Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How The Anti-Gay Lie

If you were watching on Twitter today, the National Organization for Marriage was all over a "study" completed by Mark Regnerus, a Texas professor (that was funded by conservative special interest groups...but who's keeping track?).

NOM even prepared a handy, dandy infographic for those that don't like all those things they use in studies...uh...words.

If you see things like this often, warning bells should be going off in your head.  If not, the lies can be a little harder to pinpoint.  It might look like NOM's claims have a bit of substance...until you realize the vast difference between married and unmarried couples in access to things like financial benefits, healthcare, and an existence outside of the stigma brought on by groups like NOM.  In fact, the infographic makes a better case for allowing LGBT couples to marry than it does against them.  Were marriage equality the law of the entire United States:
  • Fewer children would be on families on welfare because their parents would have access to benefits that only heterosexual couples enjoy.  The same goes for public assistance.
  • Fewer children would have unemployed LGBT parents if Non-Discrimination laws didn't allow employers in 29 states to fire someone for being gay.
  • Fewer children would be in therapy or would have parents in therapy if anti-bullying laws protected them from some of the torture they have to live with in their everyday lives.
  • Fewer children would have parents with STIs if those same non-discrimination laws and marriage laws allowed them better access to things like healthcare and contraception.
  • Fewer children would contemplate suicide if such homophobic sentiments didn't make their lives a living hell (and again, rinse and repeat the aforementioned laws).
So most the purported findings aren't even valid.  Neither is, it turns out, the study itself.  There were 175 subjects interviewed for the study.  A grand total of two of them had spent their entire childhood with a lesbian couple.  (Do you think that perhaps that instability had a lot more to do with the "findings" than the orientation of the parents?)  Moreover the study qualified "having lesbian mothers" as any children whose parents had engaged in any sort of same-sex relationship.  As you can probably infer from the above, the study did not track children with gay (male) parents.

What were left with is bad science, funded by anti-gay groups with little substance, but organizations like NOM put it out there like it's verifiable fact, attach a name to it, and people believe them.  We shouldn't let them.

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