Monday, June 27, 2016

Family Research Council, The Christian Post team up for failed attack on married gay couples

In its zeal to stigmatize married same-sex couples, the Family Research Council sometimes slips up, displaying its duplicitous nature.

Take this tweet for example:

The tweet links to a  Christian Post article which claims that same sex couples have no expectations of fidelity in their marriages. In fact, the first paragraph says the following:

Catholic University of America professor Paul Sullins said Friday that there is "no expectation" of sexual faithfulness in many gay marriages, noting that studies have shown only a small minority of gay marriages are truly monogamous.

According to the article, Sullins was participating in a Family Research Council panel discussion along with Institute on Religion &  Democracy President Mark Tooley and the director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty Travis Weber about the effects of marriage equality one year after the Obergefell decision made it the law of the land.

As if it's any surprise, all three were negative about the effects of the Obergefell decision. Sullins, in particular, got my attention because of his claims with regards to the monogamy of same-sex couples.

Sullins then weighed in saying that in today's society, with the rise of gay marriage and no-fault divorce, many people believe marriage is to be a set of "personal understandings" rather than something that should be "regulated by agreements."

"That is particularly appropriate to Obergefell because we know from long studies that only a small minority of gay male marriages are monogamous," Sullins said. "The infidelity is a component of the large majority of same-sex male relationships, a little bit smaller minority among lesbian relationships."

But the problem with Sullins' claim lies in the studies cited. While the article does not contribute the citation of the studies below to Sullins, it doesn't take a genius to realize that there is a major deception going on:
According to the Daily Beast, at least two studies were conducted in the last 15 years that, among other things, analyzed the faithfulness in gay relationships.

According to the studies from San Francisco State University and Alliant International University, about half of gay relationships are open relationships where partners are allowed to engage in sexual activities with someone else other than their partner.

It is believed the rate of gay relationships that are non-monogamous is higher than both heterosexual and lesbian relationship; however, lack of research makes it unclear as to how much higher that rate is.
In 2000, Esther Rothblum, a professor at San Diego State University, conducted research that found that only 15 percent of straight husbands had sex outside of their relationship.

It's fascinating to watch the sleight of hand here. The Christian Post article's title implies married gay couples don't expect monogamy in their relationships, but the two studies used to back this up seems to have contained very few or no married same-sex couples.  I looked up both links to verify this fact.

(Editor's note -  I  had to consult the original Daily Beast article because I initially thought The Christian Post article mistakenly posted the same link to both study citations.  However, after rereading the information provided by The Christian Post article, I discovered a larger error. The two studies in question are actually the same study. 

The Daily Beast article said the following - "Over the past decade and a half, studies from San Francisco State University and Alliant International University have found that around half of gay relationships are open."  While "The San Francisco University" phrase links a Gawker article, a link from that article shows that it is also  talking about the Alliant International University study.

However The Christian Post, as clearly seen in the excerpt above, made it seem that the Daily Beast was citing two different studies even though the links it posted led to the same study. )

Then The Christian Post article compares that study to one of heterosexual couples who are in fact clearly married.

In other words, the Family Research Council and The Christian Post sloppily teamed up to push an idea that same-sex couples are not monogamous.  And it leads me to wonder that if the study the article cited didn't come from Sullins, just what studies did he cite.

Or did Sullins cite any specific studies at all?


Brad said...

I always find it interesting (and disgusting) when these right wingers feel the need to tell others how their relationships should go. 1 in 3 (almost 2) straight marriages end in divorce or separation. About half of those divorces are due, at least in part, to infidelity (translation: one spouse cheating without the other's knowledge). Hmmm. It seems to me that straight people can't handle marriage very well, so maybe the FRC should focus on heterosexual marriages and taking away their rights to get married! Meanwhile, while FRC clutches their pearls over relationships that don't affect them in the least, our country is awash in guns, murder, homelessness, poverty, hunger and unaffordable basic healthcare. It would be so nice if they would spend at least half their energy and resources on issues that could really make a difference in people's lives instead of looking for ways to dehumanize others and make their administrators more wealthy.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

The AFA using inappropriate research to bolster irrelevant conclusions. Imagine that.

Scott Amundsen said...

What a pack of bald-faced lies and insults. When my husband and I got married in 2002 we made sure the vows included the phrases "forsaking all others" and "cleaving only unto you" because it was important to us to make those promises and make them publicly.