Monday, April 08, 2013

Family Research Council memo = more lies about the lgbt community

According to Will Kohler of the blog Back2Stonewall, the Family Research Council sent the following brief 10-point memo to Cincinnati's Citizens for Community Values.

It's an abbreviated version of FRC spokesperson Peter Sprigg's error-filled paper, The Top Ten Harms of Same Sex Marriage.

As you can see, it is a piece filled with horror stories of what may happen should marriage equality become legal across the nation.

What's laughable about it are the conclusions FRC makes based on bad assumptions without any proof to back them up, such as how marriage equality would decrease birthrates:

Same-sex “marriage” would eliminate the incentive for procreation that is implicit in defining marriage as a male-female union. There is already evidence of at least a correlation between same-sex “marriage” and low birth and fertility rates, both in the U.S. and abroad. While some people still harbor outdated fears about “over-population,”demographers now understand that declining birth rates harm society.

Or out-and-out lies, such as marriage equality would interfere with so-called "religious freedom:"

Churches and non-profit organizations could be stripped of their tax exemptions and religious psychologists, social workers, and marriage counselors could be denied licensing if they “discriminate” against homosexuals. Individual believers who disapprove of homosexual relationships may face a choice at work between forfeiting their freedom of speech and being fired.

First of all, churches have never been nor will ever be forced to marry same-sex couples. In terms of "religious" psychologists, social workers, and marriage counselors, one would hope that FRC is not advising that these individuals - who may have to deal with potential lgbt patients - should have the right to deny services and care to these said patients, particularly social workers who would be employed by the state, i.e. your tax dollars. One would also hope that FRC isn't standing up for the right of "Christian" employees to harass their lgbt co-workers via their supposed freedom of speech.

When FRC did cite a study to prove a point made in its the memo, the organization was highly deceptive:

 •Fewer people would remain monogamous and sexually faithful.
 Among homosexual men, sex with multiple partners is tolerated and often expected. One study in the Netherlands showed that homosexual men with a steady partner had an average of eight sexual partners per year. If these behaviors are incorporated into what society affirms as “marriage,” then fidelity among heterosexuals would likely decline as well.

 •Fewer people would remain married for a lifetime.
 Even a homosexual psychologist has acknowledged that “gay and lesbian couples dissolve their relationships more frequently than heterosexual couples.” The same Dutch study that showed the high rate of homosexual promiscuity also showed that the average homosexual male “partnership” lasts only 1.5 years. As the transience of homosexual relationships is incorporated in society’s image of “marriage,” we can expect that fewer heterosexuals would maintain a lifelong commitment as well

You will notice how, while FRC cites a "Dutch study" freely, the organization makes it a point to not say that the gay men in the study were married. I have a hard time believing that this was accidental because, as it was, none of the gay men in the study were married.

While not known to many, except for those who have tracked the religious right over the years, the "Dutch study" citation is an old, dependable distortion of anti-gay groups.

The study in question was conducted by Dr. Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Services and appeared in the May 2003 edition of the journal AIDS. It did not look at gay marriage but 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. To gain this information, researchers studied 1,800 gay men between the years of 1984- 2000.

Same sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001. Information for the Amsterdam Cohort Study is found here. Furthermore, lesbians were not included in the study.

In other words, FRC is citing a study about unmarried casual gay male relationships to criticize marriage equality in general.

It's an extreme misdirection on the part of this so-called moral group.

But then again, the entire memo is an extreme misdirection on the part of FRC.

Related posts:

What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Family Research Council Defends Republican's Outdated Propaganda Against LGBT Community 

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America


Ashley Wilson said...

Now that marriage equality may come to Ohio, it's going to be interesting how many hate-filled lies the CCV is going to start spewing. I cringe every time I have to walk past their offices to go to the BMV. (Yep, they're in my happy little Cincy-suburb town of Sharonville).

Hoping we get a chance at some debates with these clowns.

dancandan said...

pandering to fear and ignorance to an audience that won't research the source of these lies is not surprising...they have no respect for either family or research. They should more accurately call themselves the BAF council (bullshit about family). I continue to be disgusted and disappointed.

Patrick Fitzgerald said...

FRC: “One study … showed that homosexual men … had an average of eight sexual partners per year. … last[ing] only 1.5 years.”

And as you put it: “FRC is citing a study about unmarried casual gay male relationships to criticize marriage equality in general.”

To put it even more bluntly, the study intentionally DID NOT INCLUDE monogamous relationships. “Distortion” and “misdirection” are too polite, that’s an out and out malicious LIE of omission.

joeyraccoon said...

Solo . . . if lbgt couples get married then 'straight' people will stop having sex and making babies . . . ??
"Seems legit"

Matthew Martin said...

As a Cincinnatian, I want to know what I can do to fight back. Most Ohioans want gay marriage, and so do I. And this might just be the year.

As a social scientist (health economist) who has done research on HIV and other LGBT issues, I'm always wary of directly debunking FRC and others' claims about gay marriage or LGBT people. It's important to avoid giving legitimacy to the underlying premise that any of those things matter when it comes to the question of equal rights. The FRC representation of the research is highly inaccurate, but in my view the unethical way they want to apply that research so as to deny human rights is the overriding concern.

BlackTsunami said...

You demonstrate how they DO NOT matter when it comes to equal rights by debunking them (because you have to. Those affiliated with FRC will bring them up)and after debunking them, making it your argument to show that if they have to rely on junk science and cherry-picked studies, then their premise about the dangers of marriage equality is false. THEN you present accurate information show how it would actually help the lgbt community and is not harmful to the community at large.

Woodstock said...

I really don't understand how allowing same-sex couples to marry will decrease the birth rate. Could somebody please explain? I also don't understand how someone cheating on their spouse will cause more people to cheat on their spouse. FRC makes no logical sense whatsoever! Of course, this isn't news.