Thursday, April 09, 2009

Lgbt supportive comments rock One News Now column

Yesterday, I talked about a One News Now column which focused on the so-called dangers of gay sex. In his piece, writer Peter Heck cited work from discredited researcher Paul Cameron:

According to the Omega Journal of Death and Dying, the median age of death for homosexual men is between 40 and 43. The median age of death for heterosexuals is between 74 and 80.

I asked that folks call him on it.

My guess is that some who read the column already had that in mind because Heck got a ton of good comments, including:

There are real, notable statistical problems in Cameron's studies. He has manipulated statistics in the past by having insufficient or biased samples. Partnered gays in Denmark, for instance, he reported die at a median age of 42. However, this restricts his sample because older Danish gays have a tendency not to be registered partners, and the law has only been in effect for a few years. So, most of those who are partnered are in their 30's or 40's, as opposed to heteros who run the gamut. So he is measuring the median age of thsoe gays in partnerships who have died SO FAR, not the median age of gay death. The very small numbers of older gays who have taken advantage of the law pushes the median age down. In other words, this is statistical sleight of hand. It is dishonest. It is, in other words, lying.

The study you cite regarding "the median age of death in homosexuals" is from 1994. Don't you think you should update a 15 year old periodical? And the study itself is questionable; it was a study only of obituaries. The ninth commandment is "Thou shall not lie". Don't you think you should be following this?

Yeah... it looks like this Paul Cameron guy does not have a good reputation. I looked him up just to make sure.

Uh that Omega Death and Dying Journal study is from Paul Cameron - a man who has been dismissed and censured by many health care organizations and bodies for bad research techniques. Even Exodus International doesn't use his work.

Mr. Heck uses long-discredited statistics to make his point, which ultimately discredits it. What would Jesus say about those who tell lies in his name? Hey, I love the sinner, just hate the sin.

While its obvious that real Science is not something that Mr. Heck uses, he should at least research cause and effect as well as the difference between correlation and causation. Mr Heck, your opinion is not proof of causation, regardless of what the correlation implies.

Then there are other comments like these:

You can dismiss Cameron, but not the Word of God. Homosexuality is an abomination. And I agree that this article was very well written!

It's such a common liberal tactic. Discredit or defame the source (Paul Cameron) or set the standard of proof so high, i.e. must come from a "peer reviewed" journal to have any credibility. How about providing actual contrary evidence to support your thesis?

I don't know what's worse - the fact that One News Now doesn't care about accuracy in its columns or the fact that some people are so wrapped up in their version of religion that they are willing to overlook basic tenets of said religion (i.e. thou shalt not bear false witness) when it suits them.

No matter. Kudos to everyone who responded about the Cameron study and also to those, who while not responding about the Cameron study, pointed out several other things wrong with Heck's assertions.

And not just in that piece either. I have noticed that pro-lgbt commentators have been putting their opinions down in several One News Now articles.

If the phony news service won't provide accuracy and balance, then it's up to us. I say we should keep it up.
Thursday mid afternoon news briefs

Apparently the good fairy is on my side (don't even THINK of making a joke on that one). I finished with my commitments with enough time to give a news brief posting

'Your comment is awaiting [a future deletion]' - Not that I'm pouring on the National Organization for Marriage or anything after their laughable ad . . . who am I kidding. Jeremy from catches them in a contradiction regarding freedom.

And the rest of the Durham News column: lobbying black state legislators on LGBT issues - An excellent piece by Pam Spaulding.

Christian Leader Peter LaBarbera Fires Back over My Post, Asks Me if I'm Gay - A very interesting situation developing between our friend and a blogger who "dared" to criticize his mess. The irony is that LaBarbera is always offended when he is asked this question.

Warren's 'backsliding' on marriage damages church - And now a piece from One News Now because you can never have enough fiber in your diet.

LaBarbera Award: Bob Peters - Apparently gay marriage is to blame for the recent rash of shootings. How? Who cares about explaining when it's so much more fun to shock people with stupid hyperbole.
Box Turtle Bulletin weighs in on the ridiculous NOM ad

Editor's note - I won't be able to do my noon posting today because of commitments with work. This is why I am posting it now. Below this posting is an article I have written about how the Liberty Counsel is continuing to exploit the Jenkins/Miller custody dispute.

By all means read that post as well as this one.

My friends at Box Turtle Bulletin have jumped in the fray regarding that nonsensical "Storm is brewing" ad put out by the National Organization for Marriage. They address each lie specifically and with great detail.

Keep it coming guys!!
Religious right continues to exploit custody case

From People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch comes the news that religious right groups are continuing to exploit the custody case of Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins.

Jenkins and Miller at one time were involved in a relationship and agreed to raise a child together. Miller supposedly became "ex-gay" and has resorted to ugly tactics to keep the child (Isabella) away from Jenkins, despite the fact that a court has allowed Jenkins to have visits with their daughter.

The case is a cause celebre with the Liberty Counsel and other religious right groups. They claim that since Miller gave birth to the child, Jenkins has no right to be in her life. They have even created a webpage and an ad:

Called the Protect Isabella Coalition, the grassroots effort aims to create awareness of what it labels "judicial tyranny" in the child custody/visitation case involving Miller, Isabella's biological mother, and Vermonter Janet Jenkins, her lesbian former partner. The group has a Web site -- -- and also has produced television and radio public awareness ads.

"The road toward justice has taken a long and winding path, but we believe the courts are getting closer to addressing the core issues in this case," said Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law. "The people of Virginia have plainly spoken in favor of traditional marriage and have rejected same-sex unions. The Virginia courts must now uphold the Constitution."

The Protect Isabella Coalition is asking fellow Virginians to contact their state delegates and senators and ask them to uphold the state's marriage laws, rein in judicial tyranny and stand up for Isabella.

Of course the Liberty Counsel will omit details of the case that doesn't suit their agenda. In December 2008, Newsweek magazine featured a long article about the case. These are those facts:

Miller and Jenkins agreed to raise Isabella together.

When the two broke up, Miller agreed to allow Jenkins to have visitation rights. Jenkins even paid child support. Miller allegedly began keeping Isabella away from Jenkins. Even now, she refuses to allow her to have unsupervised time with Isabella even though she has been ordered to.

The entire controversy is solely because Miller will not allow Jenkins to have unsupervised time with Isabella. Jenkins mainly won her case due to the Federal Kidnapping Prevention Law.

Miller has claimed she witnessed Isabella engage in disturbing behavior after vists with Jenkins. The claims were investigated by Virginia's Child Protective Services and were deemed "unfounded."

I sincerely hope that this case ends in what is good for Isabella. But something needs to be said about the values of the religious right groups who continue to exploit it for their own ends.