Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Call out a phony anti-gay study and you are a Nazi

Mark Regnerus' bad study continues to cause chaos.
And yet another person has risen to defend Mark Regnerus' fraudulent study on gay parenting.

Karl D. Stephan, a professor of electrical engineering (you read that right) has published a piece in the Crisis magazine lambasting the critics of Regenrus' study and claiming that Regnerus is being personally attacked because he supposedly dared to publish a politically incorrect study.

And to do so, he even invokes images of Nazi Germany and its persecution of Jewish people:

In the 1930s, many prominent scientists and engineers in Germany lost their reputations, their jobs, and some eventually their lives because of a non-scientific reason: they happened to be Jews, or outspoken Christians, or simply opposed to some political aim of the government. Everyone now agrees that this was a grievous violation of human rights, an early warning sign of the greater wrongs the German government would do in World War II. While that situation differs from the one Regnerus finds himself in by degree, does it differ in kind from what Jewish scientists suffered in Germany in the 1930s?

Regnerus has reached scientific conclusions that oppose the prevailing political winds. Though his punishment has come from activists rather than official government sources, it is no less politically motivated and no less unjust. Smith thinks the integrity of the social-science research process is threatened by the “public smearing and vigilante media attacks” mounted against Regnerus. If such attacks are successful, we have taken a long step away from scientific integrity and a long step toward the encouragement of a political atmosphere that is totalitarian in its effects.

It probably would have been better had Stefan had just addressed the reasons why folks are questioning Regnerus' work. He briefly talks about it in this mind-boggling paragraph in which he pretty much says he isn't going to address the study's errors:

Regnerus’s study, which he himself admits is not perfect, found otherwise. There were significant negative consequences of being raised by parents who were gay, according to the study. I am not going to address the controversial question of defining “gay” or how extensive the negative consequences were or how accurate and scientific the study was.

Stefan then attempts to make it seem that he is merely criticizing the process in which the peer-review of the study was attacked:

A journalist and self-described “minorities anti-defamation professional” whose pseudonym is Scott Rose wrote a letter to the University of Texas administration alleging that Regnerus’s paper falsified data. This is the most serious professional charge that anyone can level against a scientist, comparable to a malpractice charge against a doctor.

The first wrongdoing (as I pointed out in a letter published in the Austin American-Statesman) was for UT Austin to act on such complaints from a person who was not in a competent professional position to make such assessments. Scott Rose is not a sociologist. Rose has since published the full “evidence” he plans to present to UT Austin, and it consists of two kinds of arguments. One kind comprises disputes over methods and definitions that Regnerus used. If Rose had been selected as a reviewer of Regnerus’s paper, these arguments might have played a role at that point. But Rose, not being a qualified sociologist, has no professional standing to make them, and they must be assessed on their merits by other professional sociologists.

Scott Rose is a free-lance writer who has been calling out Regnerus' study from day one. He is probably the one most singularly responsible for a lot of the negative attention it has been receiving.

However, in calling his name, Stefan makes an error. He makes it seem that Rose is the only person responsible for Regnerus' study being criticized. This is not true.

In June, over 200 professors and therapists sent a letter to James Wright, editor of “Social Science Research,” the journal where Regnerus’s study was published, questioning the study and the process in which it was reviewed.

And it's not as if Stefan isn't aware of the letter. He even acknowledges it in an offhand way:

I have not even mentioned the press coverage with derogatory headlines, the letter signed by over a hundred sociologists objecting to Regnerus’s conclusions, and the politically motivated letter-mobbing of the journal’s editor, James Wright, which pressured him to request the review audit.

Furthermore, Stefan omits the other experts (pointed out by Equality Matters) who has condemned Regnerus' study.

 The grand irony of Stefan's sad defense of Regnerus' work is that he cites another defense of the study from sociologist Christian Smith. In his piece, Smith didn't even address the study's errors. Instead, just like Stefan, he attempted to make Regnerus a victim.

But at least he didn't have the poor taste to imply that Regnerus' critics were just like Nazis persecuting Jews.

What's that saying about if you have to invoke Nazis to describe your opponents, that's a sure sign that you have lost the argument?

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'What gays have to deal with on a daily basis' and other Wednesday midday news briefs

The news briefs today are dedicated to the crap that gays are subjected to on a daily basis and it is directed at people who can't seem to understand why we at times get angrier than most folks:

 Bryan Fischer: Children Of Same-Sex Couples Must Be Saved Through ‘Underground Railroad’ Kidnapping - Real classy as usual, Bryan Fischer. People who don't understand gay anger can't seem to realize that we hear crap like this on a daily basis.  

Just an FYI to Minnesota For Marriage (subject: stock photo bride) - Speaking of which, check out what this woman says. It comes straight out of a religious right text. 

 Staver & Barber Say Democratic Platform Supporting Marriage Equality will Lead to Christian Persecution - Lies and more lies.

NCLR Responds to Indianapolis Public Schools Termination of Expulsion of Bullied Gay Student - This gay student was expelled for defending himself against bullies and then done dirty by the school district. 

NOM Is Still Protesting General Mills, Now For Supporting Healthy Living - Of course if gays were healthy, then the religious right would have nothing to kick about. 

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Call out CAAP for its attempt to divide the black and gay communities

Bill Owens - NOM's tool
As I have pointed out in numerous posts, there is a plot to sabotage President Obama's support in the black community.

The Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) is demanding that members of the black community withhold their votes from President Obama until he no longer supports marriage equality.

However, CAAP is merely a shell group which seems to be backed by the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay group who is endorsing Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney.

Tuan N'Gai is concerned about this situation and he has created a petition calling about CAAP for its actions:

Stop the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) from dividing the Black Community and splitting the Black vote. Now is the time for justice and unity.

Instead of uniting the Black Community to fight against Voter ID/Suppression laws, drugs, violent crimes, lack of education, high unemployment and the disproportionate number of Black men in the prison system, the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP) is rallying for 100,000 signatures on a petition to stand against President Obama in this election because of his personal views on marriage equality. We must stop allowing our community to be divided over our diversity, and focus on those things that make us the same. Equality has never hurt anyone, it only makes us stronger.

I have already signed it and anyone else interested in calling out CAAP should sign it.  There is also a section to leave comments. I would suggest that you say succinctly why you feel about CAAP's efforts.

Bet succinct. But above all, be polite, direct, and to the point.

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