Friday, February 07, 2014

The lies which bind homophobia in Russia and America

As the Olympic Games begin, let's take a look at the rhetoric which binds American and Russian anti-gay prejudice and probably had something to do with those awful anti-gay Russian laws. Representatives of the World Congress of Families held a news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday to talk about their 2014 summit, which will be held in Moscow in September.

You can read the about this press conference on Right Wing Watch and watch different video clips This particular one caught my attention and frustration. Forty-four seconds in this video, Alexey Komov, World Congress of Families' representative in Russia, begins talking about how homosexuality is supposedly not a healthy lifestyle and the supposed statistics which show that gays have a shorter lifespan and suffer from depression and such.

First of all, there are only two known statistics which talk about the supposed life span of gay men. One is by Paul Cameron, a highly discredited researcher who has accused gays of stuffing gerbils up their rectums. And the other is a distortion of a 1997 Canadian study. We know that the study was distorted because in 2001, its authors complained that anti-gay groups were misusing their work.

As far as depression and the like, the Centers for Disease Control have linked negative health in lgbts to homophobia and having to deal with an unaccepting society:

Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination persist in the United States and negatively affect the health and well-being of gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and other members of the LGBT community. Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination are social determinants of health that can affect physical and mental health, whether MSM seek and are able to obtain health services, and the quality of the services they receive. Such barriers to health need to be addressed at different  levels of society, such as health care settings, work places, and schools in order to increase opportunities for improving the health of MSM.

But more to the point, we've heard these lies before. They have flowed from the mouths of American anti-gay groups and spokespeople such as Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council or Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association.

Blogs such as this one are doing what we can to point out that the anti-gay arguments of religious right groups are partly rooted in cherry-picked or junk science. But blogs can only do so much. We are like mice in the corner making inconsequential noises when compared to the ability of the liars who can seize the world stage.

Heavy hitters - i.e. media and larger groups -  in the lgbt community is going to have to specifically address this issue and until they do, our problems with homophobia disguised as "love" will continue.

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