Monday, December 13, 2010

Religious right leader admits to using bad research to demonize gay community, sees nothing wrong with it

If you want the quintessential fact why the Southern Poverty Law Center is correct in calling out certain religious right organizations for their anti-gay bias, check out this portion of an interview between members of two of these groups -  Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth and Martha Kleder of the Concerned Women for America:

Kleder: One of the things I've also noticed is that the SPLC seems to be riled by the fact . . . uh . . . if they don't particularly like your source that you document then you must be a hate group.
LaBarbera: Paul Cameron.
Kleder:  Yeah.

LaBarbera: They say if you cite Paul Cameron, then you are a hater. I mean that's ridiculous. You know there is a researcher who just came out and found that Paul Cameron's work on the greater likelihood of homosexual adoptive parents to have . . . for the child to emerge as a homosexual. He confirmed Cameron's thesis. You don't have to agree with everything Paul Cameron ever did but how proposterous to say that citing a researcher . . Paul Cameron's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. What they've done, Martha is set up these criteria and then you violate them,  they call you a hate group, and then they have their little echo chamber on the left which reports their charge. And of course the media, which really doesn't like us anyway. The media is very pro-gay, they cite us and so it begins to take a life of its own.

One of the main reasons why religious right groups (i.e. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc.) have been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups is because of their repeated citings of the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. They use his work to spread propaganda about lgbts.

'Porno' Pete LaBarbera accuses SPLC of using 'shoddy ' research

As you all may have already guessed, I am home from work today recovering from a nasty bout with a cold. But leave it to folks on the religious right to warm up my temperature. After all, it is said that heat reduces a cold.

This war that members of the religious right are waging against the Southern Poverty Law Center is reaching the point of pitiful absurdity. Earlier today, I talked about the Family Research Council's ridiculous Start Debating, Stop Hating campaign designed to portray those designated as anti-gay groups  as victims.

But I think in the case of naked audacity, our friend "Porno" Pete LaBarbera takes the cake.  From the People for the American Way (who may start charging me for referring to them so many times) comes a interview between he and Martha Kleder from Concerned Women for America - an organization not named by SPLC as a hate group but was profiled nevertheless for its anti-gay bias..

During the interview, LaBarbera repeats the ridiculous and very much discredited idea that a man who molests a young boy is gay and therefore homosexuality and pedophilia are linked.

But that inaccuracy pales to his next comment:

We need to ask the new Congress to investigate the links of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to the SPLC. We know it's research is shoddy.

Family Research Council digging itself deeper in the hole in war against hate group label

If you want more proof of the Family Research Council's anti-gay bias, check out this exchange between organization members Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg, courtesy of People for the American Way:

Perkins: So it's really an act of desperation. They've been on the defensive for slapping the label on the Family Research Council and there's some stuff coming out in the days ahead that is really going to push back and put them even more so on the defensive.

But let me zero in on some of the issues they bring up. As I stated earlier, it's all old stuff that's been out there for a long time, so it makes the timing of this very, very questionable. But one of the issues that seems to bother them the most, which I've had to debate now on a couple of TV programs, is the connection between - and this is what the social science, peer-reviewed data shows - a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. That seems to be a real problem for them.

Sprigg: Exactly. And yet it's important to spell out what we're saying and what we're not saying on that issue ...

Perkins: It's not what we're saying; it's what the social science professionals ... we take the date, we kind of break it down and communicate it to policy makers, but this is not research we've done.

Sprigg: Oh no, we've just surveyed the research that has been done. Although what's problematic is that a lot of time the researchers are unwilling to accept the logical conclusions of their own findings.

No doubt Sprigg is hinting on the complaints by researchers such as (Judith Stacey, John Horgan, Gary Remafedi, as well as many others) who have voiced objections on numerous occasions to the religious right groups - like FRC - distorting their work to push a phony notion that "homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle."

The Family Research Council tries to declare war on the Southern Poverty Law Center

Rumor control has it that the Family Research Council is taking its war against the Southern Poverty Law Center to another level.

FRC is supposedly launching a Start Debating, Stop Hating campaign designed to make it seem that SPLC is unfairly targeting the organization and other religious right groups for their stances against gay marriage.

For the record, SPLC is not targeting FRC nor any other religious right groups for their stances against gay marriage, but for their continued pushing of anti-gay falsehoods and propaganda which has been refuted more times than many of us have fingers to count.

But leave it to the Family Research Council make an attempt to obscure the issue.

On its webpage, FRC has a statement announcing the campaign. The organization is also inviting folks to sign its petition.

FRC's statement was nice but I felt that it needed work, therefore I made a few minor additions that I think puts proper perspective not only on FRC but the other organizations which were either named as hate groups or profiled.

Parts of FRC's statement are in bold and my "tweaking" is below each statement:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination.

" . . . hatred for men, which is very typical of a lesbian experience" - Kristi Hamrick,  October 16, 1996, Family Research Council web site.

"Homosexuals say they don't want the children, but boy they put a lot of energy into going after them." - Robert Knight of the Family Research Council writing in a Focus on the Family newsletter, quoted by People for the American Way, "Hostile Climate," 1997, p.15

"The homosexual rights movement has tried to distance itself from pedophilia, but only for public relations purposes." - "Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys," FRC publication, July 1999