Monday, June 07, 2010

Cherry-picking science? Concerned Women for America ought to know

Research has come out today justifying 200 other studies and basic common sense - children do not suffer from being raised in a same-sex household:

For their new study, published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers Nanette Gartrell, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco (and a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles), and Henry Bos, a behavioral scientist at the University of Amsterdam, focused on what they call planned lesbian families — households in which the mothers identified themselves as lesbian at the time of artificial insemination.

. . . The authors found that children raised by lesbian mothers — whether the mother was partnered or single — scored very similarly to children raised by heterosexual parents on measures of development and social behavior. These findings were expected, the authors said; however, they were surprised to discover that children in lesbian homes scored higher than kids in straight families on some psychological measures of self-esteem and confidence, did better academically and were less likely to have behavioral problems, such as rule-breaking and aggression.

Naturally members of the religious right went apoplectic over the research. Wendy Wright from Concerned Women for America was the first up at bat, attacking the funding sources of the research in a CNN article:

Funding for the research came from several lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy groups, such as the Gill Foundation and the Lesbian Health Fund from the Gay Lesbian Medical Association.

Dr. Nanette Gartrell, the author of the study, wrote that the "funding sources played no role in the design or conduct of the study."

"My personal investment is in doing reputable research," said Gartrell. "This is a straightforward statistical analysis. It will stand and it has withstood very rigorous peer review by the people who make the decision whether or not to publish it."

...Wendy Wright, president of the Concerned Women for America, a group that supports biblical values, questioned the legitimacy of the findings from a study funded by gay advocacy groups. "That proves the prejudice and bias of the study," she said. "This study was clearly designed to come out with one outcome -- to attempt to sway people that children are not detrimentally affected in a homosexual household."

She also said:

Studies have shown that children thrive having both a mother and a father, Wright said.

"You have to be a little suspicious of any study that says children being raised by same-sex couples do better or have superior outcomes to children raised with a mother and father," she said. "It just defies common sense and reality."

Of course Wright omits the fact that none of the studies she vaguely refers to even looked at same-sex households.

And she also seems to be saying that since the study looked at same-sex parenting in a positive fashion, then it's automatically biased, which is like an anti-Semite saying that a study favoring the Jewish community should be seen as automatically biased, or a racist saying that a study favoring African-Americans should be seen as automatically biased, or . . . I think you get the picture.

People for the American Way puts CWA's attack on this study in proper perspective:

This coming from an organization that has repeatedly cited the "research" of Paul Cameron.

Allow me to put it in another perspective.

In the late 80s, this comic book, Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternate Deathstyle, was published by a man named Dick Hafer and it supposedly gave the "facts" about the "gay lifestyle."

By "facts," Hafer meant Paul Cameron discredited studies and cherry-picked legitimate science enhanced by cartoons of gay men coming out of sewers to sexually accost potential victims, sexually molesting children, and spreading diseases with abandonment.

This book even puts forth the belief that gay men need to be quarantined in their homes so that parents whose children are stricken with AIDS and HIV don't harm them.

So what does this have to do with the Concerned Women for America?

Concerned Women and its president at the time, Beverly LaHaye, endorsed this monstrosity. On the back cover of the comic book are the words:

Americans need to wake up to the facts regarding the Homosexual movement. Dick Hafer exposes the depravity of their lives in his book, Deathstyle. This is a book which needs to be read by all of those concerned about society and our nation.

Now one could say that CWA shouldn't be judged on what it endorsed over 20 years ago. Fair enough.

However, to my knowledge, neither CWA or LaHaye ever rescinded the endorsement of Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternate Deathstyle.

And it can be argued that CWA continues to push the "gays and lesbians are diseased dangers to society, but to children in general" narrative contained in Deathstyle, albeit in a less "spectacularly provocative" fashion. The group certainly continues to cite Cameron's research, which makes up a huge part of  the booklet.

But basically, it comes down to one question.Who do we trust in regards to lgbt parenting?

A meticulously done study which has stood up to peer reviews?

Or a group who endorses literature which says, amongst other things, that gays should be quarantined to protect them from the families of children stricken by AIDS and HIV?

Hat tip to this webpage featuring DeathStyle. It is not anti-gay but a site which looks at "problem-based comics" from the past.

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Catholic lesbian: lgbts should be celibate and other Monday midday news briefs

Maggie & Eve: Is celibacy the 'ask' in their shared Eden? - A Catholic lesbian says lgbts should learn to be celibate like her. Repeat after me - SHE MUST BE OUT OF HER COTTONPICKING MIND!

Details Mag - Deliverance: The True Story of a Gay Exorcism - This is just sad.

Better Courts Now: Seeking Judges With a Christian Bias - I miss the good old days when people who did sneaky, underhanded things went about it in a sneaky, underhanded way instead of trumpeting their misdeeds from a mountaintop.

Gay Couples Get Equal Tax Treatment - And what, pray tell, is wrong with this?

Elton John Sings at Rush Limbaugh's 4th Wedding - Sorry, y'all but we lost Elton John around the time of the Eminem incident.

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'Gay Days at Disney' reveals ridiculous fears, prejudices

Gay Day at Walt Disney World, which took place last weekend, is an unsanctioned event in which a large number of folk from the lgbt community come to Disney World for a celebration. Attendees generally wear red to let others know that they are lgbt.

Sounds like a fun time and I'm sorry I've never attended. Naturally some folks pull out the "why are gays shoving their agenda down everyone else's throats card" - including some folks who claim to be on our side - and this is nonsense.

It's just a fun time at the park, people. Lgbts are allowed to have fun and so what if we wear red to let folks know who we are?
. It's interesting to me that while this event has been taking place since 1991, the religious right has yet to mount up a serious propaganda campaign against it.

Even our friend Porno Pete hasn't had pictures from the event gracing his site. Then was this comical something last week from One News Now:

"This Saturday, June 5, there will be approximately 15 [thousand to] 20,000 reveling homosexual, lesbian, [and] transgender people in the Magic Kingdom in Orlando," reports David Caton, founder of the Florida Family Association (FFA). "I want to encourage people who have any plans of attending the Magic Kingdom on that date to avoid it. It is a very distasteful event," he adds.

Saturday's observance falls in the midst of Orlando's annual weeklong "Gay Days" celebration that boasts of attracting more than 150,000 "gay and lesbian travelers." Websites report that homosexuals wear red that day at Walt Disney World to identify themselves to others. Caton says that over the years, he has witnessed 2,000 to 3,000 people who have left the park after learning it was packed that day with homosexuals. The event is always staged on the first Saturday of June, and he explains that activists have a reason for that.

Now how does Caton do this? Does he stand at the gate, count the folks leaving and solicits their reasons as to why?

Caton's claim gets funnier:

"There are anywhere between 50 [thousand] and 70,000 children in the theme park on that day, and we believe the reason they're doing this is because they want to have a captured audience of children," he suspects.

The FFA founder says that is part of a homosexual indoctrination process for the children.

As he has monitored the park during the annual homosexual fest at Disney, Caton notes that there have been reports of obvious debauchery involving homosexuals.

What exactly is "obvious debauchery?" Kissing? Holding hands?

Unfortunately the problem with events like this is that if someone sees one couple or one lgbt doing something slightly risque, then all attention is on that one couple - whether it be the right to further stigmatize us or some of us bending over backwards being overly apologetic.

Neither crowd seems to have the sense enough to realize that the attendees of Gay Days, whether risque or polite, cannot and should not taken as a representation of the lgbt community at large.

Nor is everything that lgbts do is a part of a coordinated plan of takeover. Believe it or no, Caton, but maybe Gay Days started because lgbts wanted to organize a group for fun at Disney World.

Someone has obviously been watching too much James Bond

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