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Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for June, 2006

Arkansas Supreme Court Okays Foster Parenting for Gays and Lesbians

Jim Burroway

June 30th, 2006

This is an important red-state development. In a 7-0 decision, the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down that state’s policy against allowing gays and lesbians to become foster parents, saying:

There is no correlation between the health, welfare and safety of foster children and the blanket exclusion of any individual who is a homosexual or who resides in a household with a homosexual.

The court further noted that the Child Welfare Agency Review Board, which established the policy, was motivated “not to promote the health, safety and welfare of foster children but rather [was] based upon the board’s views of morality and its bias against homosexuals.”

Among the many charges that were raised in lower court arguments by supporters of the ban were of supposedly higher rates of pedophilia among homosexuals. But the lower court judge was able to see through that smokescreen and rejected the “expert” testimony of Dr. George Rekers, who is famous for misrepresenting social science research of child sexual abuse to try to draw a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. Hopefully, this decision will become another nail in that coffin.

You can learn more about the supposed link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse in our report, Testing the Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Update: Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee wants the legislature to re-impose the ban. With gubernatorial elections looming in the fall, you can count on a long hot Ozark summer.

Paul Cameron Strikes Again

This time he recruited Cambridge University Press for his efforts.

Jim Burroway

April 15th, 2006

Journal of Biosocial ScienceThe May 2006 edition of the Journal of Biosocial Science includes an article by Paul Cameron, entitled “Children of homosexuals and transsexuals more apt to be homosexual.” It should come as no surprise to those who have been following his career that this article carries all of his traditional hallmarks: a hostile premise, a weak methodology, deliberate mischaracterization of the works of others, unproven conclusions, and a flagrant bias throughout. What’s very disturbing is that Cambridge University Press has been made complicit in the cause of anti-gay extremism.

I learned last January that that JBS had accepted his article for publication in a forthcoming issue. So I wrote to the editors, explaining the many problems with Dr. Cameron’s history anti-gay extremism. After all, they’re British, and most of them are anthropologists — maybe they don’t know about his history. I even sent electronic copies of recent articles about him from the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal so they wouldn’t have to take my word for it. I contacted other authors whose work was misused in Dr. Cameron’s article, and some of them wrote to the editors as well. My only response came from Caroline Gallimore, associate editor, on January 16, 2006:

Thank you for comments on the forthcoming article by Paul Cameron. These are being considered by the Editor and we will get back to you soon.

I guess perhaps I was a bit naïve. I had hoped that at the end of the day, reason and sanity would prevail among these learned academics. But that single, two-sentence e-mail turned out to be the last (and only) response I received from them.

It is unconscionable that the editors went forward with this article. Nevertheless, Dr. Cameron has now had his say; it’s time for a rebuttal. You can read my point-by-point analysis in Paul Cameron Conquers Cambridge.

She Didn’t Really Say That, Did She?

Jim Burroway

April 3rd, 2006

I’m afraid she did:

We also have seen evidence that homosexual couples prey on young males and have, in some instances, adopted them in order to have unfretted [sic] access to subject them to a life of molestation and sexual abuse.

– Tenn. State Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville)

Tenn Rep. Debra HaggartRep. Maggart made these comments in an e-mail to Sara Dykstra, a master’s student in special education at Vanderbilt University. Ms. Dykstra had written to members of the Tennessee House Committee on Children and Family Affairs after hearing about legislation the committee was considering which would ban gay couples from foster parenting and adoption.

The Tennessee legislature is busy considering at least six different bills which would affect gay and lesbian parents in such areas as adoption, foster parenting, visitation rights, and custody. And it appears that such preoccupation invites a lot of misinformation and bigotry into the process.

Wherever anti-gay extremists gather, you can safely bet your paycheck that someone will soon level the charge that gays are obsessed with molesting children. Unfortunately, this charge isn’t unusual where unpopular minorities are concerned. Some observers have compared this to the “blood libel” that had historically been leveled against Jews (the myth that Jews kidnap Christian babies for blood sacrifices). But Rep. Maggart takes this particular libel against gays and lesbians to a whole new level of depravity.

Extensive research on child sexual abuse has shown, time and time again, that this charge simply is not true. And the outrageous thing about it, many of the anti-gay “experts” know full well it’s not true — they’ve read these studies themselves. But they deliberately distort these findings in their so-called “research” to keep their libel fresh with the “Authority of Science.” You can learn more about how they do this — and what the experts really have to say about child sexual abuse — in Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

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