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Democratic Lawmakers Not Happy with Boehner’s DOMA Defense

This man needs a better marriage counselor (DonkeyHotey)

According to The Advocate, Democratic lawmakers are now questioning Speaker of the House John Boehner about the phony arguments the GOP’s lawyer,  Paul Clement, has been making in defense of DOMA:

Democratic lawmakers don’t like the “harmful and unreasonable arguments” being used by House speaker John Boehner’s lawyer to keep the Defense of Marriage Act on the books.

A contingent from Congress, including all four of the gay members, wrote to Boehner demanding a chance to confront the lawyer with what they say is “discredited” and “biased” research on homosexuality that was used in a legal brief representing Congress in court.

. . .several Democrats — Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, and Jared Polis — say Clement doesn’t represent them or even the scientists he cites in his legal arguments.

. . . They cite, for example, professor Lisa Diamond’s complaint that Boehner’s lawyer has “completely misrepresented my research.” A lot has changed since DOMA was passed 15 years ago, they say, but Clement’s ideas on why it should remain “do not withstand the test of time or scrutiny.”

The representatives are asking Boehner, for the second time, to grant them a briefing about the case so they can hear more about a court strategy they say isn’t based in fact.

Why is this big? Because a while back, Diamond complained that Clement was distorting her work.  At the same time, I published a post clearly showing that Clement was also using junk science and bad studies in his defense of DOMA.

In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr.

But Dent’s work – which Clement uses –  cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies; Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year’s scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a “rentboy.”

Dent also cited Walter Schumm’s study Children of Homosexuals More Apt To Be Homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data.

Schumm’s study was criticized for using the same false methodology as Cameron’s work. He cited sources “from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com”

Furthermore, Dent cited a book called Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt to make criticisms about gay health. However, Schmidt is not a credible researcher in the field of gay health. He is a professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. According to Rev. Mel White of the group Soulforce, Schmidt cited Cameron’s discredited studies many times in Straight & Narrow (5th letter to Jerry Falwell.)

And last, but not least, Dent cited the work of the American College of Pediatricians. The American College of Pediatricians is not a credible organization; it’s an organization created to give credibility to junk science about the gay community. Last year, ACP sent a letter to over 14,000 school district superintendents in the country inviting them to peruse and use information from a new site, Facts About Youth. The site claimed to present “facts” supposedly not tainted by “political correctness.”  Of course these were not facts, but ugly distortions about the gay community, including:

Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes

As for now, it is not known how or if Boehner will respond to the Democratic legislators. But still, their questioning Boehner on the material that his lawyer is using is a good thing because it puts a spotlight on the distortions those on the right use to defend anti-gay laws.

And it’s about time.

CommunityPam's House Blend

Democratic Lawmakers Not Happy with Boehner’s DOMA Defense

According to The Advocate, Democratic lawmakers are now questioning Speaker of the House John Boehner about the phony, junk science arguments the GOP’s lawyer,  Paul Clement, has been making in defense of DOMA:

Democratic lawmakers don’t like the “harmful and unreasonable arguments” being used by House speaker John Boehner’s lawyer to keep the Defense of Marriage Act on the books.

A contingent from Congress, including all four of the gay members, wrote to Boehner demanding a chance to confront the lawyer with what they say is “discredited” and “biased” research on homosexuality that was used in a legal brief representing Congress in court.

. . .several Democrats — Tammy Baldwin, David Cicilline, John Conyers, Barney Frank, Jerrold Nadler, and Jared Polis — say Clement doesn’t represent them or even the scientists he cites in his legal arguments.

. . . They cite, for example, professor Lisa Diamond’s complaint that Boehner’s lawyer has “completely misrepresented my research.” A lot has changed since DOMA was passed 15 years ago, they say, but Clement’s ideas on why it should remain “do not withstand the test of time or scrutiny.”

The representatives are asking Boehner, for the second time, to grant them a briefing about the case so they can hear more about a court strategy they say isn’t based in fact.

Why is this big? Because a while back, Diamond complained that Clement was distorting her work.  At the same time, I published a post clearly showing that Clement was also using junk science and bad studies in his defense of DOMA.

In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr.

But Dent’s work – which Clement uses –  cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies; Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year’s scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a “rentboy.”
(more…)

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding