Monday, July 02, 2012

The religious right has an 'Erica Kane' complex

From Right-Wing Watch comes a yet another "oh Lawdy, Lawd! America is in the greatest trouble we have ever seen!" video from the religious right:

How many times have we seen religious right figures sound the alarm about yet another supposed moral calamity facing this country?

It would seem that America has had more close calls with disaster than Erica Kane from the soap opera All My Children.

My question will how long will it take before someone starts to ask just how many supposed calamities can one country face? According to the religious right, America has been at death's door so many times that we have worn out the welcome mat.

Either this country has problems or certain entities are making their name and money off of scaring folks.

I tend to think it's more of column B than column A.

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'Anderson Cooper comes out, anti-gay study to be investigated' and other Monday midday news briefs

Anderson Cooper Comes Out To Andrew Sullivan! You're Welcome - Not one for the celebrity thing, but this is a HUGE deal.  

University Of Texas To Investigate Flawed Parenting Study - And while eclipsed by Anderson Cooper coming out, this is ANOTHER HUGE DEAL. 

 Related post -Anti-gay study another chapter in history of religious right distortions
BREAKING: Boehner appeals DOMA cases to Supreme Court - I'm personally all for this.

 Facebook stick figures catch up with wedded reality - And now, Facebook is getting with the times.

Anti-gay study another chapter in history of religious right distortions

In what should be front page news on a vast majority of lgbtq publications and blogs, as well as mainstream publications (but for some reason isn't), over 200 professors and therapists took the unusual step of calling out a recently published study by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas which challenges the notion that gay parenting is equal to heterosexual parenting.

The letter (seen here) signed by these professors and therapists called into question the study's credibility due to it's funding, poor methodology, and suspiciously short process it took Social Science Research (where the study was published) to review it prior to publication.

At the heart of the letter is the suspicion that from day one, this study was bought, paid for, and pushed by individuals who seek to not only curtail marriage equality, but gay equality in general under the guise of scientific legitimacy.

This controversy, which has been brewing since the study was announced in early June, is far from over. But for those interested in such things, it shines a light on what I have repeatedly called an overlooked  scandal in the fight over gay equality.

Over a number of years, there has been a tendency on the part of religious right and supposedly pro-family groups to either distort legitimate science in their pursuit of hindering gay rights.

There have been a number of researchers and professors who have had to openly complain as to how these supposedly Christian groups and their spokespeople distort their work in order to demonize the lgbtq community and prove a false theory that homosexuality is a "dangerous lifestyle."

They include:

National Institute of Health director Francis Collins, who rebuked the right-wing 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 which also share board members with the American College of Pediatricians, 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 lgbtq 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. Earlier this year, Spitzer not only retracted his study but apologized for conducting it.

 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 lgbtq 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 2010, John Horgan, a science journalist and Director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, became yet another professor to complain about how religious right groups were distorting his work.

Earlier this year, Seton Hall professor Dr. Theodora Sirota complained that Rick Fitzgibbons of NARTH (the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) misused her work to make the case that children in same sex households are not raised better than children "in stable homes with a mother and a father."

In addition, there have been other cases in which religious right groups and their spokespeople have freely played the "sin of omission," i.e. citing a study to criticize the gay community while either omitting the fact that the study had nothing to do with the gay community or deliberately omitting details in said study which destroys their theory that "negative behaviors" such as drug and alcohol abuse are indicative of the gay community instead of the result of the homophobia thrown at the gay community.