Monday, April 14, 2008

Kevin McCullough attacks Barack Obama with an ENDA lie

Barack Obama scares the right-wing.

Obviously, everyone figured this campaign was going to be a coronation for Hilary Clinton. Everyone but Obama and his supporters.

I like what's going on. It puts everyone in a tailspin. And it teaches folks to not take the American voter for granted.

And it seems that no one is more surprised than the right-wing. I'm sure they had a lot of slings and arrows ready for Clinton. But with Obama looking like he is going to be the nominee, they have to scramble hard to get the "goods" on him.

That doesn't mean that they aren't trying. I have been paying slight attention to the Reverend Wright situation. I'm not too sure about what has been going on, but one thing that I do know is the right-wing has written so much about the situation that my head is spinning.

The conservative site Town Hall probably set a record with the number of hit pieces formulated to hurt Obama.

And speaking of which, conservative writer Kevin McCullough has written his own hit piece.

Apparently he is not happy that Obama supports ENDA. His entire piece is best served by focusing on the following lie:

So stifling would ENDA be in fact that if a Youth Pastor who works with young boys in a church program got caught in an inappropriate relationship with them, ENDA would make it nearly impossible for the church involved to fire the youth pastor. ENDA would directly challenge and seek to limit religious expression, doctrine, theology, and practice.

McCullough obviously thinks that people are stupid enough to fall for that faulty line of "logic." ENDA does not protect someone against unlawful behavior (i.e. a youth pastor having an inappropriate relationship with young boys).

In fact, no anti-discrimination law does. No law barring discrimination on the basis of race, religon, or national origin gives anyone cover to engage in unlawful behavior. And the same is for laws barring discrimination on the basis on sexual orientation.

The funniest thing is that McCullough is getting taken to task by the comments on the site. I rather like this one:

I'm pleasantly surprised to find some TH readers criticizing McCullough for his utterly loony rants. He assumes that whatever he fears or hates must be something liberals support--like school shootings, for instance.

Read stuff like this and weep, conservatives, because this is what conservatism has come down to. Your glory days of intelligent commentary are far behind you now, and McCullough is now what passes for a real conservative.

Actually, I would suggest that he, and his style, are quite appropriate for the present day. Today a conservative is very, very likely to be a theocratic hate-monger like McCullough. Today's conservatives, after all, are really right-wing populists, combining in equal amounts crudity, ignorance, and meanness in one very unattractive package. So, embrace McCullough; today he really does speak for most of you.

How true indeed.

Matt Barber tries to disavow credible researchers

I have talked several times about how the anti-gay industry distorted a 1997 Canadian study in order to claim that gays have a short life span.

They always omit the fact that in 2001, the researchers of the study went on record saying that their work has been distorted.

Matt Barber from Concerned Women for America has finally addressed this situation in a new piece written today:

Not surprisingly, that same homosexual lobby and its codependent enablers in the mainstream media moved quickly to sweep the IJE study under the rug. Under tremendous pressure, the researchers who conducted the study even jumped into the political damage control fray issuing a statement which read, "[W]e do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group."

Naturally Barber does not go into detail talking about what "tremendous pressure" the researchers received.

I'm curious to see how much pressure, if any, was exerted in a four-year-period. The study came out in 1997. The letter was written in 2001.

Then to top it off, Barber (who is not a researcher) says this:

Of course, that's all just worthless fluff. All the political spin in the world doesn't change reality, nor does it eliminate the study's disturbing conclusions or practical implications. The research left ZERO wiggle room for anyone who would argue that homosexuality is a "perfectly normal and healthy alternative sexual orientation."

Barber's claim is bullshit. More than that; it's not only a blatant lie but a repeated drumbeat that the anti-gay industry is always sounding when they are caught lying:

No, we aren't wrong. It's those evil gays exerting pressure and forcing people to change their words.

The audacity of the anti-gay industry drives me insane. From Peter LaBarbera to Barber to James Dobson and even to those who cite their lies (Sally Kern), why is it that these people can't admit when they are wrong?

Oh no. They can't be wrong. They have a special pipeline to God so anything they say, no matter how incorrect or stupid it is, becomes correct.

It's happened so many times; a researcher or physician goes on record claiming that the anti-gay industry has distorted their work and then the anti-gay industry attacks the physician or researcher. Or downplays the complaint.

Or in some cases, totally ignores it.

Keep it up, guys. You can only tell a lie so long before it bites you in the ass. And I'm going to make sure I am around to point out the bite marks.

The webpage has tracked this story , including posting the letter from the researchers crying foul over the distortion of their work.

Forgive me for copying, but I want to do the same thing:

Gay life expectancy revisited

Robert S Hogg, Steffanie A Strathdee, Kevin JP Craib, Michael V O'shaughnessy, Julio Montaner and Martin T Schechter

Over the past few months we have learnt of a number of reports regarding a paper we published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the gay and bisexual life expectancy in Vancouver in the late 1980s and early 1990s. From these reports it appears that our research is being used by select groups in US and Finland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthy lifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being.

The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia, but to demonstrate to an international audience how the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men can be estimated from limited vital statistics data. In our paper, we demonstrated that in a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 21 years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality continued, we estimated that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged 20 years would not reach their 65th birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre were experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by men in Canada in the year 1871. In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we have previously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortality in Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia.

It is essential to note that the life expectancy of any population is a descriptive and not a prescriptive mesaure. Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor. If estimates of an individual gay and bisexual man's risk of death is truly needed for legal or other purposes, then people making these estimates should use the same actuarial tables that are used for all other males in that population. Gay and bisexual men are included in the construction of official population-based tables and therefore these tables for all males are the appropriate ones to be used.

In summary, the aim of our work was to assist health planners with the means of estimating the impact of HIV infection on groups, like gay and bisexual men, not necessarily captured by vital statistics data and not to hinder the rights of these groups worldwide. Overall, we do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group.