Minneapolis paper profiles doctor who refuted bogus pediatrician group

Timothy Kincaid

May 25th, 2010

When the anti-gay activist group NARTH masqueraded as a “Psychosocial Development Committee” of a fake pediatrician organization, we exposed the charade. Truth Wins Out then got a statement from Dr. Gary Remafedi, the researcher whom the bogus group cited for much of their claims in which he refuted and debunked their anti-gay positions.

Now an article in Minneapolis’ City Pages follows up and provides more information.

Remafedi also wrote a letter to the American College of Pediatricians, asking them to stop citing his research. But the college isn’t budging. Reached at his Florida headquarters, Dr. Tom Benton, the group’s president, says he has every right to use any research he wants.

“I have the utmost respect for Dr. Remafedi,” says Benton, who is a pediatrician. “He does good work. The fact is, his research supports our conclusions, even if he doesn’t.”

Which is why, Benton says, he won’t be taking down references to Remafedi’s work or making any corrections.

That is unthinkable. To have a reputable and respected researcher explain that you are misstating his position – and doing to in a way that in directly contradictory to his intent and his findings – should be cause for immediate correction and profuse apology. To do otherwise is not only disrespectful, but may indeed be libelous.

If there ever was any question about whether perhaps the “American College of Pediatricians” was perhaps duped by NARTH and not completely complicit in their campaign of fraud, this clears up the matter completely. Dr. Tom Benton and the rest of his pretend organization are dedicated anti-gay activists first and physicians a far distant second.

Tony P

May 25th, 2010

How very interesting that the ACP is thumbing its nose at Remafedi. I hope he pursues a civil case against them.

Regan DuCasse

May 25th, 2010

…”his research supports our conclusions, even if he doesn’t.”

W.T.F?!!???!

Is that STUPID, or what? Is there no bottom to this ridiculousness? Is their bigotry SO important that they are past caring that they don’t even make any sense to someone with a brain?!

And THESE are the people who insist that voting on another minority’s civil rights is THEIR right?
No matter how dumb or malicious that demand really is?

What can you do with this level of stupid?
Really, what CAN we do?

Pender

May 26th, 2010

I actually agree with the bigot on one point: that morally and legally, you don’t need a researcher’s permission to cite his work, even for causes that the researcher opposes.

That said, I’m sure the bigots are either misrepresenting the research or blowing it out of proportion. How can I be so confident? Because if there were real evidence that gayness can change, it would have shown up in the Prop 8 trial.

Jason D

May 26th, 2010

I hope he sues.
I hope he wins.

Imagine how hard it will be to lie about gay people if distorting legit research stops being a legal tactic.

Seems a class action lawsuit might be in order for a few anti-gay orgs.

justsearching

May 26th, 2010

Sham doctors with either sham research or distorted research. We shouldn’t expect anything else.

Timothy Kincaid

May 26th, 2010

I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on BTB. However…

If I claim that someone has done research and that their research supports a specific conclusion, I am using their reputation. For example, if I say, “Research by the Harvard Medical School shows that if you buy my product you’ll lose weight, regrow your hair, and your wrinkles will go away!”, I am basing my claim on Harvard’s reputation.

I would think that Harvard has the right to protect it’s reputation, especially if they did research and found that this product actually did none of the above but instead caused boils to break out on your butt.

It is quite one thing to reference Remafedi and Collins among many others in a book (though ethically you should indicate that they disagree with your conclusions). It’s quite another to base your entire premise on a few people and imply that they support your position.

I hope one of our attorney readers can answer:

If Francis Collins, Gary Remafedi, and perhaps others on their list were to sue, could they force the ACP to stop misappropriating their name, reputation, and work?

Regan DuCasse

May 26th, 2010

EXCELLENT point, Tim!
Exactly right. The APC is using the credentials and reputation of the researcher. To distort it, and especially for negative purposes and specific political exploitation ARE likely engaging in some kind of actionable libel.

This research is aimed towards VERY serious and direct affect on real lives, not theoretical ones.
What Benton is doing, is helping to maintain a societal conflict that disrupts and threatens gay people. Indeed, every Constitutional freedom accorded to everyone is at issue for gay people ONLY because of this distortion of research.

If this were used against ASEXUAL people, Jews…or those with even clinical disability, it would be considered prejudicial in content, and bigoted in application because of WHO it targets…and WHY.

Benton shouldn’t get away with it. And Remafedi needs to go after him, NARTH, et al for exactly the reasons Tim stated.

William

May 26th, 2010

Wasn’t it distorting and misrepresenting others’ research that led to Paul Cameron being expelled from the American Psychological Association?

PeeJ

May 26th, 2010

“Dr. Tom Benton and the rest of his pretend organization are dedicated anti-gay activists first and physicians a far distant second.”

Actually, most of them aren’t even physicians at all.

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