Wednesday, March 06, 2013

'Homosexuality is dangerous and Obama hates mothers!'

Matt Barber
Religious right and conservative groups have launched two distortions against the lgbt community this morning. One has to do with the false claim of the supposed dangers of homosexuality while the other will most likely be a new talking point against the Obama Administration in the upcoming Supreme Court Prop 8 battle.

Let's look at both distortions:

1. The false dangers of homosexuality 

The AFA's Instant Analysis published the following piece this morning:

Earlier research reinforced: Homosexuality is unhealthy lifestyle

A new study comparing same-sex couples to married heterosexuals shows that the former are less healthy than the latter. Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, tells American Family News the latest numbers were published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. It found that same-sex cohabiting men were 61 percent more likely to report "poor or fair health" than an equitable number of men reporting from heterosexual marriages. Likewise, same-sex cohabiting women were 46 percent more likely to report the same when compared to heterosexual married women.

 . . . "We have known this for a long time," Barber notes. "There have been a number of studies indicating, for instance, that there are increased rates of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse within the homosexual community, and this is just in keeping with what the International Journal of Epidemiology found in 1997, a Canadian study." In that study, homosexual men were shown to have a lifespan 8-20 years shorter than those who do not engage in that lifestyle. But Dr. Hui Liu of Michigan State University, the professor who led the new study, claims the fact that homosexuals cannot marry, as well as the burden of stress and discrimination, are to blame for the results. Barber does not agree.

Barber and AFA are incredibly brazen here. The study in question does not even say that homosexuality is an "unhealthy lifestyle." Rather, it makes the argument that the denial of the right to marry is keeping the gay community from having better health.

And what's even more brazen? Barber admits that this is the study's conclusion  but says he disagrees with it without offering any proof that the conclusion is in error.

In other words, Barber cherry-picks a portion of the study which suits his views while dismissing the rest of the study which contradicts his views. And he does so openly and without shame.

Even the 1997 study Barber alludes to is a distortion. In 2001, the researchers of that study complained that religious right spokespeople such as Barber were distorting their work. They never said that homosexuality was a "dangerous lifestyle." They were saying that there needed to be better ways to combat HIV.

2. Obama Administration says mothers are not important

According to the conservative CNS News, the Obama Administration's recent brief to the Supreme Court supporting marriage equality bashes mothers:

The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers. The Justice Department’s argument on the superfluity of motherhood is presented in a brief the Obama administration filed in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman.

The article then proceeds to attack the Obama Administration and the American Psychological Association to reinforce its claim that somehow mothers in general are being attacked.

Of course this is a lie. Nowhere in its brief did the Obama Administration say that mothers are not important. What the brief, using information from the APA, did was to contradict the claim made by opponents to marriage equality that only a mother and a father in a home can properly raise children.

The brief merely points out that same-sex households are also able to raise properly raise children.

But the meme that the Obama Administration is "bashing mothers" will most likely be a religious right talking point.  The meme is already making its way via several webpages including that of the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage.

How soon will it be before Matt Drudge and Fox News starts repeating the meme?

The lgbt community should get angry at these two blatant attempts to distort their lives. But they should also keep in mind that these lies betray a certain desperation on the part of religious and conservative groups.

Because both lies are not only brazen but careless and easy to refute, thus reinforcing the fact that when one gets desperate, one starts to make mistakes.


BJ Jackson Lincoln said...

I am not going to get upset over anything they say at this point.
As you pointed out, desperation will cause mistakes. The only ones who should care about this info are those who will be defending our side so they can point out the flaws.

They can't give up because they pushed this to the SC but they have to know they are going to lose.
After reading every brief, for and against, there is no way SCOTUS will rule in favor of discrimination.
They have nothing but lies, hate, and a holy book. That may have worked 50 years ago but not today.

We have a huge body of proof and a ever growing majority on our side as well as the connected world through the internet.
The whole world is watching and SCOTUS can not rule against equality.
My wife and I are in better health because we are together and we both have passed the life span marker.
We are also single mothers that did a fine job raising our kids and now looking after Grandkids.

Anonymous said...

So, lets get this "Straight": Gay people who have been marginalized, ostracized, and often denied the equal access to health benefits, tax benefits, and the protections of Marriage for estate planning, are slightly less healthy than people that have those protections? Seems to me that they have just proven why Marriage Inequality is harmful and why it needs to be more equally applied.

Sterling Ericsson said...

I left a comment on Instant Analysis. Let's see if the moderators let it through.