Saturday, July 18, 2009

JONAH - Another ex-gay group pushing bad science

Tonight, one of our favorite anti-gay spokespeople, Peter LaBarbera, and his group Americans for Truth will have a dinner lecture featuring Arthur Goldberg, Co-Director of JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality).

In "celebration" of that dinner lecture, I think it's appropriate to bring some truth to a JONAH piece LaBarbera has on his webpage, Gay ‘Marriage’: Bad Science, Bad Politics:

The group JONAH (Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality) is another one of those annoying ex-gay groups.

This one however is centered on the Jewish community. But that is the only difference is has from the other ex-gay groups.

The similarities as seen in the piece Gay ‘Marriage’: Bad Science, Bad Politics is how they incorporate religious right distortions in their claims about homosexuality.

Rather than break it down for you (you can read the piece if you want), I decided to show you the letter I emailed to Arthur Goldberg and Michelle Cretella, the authors of the piece:

Dear Arthur Goldberg and Michelle Cretella,

I read your piece, Gay marriage: Bad science, bad politics. I want to make you aware of the fact that it contained a huge amount of errors. Allow me to go through them one by one:

You said:

Dr. Robert Spitzer, changed his own lifetime view. He published a study in 2003 confirming that many dissatisfied homosexuals are able to make substantial long-term changes in orientation.

However, in a 2006 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Spitzer said that he now believes that some of those he interviewed for his study may have been either lying to him or themselves. - Ex-Gays Seek a Say in Schools, Los Angeles Times, May 28, 2006

You said:

Drs. David McWhirter and Andrew Mattison, both openly homosexual, studied 156 male couples who had lived together for 20 years or more. To their dismay, they found that the longest period of sexual monogamy for those couples was five years; the average was under two years.

You omitted the fact that McWhirter and Mattison in their book (published in 1984) said their research could not be used to generalize about the entire gay community :

“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.”

3. You said:

"During the 1990s many gay-affirming countries legalized same-sex marriage. The instability of homosexual relationships, however, remained unchanged. For example, a 2003 Dutch study found the average male homosexual partnership lasted only 1.5 years "

While you did not indicate where you got this information from, I suspect you took it from a study conducted by one Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service.

If this is true, then again you are inaccurate. You see, 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- 2001.

Same sex marriage was legalized in the Netherlands in 2001, thus making the information irrelevant to your points about gay marriage. - Overview of the Amsterdam cohort studies among homosexual men and drug users,

You said:

Inherent health risks of the gay lifestyle present another issue. Life expectancy for men who have sex with men, according to a 1997 International Journal of Epidemiology study is eight to 20 years less than that of heterosexual men.

You omitted the fact that in 2001, the six authors of that study went on record complaining about how their work was being distorted by folks like yourself - Gay Life Expectancy Revisited, International Journal of Epidemiology,

Basically what I am trying to say is that your work is shoddy. Might I suggest that in the future, you do the actual work and not plagiarize from religoius right studies. They tend to be very phony.

By the way, I emailed this to Goldberg and company. Naturally I have yet to receive a response.

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Repost - Interracial dating and homosexuality - two health risks?

A reposting that's needed:

I've been having a very interesting email exchange with Peter LaBarbera regarding his stigmatization of the lgbt community.

For LaBarbera, every lie he tells is justifiable because of his belief that gay men have "health risks" greater than that of heterosexuals. In fact, it's something he likes to highlight every chance he gets:

“Barack Obama’s homosexual agenda is beginning to take shape – but he has no election mandate to impose GLSEN’s radical vision of celebrating homosexuality, bisexuality and gender confusion (transsexuality) in U.S. schools,” LaBarbera said. “Anti-religious bigots should not be setting policy for schools — and promoting dangerous sex and gender identities to youth is the antithesis of ‘safety.’ (Men who have sex with other men (MSM) suffer from much higher rates of sexual diseases – including anal cancer, HIV, syphilis, and gonorrhea — than non-MSMs.)


LaBarbera also argues that many liberal school districts teach false facts about AIDS. He says they imply that everyone is at equal risk for contracting the disease -- even though in 2005 71 percent of U.S. male AIDS cases involved homosexuals. He contends that many American young people are not being informed about other health risks associated with homosexuality either -- such as increased infections of the Hepatitis B or C virus and the herpes virus. "We have all this evidence out there that homosexual behavior is dangerous," the activist point out, "and yet our politically correct elites are promoting gay identity" to teens and children.

And he is not the only one to assert this "gays are dangerous because of their behavior" claim:

If there was ever a clarion call for our entire society to say with one united voice that homosexual behavior is a danger to health and should be discouraged at all costs, this is it. We've found one voice as a society with regard to drug use and drunk driving; it's time we find it with regard to homosexual behavior. - Bryan Fischer

In fact, multiple studies have established that homosexual conduct, especially among males, is considerably more hazardous to one’s health than a lifetime of chain smoking. - Matt Barber

The "homosexuality is a health risk" factoid is a popular talking point in religious right circles. It stems from manipulating legitimate medical information regarding disease and the lgbt community. Rather than go into detail about just how this information is manipulated, I'm going to take another route.

I found this video on youtube. I dare anyone to tell me the difference between it and the nonsense about the supposed "health risks of homosexuality" factoid pushed by the religious right:

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