Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Republicans FINALLY get around to criticizing Prop 8 decision. Whoop te do

Politico is reporting that a bunch of Republicans in the House of Representatives finally got around to criticizing the Prop 8 decision:

Republicans in California are remaining largely silent on last week's ruling overturning Proposition 8. But a band of conservative House members didn't waste a minute in their day back in Washington, highlighting their opposition to gay marriage.

Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Steve King of Iowa and John Fleming of Louisiana told reporters on Tuesday that the California federal judge who overturned Prop. 8 acted against the will of voters in striking down the state's ban on gay marriage.

"Legalizing an alternative form of marriage dilutes a long-standing and widely accepted standard of marriage as a union between a man and woman. We should adhere to such standards rather than undertake a massive social experiment with perhaps unknown consequences," said Smith, who is introducing a resolution condemning the ruling.

Bachmann said the ruling tramples on the will of the people who voted to enact the ban.

"This is yet one more example of a judge substituting his moral pronouncement under the guise of constitutional law, and I think that's what people are upset about," she said.

Who's upset? I'm not upset and neither are millions of Americans who like fairness and justice.

 Please forgive me for yawning that these folks have come in a week late with the same stupid talking points which rightfully sank Proposition 8.

Who knows, maybe King learned his lesson after sending out a letter condemning Obama appointee Kevin Jennings for contributing to the delinquency of a minor even AFTER his office was informed that Jennings didn't do anything wrong.

And I would be remiss to mention that King is the same guy who said that lgbts wouldn't have to worry about job discrimination if we were more quiet, which is the same as saying we should act ashamed about who we are and don't do anything any "normal" person would do at the job like talk about our families. 

Bachmann? I've written her off a long time ago.

Any time the lgbt community finds itself opposite Bachmann is proof that not only God exists but that He smiling upon us.

Well to that madness, allow me to post again the comments of lawyer David Boies on Face the Nation:

And let's not forget his words:

"In a court of law you've got to come in and you've got to support those opinions, you've got to stand up under oath and cross-examination. And what we saw at trial is that it's very easy for the people who want to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of the right to vote [sic] to make all sorts of statements and campaign literature, or in debates where they can't be cross-examined.

But when they come into court and they have to support those opinions and they have to defend those opinions under oath and cross-examination, those opinions just melt away. And that's what happened here. There simply wasn't any evidence, there weren't any of those studies. There weren't any empirical studies. That's just made up. That's junk science. It's easy to say that on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can't do that.

That's what we proved: We put fear and prejudice on trial, and fear and prejudice lost."

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Smearing of Prop 8 judge reveals media double standard in 'outing' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

Judge Vaughn Walker Gets Smeared By the Media - I have to agree with Michelangelo here. There is a double standard when it comes to outing.

Comparing Prop. 8 judge to Emperor Nero just the latest in Wash. Times' anti-gay assault - Does the Washington Times even like lgbt folks?

Thoughts outside of a vacuum: This Hoover makes noise but doesn't suck - I'm shocked. A conservative telling her colleagues to check themselves about opposing marriage equality.

Voters To Decide On City Domestic Partner Benefits - And I hope they decide the right way.

LaBarbera to Ann Coulter: Reconsider Appearance at Event for GOProud — Phony ‘Gay Conservatives’ - I rarely, RARELY like to include anything by Peter LaBarbera in a light that's not rightfully making fun of his madness. But THIS is too tempting. Apparently he doesn't think much of Ann Coulter appearing at a Republican gay function anymore than some of us do. Ann, dearest, while I still don't like what you stand for, LaBarbera could provide soooo much fodder for you. Take advantage, take advantage.

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Eleventh researcher complains that the religious right distorted his work

Yet another researcher is accusing religious right groups of misusing his work.

John Horgan, a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, yesterday published an article in Scientific American calling various religious right groups to task for what he says is a distortion of his work:

 . . . Christian homophobes have misused my writings on the biology of homosexuality, particularly "Gay Genes, Revisited," published in Scientific American in November 1995. In it I reported on weaknesses in the claims of scientists—and particularly the geneticist Dean Hamer, "discoverer" of the "gay gene"—that homosexuality has a genetic basis. (I've continued beating up on Hamer over the years for exaggerating the links between specific genes and behaviors; see for example this essay.)

Anti-gay Christians cite "Gay Genes, Revisited" to make the case that homosexuality is not hardwired; people with homosexual inclinations can change their behavior and even minds through therapeutic interventions. See, for example, the references to "Gay Genes, Revisited" on these Mormon and Catholic sites.

Horgan was saying that he wasn't making a case against the lgbt equality (which religious right groups have done with his piece) but  was saying that sexuality is more fluid than the simplistic notions that people are either gay or heterosexual.

Personally I am in favor of Horgan's opinion that sexuality is fluid. I also believe the phrase "gay gene" is a straw man argument, or a buzzword perpetrated by the religious right such as the phrases "radical homosexual activist" or "protecting marriage."

But the most important thing to remember is that Horgan is yet another researcher accusing the religious right of distorting his/her work. By my count, he is number 11.

For the record, there is already:

National Institute of Health director Francis Collins, who rebuked the American College of Pediatricians for falsely claiming that he stated sexual orientation is not hardwired by DNA.

Six researchers of a 1997 Canadian study (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T. Schehter), who complained in 2001 that religious right groups were distorting their work to claim that gay men have a short life span.

The authors of the book Unequal Opportunity: Health Disparities Affecting Gay and Bisexual Men in the United States (Professors Richard J. Wolitski, Ron Stall, and Ronald O. Valdiserri), who complained that their work was being distorted by Focus on the Family.

University College London professor Michael King, who complained that the American Family Association was distorting his work on depression and suicide in LGBT individuals

University of Utah professor Lisa Diamond, who complained that NARTH (the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), a group that also shares board members with the ACPED, distorted her research on sexual orientation.

Dr. Carol Gilligan, Professor of Education and Law at New York University, who complained that former Focus on the Family head James Dobson misrepresented her research to attack LGBT families.

Dr. Kyle Pruett, Ph.D., a professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, who has also complained that Focus on the Family distorted his work.

Dr. Robert Spitzer, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, who has consistently complained that religious right groups distorted his study to claim that the LGBT orientation is easily changeable.

 Judith Stacey, Professor of Sociology at New York University, who has had to, on more than one occasion, cry foul over how religious right groups distorted her work on LGBT families.

Greg Remafedi, Professor  at the University of Minnesota, who has complained several times about how religious right groups such as the American College of Pediatricians and PFOX have distorted his work, all to no avail. The American College of Pediatricians refused his request to remove his work from their site.

In light of the Prop 8 decision last week and lawyer David Boies's eloquently put take down of religious right head Tony Perkins on Face the Nation about how religious right groups deal in fear and phony data regarding the lgbt community, these complaints of scientific inaccuracies need to be brought out to a wider audience.

Remember that it is these groups which the news media legitimizes by pushing them as the "pro-family" opposition without making people aware of their history of duplicity when it comes to lgbt research.

We need to understand that religious right groups and spokespeople don't deal with concrete ideas, but abstract illusions.

They say that "every child should have a right to a mother and a father," while ignoring that the fact that while every child does have a mother and a father, not every child is born into a home with both a mother and a father and that these children do well when they are given love and support.

They claim that it is the lgbt community who are causing the most damage to American families while ignoring the real issues like poverty, socioeconomic inequalities, and lack of good health information

They divert everyone's attentions to some candy coated vision in the clouds so no one notices as they handicap the lgbt comunity at the knees.

Someone needs to start yanking away their sticks.

Big hat tip to Joe Sudbay at Americablog.

Editor's note - here is an added bonus. One of the people distorting Horgan's work, John R. Diggs,  is an old hat when it comes to misusing research to demonize the lgbt community. This post goes into detail about his highly flawed piece, The Health Risks of Gay Sex.

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