Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Research Council makes BIG mistake in cherry-picking my words

Dear  Family Research Council,

I was rather touched when I found out that you devoted a column on your site to me. I was really touched by you mentioning me in the headline - Homosexual Activist: “Hate Group” Charge Doesn’t Require “Hate."

I was floored by the acknowledgement of my work to unmask your lies when you said the following:

One homosexual blogger (and regular critic of FRC) did a detailed critique of the FRC Issue Brief.

But what I was especially honored by was the way you cherry-picked a sentence out of my post to take my words out of context.

After all, you have spent so many years distorting and cherry-picking other work that if you hadn't done the same to me, I would have felt left out. I am honored to now be in the company of such luminaries as Robert Garafalo.

Remember him? In 1998,  you distorted his work to make a false claim about supposed negative behaviors amongst gay youth. When told of his complaint, a former employee of yours, Robert Knight, called Garafalo a "thrall of political correctness."

I wouldn't be bringing that up except for the fact that over a decade later, you all are still distorting his work in a piece which continues to be on the FRC site (Getting It Straight, pg. 88).

But I digress. The sentence you cherry-picked from my work - “Now whether or not FRC hates gays is irrelevant.” - was in answer to an annoying ramble your writer went on, spouting the usual talking points on how the Family Research Council does not hate the gay community, but apparently you hate the supposedly negative behavior of homosexuality and that your attacks on the gay community is out of love.

I have one question.

How is it that you assessed that homosexuality is a so-called negative behavior? No one on your staff has ever done any studies on the matter. To my knowledge, there are no researchers, scientists, or physicians of any type on the FRC staff. All you employ are spokes models, scandal-plagued retirees and ethically-challenged pastors.

On what ground do you stand on to claim that there is a link between homosexuality and pedophilia when the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America, all say that the homosexuality and pedophilia are not linked?

How is it can you call homosexuality a dangerous lifestyle when medical professionals have pointed out that it is the homophobia which gays have to deal with which causes things like drug abuse and depression (and that is something you should know because more than once, you have cherry-picked work from these sources).

But again, I digress. Let's talk about hatred. My point in that post which you so incredibly got inaccurate was in the long run, your motivation for lying and demonizing the gay is more irrelevant than the fact that you offer very little defense of your lies.

Writer finds heavy anti-gay animosity while undercover at NOM conference

Carlos Maza went undercover at a NOM conference.

Carlos Maza of  site Equality Matters (i.e. Media Matters) did something incredible.

He went undercover at a National Organization for Marriage conference which, was according to him, was "meant to prepare college students to defend "natural marriage" on their campuses by introducing them to a number of prominent anti-gay speakers and activists."

Maza said he wanted to see whether or not NOM's plans for halting marriage equality was not built on an idea of animosity towards the gay community. He also wanted to see what NOM officials were saying about the gay community when the media was not present.

Since its founding in 2007, NOM has loudly proclaimed that its "battle is not with an orientation"; that, despite opposing gay marriage, the organization isn't motivated by animosity towards gay and lesbian people. This distinction - "we're not anti-gay, just anti-gay marriage" - has allowed NOM to differentiate itself from organizations that have been labeled "hate groups" for peddling known falsehoods about LGBT people. But, I wanted to see it for myself. Attending ITAF would give me an opportunity to find out what NOM was really saying about LGBT people when it wasn't mincing words for mainstream media outlets.

To say that what Maza found wasn't pretty is a severe understatement. According to Maza, the organization is heavily pushing the idea that gay relationships are unstable:
The first seminar of the morning was given by Bill Duncan, director of the anti-equality Marriage Law Foundation. His talk - "Marriage and the Law" - attempted to establish a legal case for barring same-sex couples from marrying. The speech was basically a rehashing of NOM's list of pre-approved marriage talking points; marriage is about procreation, marriage equality would redefine the institution of marriage for everyone, mothers and fathers aren't optional, etc. It was also a perfect example of the kind of 'protect marriage' rhetoric NOM prefers to use when it's in the public eye. Duncan's comments were anti- equality, sure, but none of what he said was particularly anti-gay.  
Next up was Dr. Jenet Erickson, an assistant professor at BYU's School of Family Life. Her seminar, titled "Marriage: The Indispensable Social Institution," focused on the relationship between marriage and parenting by attempting to make the case that married, heterosexual couples offer the best environment for raising children. She called same-sex relationships "inherently unstable," suggesting that gay partners eventually get bored of each other as a result of having the same gender.

At the end of her speech, Erickson was asked how she would counter stories of well-adjusted children raised by same-sex parents. She responded by asserting that the majority of same-sex couples are "dysfunctional" and "erratic," citing a widely discredited gay parenting study conducted by UT Austin associate professor Mark Regnerus

Anti-gay activist blasts NOM's Brian Brown for debate with Dan Savage

Editor's note - It's a two post day today. After reading this piece on Peter LaBarbera calling out Brian Brown for his debate with Dan Savage, pan down below to read Family Research Council anti-gay pamphlet filled with cherry-picked science.

Apparently, the gay community are not the only ones who think that NOM president Brian Brown lost the debate with Dan Savage.

What does it say for Brown when someone like "Porno Pete" LaBarbera blasts him "helping Dan Savage."

Hat tip to Goodasyou.

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Family Research Council anti-gay pamphlet filled with cherry-picked science

Editor's note - This is the second post of my two-post Tuesday morning. After reading this one, check out Anti-gay activist blasts NOM's Brian Brown for debate with Dan Savage. 

In the argument on whether or not the Family Research Council is a hate group, people neglect to look closely at the information put out by the organization pertaining to the gay community. A quick look at a pamphlet by FRC is more than enough to call out the organization on the charge of it being a hate group.

From time to time, religious right groups will publish "studies" or "resource guides" which they claim give the true picture of homosexuality. These guides are meant to be referred to by individuals who want  reasons to oppose lgbt progress, be it in schools or society in general.

A perfect example of one of these "research guides" is an interesting piece of work on webpage of the Family Research Council entitled The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality.

According to its author Peter Sprigg:

The homosexual movement is built, not on facts or research, but on mythology. Unfortunately, these myths have come to be widely accepted in society—particularly in schools, universities and the media. It is our hope that by understanding what these key myths are—and then reading a brief summary of the evidence against them—the reader will be empowered to challenge these myths when he or she encounters them.

According to Sprigg, these "myths" include the following:

  • People are born gay.
  • Sexual orientation can never change.
  •  Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.
  • Homosexuals are no more likely to molest children than heterosexuals.

Sprigg isn't necessarily unbiased when it comes to the lgbt community. At one time he said that "homosexual behavior" should be declared illegal. Another time before that, he publicly said that lgbts should be exported out of the United States.

However, even excluding  Sprigg's dubious comments, there is enough problems with Ten Myths to question its credibility.

At first glance, Ten Myths looks legitimate. However, a more intensive look reveals it to be a mishmash of inaccurate theories, cherry-picked work, and studies taken out of context created to justify homophobia

The following are just a few of the problems with Ten Myths:

1. Ten Myths repeats the lie that the Robert Spitzer study proves that homosexuality is changeable, excluding the fact that Spitzer has said on more than one occasion that his research was being distorted.

2. Ten Myths utilizes the work of  the organization National Association for  Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The website Truth Wins Out calls NARTH  a discredited “ex-gay” fringe organization that peddles fraudulent “cures” for homosexuality.

According to Truth Wins Out, several NARTH members have been embroiled in controversies including:

Gerald Schoenwolf, PhD, a member of NARTH’ “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a piece on the group’s website that seemed to justify slavery

NARTH psychiatrist Joseph Berger, MD, another member of its “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a paper encouraging students to “ridicule” gender variant children.

Also, according to Truth Wins Out:

NARTH’ co-founder, Joesph Nicolosi encourages male clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as “dude”. NARTH therapists have been known to practice rubber band therapy, where a gay client is made to wear a rubber band and snap it on his wrist when sexually stimulated. It is a mild form of aversion therapy meant to “snap” the client out of the moment of attraction. NARTH members have also been known to practice “touch therapy”, where a client sits in the therapist’ lap for up to an hour, while the therapist caresses him.

Earlier this year, another member of NARTH, George Rekers, resigned from the organization after caught coming from a vacation overseas with a "rentboy."

3. Ten Myths cites Ex-gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation by Stanton L. Jones and Mark A Yarhouse as proof that people can change their sexual orientation. However in 2009, the American Psychological Association repudiated this study for bad methodology. Furthermore, Ten Myths does not address the conclusion by the APA last year that programs created to change a person's several orientation does not work.

4. Ten Myths pushes the inaccuracy that a man who molests a boy is automatically gay even though the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America, all say that the homosexuality and pedophilia are not linked

5. But the most egregious inaccuracy in Ten Myths - and also something that says a lot about the mindset of its author, Peter Sprigg - is the following passage:

Even the pro-homosexual Gay & Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) acknowledges:

• “Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population . . .”
• “Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men have higher rates of alcohol dependence and abuse . . . .”
• “ . . . [G]ay men use tobacco at much higher rates than straight men . . . .”
• “Problems with body image are more common among gay men . . . and gay men are much more likely to experience an eating disorder . . . .”

The GLMA also confirms that:

• “ . . . [L]esbians may use tobacco and smoking products more often than heterosexual women use them.”
• “Alcohol use and abuse may be higher among lesbians.”
• “ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.”

Homosexual activists generally attempt to explain these problems as results of “homophobic discrimination.” However, there is a serious problem with that theory—there is no empirical evidence that such psychological problems are greater in areas where disapproval of homosexuality is more intense.

So Sprigg's point is that the lgbt orientation itself is indicative of negative behaviors (i.e. drug and alcohol abuse) and not the homophobia that lgbts face.

But strange enough, the source which he cites - the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association - says that homophobia is the reason for many of these health problems. Sprigg deliberately omits information pointing this out:


“Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate . . . .”


Depression and anxiety appear to affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. The likelihood of depression or anxiety may be greater, and the problem may be more severe for those men who remain in the closet or who do not have adequate social supports. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide because of these concerns.


“ . . . [L]esbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women.


Research indicates that lesbians may use illicit drugs more often than heterosexual women. This may be due to added stressors in lesbian lives from discrimination. Lesbians need support from each other and from health care providers to find healthy releases, quality recreation, stress reduction, and coping techniques. 

So basically The Top Ten Myths of Homosexuality is a fraud.  And the mythology that Sprigg spoke of has nothing to do with lgbts but with the mindset of anyone who takes his paper seriously and sees it for more than what it is - blatant homophobia wrapped up in phony science.

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