Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Another smackdown

Yesterday, I wrote about how one of the most prominent spokesmen in the anti-gay industry was finally challenged on his nonsense. Today I found out he’d had another smackdown when one of his usual deceptions was revealed as a lie.

In the heated discussion on “Fox News Sunday,” professional anti-gay religious/political activist Tony Perkins, who is a leader of the anti-gay hate group the “Family” Research [sic] Council [whatever…] made a lot of claims that were either utter nonsense or that were deliberately deceptive (in blunt terms, he brazenly lied).

Tony never says anything new, and quite frankly it’s tiring to have to constantly debunk the same bovine excrement over and over and over. So, in my post I didn’t even bother to take down one of his biggest lies and smears. Fortunately, Politifact was on the case.

While trying to provide “evidence” for his religious belief that marriage is only for male/female couples who make babies, Tony declared: "We know from the social science that children do best with a mom and a dad."

I knew that this was a bald-faced lie, one designed to attack the right of same-gender couples to marry, sure, but also to smear and defame all same-gender couples that are raising children, or that may do so in the future. The intent behind this tired lie is to portray all LGBT people, but especially those with children, as dramatically inferior to heterosexuals and, therefore, portray us as people who don’t deserve equal treatment under the law.

So, Politifact decided to look at Tony’s claim. They went to the “F”RC website, which lists 10 supposed “reasons” to support their claims. It didn’t go well for Tony:
Perkins said that based on social science, we know "that children do best with a mom and a dad." The research cited on the website of Perkins’ group, the Family Research Council, does not provide any support. It relies on books rather than peer-reviewed research, it quotes selectively or mischaracterizes from the work it cites, or at best, challenges the quality of the methodology behind findings that go against its position.

In contrast, we found recent peer-reviewed social science research that finds that at the very least, children of lesbian parents do as well as other children.

We rate Perkins’ claim False. [emphasis added]
It’s worth reading the Politifact site to see why the stuff on Tony’s site doesn’t support his claims, let alone contain relevant facts. It turns out, this isn’t the first time that Politifact has ruled the parenting assertion as false: They did so back in April in response to idiotic comments made to ABC (USA) News by another prominent far-right professional anti-gay religious/political activist.

Politifact goes on to note something that I have, as well:
The American Psychological Association produced a comprehensive review of studies going back three decades. The most relevant section focuses on research that compares the children of lesbian or gay parents. The studies looked at children in terms of their school performance, their relations with their peers, intelligence, self-esteem and a number of other variables.

According to this review, "the belief that children of lesbian and gay parents suffer deficits in personal development has no empirical foundation." [link in the original]
Despite all the real, verifiable and reputable evidence, activists in the radical right anti-gay industry persist in spreading the same lie and smear. It keeps popping up everywhere (even here in New Zealand). While it’s good to see rightwingers being smacked down for repeating the lie, it does get tiring to have to do it so often. Maybe that’s just another tactic the radical right is using, trying to wear us all down.

Fortunately, truth and facts don’t take time off, and radical right anti-gay activists are now seeing themselves regularly (and easily) debunked. Sadly, neither the constant repetition of anti-LGBT lies and smears, nor the debunking of them, seem likely to end any time soon. But as long as they keep lying and defaming, we'll keep exposing them for what they are.

And that’s a fact.

No comments: