Teacher accuses TC College of discrimination

Gill says English Department chair at Northeast Campus told her the state and the school ‘do not like homosexuals’

Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill
Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill

TAMMYE NASH  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

HURST — Jacqueline “Jackie” Gill filed suit Wednesday, Sept. 7, against a professor and a dean at Northeast Campus of Tarrant County College in Hurst, claiming that she was denied the opportunity to apply for a permanent, full- time teaching position there because of the English Department chair’s bias against what he perceived her sexual orientation to be.

Tarrant County College adopted a nondiscrimination policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation on March 9 of this year.

Frank Griffis, director of public relations and marketing for Tarrant County College, said it “would not be appropriate” for school officials to comment on pending litigation. He also said school officials had not yet been served with papers and therefore had not read the complaint.

Gill said she had worked as a full-time temporary English professor for about a year at the Northeast Campus. But when the position was to be made permanent, English Department Chair Eric Devlin refused to allow her to apply for the permanent position.

Gill said when she complained about Devlin to Northeast Campus Humanities Division Dean Antonio R. Howell, he initially seemed to side with her, but after speaking to Devlin, Howell refused to communicate further with her. Gill said although she is a lesbian and has never tried to hide that fact, she had never talked about her orientation with Devlin or anyone else at the school.

Both Devlin and Howell are named as co-defendants in the lawsuit.

Gill is represented in the lawsuit by Lambda Legal South Central Region staff attorney Ken Upton, joined by pro bono counsel Benjamin D. Williams from the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.

Gill and Upton held a press conference Wednesday to announce that the lawsuit had been filed earlier that morning in U.S. district court in Fort Worth. The press conference was held at a Hurst hotel located just a few blocks from the Tarrant County College campus where Gill had taught.

According to the complaint filed Wednesday, and statements Gill made during the press conference, Gill was first hired on a full time, temporary basis as an English professor on Aug. 21, 2009. A little more than a month later, at the end of October, a female “dual-enrollment” student — a high school student who was also taking college classes — in Gill’s distance learning class cheated by stealing an exam and skipped some classes.

The student’s high school counselor told Gill that the student has a history of disruptive behavior, and when the student dropped the class, Gill was told the situation was closed.

On Nov. 9, however, Devlin called Gill into his office and told her the student had accused Gill of “flirting” with female students. Gill denied the accusations, noting that there was always another teacher in the class at the same time.

That’s when Devlin responded with “a lengthy diatribe about homosexuals and how the Texas public views them,” according to the complaint. Gill said Devlin went on to say that Texas is a conservative state and TCC is a conservative school, and that “Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals.”

Gill continued to teach at TCC, receiving high praise and compliments from students and staff alike, including from Devlin. Then in May 2010, she and other full-time temporary professors were told by Howell that all seven temporary full- time positions were being made permanent, and that they were being re-designated as adjunct faculty until the permanent positions were filled.

Gill said Howell also encouraged her and the other temporary professors to apply for the permanent jobs. Gill applied for all seven but was the only one of the seven temporary professors not hired for the permanent positions. Gill said that she was, in fact, not even allowed to interview for any of the positions, even though her experience and credentials were as good as or better than those who were hired.

Gill said she met with Howell and told him about Devlin’s anti-gay comments and refusal to allow her to interview for the permanent positions. She said Howell promised her to discuss the situation with Devlin immediately, but that he never got back in touch with her.

She said she also got no response when she tried to discuss the situation with the vice president and president of Tarrant County College.

Gill continued to teach as an adjunct professor at the campus through December 2010, although, she said, Devlin’s attitude toward her became “even more hostile.”

And she said that although she was originally assigned classes for the 2011 spring term, as she was preparing for those classes she discovered she had been removed as the professor. When she inquired about the status of the class, Gill said, she was told that Devlin had specifically instructed that those classes be taken away from her.

Upton said that Devlin and Howell violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to allow Gill to apply for the permanent teaching position. He said Gill’s suit is asking that she be allowed to complete the application process and that she be compensated for the time she has been unemployed.

Gill, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Arlington, said she would love to get a teaching job with TCC, and while she would prefer to work at another campus, she is willing to go back to the Northeast Campus and work again in Devlin’s department.

“I worked hard. I earned it,” Gill said of the permanent position. “I have nothing to be ashamed of. If it [her working in Devlin’s department again] would be awkward for anyone, I think it would be awkward for him [Devlin] because he is the one who was in the wrong.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 9, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Texas: A not-so-great state

As Perry eyes the presidency and Dewhurst makes a bid for the Senate, let’s look at the story the numbers really tell

Phyllis Guest | Taking NoteGuest.Phyllis.2

It seems that while David Dewhurst is running for the U.S. Senate, Rick Perry — otherwise known as Gov. Goodhair — is planning to run for president. I wonder what numbers they will use to show how well they have run Texas.

Could they cite $16 million? That’s the sum Perry distributed from our state’s Emerging Technology Fund to his campaign contributors.

Or maybe it is $4.1 billion. That’s the best estimate of the fees and taxes our state collects for dedicated purposes — but diverts to other uses.

Then again, it could be $28 billion. That’s the last published number for the state’s budget deficit, although Perry denied any deficit during his last campaign.

But let’s not get bogged down with dollar amounts. Let’s consider some of the state’s other numbers.

There’s the fact that Texas ranks worst in at least three key measures:

We are the most illiterate, with more than 10 percent of our state’s population unable to read a word. LIFT — Literacy Instruction for Texas — recently reported that half of Dallas residents cannot read a newspaper.

We also have the lowest percentage of persons covered by health insurance and the highest number of teenage repeat pregnancies.

Not to mention that 12,000 children have spent at least three years in the state welfare system, waiting for a foster parent. That’s the number reported in the Texas-loving Dallas Morning News.

Meanwhile, the Legislature has agreed to put several amendments to the Texas Constitution before the voters. HJR 63, HJR 109 plus SJR 4, SJR 16, and SJR 50 all appear to either authorize the shifting of discretionary funds or the issuance of bonds to cover expenses.

Duh. As if we did not know that bonds represent debt, and that we will be paying interest on those bonds long after Dewhurst and Perry leave office.

Further, this spring, the Lege decided that all voters — except, I believe, the elderly — must show proof of citizenship to obtain a state ID or to get or renew a driver’s license. As they did not provide any funds for the issuance of those ID cards or for updating computer systems to accommodate the new requirement, it seems those IDs will be far from free.

Also far from free is Perry’s travel. The Lege decided that the governor does not have to report what he and his entourage spend on travel, which is convenient for him because we taxpayers foot the bill for his security — even when he is making obviously political trips. Or taking along his wife and his golf clubs.

And surely neither Rick Perry nor David Dewhurst will mention the fact that a big portion of our state’s money comes from the federal government. One report I saw stated that our state received $17 billion in stimulus money, although the gov and his lieutenant berated the Democratic president for providing the stimulus.

And the gov turned down $6 billion in education funds, then accepted the funds but did not use them to educate Texans.

The whole thing — Dewhurst’s campaign and Perry’s possible campaign, the 2012-2013 budget, the recent biannual session of the Texas Legislature — seems like something Mark Twain might have written at his tongue-in-cheek best.

We have huge problems in public school education, higher education, health care, air pollution and water resources, to mention just a few of our more notable failures.

Yet our elected officials are defunding public education and thus punishing children, parents, and teachers. They are limiting women’s health care so drastically that our own Parkland Hospital will be unable to provide appropriate care to 30,000 women.

They are seeking a Medicaid “pilot program” that will pave the way for privatized medical services, which will erode health care for all but the wealthiest among us. They are fighting tooth and nail to keep the EPA from dealing with our polluted environment. They are doing absolutely nothing to ensure that Texas continues to have plenty of safe drinking water.

They are most certainly not creating good jobs.

So David Dewhurst and his wife Tricia prayed together and apparently learned that he should run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat. Now Rick Perry is planning a huge prayer rally Saturday, Aug. 6, at Houston’s Reliant Stadium.

God help us.

Phyllis Guest is a longtime activist on political and LGBT issues and a member of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 9, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Perfect match

Bob Nunn and Tom Harrover have been a couple for 4 decades. But it wasn’t until a near tragedy that they realized they were truly meant for each other

LIFE GOES ON | Nunn, right, and Harrover stand before a project commissioned for the convention center hotel. Four years ago, Nunn was near death because of kidney disease. (Rich Lopez/Dallas Voice)

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Bob Nunn agrees with the adage that the longer a couple lives together, the more they begin to look alike. Nunn and his partner Tom Harrover might not look that similar on the outside, but they match in a way that few couples do.

Let’s start with some history.

The two have that classic meet-cute that began on the wrong note. As Nunn tells it, Harrover was the dullest person he’d ever met —the two just didn’t like each other. Then, following a spontaneous invitation to a midnight movie, they ended up hitting it off. That movie led to conversation and then dating.

Forty-two years later, they still watch movies — as Nunn puts it, “I couldn’t get rid of him.”

A job in Houston took Nunn away from Harrover for three months, but old-fashioned letter writing kept the newbie relationship afloat.

“Tom had been writing me letters. He’s a very good writer,” Bob boasts. “He basically proposed to me by letter.”

They committed to each other, moving in and pursuing their careers: Harrover in architecture and Nunn teaching art. For 37 years, they lived in “a fabulous house” in Hollywood Heights. Life was good.

Then their life took a sharp turn.

“When we got together, Tom knew I had a kidney disease,” Nunn says. “Nothing was really a problem until about 30 years after we met — my kidneys began to fail and I had to start dialysis.”

Nunn registered with Baylor for the national organ donor list, but the experience was frustrating:  They received little response or encouragement from the hospital.

“Bob was on a downhill slide and the frustration with Baylor seemed like they were stonewalling us,” Harrover says. “We talked about going to Asia even. It felt like they didn’t want to deal with a senior-age gay couple.”

A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YOU | Bob Nunn is officially retired from teaching art, but continues to paint.

Then Harrover suggested something novel: He could donate his kidney to the organ list, with the idea that Nunn could get a healthy one.  Sort of a kidney exchange.

In desperation, they went back to their physician, who enrolled them in St. Paul Hospital’s then-new program for kidney transplant. The experience was a complete turnaround. Nunn was tested and processed immediately while Harrover prepped for his organ donation to an anonymous recipient.

Kidney transplants require a seven-point match system; a minimum of three matches is necessary for the recipient to be able to accept the organ into the body.

The tests revealed that Harrover’s kidney matched Nunn’s on all seven points.

“We assumed I would donate mine for use elsewhere,” Harrover says. “It never occurred to me that we’d be a match. The odds for that are off the charts.”

“See what happens when you live together for so long?” he chuckles.

Just six months after entering St. Paul’s program in 2007, they were on the operating table. They were the first direct living donor pair in the program. “It was all fairly miraculous,” Nunn understates.

Four years later, both men are doing well. Although officially retired, they both continue to work: Harrover does the occasional contract job while Nunn is currently on commission for an art project at the new convention center hotel. Outside of any official work, each interjects their quips about home, life be it cooking together or working on the lawn.

The obvious question for them might be “What’s the secret?” But they don’t see it just that way. Their relationship boils down to the obvious virtues of trust, respect and compromise.

“Selfishness doesn’t rear its ugly head in this relationship,” Harrover says. “You just have to be willing to accommodate, support and encourage what the other is interested in.”

Nunn agrees. “I would not be doing what I’m doing without his support.”

Nunn says if there is a secret, it’s akin to the dynamic on a playground: Like each other and share. If you don’t share your whole life, there isn’t a relationship, he says. At this point, Harrover says it would be impossible to separate. On paper, they are so intertwined with their house and financials, he jokes they are “Siamese twins.”

They’ve witnessed a lot in their decades together, including something they never expected to come to pass in their lifetimes: Same-sex marriage. Coming from a time when just being gay conflicted with moral codes set by their jobs, they wonder over the progress made in recent years. (They were officially married in Boston in October 2009.)

“I’m confident that it will happen for everyone,” Harrover says. “I’m sorry that it’s moving at a glacial pace, but it has that same inevitability as a glacier. We’ll get there.”

But nothing compares to the bond Harrover and Nunn already have, a shared intimacy few couples could imagine. Same-sex marriage was merely unlikely; what they have experienced is miraculous.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Tony Award wrap-up: Totally gay (again)

It was an untenable situation for the gay Dallasite: Watch the Tony Awards or game 6 of the Mavs? Thank god I had two DVRs. Best of both worlds.

Of course, the Tony Awards are always the gayest of award shows, and they did nothing to disguise that Sunday night starting with the opening number by the telecast’s gay host, Neil Patrick Harris, “‘[Theater] is not Just for Gays Anymore.” He then did a medley duet with Hugh Jackman that was damn funny. (It got even gayer when Martha Wash performed “It’s Raining Men” with cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.)

Then the first award of the evening went to Ellen Barkin for her Broadway debut in Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, giving a shout out to the 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. She was immediately followed by gay actor and Plano native John Benjamin Hickey for his role in The Normal Heart. (He even chastised his family: “You’d better not be watching the Mavericks game.” Sorry, John, I for one kept flipping between them.) The play also won the award for best revival — a controversial choice, since The Normal Heart never opened on Broadway until this year, usually a requirement for a revival nominations (some thought it should be eligible for best play). Kramer accepted the award. “To gay people everywhere whom I love so, The Normal Heart is our history. I could not have written it had not so many of us so needlessly died. Learn from it and carry on the fight.”

The very gay-friendly Book of Mormon from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone won several off-camera awards, including score of a musical (the composers thanking gay producer Scott Rudin), orchestrations, scenic design, lighting design and sound design, before taking their first onscreen trophy for best direction of a musical to Parker and gay director Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone), on its way to winning nine total awards, including best musical, best featured actress (newcomer Nikki M. James, defeating prior winners Laura Benanti, Patti LuPone and Victoria Clark and prior nominee Tammy Blanchard) and book of a musical.

“This is such a waste of time — it’s like taking a hooker to dinner,” said best musical presenter Chris Rock before announcing The Book of Mormon for the night’s last prize, best musical.

Other winners in the musical category include John Larroquette for best featured actor (How to Succeed…, apparently the only straight nominee in his category), choreographer Kathleen Marshall for Anything Goes, which also beat How to Succeed for best revival of a musical and won best actress for Sutton Foster. Norbert Leo Butz was the surprise winner for best actor in a musical for Catch Me If You Can. One more really gay winner: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert took best costumes, natch.

The big winner in the play category (other than The Normal Heart) was the brilliant War Horse, which won 5: best play, direction, lighting design, sound design, scenic design, as well as a special Tony for the puppet designs of the horses.

Other play winners include The Importance of Being Earnest (costumes), Good People (best actress Frances McDormand) and Jerusalem, a surprise winner for best actor Mark Rylance.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Latin flair

comedy
MUY FUNNY | Dan Guerrero works for laughs while being gay and Latino in his one-man show.

Before he could write ‘¡Gaytino!,’ Dan Guerrero first had to find his roots

rich lopez  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Growing up gay and Latino can be a tough hand to play. In a culture that revels in religion and machismo — hell, the word “machismo” is Latino — coming out poses pitfalls.

But Dan Guerrero lucked out. With some artsy upbringing by a musician dad and a not-so-practicing Catholic background, Guerrero’s closet was easy to open. In fact, it was harder for him just to be Hispanic.

“Los Angeles never made me feel like I was good enough,” he says. “I fell in love with musicals in junior high. I wanted to hear Julie Andrews in Camelot! Who gives a rat’s ass about mariachi?”

His dad might have given one. He was famed musician Lala Guerrero, the father of Chicano music who popularized the Pachuco sound in the 1940s (the beats most associated with Zoot suits and swing dancing). While Guerrero appreciated his father’s legacy, he established his own identity by moving to New York to become an actor. That didn’t work out so much, but becoming an agent did.

“It was kind of by accident, but I ended up being an agent for 15 years,” he says. “I got into producing and I loved it.”

Although he stepped away from performing, Guerrero finds himself back onstage Friday and Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center with ¡Gaytino! The autobiographical one-man show is part comedy, part cabaret, with Guerrero recounting in lyrics and punch lines his experiences growing up gay and Latino, life with father … and having to rediscover his roots after moving back to L.A.

“The main reason I did the show is, I wanted to know more about my dad and my best friend. I was already fabulous,” he laughs. “So I don’t think of this as my story. I wanted to embrace his legacy and celebrate him and our lives, but also tell of being a born-again Hispanic.”

In L.A., Guerrero rediscovered his heritage. While still working in entertainment, he noticed a lack of Latinos behind the scenes. He started a column in Dramalogue to change that, interviewing actors like Jimmy Smits and Salma Hayek and producing shows that spoke to Latin audiences.

And then came ¡Gaytino!

“Well, the word itself hit me first so I trademarked it. Then it was madness as I set about writing it,” he says.

When the show debuted in 2005, Guerrero hadn’t performed in 35 years. He was a different man, no longer a young buck with nothing to lose and untarnished optimism. He was a behind-the-scenes producer and casting agent. He was — gasp! — older.

“I remember thinking, ‘What am I gonna do? What if I forget my lines?’ I’m an old codger,” he says. “But I got onstage and it was like I had did it the day before. Performing is just part of who I am.”

With his successful day job (he once repped a young Sarah Jessica Parker), a healthy relationship (32 years this November) and irons in many other fires, why bother with the daunting task of writing a show and carrying it alone?

“It still feels like I’m breaking into show business. At least when you’ve been around as long as I have, you can get the main cheese by phone,” he answers. “But really, I had something I wanted to say and I love doing it. I’ve been lucky to stay in the game this long but it’s not by accident; it’s all been by design.”

What he loves isn’t just doing his show, but how it pushes positive gay Latino images. He’s dedicated this chapter in his life to that. Guerrero now feels parental toward the younger generation — maybe because he has no children of his own.

“I do feel a responsibility and not just to younger people, but to all,” he says. “For ¡Gaytino!, I first want them entertained, but I hope audiences will leave more educated about some Chicano culture and history and Gaytino history.”

……………………………………

QUEER CLIP: ‘BEGINNERS’

screen

 

Beginners is such a dreadfully forgettable and generic title for what is the year’s most engaging and heartfelt comedy, you feel like boycotting a review until the distributor gives it a title it deserves.

Certainly the movie itself — a quirky, humane and fantastical reverie about the nature of love and family, with Ewan McGregor as a doleful graphic artist who, six months after his mother dies, learns his 75-year-old dad (Christopher Plummer) is gay and wants to date — charts its own course (defiantly, respectfully, beautifully), navigating the minefield of relationships from lovers to parent/child with simple emotions. It’s not a movie that would presume to answer the Big Questions (when do you know you’ve met the right one? And if they aren’t, how much does that matter anyway?); it’s comfortable observing that we’re all in the same boat, and doing our best is good enough.

McGregor’s placid befuddlement over how he should react to things around him — both his father’s coming out and a flighty but delightful French actress (Melanie Laurent) who tries to pull him out of his shell — is one of the most understated and soulful performances of his career. (His relationship with Arthur, his father’s quasi-psychic Jack Russell, is winsome and winning without veering into Turner & Hooch idiocy.) But Plummer owns the film.

Plummer, best known for his blustery, villainous characters (even the heroic ones, like Capt. Von Trapp and Mike Wallace), exudes an aura of wonder and discovery as the septuagenarian with the hot younger boyfriend (Goran Visnjic, both exasperating as cuddly). As he learns about house music at a time when his contemporaries crave Lawrence Welk, you’re wowed by how the performance seethes with the lifeforce of someone coming out and into his own. His energy is almost shaming.

Writer/director Mike Mills’ semi-autobiographical film suffers only being underlit and over too quickly. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to spend more time with these folks.

—Arnold Wayne Jones

Rating: Four and half stars
Now playing at Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 10, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

They’ve not been designated a hate group for nothing

Via Holy Bullies:

American Family Association’s phony news service, One News Now published the following piece:
Fighting back against sodomized military

A national defense analyst and Pentagon advisor says the new Congress can take a number of actions to blunt the impact of the new law that allows homosexuals to openly display their lifestyle in the U.S. military.

Many pro-military pundits said they were sickened and angered last week when President Barack Obama ended 235 years of wholesome tradition by signing the bill that will effectively sodomize the U.S. military. One of those specialists is Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (USA-Ret.), who was part of the military working group that helped craft the 1993 homosexual service ban that the lame-duck Congress and President Obama have now overturned.

“You have a very corrupt regime running the country,” he laments. But he expects there to be a backlash when the 112th Congress replaces the lame-duck body that was repudiated by the American people last month.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Mississippi Sheriff’s Department Fired Corrections Officer For Being Gay. And It Finds Nothing Illegal About It

Because there is no federal or state law barring the firing of gays for being gay, the Forrest County Sheriff's Department in Mississippi believes it's perfectly in the clear for removing juvenile corrections officer Andre D. Cooley, who is suing the department with the ACLU's help, saying he was ousted in June when his supervisor found out he was in a relationship with another man after a domestic violence incident drew attention. Retorts the defendants, which include Sheriff Billy McGee, in a court filing that asks for a non-jury trial: Yeah, so?


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Queerty

—  admin

Peter LaBarbera freely admits to using Paul Cameron’s discredited work, sees nothing wrong with it

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

If you want the quintessential fact why the Southern Poverty Law Center is correct in calling out certain religious right organizations for their anti-gay bias, check out this portion of an interview between members of two of these groups -  Peter LaBarbera, head of Americans for Truth and Martha Kleder of the Concerned Women for America:
 

Transcript:

Kleder: One of the things I've also noticed is that the SPLC seems to be riled by the  fact . . . uh . . . if they don't particularly like your source that you document then you must be a hate group.

LaBarbera: Paul Cameron

Kleder:  Yeah.

LaBarbera: They say if you cite Paul Cameron, then you are a hater. I mean that's ridiculous. You know there is a researcher who just came out and found that Paul Cameron's work on the greater likelihood of homosexual adoptive parents to have . . . for the child to emerge as a homosexual. He confirmed Cameron's thesis. You don't have to agree with everything Paul Cameron ever did but how proposterous to say that citing a researcher . . Paul Cameron's work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. What they've done, Martha is set up these criteria and then you violate them,  they call you a hate group, and then they have their little echo chamber on the left which reports their charge. And of course the media, which really doesn't like us anyway. The media is very pro-gay, they cite us and so it begins to take a life of its own.

One of the main reasons why religious right groups (i.e. Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, The Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, etc.) have been profiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as anti-gay hate groups is because of their repeated citings of the work of discredited researcher Paul Cameron. They use his work to spread propaganda about lgbts.

As all of us, if the not the vast majority of us, knows, Cameron is a researcher who has made a name for himself by creating studies designed to demonize the lgbt community.  These studies for the most part have been published in “vanity” or “pay-for-publish” journals and they are not “peer-reviewed” in the normal sense. No “peer” who objects to Cameron's work has the right to remove it from the journal.

He has also been discredited and censured by many group and individuals on the left, the right, and in the middle due to his bad research techniques. Several of his studies have been criticized for such errors as having small sample sizes, showing an anti-gay bias in interviews, and not having enough responses to establish a suitable analysis.

Let's take a quick look at his history:

“Right now, here in Lincoln, there is a 4-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway in the rest room with a homosexual act… It’s really awkward. I could see where Gateway would want to suppress this. I could see where the parents would want to suppress it. It could be just a rumor. But enough things have happened recently so that such a thing doesn’t have to be invented.” – Paul Cameron told this story to a group in 1982 in Lincoln, NB in an attempt to kill a human rights ordinance,  Lincoln Star May 8, 1982

The story was discovered to be a hoax and Cameron was called out in the local newspaper-  “A leading opponent of the proposed Lincoln Human Rights Amendment spreads rumors of an alleged vicious incident calculated to damage the proposal’s chances at the polls. When asked about it, he admits the rumor was without foundation. He refused to say from whom he heard the rumor. Nonetheless, he still insists it ‘could be true’, even though responsible authorities in the city say there was not a shred of evidence such an incident ever took place. The seed is planted, to the contrary.” – Editorial. Lincoln Star (May 10, 1982), as quoted by Brown, Robert D.; Cole, James K. Letter to the Editor, Nebraska Medical Journal 70, no. 11 (November 1985)

. Cameron has also had numerous condemnations rained down on him by the medical community:

“(Cameron) misrepresents my findings and distorts them to advance his homophobic views. I make a very clear distinction in my writing between pedophilia and homosexuality, noting that adult males who sexually victimize young boys are either pedophilic or heterosexual, and that in my research I have not found homosexual men turning away from adult partners to children . . . I consider this totally unprofessional behavior on the part of Dr. Cameron and I want to bring this to your attention. He disgraces his profession.” – Dr. A. Nicholas Groth in letter written to the Nebraska Board of Examiners of Psychologists on August 21, 1984
 
“Paul Cameron (Nebraska) was dropped from membership for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – American Psychological Association, 1983

 
The science and profession of psychology in Nebraska as represented by the Nebraska Psychological Association, formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality. Further, the Nebraska Psychological Association would like it known that Dr. Cameron is not a member of the Association. Dr. Cameron was recently dropped from membership in the American Psychological Association for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists – Nebraska Psychological Association, 1984

 
Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” – American Sociological Association, 1985

The Canadian Psychological Association takes the position that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism and thus, it formally disassociates itself from the representation and interpretations of scientific literature in his writings and public statements on sexuality. – Canadian Psychological Association, 1996

And while we are at it, let's not forget those on the right who dismiss Cameron's work:

“Given what I now know, I believe there are flaws with Paul Cameron's study. One cannot extrapolate from his methodology and say that the average male homosexual life span is 43 years.” – former Ronald Regan Cabinet member William Bennett criticizing Cameron's “gay lifespan study.” – New Republic (1998, February 23, page 4)

This article has been removed due to the inaccuracies surrounding the research of Paul Cameron. – A posting on the webpage of Ex-gay group Exodus International

And if that's not enough to convince you of Cameron's lack of credibility, check out various comments he has made regarding the lgbt community:

“What homosexuals do is so incredibly stupid, so patently absurd and antibiological, that only a foolish society would take their whimpering about ‘equal rights with heterosexuality’ seriously . . . Are we supposed to feel so sorry for them that we join them in the march to the cemetery?” – Paul Cameron, The Advocate, October 29, 1985

“At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, ‘Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.’ According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983.” – Mark E. Pietrzyk, New Republic, October 3, 1994

“If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one’s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get – and that is what homosexuality seems to be — then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men, and women on women if all you are looking for is an orgasm.” - Paul Cameron, Rolling Stone, March, 18, 1999

Cameron is the religious right's dirty little secret. Many of the organizations named as anti-gay hate groups by the SPLC  have used Cameron's studies even though they are aware of his dubious history of condemnations.

However, many of them won't admit to this fact.That is except for Peter LaBarbera. And what makes it worse is that LaBarbera is trying to justify work he knows has credibility problems.

And by the way, LaBarbera's claim that another researcher proved Cameron's thesis about children in same-sex households is also incorrect. LaBarbera failed to mention that the researcher, Walter Schumm, used the same bad methodology Cameron used to come to his original thesis:

Schumm’s “meta-analysis” (and Cameron’s before him) doesn’t even have the benefit of being built off of random convenience samples. There were no convenience samples in any of the ten prior works that Schumm used for his meta-analysis. In fact, they weren’t even professional studies. They were popular books! That’s right, each of the ten sources that Schumm used to construct his “meta-analysis” were from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com. Schumm read the books, took notes on each parent and child described in the book, examined their histories, and counted up who was gay and who was straight among the kids.

But here is the important thing – with Cameron's credibility problem, if he were “publishing studies” about the African-American community, Jewish community, or women, then he and those who freely cite his work would be thought of as either racist, anti-Semitic, or gender biased.

So what's the difference between Cameron's work impugning any of these groups and what he is doing to the lgbt community? Why shouldn't be he and those who use his work be thought of as “haters” in spite of the fact that they can hide their lies behind the Biblical condemnation of homosexuality?

At any rate, the usage of Cameron's work certainly does put a monkeywrench into religious rights claims that they are being “targeted” by the SPLC because of their “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

I never knew that freely citing research known to be sloppy and inaccurate was a tenet of  “Judeo-Christian” beliefs.

Related posts:

Homophobic 'researcher' Paul Cameron in all of his repulsive glory

More homophobic lies from the Paul Cameron Poland tour

Hat tip to Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way's Right  Wing Watch , Box Turtle Bulletin, and Dr. Gregory Herek.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Powerless: All or Nothing LGBT Support of Democrats

Crossposted on ZackFord Blogs

Let's say you have a dog you are teaching how to sit. You can push her bottom down and say "Sit!" and then give her a treat. That's how you show what you want. The hope is that once she understands, she will obey for verbal praise and then for no praise at all. But what if she doesn't totally get it? What if when she hears "Sit!" she only touches her butt to the ground for a second and then comes back up? What if she only goes down halfway? Clearly, she knows what you mean by "Sit!" but she doesn't want to sit, and she doesn't actually sit. Do you still praise her or give her treats for showing you she knows what you want without actually delivering it?

If you do, she'll never actually sit for you on command. It's basic psychological conditioning. She'll just learn that she gets rewarded for the non-action, for knowing how to sit but not actually sitting. Does this require you give away your treats to other dogs who are even less behaved? Not at all. It simply means you keep training her, but hold out the treats until she shows she can deliver, until she will actually sit, and then lay down, and then shake, and then roll over, and whatever else you think she ought to learn to do. She is your dog, after all, and treats can be expensive. You want her to be a good dog, the best dog she can be.

Given that we're eight days from an election, a lot of blinders are on. This post will either fall on deaf ears or outrage some people, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

There are some folks in the LGBT community who don't think Democrats deserve our votes right now. They see the Democrats as the dog in my little case study. The Democrats clearly know what issues are important to us, and some of them are even good at showing what they know with their words. But when it comes to action, they (and particularly President Obama) have fallen quite short. No action on ENDA, DOMA repeal, Safe Schools, or Student Non-Discrimination, and a complete fumble of DADT. They can't be bothered to actually sit, regardless of how many treats we've given them.

To suggest we shouldn't vote for every Democrat in every race elicits a huge backlash from a lot of people in the movement. They are quick to say, "You think the Republicans would be any better???" as if we just crawled out from under a rock completely unaware of how much the Grand Ol' Party has unflinchingly abused our community in every single election since "homosexual" was vernacular. This suggests to me a severely dualistic point of view that equates advocating for gay rights with voting Democratic with unyielding allegiance.

To my knowledge, the big orgs rarely (if ever) support a candidate they don't think is viable. This means a lot of "loyalty" support for unfriendly incumbents if it's deemed that the primary challengers don't have a chance, regardless of how much more pro-gay their platforms are. It also means very little attention paid to any third-party candidates, regardless of their positions. Are we just a crutch for the Democratic party? (And if so, why bother with the redundancy of Stonewall Democrats?) From my perspective, this approach lacks integrity and speaks of desperation. The talking points echo this sentiment: "If we let the Republicans, all hope for change is GONE!"

This all-or-nothing paranoia is disturbing, our movement's own version of Beckian fear. First there's the patronizing assumption that anyone in doubt about the Democrats is a conspirator for a Republican overthrow of the legislature. You're either supporting the Dems or you're not supporting the movement! Add to that the assumed bizarre dichotomy that Democrats are saviors and Republicans are demons. Yeah, the Republicans don't like us, but they're not actually going to pass a federal marriage amendment, and I don't think Democrats deserve all that much credit just for not trying. I really appreciated what Jon Stewart said in his most recent interview with Fresh Air's Terry Gross:

Beck and Palin are easier punching bags. And we can think of it as, oh my God, I'm so scared if they take over. And you know what? We'll be fine.

You know, we had a Civil War. Just – we're not that fragile, and I think we always have to remember that people can be opponents, but not enemies. And there are enemies in the world. We just need the news media to help us delineate.

And I think that's where the failing is, that the culture of corruption that exists in the media doesn't allow us to delineate between enemies and opponents. And that's where we sort of fall into trouble.

Exactly. The whole situation is a lot more nuanced than anyone is willing to talk about it.

But what do we wind up with? The polarization I wrote about last month. While some are trying to raise the discourse above "The Dems gotta win! The Dems gotta win!" others have the hubris to call any sheep who stray from the flock "enemies." We're shooting ourselves! We're poking each other's eyes out! And the dialogue never evolves. We stay in survival mode and the movement just keeps catering to the Dems, thrilled that they at least say nice things about us, even if they don't actually act on our behalf. (They know how to "Sit!" so who cares if they actually do?)

Life is more intricate than that, and you know what? Sometimes if you want to move forward, you have to take a risk. If Democrats can always count on votes from the LGBT community, they have no reason to ever act on our behalf. This isn't a new revelation, either, though President Obama raised his own stakes and has faced the consequences for not living up to his "fierce advocacy." Either the LGBT movement has power and sway or it doesn't. If we're always willing to throw money at every "lesser evil," then we have absolutely no clout. It's only if our support has to be earned that we can actually start exercising some control over how our politicians treats us.

What does this mean? Well, for this election cycle, it doesn't mean much. We've already fallen into our own trap of being in the Democrats' back pocket again. Nothing's going to change in eight days; we have the candidates we have and we have to make the most of it.

We need to go out and vote next week. We need to remember there are other issues and communities other than our own worth considering. And maybe the Democrat is the best choice. Maybe a third-party candidate is. But an informed vote is always important.

I'd love to teach the Democrats a lesson and completely hold out any support until they step it up, but we're not set up to communicate that right now. As long as there are so many militant folks in the movement pushing for unequivocal support of Democrats, the message won't get across.

But after next week? I think we really need to reevaluate LGBT politics and the risks we're willing to take. We need to stop silencing every opinion that goes against the grain of the movement (as many will undoubtedly try to do with THIS opinion). We need to consider whether being a lapdog to the Democratic party is getting us anywhere. Do we really need to back a horse in every race? Do we need to spend all of our money in every election cycle? Do we always support incumbents even if they haven't taken action on our behalf? Does our movement have any real political sway, or are we just a fundraising/vote-rallying arm of the Democratic party? Do we ever support the candidate that actually most supports us, even if as a third-party candidate or primary challenger they aren't as viable?  Are we really content with a paranoid "at least they're not persecuting us" limbo?

If the movement's movers and shakers are unwilling to change anything, then I want a new movement. What's "good enough" for some doesn't seem to be very good at all.

Stop throwing my treats away; hold out until the dog actually listens.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

‘I’m nothing you’ve heard’

TO: Campaign O’Donnell

FROM: Truthful Productions Inc.

Subject: The candidate’s first commercial spot

Hey team! So excited you asked me to take a shot at this project!

Attached you will find a draft of the ad copy I think would really work for Christine. Basically I took a look at her record and crafted a script from what jumped out at me, based on both how prominent Ms. O’Donnell’s past involvement, as well as the potential real world impact that certain words and actions could have on Delaware voters. I know Ms. O’Donnell would like to run on her actual record rather than against silly asides about being a witch, a mid-’90s MTV appearances, her views on self-gratification, or the comment about loving meat too much to be a Buddhist. So this seems to be more of what she wants!

(*Note: I’ve included links to archived information, lest the candidate forget)



CHRISTINE (to camera): “I’m not a witch. I am, however, someone whose old organization, The SALT, used to dedicate large swaths of resources to “changing” gay people through some sort of spell unbeknownst to all credible bodies of science.

I’m nothing you’ve heard — but I very well may be what you’ve seen recorded by unflinching cameras or read in the inarguable archives culled from the unforgiving annals of print media.

I’m you, if you also once invoked Adolph Hitler to suggest that progressives have redefined “gay” to mean joyful and gleeful, before then moving on to say that “when we say that Ellen [Degeneres] is gay, we’re certainly not talking about her emotional well-being.

None of us are perfect. Especially if you’re not heterosexual, which is why I tried to change people like Wade Richards.

But none of us can be happy with what we see all around us. Politicians who think spending, trading favors, and back room deals are the ways to stay in office. Scientists who think actual research about sexual orientation deserves precedence above junk science groups and personal faith convictions. Gay people who look into my very recent past and wonder why I led “Confronting False Sexual identities” seminars at conferences that also featured the soft soul stylings of one Jerry Falwell.

I’ll go to Washington and do what you’d do. And maybe I’ll again try to link a prominent gay person to child molestation, like I did back in the ’90s, when I led a D.C. press conference with the sole intent of stopping the United States’ first openly gay ambassador by peddling in far-right-crafted lies about his supposed ties to the “pedophile rights movement.”

I’m Christine O’Donnell and I approve this message.

I’m you. That is, if you too have a record that should make any LGBT person or straight ally to say, “wait a minute, hold up!”





It’s good, right? Can’t wait to hear your notes!!!

Best,

The Nonexistent Producer Who Exists in Jeremy’s Overactive Imagination

***

TO: Truthful Productions Inc.

FROM: Campaign O’Donnell

cc: Master Bates, Beetha Meet, Abra Cadabra, Bill Maher’s estranged cousin with the possibly good dirt on him, S. Palin

Subject: RE: The candidate’s first commercial spot

Not bad! However, we have decided to make a few edits. Hope you’ll agree that our changes are more politically viable:




Warmly,

I’m Christine O’Donnell, apparently, since her “I’m you” ad copy just implied that she is the embodiment of every United States citizen




Good As You

—  John Wright