“Spectacular Damage” at Gulf Coast Archive puts human face on AIDS crisis

"Joe" - one of the paintings from "Spectacular Damage"

The nude models for Jack Dorlan’s Spectacular Damage show are not people one typically wishes to see naked, and that’s the point. The models, all men living with HIV, carry the lumps and scars of the virus and its treatments with dignity, defiance and a quiet longing that leaps from the canvas.

Painting in a style immediately reminiscent of the late Lucian Freud, Dorlan’s brutally honest brush makes no attempt to beautify the reality of his subject’s lives. As a result the very real, and “spectacular,” beauty of these damaged bodies shines through.

“These paintings examine the contemporary human body as it is affected by HIV treatment,” explains Doran. “Due to the effects of HIV and the medications required to manage the virus, the human body has taken on new characteristics that alter the human form in a way that has never before been seen in the history of mankind. As HIV research and treatments improve, these characteristics will cease to be a common trait among those living with HIV. These bodies are temporary.”

Spectacular Damage is presented by the Gulf Coast Archives and Museum at the GLBT Cultural Center (401 Branard) Sunday, January 8, from 3-5 pm. Admissions is free. Fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of prints of the collection’s paintings goes to assist the models in paying for HIV treatments and medications.

—  admin

Defining Homes • Super (re)model

Remodeler Chris Sandlin says slow your roll before that redux

Wingren-Kitchen-5By Jonanna Widner

As a third-generation homebuilder and remodeler, it’s no surprise that Chris Sandlin opted out of a journalism career and instead chose the family business. He made the change in 2005 and with such a history of the industry in his blood already, Sandlin brings a fairly unique perspective to the market.

“I’m 30 years old, which is relatively young compared to others in my position,“ he says. “But I put a lot of time and energy into the right team of workers and sub-contractors to customers’ homes so the end result lives up to what the homeowners deserve. As a gay business owner, I’m happy in providing stellar home services to the community.”

Before moving forward with that remodel, Sandlin says to think before demolishing.

Wingren-Master-Bath-2Know when to remodel: “I commonly work with homeowners to determine whether it makes more sense to remodel or move. I approach each situation openly and honestly, and try my best to suggest what I think would be best, even if that means I don’t win the job.”

Remodel before selling: “This is usually the case with older homes that have not been remodeled recently. Homeowners accept my guidance for what sells. I have a good combination of experience in the homebuilding and real estate industry.

“There is a catch-22 here. If the house sells quickly, homeowners in won’t have time to experience the finished remodel project which tends to be the kitchen or master bath.”

“This can happen very easily. Most $250,000 homes do not need a $50,000 bathroom redo, nor does a $300,000 home need a $100,000 commercial grade kitchen. A wide variety of factors need to be considered, including how long they plan to stay in the home, what’s the budget, how it adds to the home’s value.“

Budget help: “When in the budgeting/planning phase with homeowners, research the values of nearby homes, especially with remodels. This has been helpful in concrete figures regarding their remodel, as well as experienced conjectures about how the remodel will affect the home’s future value.”

Don’t rush the details:  ”Too many homeowners want to rush into their project without a clear vision. Step back, assess the project and come up with a plan. With that, the end result will be everything the homeowner wants. Rushing into it without a plan will only result in more time, money and headaches.”

Going green: “This is an area I take pride in. As a certified green professional through the National Association of Homebuilders, I integrate green philosophies and I want to minimize waste factor and landfill component as much as possible.”

“I started making many green features as my standard a long time ago because I feel it’s the right way to build and remodel. I’m happy to see more homeowners interested in these options.”

DIY:  “I’m happy to help prepare homeowners for what they would encounter if doing it on their own. Sometimes it works out just fine, with small jobs that don’t require licensed tradesmen or city permits. When it comes to larger jobs, people need to know if they honestly have the time to do this in addition to the day job.”DH

Visit SandlinBuild.com for more information.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—  Kevin Thomas

Dallas gets $1.28M HUD grant for HIV/AIDS

Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have announced the allocation of nearly $9 million in grants to projects in seven states that provide permanent and transitional housing and support services to people with HIV/AIDS.

Of that total, $1,287,500 will be allocated to the city of Dallas’ Housing and Community Services Department, the only city or agency in Texas to receive one of the seven HUD grants. The money will be used to provide transitional housing support to 60 ex-offenders over the next three years. According to the HUD press release, the Housing and Community Services Department will be working with the city’s Project Reconnect and the Department of Justice’s Second Chance Act in providing the housing and services.

And the city has committed to “creating an Integrated HIV/AIDS Housing Plan through a comprehensive community planning effort that involves 20 local partners operating in the eight county Dallas Metropolitan Statistical Area,” according to HUD. No word yet on whether those partners will include AIDS Services of Dallas, which is located in Oak Cliff and provides housing for as many as 225 men, women and children impacted by HIV/AIDS through 125 units in four complexes.

The largest of the grants, $1,375,000, is going to the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV. The city of Portland, Ore., gets the second-largest total with $1,365,900. River Region Human Services Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., is getting $1,353,743, and the Corporation for AIDS Research Education and Services Inc. in Albany and Rochester, N.Y., gets $1,344,375.

Dallas is next on the list, followed by Justice Resource Institute Inc. in Boston, which gets $1,223,377. Rounding out the recipient list is the Frannie Peabody Center, a statewide organization in Maine, that is receiving $930,909.

The seven recipients were chosen “through a national HOPWA competition to identify special projects of national significance that will help advance understanding and improve the delivery of housing and care for persons with HIV,” according to HUD.

—  admin

Local Briefs

GAIN holding monthly meeting

GAIN, the GLBT aging interest network that is a program of Resource Center Dallas, will meet Thursday, April 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Resource Center, 2701 Reagan.
Educator, public speaker and writer Deneen Robinson, BSW, will present the program on Alzheimer’s and dementia in the aging LGBT community.
Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served.

Students seeks study participants

Cindy Chwalik, a clinical psychology student at Walden University who is interning with Youth First Texas, is looking for natal females (those who were born biologically female) who were born in the South and came out as lesbians while living in the South to participate in a research project she is conducting. She is particularly looking for women born in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina.

Participation involves a 60-to-90-minute interview. Chwalik said there is no compensation for participating, but the information will help those who come out in the future.
Contact her via email at cindychwalik @aol.com.

TDWCC to hear from candidates

Texas Democratic Women of Collin County will hold their next general meeting Monday, April 25, at 6:45 p.m. at the Preston Ridge Campus of Collin College, 9700 Wade Blvd. in Frisco, Founders Hall, Shawnee Room F148.

The program will feature a forum of candidates in the upcoming non-partisan municipal elections. Confirmed thus far from Plano are Judy Drotman, campaign manager for City Council Place 3 candidate Andre Davidson; City Council Place 5 candidate Matt Lagos; City Council Place 5 candidate Jim Duggan, and City Council Place 7 candidate Pat Gallagher.

Candidates in the Frisco elections who have confirmed so far are Mayor Maher Maso, City Council Place 5 candidate Bart Crowder, and Frisco ISD candidated Anne McCausland and Dody Brigadier.

—  John Wright

Family Research Council asks for money instead of answering charges of unethical behavior

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

The Family Research Council has yet to give a "detailed response" to charges lodged by the Southern Poverty Law Center that it spreads untrue propaganda about the lgbt community by means of either junk science or distorted science.

However, the group did take time out of its day to send out the following email requesting money. I took the liberty of zeroing in on the most pertinent part:

As you may have heard, the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently declared Family Research Council and a few of our allies as "hate groups."

How do you feel about you and FRC being lumped in with neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, racist skinheads, and other radical organizations?

I am outraged. But more than that, I am concerned. Never before has FRC been slapped with such a false and malicious accusation by an organization claiming to be mainstream.

Thankfully, we have hundreds of good friends who have stepped forward to denounce the SPLC in the strongest possible terms and to declare their support of FRC. The list includes national leaders who signed a Statement of Support.

Now I urge you to show you won't be intimidated into silence. Please follow this link to take your place alongside these leaders and others in defense of FRC by making a tax-deductible donation to support our work.

The SPLC is pressuring major news networks, magazines, newspapers, and online news and opinion outlets to not invite us on their programs, run our opinion pieces, or quote our views. It even hosted an event aimed solely at smearing FRC.

Astonishing, isn't it?

The SPLC is now attacking FRC and other groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

By labeling its opponents "hate groups," the SPLC is saying: No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

As usual FRC is playing the victim while evading the true story. SPLC said the following about FRC and several other so-called pro-family groups:

. . . a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexuals and other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the “facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations. . . Generally, the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

The falsehoods in question include the beliefs that:

  • Homosexuals molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals,
  • Same-sex parents harm children, and
  • Homosexuals don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals.

For its part, SPLC has listed detailed reasons as to the inaccuracies of these claims.

 

FRC, on the hand, has yet to fully answer SPLC's charges even though it said two months ago that it would give a "detailed response."

FRC's entire campaign  of  "they are trying to silence us" has been a clever dodge, or a non-sequitir which only serves to cover up that SPLC is in fact pushing for the debate while FRC is avoiding it.

Conveniently absent from FRC’s email – and its other statements – is suitable refutation to SPLC’s charges or any type of refutation at all.

At the times in which FRC did try to address the charges head on, such as when FRC head Tony Perkins went on the news program Hardball or when an FRC employee recommended a piece written by Perkins,  the organization was called out for engaging in exactly the same tactics SPLC accused them of – distorting science to denigrate the lgbt community.

No one wants to silence FRC.

Not SPLC, nor do I, nor does any other person who sent emails to the organization asking for the "detailed response" to SPLC's charges, which FRC promised to give.

All we want are answers. And we have yet to receive those answers.

In the long run, FRC's plea for donations may be successful in terms of monetary benefits.

But what about personal integrity?

If the FRC considers itself a Christian organization, then it needs to act like one.

And somehow I don't think that spreading untrue stories about the lgbt community and then playing the evasion game when called out on this behavior is a Christian virtue.

Stating that you are a moral, Christian group doesn't necessarily make you one. Especially when your actions have been most un-Christian.

Related posts:

Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council just can't stop engaging in duplicitious tacticsPay attention to this post. In an interview last week, FRC spokesperson Peter Sprigg criticized studies looking at same-sex households in part because the studies in question doesn't compare same-sex households to heterosexual households. However Sprigg's objection is ironic seeing that he freely cites studies that don't compare the two dynamics when he denigrates heterosexual households.

Family Research Council's Tony Perkins pushes George Rekers flavored falsehoods on Hardball

Write Chris Matthews and Hardball to complain about Tony Perkins's lies

SUCCESS! Chris Matthews addresses distortion of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council

Peter Sprigg won't address hate group charges but will lie about same-sex households

Family Research Council has yet to come out with 'detailed response' against SPLC charges

Will the Family Research Council ever fulfill its promise and address SPLC's charges?
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

Family Research Council has yet to come out with ‘detailed response’ against SPLC charges

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Last night, I asked a very pertinent question on my blog about the Family Research Council.

In December after the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the organization as an anti-gay hate group, Peter Sprigg – one of FRC's spokesman – said that they will be coming out with a more “detailed” response refuting these charges.

It's been almost two months and no detailed response has come out. So I asked when was this report coming out. What's more, I presented my question directly to FRC's webpage.

I wasn't expecting an answer so imagine my surprise when I got one, albeit a standard one:

Dear Mr. Alvin McEwen:

Thank you for your interest in the Family Research Council. As you may be aware, FRC champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. We work to shape public debate and formulate public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.

We appreciate the time you have taken to contact FRC, and the opportunity to address your concerns. A member of FRC's correspondence team will respond to your comments shortly. Once again, thank you for your interest in FRC's work.

Your confirmation number for this activity is 3926862. If any information in this email confirmation is in error, or if you have further questions, please contact us by telephoning 1-800-22 5-4008 Mondays through Fridays between 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM EST. From all of us at FRC, thank you and God bless.

Sincerely,

Family Research Council

Between you and me, I have a feeling that I'm going to be waiting so long for FRC's answer that “my credit will get good again.”

But still, it's nice to put their feet to some type of fire.

If you feel the need to, please do the same – respectfully – by going here. Ask them why is it taking so long for them to “refute” SPLC's charges.
 
Related posts:

Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again

Family Research Council plans to go on tour against the Southern Poverty Law Center

Family Research Council's 'we are not a hate group' campaign gets destroyed on two fronts

Family Research Council's anti-SPLC campaign places bullseye on the backs of Republican leaders

Family Research Council digging itself deeper in the hole in war against hate group label

The Family Research Council tries to declare war on the Southern Poverty Law Center

Peter LaBarbera's ramblings exposes the Family Research Council's deception

Mike Huckabee tries to defend the Family Research Council from hate group designation and fails miserably

The Family Research Council should be apologizing to the gay community

Family Research Council, American Family Association named as anti-gay hate groups

 

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  David Taffet

More on those CornerStone Policy Research ‘Helpful Links’

So you know how we’ve been telling you (and New Hampshire lawmakers) about the “ex-gay” advocacy that New Hampshire’s chief public policy organization, Cornerstone Policy Research, has posted under the “helpful links” section of its website? Yea, well — there’s been an interesting development.

Today, CPR abruptly changed the site from this…

6A00D8341C503453Ef0148C756Dbb1970C

…to this:

Screen Shot 2011-01-18 At 3.31.20 Pm

[Current page]

The changes struck us as weird and arbitrary. Because why did they remove Courage, the Catholic “ex-gay” organization? Everyone knows that CPR’s big partner, the National Organization For Marriage, is a largely Catholic organization. Wouldn’t Courage be the one they’d most want to keep?

But what caught our attention even more was the removal of The Journal Of Human Sexuality, mainly because it was the one link we didn’t mention at all. Frankly, we didn’t mention it because, by name alone, the link didn’t ring any sort of bell. And we were so focused on the other, more obvious “ex-gay” advocacy that we didn’t really investigate this one further. We just accepted that JHS was some sort of “pro-family” organization, and let it go.

However, one only need to look at an archived copy of the JHS link to see exactly why CPR would want to scrub it from their rec list:

Screen Shot 2011-01-18 At 3.42.39 Pm

[Internet Archive: JHS]

Yes, that’s right: JHS was (is?) a George Rekers outlet. Yes, that George Rekers:

Christian right leader George Rekers takes vacation with “rent boy” [News Times]

Can’t believe we never made the connection before!. But beyond that: Can’t believe CPR didn’t make enough a connection between their cause and its beneficial allies to keep Reker’s publication off the “helpful links” list front he get-go!

Right, so where does this leave things now? Well, we’re at a place where New Hampshire’s most financed, well-connected socially conservative political group…

Screen Shot 2011-01-18 At 11.49.01 Am

CPR prez Kevin Smith with NOM’s Maggie Gallagher

and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum

[SOURCE:
CPR 2010 banquet]

…has clearly seen/heard what we’ve had to say about their “helpful” gay views, yet is still choosing to push the very same scientifically-rejected “research” out to its followers (the list is now 100% made up of exclusive “ex-gay” advocacy). They may have thrown Rekers off the bus and dropped Courage — but they, the state’s chief opponent of civil marriage equality, are still demonstrating a stubborn insistence on changing not only the state’s marriage laws, but also gay human beings’ sexual orientations. In fact, this change would actually seem to make it worse, since it shows they know what’s being said about their links and the offensive anti-science surrounding them — they just don’t care.

***

*UPDATE: CPR just updated again, this time removing Focus on the Family from the Love Won Out Link (FoTF passed on the program last year). An accurate change — but not one that alters the anti-science reality that CPR is still calling “helpful.”

A reminder of just how roundly rejected “ex-gay” therapy is:

American Medical Association: “opposes, the use of “reparative” or “conversion” therapy that is based upon the assumption that homosexuality per se is a mental disorder or based upon the a priori assumption that the patient should change his/her homosexual orientation

AMA Policy Regarding Sexual Orientation [AMA]

***

American Counseling Association Ethics Committee: “Clients may ask for a specific treatment from a counseling professional because they have heard about it from either their religious community or from popular culture. A counselor, however, only provides treatment that is scientifically indicated to be effective or has a theoretical framework supported by the profession. Otherwise, counselors inform clients that the treatment is “unproven” or “developing” and provide an explanation of the “potential risks and ethical considerations of using such techniques/procedures and take steps to protect clients from possible harm” (Standard C.6.e., “Scientific Bases for Treatment Modalities”).

Considering all the above deliberation, the ACA Ethics Committee strongly suggests that ethical professional counselors do not refer clients to someone who engages in conversion therapy or, if they do, to proceed cautiously only when they are certain that the referral counselor fully informs clients of the unproven nature of the treatment and the potential risks and takes steps to minimize harm to clients (also see Standard A.2.b., “Types of Information Needed”). This information also must be included in written informed consent material by those counselors who offer conversion therapy despite ACA’s position and the Ethics Committee’s statement in opposition to the treatment. To do otherwise violates the spirit and specifics of the ACA Code of Ethics.”

Exploring ethical issues related to conversion or reparative therapy [ACA]

***

American Academy of Pediatrics: “The terms reparative therapy and sexual orientation conversion therapy refer to counseling and psychotherapy aimed at eliminating or suppressing homosexuality. The most important fact about these “therapies” is that they are based on a view of homosexuality that has been rejected by all the major mental health professions. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,6 published by the American Psychiatric Association, which defines the standards of the field, does not include homosexuality. All other major health professional organizations have supported the American Psychiatric Association in its declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973. Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation

among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.

The idea that homosexuality is a mental disorder or that the emergence of same-sex attraction and orientation among some adolescents is in any way abnormal or mentally unhealthy has no support among any mainstream health and mental health professional organizations.

Despite the general consensus of major medical, health, and mental health professions that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality, efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy have been adopted by some political and religious organizations and aggressively promoted to the public. However, such efforts have serious potential to harm young people because they present the view that the sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth is a mental illness or disorder, and they often frame the inability to change one’s sexual orientation as a personal and moral failure.

Because of the aggressive promotion of efforts to change sexual orientation through therapy, a number of medical, health, and mental health professional organizations have issued public statements about the dangers of this approach. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of Social Workers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises youth that counseling may be helpful for you if you feel confused about your sexual identity. Avoid any treatments that claim to be able to change a person’s sexual orientation, or treatment ideas that see homosexuality as a sickness.“

Just the Facts About Sexual Orientation and Youth [APP]

***

The American Psychological Association: The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution Wednesday stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.



The “Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts” also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services “that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”

The approval, by APA’s governing Council of Representatives, came at APA’s annual convention, during which a task force presented a report that in part examined the efficacy of so-called “reparative therapy,” or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

“Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation,” said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the task force. “Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates, recent research studies do not provide evidence of sexual orientation change as the research methods are inadequate to determine the effectiveness of these interventions.” Glassgold added: “At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex.”

Based on this review, the task force recommended that mental health professionals avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others’ sexual orientation.“

Insufficient Evidence that Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Work, Says [American Psychological Association]

***




Good As You

—  admin

We have to apologize to NH’s Cornerstone Policy Research

Twice now, we’ve told you that New Hampshire’s chief lobby group for repealing marriage equality in the state, Cornerstone Policy Research (a major NOM affiliate), is pushing four different groups that are seeking to “cure” or “change” or gays. But now, we have a little bit of egg on our face, and need to send a sincere “sorry” to CPR.

So we’re just gonna rip off the Band-Aid and come right out and admit it: Our information was, in fact, wrong. Because ya see, It turns out that CPR is not pushing four groups that focus on stopping parts of gays’ bodies other than their ring fingers. No, no — they are actually PUSHING FIVE OF THEM:

201101121701

CPR’s “Helpful Links” page

We brain farted on Courage, not realizing this was that Catholic group based in Connecticut that tells gays they should develop “an interior life of chastity” so that “one can move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity to a more complete one in Christ.” In short: This group tells gays they should forgo love and affection, since they were born too broken to ever really experience it in a way the Catholic Church will accept. Here’s Courage Director Fr. Paul Check with more on his work:

(click to play audio clip)

[SOURCE: Catholic Answers Live, 12/3/10]

*Listen to full interview here.

“Who you are” is either active and wrong, or de-sexualized and okay with the church. In a nutshell, that’s Courage (big c).

So yeah, please accept our apologizes, Cornerstone folks. It turns out you, the group that’s leading the charge to rollback *CIVIL* marriage equality in the “Live Free Or Die State,” are actually using a whopping five different faith-based groups to support not only your marriage cause, but also the much deeper, much more science-flouting drive to tell gay people they are junk in need of repair. We promise not to again misrepresent your stance.




Good As You

—  admin

Family Research Council defends itself with distorted studies . . . again

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

It's a regular comedy of errors with the Family Research Council.

In the organization's zeal to defend itself from the charges of being an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, it continues to make huge missteps.

And the latest just happened yesterday.

Now SPLC contends that FRC – and other so-called morality groups – either deliberately rely on junk science, distort legitimate science, or push propaganda to make the lgbt community seem like the dreaded “other” out to destroy American values.

FRC contends that SPLC is unfairly attacking them because they stand against gay marriage even though SPLC has made it clear that this isn't the case.

FRC spokesman Peter Sprigg, who has gone on record wanting gays and lesbians exported out of the United States and  “homosexual acts” to be made illegal, said the following about SPLC's charges in a blog post yesterday:

For the record, FRC believes that every human being, including those who experience same-sex attractions and those who engage in homosexual conduct, is created in the image of God and is loved by Him. How this qualifies as “hate” is a mystery.

We will be preparing a more detailed response to Cohen’s charge that FRC spreads “falsehoods” in our well-documented research, which does show that certain harms are associated with homosexual conduct. Those wishing to examine that research in the meantime can refer to the FRC book Getting It Straight: What the Research Shows About Homosexuality or to our recent pamphlet, The Top Ten Myths About Homosexuality.

For Sprigg's information, I have done just that several times in the past and have found a bunch of errors in both works he cited.

I've talked about these errors in several blog posts, but they bear repeating.

Let's look at the brochure The Top Ten Myths of Homosexuality.

At first glance, Ten Myths looks legitimate. However, a more intensive look reveals it to be a mishmash of inaccurate theories, cherry-picked work, and studies taken out of context created to justify homophobia

The following are just a few of the problems with Ten Myths:

1. Ten Myths repeats the lie that the Robert Spitzer study proves that homosexuality is changeable, excluding the fact that Spitzer has said on more than one occasion that his research was being distorted.

2. Ten Myths utilizes the work of  the organization National Association for  Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). The website Truth Wins Out calls NARTH  a discredited “ex-gay” fringe organization that peddles fraudulent “cures” for homosexuality.

According to Truth Wins Out, several NARTH members have been embroiled in controversies including:

Gerald Schoenwolf, PhD, a member of NARTH’ “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a piece on the group’s website that seemed to justify slavery

NARTH psychiatrist Joseph Berger, MD, another member of its “Scientific Advisory Committee,” who wrote a paper encouraging students to “ridicule” gender variant children.

Also, according to Truth Wins Out:

NARTH’ co-founder, Joesph Nicolosi encourages male clients to become more masculine by drinking Gatorade and referring to friends as “dude”. NARTH therapists have been known to practice rubber band therapy, where a gay client is made to wear a rubber band and snap it on his wrist when sexually stimulated. It is a mild form of aversion therapy meant to “snap” the client out of the moment of attraction. NARTH members have also been known to practice “touch therapy”, where a client sits in the therapist’ lap for up to an hour, while the therapist caresses him.

Earlier this year, another member of NARTH, George Rekers, resigned from the organization after caught coming from a vacation overseas with a “rentboy.”

3. Ten Myths pushes the inaccuracy that a man who molests a boy is automatically gay even though the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Academy of Child Psychiatrists and the Child Welfare League of America, all say that the homosexuality and pedophilia are not linked.

Now let's look at FRC's other book, Getting It Straight.

In chapter 4 – Is Homosexuality a Health Risk, there is this passage (pg. 88):

A study of 3,365 high school students published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found: “Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or not sure male students were 6.50 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than heterosexual male students. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or not sure female students were 2.02 times more likely to report a suicide attempt than their heterosexual female peers.”

Robert Garofalo, et al, “Sexual Orientation and Risk of Suicide Attempts among a Representative Sample of Youth,” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 153 (May 1999): 490.


In 1998, Garofalo complained that FRC and several other religious right groups was distorting his research. According to him, the groups omitted a crucial part of his findings (i.e. gay teens engage in negative behavior – suicide attempts – when faced with abuse from a homophobic society). Interestingly enough, when Garofalo complained, then FRC staff member Robert Knight questioned his credibility. (Boston doctor says ads distorted his work on gays, The Boston Globe, August 4, 1998 )

Then there is this passage in the same chapter on pg. 89:

A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology on the mortality rates of homosexuals concluded that they have a significantly reduced life expectancy:

• “In a major Canadian centre, life expectancy at age twenty for gay and bisexual men is eight to twenty years less than for all men. If the same pattern of mortality were to continue, we estimate that nearly half of gay and bisexual men currently aged twenty years will not reach their sixty-fifth birthday. Under even the most liberal assumptions, gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871.”

In 2001, the researchers of this study complained that their work was being distorted by organizations like FRC.

Chapter 5 of Getting it Straight, Do Homosexual Parents Pose a Risk to Children, is interesting in that except for a few alterations (i.e. rearranging of text) it is identical to Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk – one of the studies FRC removed from its webpage claiming that it contained “outdated sources.”

By that same token, chapter 6 of Getting It Straight, Is There a Link Between Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse? is a total rehash of Homosexuality and Child Abuse, yet another study that FRC removed from its page for having “outdated sources.”

What's interesting about Homosexuality and Child Abuse is that a researcher cited in it, Nicholas Groth, sent a letter to FRC in 2002 complaining about how his work was being distorted to prove that gays molest children at a higher number that heterosexuals – something that his work found not to be true.

However, despite his complaint , Groth's work is still cited in Getting It Straight (pg. 123):

Another study found that “some authors now believe that boys may be sexually abused as commonly as girls (Groth, 1978; O’Brien, 1980).”

The irony of all of this is that the title of Sprigg's blog post is called SPLC Equates FRC to Neo-Nazis—So Who’s “Demonizing” Whom?

Based upon Sprigg's shoddy work, created to demonize lgbts and pushed by FRC,  that is a very good question to ask, but not to SPLC.

The question should be asked of Sprigg and FRC.

Hat tip to Goodasyou.org

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Family Research Council plans to go on tour against the Southern Poverty Law Center

crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Another interview with another "friendly" publication and the Family Research Council puts its foot in its mouth.

The organization and its leader, Tony Perkins is still steaming over the anti-gay hate group designation given to it and several other religious right groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This week, the organization ran full page ads in Politico and the Washington Examiner calling the designation into question but conveniently not directly addressing the charges that they deliberately spread anti-gay propaganda and junk science to smear the lgbt community.

The ads also had the signatures of over 150 conservative leaders, including over 20 members of Congress.

Yesterday during an interview with Tucker Carlson's Daily Beast, FRC's Perkins made an interesting comment:

“We’re not afraid to debate the issues,” Perkins said in a phone interview. “We are not running from the debate. We are confident on the issues we advocate for based on empirical, peer-reviewed research.”

The comment is highly ironic seeing that the last time Perkins did have a debate on the issue – on the news program Hardball with the SPLC's Mark Potok – he distorted data to make the inaccurate claim that pedophilia and homosexuality is connected. He also cited an organization, the American College of Pediatricians. It was later discovered that the ACP is not a legitimate medical organization but a sham group created to push religious right distortions about the lgbt community.

Hardball's host, Chris Matthews, was forced to give a clarifying statement regarding the ACP on a later broadcast.

 

Since that time, Perkins has pretty much avoided debates, appearing on "friendly" news programs such as  Fox and Friends.  Nor has he been directly addressing SPLC's charges.

That seems to have been left up to the other anti-gay groups listed by SPLC. But unfortunately, their spokespeople haven't been doing such a good job.

This week during an interview with the Concerned Women for America's Martha Kleder, Peter LaBarbera (head of Americans for Truth, another organization cited as a hate group) actually admitted to citing bad studies in order to smear the lgbt community.

Meanwhile, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (yet another group cited by SPLC's for its spreading of anti-gay propaganda) has made statements during interviews and columns that have, to many, justified SPLC for calling his organization and several others out.

During the same Daily Beast interview, Perkins said the organization plans to go on a nationwide tour to get more signatures for its letter. He also said:

We’re going to full-speed but not in the direction they want us to. The left wants to say these issues are beyond debate. If we, as a country, decide there is no debate, it becomes a totalitarian state.” 
 SPLC didn't respond to the Daily Beast's request for a comment * (see below), but the organization already put out a statement regarding the Family Research Council's campaign:
(FRC's letter) was a remarkable performance, given that it was precisely the maligning of entire groups of people — gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people — that caused the SPLC to list groups like the FRC.

. . .  Despite the claims made in today’s statement, the SPLC’s listings are not in any way intended to suppress these groups’ free speech. We’re not asking that these groups be silenced or punished in any way. What we are doing is calling them out for their lies. There is nothing wrong with labeling an organization a hate group based on what they say. A simple example illustrates the point: If a neo-Nazi group said all Jews are “vermin,” no one would argue with our characterizing it as a hate group.

Neither are we mounting an attack on individuals or “groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views,” as today’s statement suggests. In fact, as we say in our article dissecting the views of these groups, “Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.” Instead, as we explained there, “the SPLC’s listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods — claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities — and repeated, groundless name-calling.”

Personally, I am all for FRC taking their letter on tour.  That would give the lgbt community the opportunity to ask them several questions such as:

Please explain how the following statements are an example of upholding "Judeo-Christain" moral views:

•Gays should be exported from the country;

•The federal government must be overthrown if it allows gay marriage;

•"Moral perverts" need to be kept out of the military;

•There is nothing "conservative" about "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it 'love'";

•Homosexual behavior ought to be outlawed;

•Gay sex ought to carry criminal penalties;

•Gays ought to be prohibited from serving in public office;

•Gay sex is domestic terrorism;

•"Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers … [because] homosexual soldiers basically had no limits [to] the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict."



Hat tip to People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch.

* Even though SPLC didn't respond to the Daily Beast's request for a quote, the site had an obligation to at least report the fact that SPLC did address FRC's letter. That's what a credible journalist would have  done. Or have I answered my own question in terms of why the Daily Beast didn't report on SPLC's reponse to FRC?
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