Anti-Gay “Expert” Would Consider Banning Adoptions By Native Americans

Jim Burroway

November 23rd, 2008

Two anti-gay activists closely associated with Paul Cameron have inserted themselves into the center of Florida’s gay adoption controversy.

Florida is the only state in the nation which explicitly bans adoption by gay parents. That law is now being challenged. The Miami Herald has obtained a transcript from an adoption trial which was closed the public. The trial ran on Oct. 1-6, and centered on a gay foster father’s petition to adopt the two small boys he has been raising since 2004. The trial featured testimony from a half-dozen expert witnesses in psychology, epidemiology, sociology and family studies.

The state of Florida, which is supporting the ban, relied on two so-called “expert witnesses” who are closely associated with discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron. George A. Rekers, is a retired professor from the University of South Carolina, who taught neuropsychiatry and behavioral science. Walter R. Schumm, is an assistant professor of family studies at Kansas State University.

According to the Miami Herald:

The lives of gay people can also be stressful to children, Rekers testified. The children may experience teasing and bullying from other children who don’t approve of their parents’ orientation. And children with gay parents are likely to suffer from repeated separations because gay people are more likely to have multiple failed relationships.

Rekers said he would, in fact, favor banning anyone from adopting who had more than 18 “sex partners” during a lifetime. “I think that would be a very good social policy,” he said in a deposition.

He said he would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting because research shows that they are also at much higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse. “They would tend to hang around each other,” Rekers testified. “So the children would be around a lot of other Native Americans who are … doing the same sorts of things.”

Rekers relies extensively on Cameron’s research, citing as many as nine separate Cameron articles in one 2005 paper. Rekers and Cameron together launched Cameron’s online “Journal,” the Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior, in 2007. The EJSSB is purportedly an open-access peer-reviewed journal, but, in fact, it is nothing more than a dressed-up web site. Since its inception in 2007, the only articles “published” to date are three papers by Paul Cameron and one book review by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg, another close Cameron collaborator.

Rekers support of racism to exclude an entire class of prospective parents from adopting is most extraordinary. Of course, it’s no more shocking than Cameron’s own apologia for how the Nazi’s “dealt with” homosexuality at Dachau and Sachsenhausen.

Schumm is considerably more circumspect in how he uses Cameron’s research, but he did publish a 2000 article in Psychological Reports, Paul Cameron’s favorite publication outlet, defending Cameron’s research methods against Dr. Gregory Herek’s criticisms. Schumm is also listed as a member of Cameron’s “Editorial and Scientific Review Board” for the EJSSB.

In the trial, Schumm used data from his recent Psychological Reports article to claim that about 19 percent of children raised by gay parents are likely to become gay, compared with 4 percent of children with straight parents. Testifying for Frank Gill, the gay foster father, Susan D. Cochran, a professor of epidemiology and statistics at UCLA, accused Schumm of cooking his data.

”This is taught in first-year statistics,” Cochran testified. “I was surprised he would do that.”

James Esseks, one of Gill’s attorneys, criticized Rekers for relying on Paul Cameron’s work, citing his being dropped from the American Psychological Association in 1983 after he declined to cooperate with an ethics investigation on charges he had distorted research by others scientists on gay people.

Florida’s gay adoption ban was declared unconstitutional by a Circuit Court judge last fall in Key West. Since that decision wasn’t appealed to a higher court, it did not have any effect statewide. But the state is now fighting Gill’s attempt to adopt these two boys, which means that whatever the outcome, it will likely be appealed to the Third District Court of Appeal and possibly the Florida Supreme Court. If so, that outcome would go into effect statewide.

About 22,000 Florida children are in state custody, with more than 4,000 of them eligible for adoption. Only two states have more foster children waiting to be adopted.

[Hat tip: Alvin McEwen]

homer

November 23rd, 2008

Do the adoption forms actually ask “Are you a homosexual?” That is so bizarre.

John

November 23rd, 2008

It should be no surprise to anyone that an advocate of anti-gay bigotry would advocate bigotry against other groups as well. I seriously doubt that his bigotry stops at Native Americans.

In general, when I hear someone spouting about how America should discriminate against gays, I just assume that the have similar attitudes about blacks, Latinos, Jews, etc.

L. Junius Brutus

November 23rd, 2008

Hopefully, this will backfire on them. Amazing how these people get away with all the lies, distortion.

Emproph

November 23rd, 2008

“he would also consider banning Native Americans from adopting”

Wow, now that’s anti-American.

I’m going to have to stop throwing that term around so casually.

AJD

November 23rd, 2008

This is awesome! Who needs to discredit this idiot’s testimony when it does it all by himself?

My step-father is Native American, and my mom is an anthropologist who specializes in white-Native American relations. I’ll be sure to forward them a link to that article.

Louie

November 23rd, 2008

Homer,

Yes, the Florida adoption form specifically asks if you are a “homosexual” and also if you are a “bisexual” male or female.

This is based on Florida Statute Title VI, Chapter 63.042 Who may be adopted; who may adopt.–

If you would like to see the form for yourself, here is that link:
CF-FSP 5071 – Adoptive Home Application

In the search field for “Form Number:” just enter “CF-FSP 5071” and this will take you directly to the PDF version of the Florida Adoption form. You will find the question on Page 4, Section G. This is in the “Life History” section, right underneath section F., “Arrest Record”

Considering that this law comes from 1977 thanks to Anita Bryant. Back when gay people used to be arrested just for being gay. The times may have changed, but Florida hasn’t.

Louie

November 24th, 2008

It’s really sad that a supposed “academic” would hold such “campy” views about Native Americans as portrayed by old western movies and popular media. I.E. Native Americans are just a bunch of drunks.

I’m sure that Mr. Rekers probably doesn’t even know a single Native American.

Living here in Phoenix, AZ and the Southwest in general I have personally interfaced with many Native Americans and they are just like us, people! No better, no worse. Just different. Just like ALL of us.

Mr. Rekers seems to be more racist with his statements about Native Americans than a man of science.

I would surely hope that Florida is living in 2008, the 21st century.

But then again, they did just pass Amendment 2 by a large enough margin to amend their Constitution and they still have a Statewide ban on adoptions by gay people.

Maybe they will find Mr. Rekers’ ludicrous claims valid.

Heck, they probably think that us Arizonans are still fighting against the Indians and rounding our stagecoaches to protect us from the savages attacks! LOL!

This would be funny, if it wasn’t so sad! :-(

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