crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
I just caught on to something that happened two months ago regarding me and the discredited researcher Paul Cameron and at first, I was unhappy about it. But now, my opinion has changed a bit
In September of this year, Cameron posted a long, rambling diatribe on his web page of his organization, The Family Research Institute, entitled Prop 8 Decision — Triumph of ‘Scientifically Proven Sameness’.
Allow me to break down the main thrust of his piece if I can:
Judge Walker made the Prop 8 trial a ‘social-science-evidence-based case,’ in which a ‘scientifically proven sameness’ — in reality, a deception by the professional associations in support of gay rights — was legally recorded as “fact.” This strategy mimicked the professional associations in making the issues of gay rights and marriage political, rather than empirical — willing to dissemble to advance ‘the noble cause.’ He put every assertion by the defenders of Proposition 8 to what might be considered ‘rigorous scientific test’ (including disregarding an expert witness because he had not published in peer-reviewed journals).
To be sure, homosexual activists have been building a ‘scientific case’ that homosexuality is irrelevant to marriage or successful child rearing — and also unrelated to child molestation, etc. — by publishing quasi-bogus conclusions appended to empirical studies in the journals of the major psychiatric professions, or by getting these associations to make exculpatory pronouncements. Consistent with Judge Walker’s legal argument, most of these studies purport to ‘prove’ that the outcomes and consequences of homosexuality are no different than the outcomes and consequences of heterosexuality.
Since a trove of such studies exist, then if what ‘science’ is is what gets published in peer-reviewed professional journals or declared by professional associations, the homosexuals ‘win.’ After all, homosexual sympathizers have generated more pro-gay conclusions based on social science studies than conclusions in studies that refute their ‘proof.’
The huge argument Cameron seems to be making is that those who were defending Proposition 8 were scared away from referring to studies that would adequately defend the law:
The American Psychological Association, for instance, is ‘all in’ for gay rights, declaring that the outcomes of homosexual parenting or gay mental health are ‘the same’ as heterosexual parenting or heterosexuals. Walker was well aware of these studies, and undoubtedly thought it was time to ‘put marriage to the scientific test.’ If a larger number of studies on one side carried the day, homosexuals would win. As it turned out, since the Proponents (i.e., those trying to defend Prop 8 ) presented essentially no studies, the ‘scientific case’ was easily ‘won’ by the homosexuals.
But quantity does not equal quality, as the saying goes. And so it is with research on homosexuality. In fact, even the claim that the quantity of evidence favors gay rights is bogus, for in study after study promoted by homosexual activists, the actual data at the heart of the research often belies the conclusions drawn by the authors. Instead, a careful sifting of the existing research shows that the great bulk of social science evidence — particularly from better-done studies — stacks against homosexuality being just as valuable as heterosexuality. For instance, homosexuals contribute to the West’s current demographic decline, gay unions appear to exacerbate the burden of homosexuals on public health, and homosexuals exhibit poorer parenting outcomes (including higher rates of molesting their charges), etc.
Given this context, the decision of Proponents’ lawyers to downplay the existing empirical findings about homosexuals verges on astounding.
. . . Proponents did not rebut much of the evidence presented by Plaintiffs, including claims homosexuals were no more apt to molest children (another bogus ‘scientifically proven sameness’). Proponents, including their key expert witness, went on record with “We have never disputed and we have offered to stipulate that gays and lesbians have been the victims of a long and shameful history of discrimination” and also allowed that permitting gay marriage would make our society ‘more fair.’
And these statements were made by our side.
Cameron claims they were especially scared away from using his research. And then he had the nerve to cite my book, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters, to make this case:
We at Family Research Institute (FRI), of course, have ‘skin in this game.’ As researchers, we have published more extensively on homosexuality in peer-reviewed scientific journals than any one else on ‘our side.’ Long ago, we recognized that the move to base public policy on social science research would catapult gay rights to the ‘cat bird seat’ unless quality counter-evidence was assembled.
As a consequence, FRI’s Chairman and founder, Dr. Paul Cameron, has been an expert witness on homosexual issues for a number of states and two federal governments. However, our beliefs that
- that homosexuality ought to be made illegal so that ‘gay parades,’ ‘gay curricula’, and the subsidization of the homosexual movement through ‘AIDS education’ can be stopped;
- that ‘reparative therapy’ is of rather limited value in changing those addicted to homosexuality; and
- that granting ‘gay domestic partnerships’ is a long step in the wrong direction,
have put FRI at odds with first, the homosexual movement, and secondly with many in the ‘Evangelical establishment.’
By scouring FRI and our research from their defense of Prop 8, its Proponents have almost assured that our side cannot win on the ‘social science’ battleground. Why? Alvin McEwen, of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Exposing the Lies of the Anti-Gay Industry fame, put it correctly when he opined
Sheldon, Dobson, etc., may be leaders and the spokespeople of the anti-gay industry, but it is Cameron who has provided the framework for almost every study, statistic, and claim that the anti-gay industry uses against the gay and lesbian community. All forms of anti-gay propaganda they use are rooted in some form or another in his work. (Pp. 41-42)
This, coupled with the fact that a great deal of our work is anchored in peer-reviewed scientific articles, is why Martha Nussbaum, whom the San Francisco Chronicle calls “America’s most prominent, and most prolific, philosopher of public life” recently singled out Dr. Paul Cameron — not James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Jay Sekulow, Maggie Gallagher, etc. — for attack.
I'm touched. The snake read my book.
By the way, the majority of Cameron's work is not peer-reviewed in the regular sense. A lot of his work was published in Psychological Reports, a vanity pay-for-play publication. “Peers” can review the work that goes into Psychological Reports, but they have no power to make the publication reject said work.
Cameron's whining is ridiculous.
Those defending Proposition 8 were spooked away from using studies, particularly Cameron's work, because they knew they couldn't cite studies unchallenged in court like they could in a commercial or a speech.
In the words of Prop 8 lawyer David Boies:
“In a court of law you've got to come in and you've got to support those opinions, you've got to stand up under oath and cross-examination. And what we saw at trial is that it's very easy for the people who want to deprive gay and lesbian citizens of the right to vote [sic] to make all sorts of statements and campaign literature, or in debates where they can't be cross-examined.
“But when they come into court and they have to support those opinions and they have to defend those opinions under oath and cross-examination, those opinions just melt away. And that's what happened here. There simply wasn't any evidence, there weren't any of those studies. There weren't any empirical studies. That's just made up. That's junk science. It's easy to say that on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can't do that.
“That's what we proved: We put fear and prejudice on trial, and fear and prejudice lost.”
Proposition 8 passed not because people were trying to “protect marriage.” It passed because people who voted for it were led to believe that THE GAYS were going to harm their children. It passed through horror stories substantiated by lies and junk science.
Cameron should be used to lies and junk science. He has made a career out of utilizing both.
It's nice that Cameron will acknowledge the fact that perhaps those in the religious right who have used his work are aware of his errors.
And when I give it further thought, I'm flattered that Cameron actually read my book, particularly the chapter I devoted to his history of stigmatizing the lgbt community via lies and distortions.
But it's strange that he didn't bother to refute anything in it.
Maybe it's because he can't.