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NC Marriage Ban Sponsor Can’t Explain His Own Position

Jim Burroway

September 28th, 2011

I was out running errands during lunch when I turned on Michelangelo Signorile’s program yesterday on Sirius/XM OutQ, when he interviewed North Carolina state Sen. James Forrester (R), sponsor of the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage which will appear on the ballot in 2012. Forrester, who is also a doctor, has put forward the repeatedly debunked Cameronesque claim that gay people die 20 years earlier than other people. Forrester falsely claimed that the statistic came from the CDC, which Signorile quickly called him out on. The entire interview is a hot mess, especially where Forrester cannot come up with a good reason why same-sex marriage is such a danger to straight marriages that it requires a constitutional amendment, but divorce does not.

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September 28th, 2011 | LINK

The Senator references a book by Turek, “Correct, Not Politically Correct,” which I have purchased and read. The book purports to create a dispassionate, logical argument against gay marriage.

You may oppose gay marriage. But do yourself a favor and make sure you read this book before quoting it. Regardless of which side of the debate you happen to be on, you should recognize that the “science” presented in Turek’s book consists of limited facts, plucked from context, and strung together with surprisingly poor logic. The Senator is a physician — a scientist — and I’m surprised that someone with his educational background could fail to recognize the serious methodological and logical flaws that run through almost every point addressed in the book he quotes.

The book masquerades as a logical argument, adorned with foot notes to give the appearance of academic writing. BUT LOOK UP THE REFERENCES (in the days of Google, there’s just no excuse not to.) The author gives equal weight in his argument to “facts” from valid studies, badly outdated studies that have been widely debunked, and even local news stories and opinion columns, as though they were all equally valid and reliable sources of information!

Senator, you could be correct about gay marriage. (I don’t think you are, but that’s not my point here.) But your position is not well-supported by this book. It doesn’t surprise me that the average-Joe American might find Turek’s book compelling. But I demand more from a legislator. That you are also a physician, trained in scientific thought, and have still failed to recognize the problem with citing this book as a reference for anything is deeply troubling.

September 28th, 2011 | LINK

I have to give Forrester credit for staying on the phone. Signorile tore him apart, called him out, and didn’t stop where most reporters do (by assuming that the listener knows what it means when a legislator doesn’t know what they’re talking about) and went on to lambaste him for being irresponsible, and to talk about why not having those facts matters. It amazes me how often reporters get the gotcha moment and then politely frame the question without stating the obvious.

Sadly, the fact that he stayed on the call so long means that his ears are closed – he can’t see Signorile’s logic, and he doesn’t have the good decency to have the “aha” moment and discover shame. If he did, he’d be off that call like a shot. He just sees it all as common sense.

Jim Hlavac
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

You know, every time I think of this claim that we die 20 years younger than our hetero counterparts, I wonder how such a study could even be figured out? — people die at all ages; even kids die, many of them murdered by their parents even. The FRC has this figure of “gays die at 41” in their mush — and I’m 53, does this mean I’m 12 years beyond my expiration date? And then I think of the 89 year old gay guy I tend. I think too of the wrinkle rooms, those gay bars filled with the over 60 set. I think also of the newly springing up gay retirement homes. It’s a bizarre claim. No one keeps track of “gay” deaths. Not every gay death results in an obit in the gay press; I have never seen an obit in the regular news that listed “gay” or something. So where could they get any numbers? That they cling ferociously to the fiction shows how strange they are.

Priya Lynn
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

Andrew said “Sadly, the fact that he stayed on the call so long means that his ears are closed – he can’t see Signorile’s logic, and he doesn’t have the good decency to have the “aha” moment and discover shame. If he did, he’d be off that call like a shot. He just sees it all as common sense.”.

Right Andrew. I think to someone like Forrestor it goes without saying that he’s right and Signorile is just being mean by making it sound as though Forrestor is wrong. Forrestor can’t say why Signorile’s logic is wrong, he just thinks its unfair to be questioned on the rationale behind his bigotry – Signorile should just passively accept whatever position Forrestor puts forward.

Regan DuCasse
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

That a doctor should think that life expectancy or health status is rightful as a means of marriage discrimination is a disgrace.

That’s he’s factually wrong and cannot put context to his statements, means he’s fairly incompetent as a doctor when it comes to public health and a serious discussion on it.
I’m sick and tired of the anti gay trying to change up standards of marriage that don’t apply or aren’t legal ANYWHERE for anyone.

And trying to play as if gay people don’t meet the already well established standards set forth as well.
And they are literally making a federal case out of such non existent or un Constitutional laws.
They don’t even want to see how, if carried to the full extent of their arguments, just how many heteros would be qualified for the same discrimination.
Which is why it clearly only follows that the discrimination has to be as equal as the rights and protections must be.
Obviously us smarter folks have figured that out, and the anti gay hate it that we have and we won’t shut up about it.

As we’ve seen with courts of law, or in public forums they don’t control, the anti gay feel put upon if their lack of facts, logic or legal realities is revealed.
They see themselves victimized, rather than for having the bigoted arguments they support.
It’s satisfying to see such irrationality cornered, but the response to it is to punish gay people, rather than temper their intellectual dishonesty, with honesty and reason.

This doctor IS a lawmaker after all, however cowardly, he has the means to be very spiteful.
And in fact, look what DID happen.

I’m not saying any one of us shouldn’t stop spotlighting such bigotry and cowardice for what it is, but it sure angers me that this shit heel can get away with it.

Other Fred in the UK
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

That interview is a brilliant demonstration of the hollowness of the arguments for banning same-sex marriage. It does however have one fatal flaw, its nearly a quarter of an hour long. How do you persuade people to watch it in today’s sound-bite culture?

Priya Lynn
September 28th, 2011 | LINK

It didn’t seem long to me, other Fred.

September 29th, 2011 | LINK

This is the excact reason that the proponents of prop 8 do not want the tapes released. they can not say how ssm affects “traditional” marriage. What a tool!

September 29th, 2011 | LINK

@Priya – it’s quite sad – underneath it is an assumption that what he’s saying is as true and obvious as “the sky is blue”. He doesn’t even see it as bigotry and never will — and in that sense it almost isn’t… bigotry in my mind usually requires an element of choice on the part of the person holding the idea. This guy doesn’t hate gay people. He can’t get that far. He’s so far out of the loop that he’s not even conscious of it. It’s like discussing snow with someone who’s never seen winter. He has his beliefs and is not longer open to new input. And, frankly, he’s not very bright.

Priya Lynn
September 29th, 2011 | LINK

Yes, I think that’s exactly it, Andrew.

September 30th, 2011 | LINK

Hot damn, Priya, I love it when we agree !!

October 1st, 2011 | LINK

Just to be clear here, the “gays die 20 years earlier” complete nonsense comes from a Paul Cameron “study” where he looked at obituaries in gay newspapers during the height of the AIDS crisis and averaged out the ages to get 41. In response, we should do a study of the next 7 days of CNN reports of people’s deaths, average out the ages, and report those as the dastardly life expectancy of heterosexuals.

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