Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fake study fails to damage Southern Poverty Law Center; gay community needs to wake up

There are some in the lgbt community who believe that the Southern Poverty Law Center's naming of groups like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association as anti-gay hate groups has proven to be ineffective.

This notion comes from a degree of laziness which I will get into later in this post. However, right now I wish to state specifically that this notion is categorically false. And if my post this morning about the Family Research Council's pathetic attack on SPLC doesn't convince you, then this following item - courtesy of Equality Matters - should do the trick:

Right-wing media figures are celebrating a new paper purporting to demonstrate anti-Christian and anti-conservative bias in the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC) listing of extremist hate groups - conveniently ignoring the clear biases of the paper's author and the paper's glaring methodological problems.

On March 10, Breitbart.com's in-house anti-gay extremist Austin Ruse touted a new "study" from University of North Texas sociologist George Yancey, the author of "Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups," a paper appearing in the journal Academic Questions. In the "study," Yancey purports to have found that the SPLC's practice of identifying and labeling hate groups ignores extremism on the left, instead maligning right-wing groups like the Family Research Council (which Yancey calls the "Family Research Center"). Moreover, Yancey charges that the SPLC is far too liberal with its use of that designation, unfairly smearing sensible conservatives as hateful bigots.

The author of this piece, Luke Brinker, breaks down the immense problems of this "study" into four points:

 1. It Isn't A Study:

Yancey's paper - republished in full on Breitbart's website - is little more than a screed against the SPLC filled with right-wing boilerplate. ("Progressive groups who value tolerance may display intolerance when reacting to conservative individuals," Yancey writes, echoing conservative bloviators like Erick Erickson) But Yancey's "study" lacks a systematic and coherent methodology. There's no objective metric by which he determines whether the SPLC goes too hard on conservative groups and too easy on leftist ones.

'Human rights advocates challenging Uganda anti-gay law in court' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

The anti-gay right is going to be so mad at Honeymaid Crackers and I've already bought the champagne to celebrate the freak out. 

In other news:

Human Rights Groups Petition Uganda’s Constitutional Court over Anti-Homosexuality Act - More details on this story courtesy of the awesome Box Turtle Bulletin.

 Meet the American Pastor Behind Uganda's Anti-Gay Crackdown - If you have not already read this article on Scott Lively, I suggest that you do.  

New York City Schools Implement Transgender Inclusion Guidelines - Sweeet!

 Meet The World's LGBT Billionaires - Or as six of them shall be known as - "Alvin McEwen's new husbands."  Of course I don't intend to marry them all at the same time and sue me already for being so predatory but a Queen needs his "security.

Michele Bachmann, Matt Barber are just so TIRED of being 'picked on' by 'the gays!' - I'm posting to this again because I'm just so darn proud of it!

Family Research Council creating false hysteria about SPLC program in Hawaii

FRC's Tony Perkins
The Family Research Council is attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center again.

Ever since SPLC named FRC as an anti-gay hate group for consistenly and deliberately launching inaccurate attacks against the lgbt community, FRC has been taking  potshots at the organization. From accusing the group of attempting to taint the military against Christians to falsely linking the group to an awful near massacre at FRC headquarters (in which a deranged young man, Floyd Corkins,  attempted to force his way in, shoot FRC employees, and stuff Chick-Fil-A sandwiches down their throats), FRC has been practically itching to seek some sort of retribution against SPLC.

And every time the organization attacks SPLC,  it gives SPLC's supporters (and yes you can include me in that group) an opportunity to publicly prove the fact that FRC is in fact an anti-gay hate group.

This is the latest attack from FRC:

They say you can't buy love, but that won't stop SPLC from trying! Money may be no object for the anti-Christian group, but mainstream support certainly is. Facing growing scrutiny for their tainted and biased "research" from the military to the media, Southern Poverty Law Center is resorting to bribing teachers to force their agenda into the public schools where unsuspecting children reside. In Hawaii, eyebrows shot up at the news that SPLC was giving teachers a $250 kickback just for attending a local training session on "Teaching Tolerance." The cash incentive struck a lot of people as odd, including state Representative Bob McDermott. In academia, where educators are used to paying for trainings -- not profiting from them -- McDermott thought something smelled fishy with SPLC's offer. In a letter to Hawaii State Department of Education District Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi, he asked the office to put the brakes on the session. Matayoshi refused and instead gave the department's blessing to the workshop, which SPLC held the first weekend of March.

That's FRC's sordid rendition of the story. However, a more objective piece from the Hawaii Reporter reveals that the claim of "paying teachers to attend the program" is merely a cover for yet another attack on the lgbt community:

The “agenda” of the program concerns McDermott, because he said there's obvious “social engineering,” including a “disproportionate focus on normalizing homosexuality,” while also trying to discredit Christian beliefs. “The theme of this curriculum is so called ‘anti-bias’ unless, of course, you are a person of faith. One example is the following: ‘Patrick is being raised in a very strict and exclusionary fundamentalist Christian home…’. If that is not biased I do not know what is,” McDemott said.

And there is the rub. From the FRC:

Digging deeper into SPLC's materials, the state rep was outraged to see that almost 25% of the example scenarios "deal with gay acceptance." "Why is the gay population -- which is no more than 4% of the general population -- consistently disproportionately represented in these new teaching materials?"

And yet another portion of the article - courtesy of the Hawaii Reporter - which FRC omitted in its hysterical article:

 Maureen Costello, director of the Teaching Tolerance program, said the organization works around the country with various school districts within the guidelines of the school districts, either by donating to the schools or paying a small stipend to teachers who help improve the pilot program and Hawaii did in fact approve teachers to receive stipends.

 . . .  "There is real tension around the LGBT issues and some faith based people. We work to find common ground. Every parent wants their child to feel safe and accepted at school. We want everyone to get along even if they do not share the same values," Costello said.
Costello said the pilot program is still being revised and Hawaii teachers across the state are having input into the final product. Some teachers have told the law center that they believe more information on native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders should be included, and the law center is working to incorporate that suggestion, she said. Costello also offered to meet with McDermott or his staff via Skype to give them access to the full curriculum and to review it with them.

One wonders if McDermott will take Costello up on the offer. I think he should. I also think he should leave FRC by the wayside because it's obvious that the organization is using him to not only unfairly attack the lgbt community (the main reason why SPLC declared it to be a hate group) but also to make inaccurate statements about SPLC, such as the following:

 . . . it's a program that may be coming to a school district near you. According to Costello, SPLC has been dangling money in front of educators -- and schools -- for the opportunity to teach the kind of "tolerance" that motivates people to bring guns into office buildings and shoot innocent people.

Whatever the case may be, it's not farfetched to say that FRC doesn't give a damn about the safety of Hawaiian students. Nor does the organization care about anything else but "settling the score" against SPLC.

Perhaps FRC should school itself on what the Bible says about revenge, especially if said revenge is against a justifiable action.

Related post:

16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group