October 3rd, 2008
Pepperdine professor Richard M. Peterson is probably a very nice man. He’s an advocate for persons with disabilities and special education needs and seeks to help adolescents in the areas of anger management and conflict resolution. He seems to be a caring individual.
But when it comes to Proposition 8, Professor Peterson let his strong religious convictions overrule his compassion and even his integrity. Peterson is the voice of authority in the anti-marriage ad put out by the Yes on 8 campaign wherein he sternly warns Californians that unless Proposition 8 passes people could be sued for their personal beliefs, churches opposed to same-sex marriage could be threatened with losing their tax-exempt status, and children in public schools would be taught about same-sex marriage.
It is difficult to imagine that such a smart fellow is not aware that the claims he is spouting are nothing more than scare tactics.
As the San Francisco Chronicle noted
It’s all overwrought. No one’s personal views would be threatened, and churches could continue to choose which couples they marry. Public schools certainly would teach that same-sex marriage is legal, and the history behind it. But the value judgments surrounding matters of marriage and family would remain in the domain of home and church as they are today.
And surely he must know that the news sources that flash behind his head on the ad have nothing whatsoever to do with marriage and deal with situations that are not impacted by Proposition 8, should it pass or fail. Even should Prop 8 pass with an overwhelming majority, doctors still will not be able to deny services to Californians based solely on their orientation.
For a law profess to not know the inaccuracy of his claims would be startlingly irresponsible. To know but yet continue is startlingly dishonest.
In addition to playing fast and loose with his personal integrity, Professor Peterson has also placed the reputation of Pepperdine on the line.
Pepperdine University is a well respected learning institution with a beautiful campus and a very conservative Christian ideology. Its law school is considered “a bastion of conservatism” and includes such faculty as Ken Starr.
However, even Pepperdine did not want its name linked with the nonsense put out by the supporters of Proposition 8. LAist has a letter issued by the school’s public relations department indicating that they had demanded an end to the association.
The professor in the ad was not advocating a Pepperdine position, but his own personal position.
We have received confirmation that our request to have the reference to Pepperdine University deleted from the ad will be honored. We have been assured that the ad will be revised, perhaps by today.
It may be that the university recognizes that youth, even conservative youth, have little tolerance for hateful deception.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
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