Monday, November 18, 2013

Family Research Council relying on an outdated, flawed study to smear lgbt couples

Tony Perkins of FRC
It's bizarre how certain things happen.

I was just looking on the Family Research Council webpage and I found the following statement:


So apparently on the FRC webpage, this study seems to be popular and that's not necessarily a good thing because it is flawed on so many levels. The headline should give you an indication of one flaw, i.e. the comparison of  homosexual couples to married heterosexual couples.The study ignores the simple fact that lgbts can now marry in 15 states.   

Allow me to do a recap. Amongst the errors, Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples contains:

- A citation of the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women by Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg as a correct generalization of lgbt sexual habits despite the fact that it was published in 1978 and was not meant by the authors to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.  A passage from Homosexualities clearly says:

“. . . given the variety of circumstances which discourage homosexuals from participating in research studies, it is unlikely that any investigator will ever be in a position to say that this or that is true of a given percentage of all homosexuals.”

- A citation of the book The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop by David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison despite the fact that the book was written 1984 and was not meant to be a correct assessment of the lgbt community in general.  A passage from The Male Couple says:

“We always have been very careful to explain that the very nature of our research sample, its size (156 couples), its narrow geographic location, and the natural selectiveness of the participants prevents the findings from being applicable and generalizable to the entire gay
male community.”

In addition to outdated work, the study also distorts the work of researchers Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey to make the case against children being raised in lgbt homes.

Claims regarding the numbers of children being raised in homosexual and lesbian households vary widely and are often unsubstantiated. According to a study on homosexual parenting in the American Sociological Review, researchers have given figures "of uncertain origin, depicting a range of...6 to 14 million children of gay or lesbian parents in the United States." According to the study's authors, Judith Stacey and Timothy J. Biblarz, the higher estimates are based upon "classifying as a lesbigay [sic] parent anyone who reports that even the idea of homoerotic sex is appealing." Instead, the authors favor a figure of about one million, which "derives from the narrower...definition of a lesbigay parent as one who self-identifies as such."

However, FRC and Dailey conveniently fails to mention that Stacey and Biblarz's study found:

. . . that lesbian and gay parents were as competent as heterosexual parents. The article did note some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but was careful to emphasize that these were differences, not deficits. Many of those opposing parenting rights for lesbian and gay people seized on these differences, using them to assert that gay and lesbian parents were not as effective as heterosexual parents.

Furthermore, during an interview with the organization Soulforce, Stacey complained about the distortion of her work:

"Significant, reliable social scientific evidence indicates that lesbian and gay parents are as fit, effective, and successful as heterosexual parents. The research also shows that children of same-sex couples are as emotionally healthy and socially adjusted and at least as educationally and socially successful as children raised by heterosexual parents." Later in the interview she commented: "There is not a single, respectable social scientist conducting and publishing research in this area today who claims that gay and lesbian parents harm children." She explained that the research does find some differences between families with gay and lesbian parents and those with heterosexual parents, but emphasized that they are differences, not deficits. For example, daughters of lesbian moms tend to be somewhat more career-oriented than other daughters. That anti-gay activists had cited these differences as evidence supporting their efforts to deny partnership and parenting rights to lesbians and gays was for Stacey "a serious misreading and abuse of our work."

Anti-gay group NOM facing potential double legal trouble

Potential court cases are giving NOM's Brian Brown something to cry over.
Right now, if I was a member of the National Organization for Marriage, I wouldn't be in a good mood.

Not only did the organizations lose two marriage equality battles in Hawaii and Illinois, but it is now hit with the following, courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign:

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has repeatedly refused to make its 2012 990s publicly available following their November 15 deadline – a direct violation of federal law. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) first made an in-person request for the public financial documents last Friday morning and again today – both times, NOM was unable to produce the documents. Federal law requires organizations to publicly release their 990s the same day an in-person request is made. As a result, HRC has filed a complaint with the IRS in order to compel NOM to abide by the law.

“NOM’s inability to meet one of the most basic accounting standards for any organization makes you wonder what exactly is going on – are they simply demonstrating the same flagrant disregard they have for numerous state campaign finance laws, or is there something in these documents that reflects even more poorly on the organization and their failed work?” said Fred Sainz, HRC Vice President of Communications. “Brian Brown apparently had enough time on Friday to pull together a fundraising email feigning outrage at the marriage equality victory in Hawaii, but didn’t have time to ensure his organization was running in accordance with the law. NOM should do the right thing and immediately release these financial documents that the public has a right to see.”

But hold on because it gets better. Last week, a judge in Central Florida ordered the University of  Central Florida to turn over records related to a study on gay parenting. For those who follow this blog, that study should sound familiar. It was created by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus  and was discredited for its bad research techniques. In addition, there were questions as to how much of a part did the National Organization for Marriage and affiliated spokespeople and organizations play in the creation of this supposedly objective study.

On Friday, the attorney of John Becker, the activist who originally sought the documents, filed a contempt of court charge because UCF has YET to turn the documents over:

The UCF Board of Trustees faces the possibility of major sanctions, including fines or jail time, for failing to produce records in one of the public records lawsuits it’s defending. John Becker’s attorney, Andrea Mogensen, filed a motion for contempt against UCF for refusing to comply with court orders telling UCF to produce records relating to a controversial study by Mark Regnerus on gay and lesbian parenting. According to the motion, Becker seeks sanctions, including fines or imprisonment, for UCF’s Board of Trustees for failure to comply with the court’s Nov. 13 order, which stated that UCF had until Nov. 14 to produce the records. But even after UCF’s lawyers asked the court for clarification over the production of the records and received an extension to produce the records, UCF continued to disobey the court’s orders, the motion states. 

We have yet to see the last of these two cases and I hope my popcorn is finished cooking before the final act starts.

'Cheney sisters have ugly feud over marriage equality' and other Monday midday news briefs

Mary Cheney: Liz Cheney Is On 'Wrong Side Of History' With Anti-Gay Marriage Stance - Oh boy. The Cheney sisters are having a public feud over marriage equality. Liz wants that Senate seat, she is publicly standing against marriage equality even though she has privately been more than cordial to her sister Mary and her partner. Pretty soon, Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHavilland are going to be called in the mediate. Seriously though, in my two cents, family is more important than a Senate seat. Liz should remember that. 

Video: Sen. Rubio keynotes for rabidly anti-LGBT org; org. advocates 'leaving the gay lifestyle' - Oh Marco! You'll never get the presidency that way.  

Pa. Gay Marriage Suit Takes Big Step Toward Trial - Oh this is going to be good!  

Religious Right Leaders Defend Russia's Anti-Gay Law - Why of course those losers do. 

'Facing Fear' Subjects, Former Neo-Nazi And Gay Attack Victim, On Their Unique Relationship - This story gives me hope for the future.

Austin Ruse - the ramblings of a homophobe

Austin Ruse
Last week, there was a controversy regarding a group of American activists who was initially denied a meeting room in the United States Senate:

The office of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) revoked access to a Senate meeting room for a right-wing confab planning to discuss how American social conservatives can learn from Russia's draconian crackdown on LGBT people. Among the participants slated to speak at the event was columnist and notorious homophobe Austin Ruse.

BuzzFeed's J. Lester Feder reported on November 14 that Kirk - who supports marriage equality and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- had shut down the planned November 15 "Family Policy Lessons From Other Lands: What Should America Learn?" conference. A Kirk spokesman explained that "Sen. Kirk doesn't affiliate with groups that discriminate."

Later that day, Speaker of the House John Boehner managed to secure the room for these activists. However, I found it interesting that Austin Ruse was involved with these activists. But maybe I shouldn't have been. Three years ago, Ruse and I had a serious verbal confrontation via my blog because of a  United Nations General Assembly voted to delete the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from a proposed anti-discrimination document.

Our back-and-forth confrontation should give you a look at Ruse's anti-gay mindset (his comments are in blue. Mine are in red):

A year ago the Holy See and the Bush administration tried to get the General Assembly to endorse a statement condemning precisely the kind of violence against homosexuals that you cite. The effort was quashed by France and her allies in Europe? Why? Because these efforts are not really about stopping violence. They are about forcing a broad range of homosexual "rights" on traditional peoples using the least democratic venues possible.

Austin Ruse

Your statement is a wonderment. Just how do you "force" homosexual rights on "traditional peoples?" Austin, please get rid of the phraseology because you aren't speaking to the choir here. Why don't you be specific in your objections.

It is fairly detailed, but what happens is that UN human rights monitoring bodies re-write language from established human rights treaties. These human rights treaties were negotiated by sovereign states and ratified, largely, by democratically elected Parliaments. This new language is decided by individuals whose names no one knows without looking and voila there is a new human rights category that nobody knows about and nobody has agreed to. This new language is then adjudicated in national courts where they often find ideological friends This is profoundly anti-democratic and indeed is a kind of coercion. The language that was rejected by the GA was precisely as I describe. Last summer the human rights committee reinterpreted the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to include "gender identity and sexual orientation." Quick, name even one member of that committee! This new language was then placed in a UN GA resolution for the purposes of further banging the drum for a new "treaty norm." This effort this time was defeated. Even so, we expect to see court cases being heard on the committee's original reinterpretation.

But Austin, you didn't answer my question. You went through a lot of legalese and "harum," "harum," but did not defend your original point. How does one force "homosexual rights" on "traditional peoples?" You seem to be talking about the process here. But when you (were) originally quoted, you were talking about the fact that the process had to do with gays and lesbians? Is it the process that you disagree with or the fact that through the process, folks are seeking to protect lgbts. And if the latter is the case, you really need to defend defining "traditional peoples" as countries who would persecute and imprison lgbts.

When non-democratic bodies like unknown UN committees and courts make decisions like this and then impose them on the people, that is force. Should have made that clearer.Thought i did.

But you didn't make it clear.  . . .  in the One News Now article, you were all "how dare they try to elevate the homosexual agenda to a global right." Don't you think you aren't being honest?