|So-called pro-family groups have created an industry of lies against LGBTQ people, many of them pushing the 'gays want to recruit your children' trope.|
On Wednesday, a USA Today article revealed that legislation across the country banning trans athletes from girls sports is based on lies. The article went viral and generated much discussion. And amidst the discussions were folks saying "we told you so."
I should know because one of those people was me. Those who have followed this blog know that its main purpose is to expose anti-LGBTQ propaganda and lies.
Denigrating LGBTQ people via junk science, cherry-picked science, and lies have been cornerstone of religious right groups such as the Family Research Council, the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Heritage Foundation, the American Family Association, and countless other so-called pro-family and 'traditional values' groups across the country.
The USA Today article, talking about a specific political debate, didn't begin to tell the full story. There are several times in which these so-called traditional values groups have been caught misrepresenting information to denigrate LGBTQ people and families:
In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified several arguments made against LGBTQ people by 'pro-family' groups (i.e. gays molest children at a higher rate than heterosexuals, same-sex parents damage children, homosexuality is caused by child sexual abuse etc) and found that those arguments were based upon - wait for it - lies and scientific distortions. SPLC declared organizations deliberately pushing these lies to be hate groupsIn Oct. 2014, Politifact called out the Family Research Council and its president, Tony Perkins, for misusing studies to claim that science backs up the belief that children do better in a mother/father home.
And here are a few others which I have called out in the past:
In 2017, the The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) called out Dr. Michelle Cretella, the president of the American College of Pediatricians (ACEP), for a piece she wrote which attacked the transgender community. ACEP is an organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for how it attempts to legitimatize anti-LGBTQ lies under the veneer of science. SAHM called out eight errors and distortions Cretella made in her piece.In 2012, 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."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), complained in 2001 that religious right groups were distorting their work to claim that gay men have a short life span.
From the 1970s when Anita Bryant falsely connected homosexuality and pedophilia to now when the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Family Research Council, etc claim that transgender girls are taking unfair advantage of cis girls, these lies have bred a lot of success. And they will continue to breed success, and a much legislation curtailing LGBTQ rights and safety, unless people begin to seriously make an effort to call them out.
The USA Today article is a start, but simply cannot be a single moment in time.