Thursday, November 21, 2013

The anti-gay right needs to be exposed for their scientific misconduct

Today is "Throwback Thursday," but rather than focus on a kooky, fun fact, I want to focus on something which I find to be sad and disturbing.

Over the years, I have pointed out at least 12 times in which physicians and researchers have pointed out how the religious right have distorted their work to fuel anti-gay propaganda. Allow me to recap:

Last year, Seton Hall professor Dr. Theodora Sirota complained that Rick Fitzgibbons of  the 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."

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 LGBT 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.

 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 LGBT 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 the 11th researcher to complain.

As an addendum to this, in 2011, Tom Minnery, a spokesman from Focus on the Family, was dressed down by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) during a Congressional hearing for deliberately misrepresenting a study. Minnery initially used the study to claim, as Fitzgibbons did in his misrepresentation, that same-sex households are inferior to two parent mother/father households.

And here is the problem with all of these cases. Not once has any of them garnered any interest in the lgbt media or mainstream media. It sort of signifies just how clueless our gatekeepers seem to be about this so-called culture war over lgbt equality.

They make this into a case of "religious liberty" vs. gay equality, but the existence of the fact that those who plead religious liberty have a string of deliberate falsehoods puts a dagger into that concept.

The question is will this fact make it past the blogs like mine and into the mainstream conversation over lgbt equality?


dancandan said...

Thanks for this article Alvin. I feel the need to add a bit of my own observations as I have been following you and these so-called pundits for years now and have come to several conclusions. First I must agree with you that these guys start with grabbing key words and phrases from existing studies that make good sound bites and then run with them resulting in their own conclusions based on nothing other than their own biases. At no time have I observed any comments or facts that have been confirmed or even accepted by any legitimate body working within the parameters of scientific study. I am also reticent to call these people Christian as I know many Christians who actually follow the teachings of Christ and yet do not have any doubt as to the rights of all people including LGBTI's. These pundits have no problem distorting the message of Christ any more than they have distorting studies and books. They make outragious claims in their efforts to promote their agenda of demonizing LGBTI populations based on the promotion of ignorance and fear-mongering. Unfortunately there are many people who respect the word of anyone calling themselves pastor/priest/reverand especially when it matches up with what they have been told at home. Education is the key to the elimination of ignorance and flights of tantrums and anger. Let's hope that your work and that of so many other good people can be instumental in bringing this about so that we can all live in acceptable harmony and equality. After all, we all just want to be happy. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Add Ritch Savin-Williams to the list.

FRC's Peter Sprigg tried using his work to "prove" that sexual orientation could be changed.

I contacted him and he said his study showed no such thing.