Thursday, February 28, 2013

President Obama, sociological association deals Prop 8 case a one-two punch

The case for Prop 8, the California law outlawing marriage equality in California received a serious one-two punch today courtesy of President Obama and the American Sociological Association. Both the Obama Administration and the ASA are filing briefs asking the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8.

First from the Obama Administration:

California’s Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages in the state, should be overturned, the Obama administration plans to tell the Supreme Court.

An administration official confirmed that the Justice Department will file a brief in the case today. Officials would not discuss the legal arguments the brief would contain. The decision to enter the case comes despite the president’s past position that marriage rights should be a state matter. In recent weeks, however, Obama increasingly has referred to same-sex marriage as an issue of civil rights.

Other administration officials have taken the same stance. In a television interview to be aired next week, for example, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder said that he saw marriage equality as “really the latest civil-rights issue.”

The American Sociological Association has already filed its brief and it destroys claims made that same-sex households are inferior when it comes to raising children, which is a major argument for those pushing Prop 8. The ASA especially calls out the Mark Regnerus study, which is the recent controversial study claiming children raised in same-sex households suffer adverse efffects. Supporters of Prop 8 made this study a huge part of their arguments in spite of fact that it has been discredited.

ASA said the following about the Regnerus study in its brief (pgs. 26-29):

 First, the Regnerus study does not specifically examine children born or adopted into same-sex parent families, but instead examines children who, from the time they were born until they were 18 or moved out, had a parent who at any time had “a same-sex romantic relationship.” . As Regnerus noted, the majority of the individuals characterized by him as children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” were the offspring of failed opposite- sex unions whose parent subsequently had a same-sex relationship. In other words, Regnerus did not study or analyze the children of two same-sex parents.

Second, when the Regnerus study compared the children of parents who at one point had a “same-sex romantic relationship,” most of whom had experienced a family dissolution or single motherhood, to children raised by two biological, married opposite-sex parents, the study stripped away all divorced, single, and stepparent families from the opposite-sex group, leaving only stable, married, opposite-sex families as the comparison. . . Thus, it was hardly surprising that the opposite-sex group had better outcomes given that stability is a key predictor of positive child wellbeing. By so doing, the Regnerus study makes inappropriate apples-to-oranges comparisons.

Third, Regnerus’s first published analysis of his research data failed to consider whether the children lived with, or were raised by, the parent who was, at some point, apparently involved in “a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” and that same-sex partner. Instead, Regnerus categorized children as raised by a parent in a same-sex romantic relationship regardless of whether they were in fact raised by the parent and the parent’s same-sex romantic partner and regardless of the amount of time that they spent under the parent’s care. As a result, so long as an adult child believed that he or she had had a parent who had a relationship with someone of the same sex, then he or she was counted by Regnerus as having been “raised by” a parent in a same-sex relationship.

 Fourth, in contrast to every other study on same-sex parenting, Regnerus identified parents who had purportedly engaged in a same-sex romantic relationship based solely on the child’s own retrospective report of the parent’s romantic relationships, made once the child was an adult. This unusual measurement strategy ignored the fact that the child may have limited and inaccurate recollections of the parents’ distant romantic past.

Finally, the study fails to account for the fact that the negative outcomes may have been caused by other childhood events or events later in the individual's adult life, particularly given that the vast majority (thirty-seven of forty) of the outcomes measured were adult and not childhood outcomes. Factors other than same-sex parenting are likely to explain these negative outcomes in the Regnerus study. Regnerus himself concludes that “I am thus not suggesting that growing up with a lesbian mother or gay father causes suboptimal outcomes because of the sexual orientation or sexual behavior of the parent.”

 In sum, by conflating (1) children raised by same-sex parents with (2) individuals who reportedly had a parent who had “a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex,” and referring to such individuals as children of “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers,” the Regnerus study obscures the fact that it did not specifically examine children raised by two same-sex parents. Accordingly, it cannot speak to the impact of same-sex parenting on child outcomes. 

The fact that President Obama is supporting efforts to overturn Prop 8 is a major deal, but the ASA denunciation of the Regnerus study is also a huge victory for the lgbt community. When religious right groups find a piece of information to use against the lgbt community, they tend to use it continuously. Thanks to the ASA, whenever they cite the Regnerus study, the lgbt community now have a huge caveat we can make use of. 

'AFA: Gay-Muslim-Atheist Alliance trying to destroy America' and other Thursday midday news briefs

'Project 2026' to Fight the Gay-Muslim-Atheist Alliance Destroying America - Say whaaaat!? Aw hell, I betcha i was the gay folks who told them. We just can't keep secrets.

 Minnesota Republican Legislator: Homosexuality Is A ‘Sexual Addiction’ And An ‘Unscientific Lie’ - Every time someone says we should ignore comments by the AFA's Bryan Fischer or Linda Harvey, or Matt Barber, I like to include a new brief like this one. You can't ignore it when state legislators say the same trash.  

Pediatrician On CNN: Transgender Girls Will Walk Around Bathrooms With Their Genitals Exposed - Vile lie for which he got called out for. And for the record, when I used the boys bathroom in school, I never walked around with my genitals exposed and neither did anyone else I knew.  

FRC prayer: Marriage equality = 'onslaught of evil' - The Family Research Council routinely lies and bears false witness against the lgbt community, yet it feels it can go to God and repeat its slanders. The old African-American phrase "they are going to bust hell wide open" comes to mind. 

 House Dems to urge Supreme Court to strike down DOMA - Good for House Democrats!

NOM's bought and paid for African-American group to lead march

Bill Owens
In its upcoming supposed "March for Marriage," the National Organization for Marriage is pulling out all of the stops, including teaming up with several religious right groups, such as the Family Research Council, having Catholic dioceses bus members to Washington, and this very interesting last item via press release:

Civil Rights activist Reverend Bill Owens has joined with the National Organization for Marriage to promote and lead the March for Marriage occurring in Washington, D.C. next month. 

 . . . Gay activists are wrong to claim the mantle of the civil rights movement in their push to redefine marriage for all - the most important civil right related to marriage is the right of every child to a mother and father," said Rev. Owens in a Feb. 25 statement.

Owens is the founder of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, a group that describes itself as "a grass-roots movement of Christians who believe in traditional family values such as supporting the role of religion in American public life, protecting the lives of the unborn, and defending the sacred institution of marriage."

He also was a participant in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s in Nashville Tennessee.
So in order to give some degree of historic relevance to its march,  NOM is including its own bought and paid for African-American leadership to participate.

Owens and CAAP are not necessarily independent participants. 
We already know that Owens is NOM's liasion to the black churches. We also know that NOM was using CAAP last year in a failed attempt to sabotage President Obama's African-American support during the 2012 election.

Owens has admitted to being paid by organizations like NOM ($20,000), the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association to be a shill.

But it really doesn't matter. In this age of Obama, some folks have no problem with cashing in on their black skins. No matter how much of their integrity it costs them.