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LaBarbera Award: Mat Staver

Jim Burroway

February 27th, 2009

Liberty Counsel chairman Mat Staver spoke before the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where he charged that allowing same-sex marriage would lead to an epidemic of criminality:

Same-sex marriage sets forth a fatherless policy. It will deprive children of ever having the opportunity of being raised in an environment where mom and dad are present. You don’t have to read thousands of sociological research studies to know that marriage matters and moms and dads and genders do matter to the well-being of children. You can go to any violent jail or crime area within the jail or a prison, and go to the men’s section of the prison or the jail and ask where the violent offenders are housed. And when you go there, ask them one question. And the one question is this: what was your relationship with your father? Universally, the answer will come back “I had no father.” There is a correlation between fatherlessness and and why these young men are behind bars for committing violent crimes.

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If that were true, then I guess we shouldn’t allow lesbians to marry. But men on the other hand, who would provide two fathers, would double-inoculate their children against criminality.

But of course, this is nonsense. Staver says “you don’t have to read thousands of sociological research studies,” but he should perhaps read a few of them rather than remain in willful ignorance. Because none of those studies comparing families comprising of two lesbian parents or two gay men as parents to families headed by two heterosexual parents have been able to discern any measurable differences in the general outcome of children — and most certainly not in the criminality of children.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics — who know a thing or two about children — conducted a wide ranging review of the vast professional research literature, and they concluded that:

A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with 1 or 2 gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development seems to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.

In other words, good parents, very broadly speaking, make for good children. Inadequate parental relationships or adverse family dynamics lead to a greater risk for negative outcomes. And that’s true regardless of the parental makeup.

So we award this latest LaBarbera Award to Mat Staver, because no one needs to remain mired in willful ignorance rather than acknowledging what the research actually says.



Ben in Oakland
February 27th, 2009 | LINK

You could just as esily make the following stupid statement.

“95% of all criminals have parents who are heterosexual and grow up in homes raised by either one or both parents, who usually remain heterosexual throughout their lives.”

The only logical conlusion is that heterosexuals should be prevented from having chidren.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

Cain and Abel had a mother and father.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

They are getting so desperate and delusional. It is really pathetic.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

We might just get gay marriage based on the sheer intellectual laziness of its opponents.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

I just hope that we are not the only ones that see these people as desperate and delusional.

We need the general public to see these people as desperate and delusional.

Otherwise the voters will believe these blatant LIES and keep on voting for anti-gay ballot measures and keep sending these people to elected office!!!

Timothy Kincaid
February 27th, 2009 | LINK


Cain and Abel had a mother and father.

Oh that made me smile.

I’m sure you know that one of the “really convincing” points of anti-gays is that God Ordained Heterosexual Marriage In The Garden of Eden.

To which my new response is going to be, “Yeah, and see how great their kids turned out.”

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

Yeah, when they say that God ordained heterosexual marriage in the Garden of Eden I have to ask them, “He clearly ordained incest too” how else can you explain how all humans descended from one man and one woman?

And by the way, not only do many of the children of gay people have fathers, many, like mine, have TWO.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

I would like to know how many people like this man made attacks upon the gay and lesbian community at the CPAC convention? I wish Dick Cheney would attend with his lesbian daughter and the fist time someone like this moron took the stage they both would just get up and walk out.

Regan DuCasse
February 27th, 2009 | LINK

Attmay! GOOD one!
I love you folks, you really know how to lay it all out in the most intellectually honest and forthright way.

I get truly furious at people like Staver and their intellectual dishonesty, and how disingenuous they can be.

It’s true, that interviewing inmates in prison, most of them didn’t have a DECENT father.
A father who provided financial and physical support to them.
And also there is often reinforcement of negativity about the other parent who is lacking in that support.
This contributes to low self esteem and low expectations in and of the child.
And THIS is what contributes to criminality, as well as ABUSIVE, violent fathers who themselves are incarcerated or dead from a life of crime.

This is what happens when lazy people rely on the Stavers, and LaBarberas and so on for their information, instead of investigating thoroughly what they are saying or IF it’s even true.
And want SO MUCH to believe also that gay people contribute to almost ALL social problems, directly or indirectly.

And don’t seem to especially care WHY they want to believe it, even if it’s NOT in the Bible.

February 27th, 2009 | LINK

If this idiot thinks that gay marriage leads to crimnal behavior then maybe the real question he should be asking all those violent offenders is how many of them were raised by lesbian couples or male couples? I’d be willing to bet that he wouldn’t get very many postive responses.

The fact is that kids do best when they have two loving parents and that is regardless of their gender. Maybe if he actually DID read a few of those sociological repots he would know that.

February 28th, 2009 | LINK

You know, Mat Staver would have a sh*t fit if he saw my family:

We have a daughter (biologically my husband’s). She lives with us (two dads). She also lives at her mom’s (mom, her boyfriend, boyfriend’s daughter from past relationship, and new baby from current relationship with mom). So, the daughter has three dads (where two are step dads in different relationships), one mom, one step-sister and one half brother.

She also attends a Catholic School where the staff all know who about this.

As a result, the crime rate has not increased nor is daughter suffering in anyway. If anything, she’s one of the popular kids in school. But of course that’s not a surprise considering she has two gay dads who show her how to be the coolest kid in school and be well loved.

Mr.Staver lives in a small world.

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