I outline religious right distortions, Focus on the Family's Stanton responds
crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
This is actually a combination of two posts. I did it this way because it has morphed into an interesting situation. It's the first time someone from Focus on the Family (Glenn T. Stanton) has actually responded to my charges:
I want to reiterate six distortion techniques of the religious right as well as list the top 17 lies they tell about the lgbt community. I have talked in detail about all of these in the past. And I will continue to do so. If you have any questions, please do not hesiate to ask:
Top six religious right distortion techniques used to defame the lgbt community
1. Using nonrepresentative or out-of-date studies to make generalizations, or distorting legitimate studies to give misleading conclusions
Example 1 – Religious right talking point: According to the book Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women, 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having 1,000 or more sexual partners. Therefore gays have no concept of mongamy and certainly can't be trusted to raise children.
Truth – Homosexualities was a book written in 1978 that only looked a certain portion of the lgbt population (gay men in the city of San Francisco). It also did not look at same-sex households. In addition, the authors of Homosexualities (Alan Bell and Martin Weinberg) said that their book should not be used to generalize about all gays in general.
Example 2 – Religious right talking point: Same sex marriage and gay adoption are bad ideas because research shows that the best places to raise children are in homes with a mother and a father.
The truth – The research only looked at heterosexual two-parent households as opposed to single parent heterosexual households. Same-sex households were never included.
Point of fact – The following researchers, physicians, and Ph.D.s have complained about how the anti-gay industry has misused their work: A. Nicholas Groth, the six researchers of a Canadian study (Robert S. Hogg, Stefan A. Strathdee, Kevin J.P. Craib, Michael V. Shaughnessy, Julio Montaner, and Martin T. Schehter), Dr. Robert Garofalo (see Gays as Diseased)
Lisa Waldner, Patrick Letellier, Dr. Kyle Pruett, Dr. Joanne Hall, Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Carol Gilligan, Dr. Robert Spitzer, Dr. Francis Collins, Gary Remafedi, Professor Michael King, Professor Lisa Diamond, Judith Stacey, Angela Phillips, and 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).
2. Repetition – Despite the fact that several physicians and researchers complain about the distortion of their work, corrections are usually not made. In fact, you can still find the work of the six Canadian researchers, Judith Stacey, Joanne Hall, Patrick Letellier, as well as many others being distorted on various religious right webpages.
3. Conspiracy Theory – Claiming that gays and lesbians are consistently plotting to “erode traditional values”
Example – “The agenda of homosexual activists is basically to change America from what they perceive as looking down on homosexual behavior, to the affirmation of and societal acceptance of homosexual behavior. It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called After the Ball, where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior—in a decade-long time frame.” – Craig Osten, Q&A: The Homosexual Agenda, Focus on the Family, July 25, 2003
4. Dire Consequences – Claiming that a pro-gay law or ordinance will lead to negative consequences without proof that the consequences will take place.
Example 1 – “Imagine, if you will, a 280 lb linebacker who likes to wear a dress and high heels and lipstick, you know comes to church wanting a job at the front desk as a receptionist and they turn him away because they don’t feel that that represents their values or the image that they’re trying to hold at that church, under ENDA they could be held accountable for
discrimination against that individual.” – Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America, 2007
Example 2 – “H.R. 254 elevates one group of Americans above others, creating a special class of victims. All things being equal, it means that if a 5-foot-2-inch grandmother is violently attacked on the street, she is less worthy of justice than the 6-foot-4-inch homosexual man who is attacked by the same assailant.” – Matt Barber, Concerned Women for America, 2007
5. Phony Experts – Creating their own “experts” on the lgbt community. One such “expert” is Linda Harvey of Mission America. According to her bio, she is a former ad executive who became a born again Christian. Another phony expert is Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family. He is considered an “expert” on the subject of homosexuality but has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary humanities with an emphasis in philosophy, history and religion.
6. Dehumanizing Semantics – Consistentl
y using language (i.e. demonstrative verbs and adjectives) in their talking points, sound bites, and press releases to make gays and lesbians seem like impersonal, threatening outsiders
Example 1 – “But unfortunately, the evangelist observes, many Christians have been bullied into submission on the aggressive homosexual agenda in public schools.”—Evangelist Proposes to Combat Homosexual Agenda in Public Education, Agape Press, May 11, 2005
Example 2 – “Elsewhere in the battle against the homosexual agenda, the Broward County School Board in Florida has voted to allow a pro- homosexual group to indoctrinate its teachers on tolerance.”— Children Adopted by Homosexuals Suffer, Family Advocate Says, Agape Press, April 25, 2002
Example 3 – “The ACLU continues to use a law license to bully school districts and harass parents in order to brainwash their kids abut the ‘normalcy’ of homosexuality.”—Jan LaRue, ACLU Seeks Mandatory Homosexual Sensitivity Training, Concerned Women for America press release, July 14, 2005
Top lies told about the lgbt community – See how many of these you recognize:
1. Homosexuality is a lifestyle more harmful than cigarette smoking.
2. Gay men have a short life span.
3. The gay and lesbian community have a high rate of domestic violence.
4. Unhealthy behaviors (i.e. substance abuse, promiscuous sexual behavior) is indicative of the gay or lesbian orientation.
5. Gay men molest children at a high rate.
6. Gays and lesbians want to silence Christians.
7. Gays and lesbians recruit people, particularly children, to their “lifestyle.”
8. Gays and lesbians are following a six-point plan to take over America.
9. Any judge who rules in favor of the gay and lesbian community in a case is an “activist judge.”
10. Anal sex is “homosexual behavior.”
11. Robert Spitzer’s study confirms that gays and lesbians can change their orientation.
12. Gays and lesbians want to force acceptance.
13. Gay bowel syndrome is a legitimate medical term.
14. A man who molests a boy or a woman who molests a girl is automatically homosexual.
15. A convenience sample or out-of-date study can be used to generalize about an entire community.
16. The average gay man has many sexual partners.
17. Laws created to protect transgenders from discrimination will make it easier for sexual predators to come into womens' bathrooms and locker rooms.
I guess Glenn T. Stanton of Focus on the Family didn't like what I wrote because he sent me this email:
I don't know of anyone who has referred to me as an “expert” on homosexuality. I have never referred to myself on this, simply because I am not. But I would describe myself as an expert on the issue of same-sex marriage. I have published a book and had many of my articles on the subject republished in numerous mainstream volumes.
I don't mind being critiqued, but at least get it right.
This is my answer to his comment:
Mr. Stanton, if you want to play the game of “exact wording,” then you do have a point.
But Focus on the Family has positioned you as an expert in the subject of homosexuality. Your bio on the Focus on the Family webpage even says “He debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the country.”
You have also written several pieces on the subject. One piece (because of its blatant inaccuracies) comes to mind – Why Homosexuality Falls Short of the Ideal.
In that awful mess of a paper, you not only cite the discredited work of Paul Cameron (via a third party) but you also cite an antiquated medical term “gay bowel syndrome.”
I would hope that you did not use the same sloppy research in your critiques of same sex marriage.
It's nice to see Stanton admit his lack of expertise on the subject of homosexuality. Now if only others like him would do the same.
Past HB/HM pieces on Stanton: