National Review’s VerBruggen Repeats NOM’s Anti-Gay Smears

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-national-reviews-verbruggen-repeats-noms-anti-gay-smears/discrimination/2012/07/20/44061

by Scott Rose
on July 20, 2012

Reposted with permission

The National Review as an Organ of Arrogant Bigotry

Robert VerBruggen writes for The National Review, which was founded by the white supremacist William F. Buckley, Jr.

National Review writers ofttimes still defend the publication’s apartheid roots.

VerBruggen, for his part, is a heterosupremacist who thinks that because anti-gay bigots do not want gay couples to get married, gay couples must not be allowed to marry. That echoes the National Review’s history of saying that because a privileged white majority wanted segregation, whites deserved to see racial apartheid continue. See here for more of VerBruggen’s gay-bashing bigotry.

One of VerBruggen’s co-contributors is the arch-anti-gay-bigot Maggie Gallagher of the so-called National Organization for Marriage, an anti-gay-rights group that sponsors hate rallies where NOM speakers yell through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death.”

On July 12 in The National Review, Gallagher attacked me by lying that I have written that she has blood on her hands because she opposes “gay marriage.”

Gallagher’s NOM is behind the funding of a fraudulent study carried out by the University of Texas, Austin’s Mark Regnerus. Gallagher has been militantly active in smearing gay people in political contexts on the basis of Regnerus’s fraudulent study.

Understanding what makes Regnerus’s study a fraud is not complicated.

Regnerus alleged he wanted to study child outcomes for gay parents. Regnerus’s “test” group in his “test-and-control-group” study, however, was not actually comprised of known gay parents, as the American Medical Association — along with seven other major professional associations — explained in a Golinski-DOMA amicus brief. The one thing Regnerus’s test group respondents almost all had in common, was that they were products of broken heterosexual homes. Without so much as asking his respondents “Is your mother lesbian?” Regnerus went ahead and labeled the parents of his “broken homes” test group as either “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers.”

His control group, by contrast, was comprised of young adult children of continuously married heterosexual couples.

Regnerus compared the people from broken homes, to the people from continuously married parents, and declared that he had “revealed” that “children raised by same-sex parents” fare worse.

The invalid comparison invalidates the entire study, but does not stop gay-bashing bigots from wielding it as a political weapon.

The heterosupremacists’ motto is: “When all else fails, defame the sexual minorities you hate.”

Robert VerBruggen Sets Up a NOM-like, Anti-Gay Smear

On July 18, VerBruggen asked to interview me apropos of my Complaint against Regnerus, filed with the University of Texas. That Complaint now is the basis of an on-going inquiry.

I responded to VerBruggen’s e-mailed questions. In my responses, I specified that the Regnerus study is not valid, because it is a “test-group/control-group” study, yet makes no valid comparison between its test group and its control group. I also specified to VerBruggen that I allege that Regnerus and NOM officials are in seeming collusion, that they seem to have produced the study intending it to have a ‘”fixed” outcome defamatory of gays, and that they seem to continue in collusion, promoting the invalid study as a gay-bashing political weapon.

I have requested full documentation of all communications about the Regnerus study between 1) Regnerus and his study team; 2) UT; and 3) Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders at The Witherspoon Institute and elsewhere.  Those parties have refused to release the documents. UT petitioned Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, a Republican, for exemptions, allowing the parties to keep their documentation related to the fraudulent Regnerus study secret.  The American Independent, too, wants this documentation, yet UT is seeking exemptions to their Freedom of Information Act document requests as well.

If there is no political collusion between the parties on the fraudulent Regnerus study — which is being used politically to gay-bash around the country and beyond — then what could there possibly be to hide in that documentation?

In his July 19, National Review article, VerBruggen tried to manipulate his readers into believing that my allegations are baseless.

He says “Rose does not allege serious ethical misconduct, such as plagiarism or falsifying data.”  Actually, I do. Not making any effort even to determine whether a survey respondent’s parent is gay or lesbian — as is the case with Regnerus — but then going ahead to label them as “lesbian mother” or “gay father” in a study that is said to measure how young adults “raised by same-sex parents fare” is falsifying evidence. Falsifying evidence is very rarely accidental and is usually done to support a hypothesis, i.e., in the case of the Regnerus study, the NOM hypothesis that homosexuals are dangerous to children.

For emphasis: “Data falsification” occurs when research is manipulated in any way that changes or omits data. Regnerus changed his data, by not determining whether a respondent’s parent was gay or lesbian, but then going on to label respondents’ parents as “gay fathers” or “lesbian mothers” in his published study. UT’s Population Research Center’s site for Regnerus’s “New Family Structures Study” falsely claims that the study measured how young adults “raised by same-sex parents” fare. That same University of Texas, NFSS site claims that Regnerus’s is the first large-scale study of “young adults who have spent time in households with two parents of the same sex.”

Regnerus’s study did not do that. Of his respondents whose parents got misleadingly labeled as “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers,” almost all were products of broken heterosexual marriages. The study subjects’ “parents” therefore, were their mother and father pairs. If a 15-year-old’s heterosexual parents divorce, and then when the adolescent is 17, he is living with his mother, and she invites a woman to live in the home with them for four weeks, that second woman is not the 17-year-old’s “parent” in any sense. Yet that is exactly the ridiculous thing which Regnerus is presenting as a “fact” about his data.

Falsifying evidence is an ultimate form of scientific misconduct.

One thing VerBruggen’s did in his article — after not addressing Regnerus’s falsification of data — especially sticks in my craw.

Conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood, is a NOM anti-gay-bigotry specialty.

As irrefutably described in the AMA brief, Regnerus did not do anything to determine whether his young adult survey respondents from broken heterosexual marriages had lesbian mothers or gay fathers. He nonetheless went ahead and labeled the parents of these offspring of broken marriages lesbian or gay, on the basis of having asked them whether either of their parents had ever had a “romantic relationship with someone of the same sex.” That means of classifying somebody as gay or lesbian is as ludicrous as would be calling them Catholic because they had ever been inside a Catholic cathedral.

Surprise, surprise; Regnerus, in seeming collusion with his NOM-linked funders, found that children of — (falsely-labeled) —  ”lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” suffered more childhood sex abuse than children of “intact biological families.”

That Regnerus study “finding,” not supported by Regnerus’s data, is especially heinous, by virtue of it being an established, favorite NOM anti-gay smear, effectively, “Let children anywhere near homosexuals, and you increase the likelihood that they will be sexually abused.” Regnerus repeated that smear when he talked about his invalid study on ABC-TV.

In his published article, VerBruggen repeated the lie that children of gay parents are “more likely to experience sexual victimization,” and then he went on wrongly to allege the smear to be  ”a statement that is consistent with Regnerus’s data.”

Well, no, it is not, but what do you expect from a heterosupremacist?

VerBruggen’s History of Enabling Those Bigoted Against Sexual Minorities

At Northwestern University, VerBruggen was editor-in-chief of the reactionary Northwestern Chronicle.  On Verbruggen’s editorial watch, J. Michael Bailey, an anti-trans bigot was allowed to trans-bash, and an individual was unjustifiably smeared.

Significantly, in an article – Robert Verbruggen and J. Michael Bailey – VerBruggen is said to have allowed Bailey “to post a rambling defense of his questionable research and ethics.” At the time, VerBruggen wrote, “To my knowledge, it is the first professor-written article we’ve ever run. There are of course conflicts with this setup, especially in that he is both a source and a writer.”

The summary continues: “Bailey’s work  described gender variance in metaphors of disease and impairment, said to be an extension of Bailey’s belief that homosexuality is an evolutionary mistake and a developmental error. Bailey’s writing on homosexual eugenics and his belief that male bisexuals are liars echo his thinking on trans issues as well.” The summary of the Bailey scandal, partially enabled by VerBruggen, notes that Bailey’s work was “tainted with charges of academic misconduct, practicing without a licensefabricating data, and sex with a research subject.”

In 2004, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a history of Bailey’s connections to hate groups. Bailey eventually resigned from Northwestern University in disgrace.

Though VerBruggen intended an ethical defense of Regnerus, he inadvertently gave his article a title that describes the Regnerus study to a “T”: The Gay Parenting Witch Hunt.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Obama on Shooting Spree: ‘Such Evil Is Senseless’

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US: Police Practices Fuel HIV Epidemic

From Human Rights Watch:  http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/19/us-police-practices-fuel-hiv-epidemic

Sex Workers at Risk From Condom Policy

July 19, 2012

Police in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and San Francisco are confiscating condoms from sex workers and transgender women, undermining health department campaigns to reduce HIV, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 112-page report, “Sex Workers at Risk: Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution in Four US Cities,” documented in each city how police and prosecutors use condoms to support prostitution charges. The practice makes sex workers and transgender women reluctant to carry condoms for fear of arrest, causes them to engage in sex without protection, and puts them at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. The report was released prior to the 19th International AIDS Conference, in Washington, DC, starting on July 22, 2012. The US response to the epidemic will be in the spotlight before 20,000 delegates gathered from around the world. The four cities investigated are among the hardest-hit in the US, with over 200,000 people living with HIV among them.
“Sex workers in each city asked us how many condoms it was legal to carry,” said Megan McLemore, senior health researcher at Human Rights Watch. “One woman in Los Angeles told us she was afraid to carry condoms with her and sometimes had to use a plastic bag instead of a condom with clients to try to protect herself from HIV.”
 Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 300 people for the report, including 200 current and former sex workers as well as outreach workers, advocates, prosecutors, public defenders, police, and health department officials.

The report includes testimony from sex workers and transgender women who said that police harass, threaten, and arrest them for carrying condoms. In New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, prosecutors introduce condoms into evidence at trial, asking courts to consider them indicators of criminal activity. For immigrants, arrest for prostitution can mean detention or removal from the United States. Some women told Human Rights Watch that they continued to carry condoms despite the potentially harsh consequences, but many did not.

Complete article at:  http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/07/19/us-police-practices-fuel-hiv-epidemic

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Drug decriminalization in Portugal decreases number of addicts

From The Global Post:  http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120718/drug-decriminalization-portugal-addicts

After 11 years, the effectiveness of the policy has been measured.

Samuel Blackstone, Business Insider
July 18, 2012

On July 1, 2001, Portugal decriminalized every imaginable drug, from marijuana, to cocaine, to heroin. Some thought Lisbon would become a drug tourist haven, others predicted usage rates among youths to surge.

Eleven years later, it turns out they were both wrong.

Over a decade has passed since Portugal changed its philosophy from labeling drug users as criminals to labeling them as people affected by a disease. This time lapse has allowed statistics to develop and in time, has made Portugal an example to follow.

First, some clarification.

Portugal’s move to decriminalize does not mean people can carry around, use, and sell drugs free from police interference. That would be legalization. Rather, all drugs are “decriminalized,” meaning drug possession, distribution, and use is still illegal. While distribution and trafficking is still a criminal offense, possession and use is moved out of criminal courts and into a special court where each offender’s unique situation is judged by legal experts, psychologists, and social workers. Treatment and further action is decided in these courts, where addicts and drug use is treated as a public health service rather than referring it to the justice system (like the US), reports Fox News.

The resulting effect: a drastic reduction in addicts, with Portuguese officials and reports highlighting that this number, at 100,000 before the new policy was enacted, has been halved in the following 10 years. Portugal’s drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states, according to the same report.

Continue reading at:  http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120718/drug-decriminalization-portugal-addicts

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Mitt Gets Worse: Jennifer Chrisler

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NOM Praises Chick-Fil-A CEO’s Anti-Gay Marriage Stance

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/-gay-marriage-chick-fil-a_n_1687743.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

07/20/2012

In recent weeks, as a wave of business executives and corporations have signaled support for legalizing same-sex marriage, groups that oppose gay marriage have launched boycott campaigns and have written letters urging corporations to remain “neutral” on the issue. But this week when the president of Chick-fil-A came out against same-sex marriage, the National Organization for Marriage praised him as a “corporate hero for marriage.”

The National Organization for Marriage is one of the advocacy groups leading the charge against legalizing same-sex marriage — and the push for corporate neutrality.

In a Monday interview with the Baptist Press, Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A’s president and chief executive, said “guilty as charged,” when asked about “the company’s support of the traditional family.”

Cathy had also noted his opposition to same-sex marriage and its advocates in a recent radio interview. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about,” he said.

The company has long been under fire from gay rights advocates for its history of giving to groups that advocate against gay rights. Officials at the fast food chain have mostly remained silent on the issue although longtime company observers say Cathy’s recent public statements come as no surprise.

On Thursday, the National Organization for Marriage celebrated Cathy’s statements. The NOM blog carried a link to the Baptist Press article, with the headline “President of Chick-Fil-A Proud to Stand for Biblical and Family Values” and the line “The Baptist Press profiles a corporate hero for marriage.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/20/-gay-marriage-chick-fil-a_n_1687743.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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The “Special Interests” of Rape Victims

From In These Times:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/13550/the_special_interests_of_rape_victims

Yes, Nikki Haley, sexual assault and domestic violence are public health concerns.

BY Sady Doyle
July 19, 2012

Alas, poor Nikki Haley. All South Carolina’s Republican governor wanted to do was protect the health budget against “special interests” that “distract from… protecting South Carolina’s public health.” And she chose such nasty, selfish special interests to oppose! Hemophiliacs, for example, or people with sickle cell anemia. Those folks sound pretty “special.” And, then, of course, there was the bit that stuck: The rape victims.

Haley’s veto, forbidding $450,000 for the state’s rape crisis centers was overturned on Tuesday, by a vote of 111-0. Which is not surprising, considering the public’s furor. Aside from protests by advocates and survivors within the state, there was a barrage of feminist blog coverage. One crisis center published a letter from a survivor: “I did NOT choose to be raped that night. I was ASLEEP in MY HOME, yet you are cutting a budget for people that did NOTHING WRONG!!!!!”

Well. None of that looks oh so very good, for a politician who, last week, was a favorite to be nominated as Mitt Romney’s VP.

Nor should it, of course. As lots of people have pointed out, demand for crisis centers, and for domestic violence aid, has risen during the recession. And South Carolina’s rate of sexual assault is well above the national average. Haley claimed the services are for “only a small portion of South Carolina’s chronically ill or abused.” But in practice, that number amounts to more than 5,000 survivors in one year, over 25% of whom were children. The cut would have eliminated the only rape crisis center in the city of Charleston.

But it’s worth looking at Haley’s rationale for the cut. It would have “distracted,” Haley says, from “public health.” Much-noted callousness of the wording aside— “to argue that the governor isn’t supportive of victims is, on its face, absurd,” said spokesman Rob Godfrey; which, good try there, Robert—it’s worthwhile to look at the governor’s actual explanation. Namely: That sexual assault, and domestic violence, don’t have much to do with health.

Which is a common misconception. Domestic violence is, in our common line of thinking, a, well, an interpersonal problem. A sad one, sure, one that you sure hope doesn’t befall anyone that you know. But the word we hear, when we hear the term “domestic violence,” tends to be “domestic.” Sexual assault is, likewise, something we think of as sexual. And, as the relentless assault on reproductive services proves, we don’t think sex has much at all to do with health.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/13550/the_special_interests_of_rape_victims

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