE." This group can be seen marching in most major homosexual parades across the United States. Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all reported child molestations in the United States, which, assuming homosexuals make up 2% of the population, means that 1 in 20 homosexuals is a child molester, while 1 in 490 heterosexuals is a child molester.

Hafer:



You see where I'm going with this?

Both Hafer's comic book and Joseph's piece are filled with false information coming from cherry-picked sources published decades ago or just plain bad studies from junk science sources. One source in particular which they both share, Paul Cameron, is a man who has been either censured or dismissed from several medical associations for his bad research methodologies and outrageously homophobic claims. Amongst other things, Cameron has claimed that gay men "seduce" children on a regular basis, that is when they are not stuffing gerbils up their rectums.

In other words, Agema is doing nothing more than citing awful homophobic propaganda created to shock rather than to educate during a time in which the lgbt community didn't have shows like Will & Grace or figures like Ellen DeGeneres going to bat for us and we were seen as "pitiful other."

My guess is that Agema's "reams" of statistics will say the same negative things about lgbts which Hafer and Joseph did because they most likely come from the same place of lies and distortions.

The irony is that this controversy is going on during a seriously positive shift of opinion towards marriage equality and the lgbt community in general.  Religious right groups are now attempting to play the victims and claim that this shift is causing them to be unfairly labeled as bigots.

But Agema's insistence on pushing this information reminds us that these groups are omitting entire chunks of the story, i.e. the portions in which they freely cited the same information as Agema.

And in any conversation about bigotry and homophobia, those chunks of the story cannot be omitted because when one takes the information Agema cites and polishes it up, one finds that while religious right groups are pleading victimhood, they are still referring to these lies as fact.

4 comments :

Michael G said...

Thanks for your thorough reporting on this, Alvin. Your links concerning the discredited Paul Cameron are especially appreciated. You expose him for the pariah that he is.

Anonymous said...

And that's not all, the last pages of the Hafer book (which that website omits) appear to support "conversion therapy".

BTW, you can buy it from Amazon for no less than 40 bucks (if you are willing to pay that much for over 200 pages of anti-gay BS)

Anonymous said...

I emailed one of Dick Hafer's sons about this comic and its internet infamy. He said he was a psychologists and told his father the book was inaccurate crap.

BlackTsunami said...

sweet! I would love to talk to him about this, anonymous. But I don't think I could put him in a position to speak publicly against his kin. Good job in uncovering him ;p