Linda Harvey’s Dishonesty about the Day of Silence
May 22nd, 2008
- She claims that “Child molestation is an everyday occurrence because of the increased access homosexuals have to our children” and advocates banning gay people from teaching (a position so radical that Ronald Reagan opposed it in 1978).
- She claims that the vast majority of gay people are only employed sporadically due to their instability.
- She believes that HIV is “almost exclusively a homosexual male and drug addict epidemic” and advocates that “gay social establishments should close until HIV rates are seriously reduced”.
- She claims that for a Pastor to believe that gay persons can be Christian “is deliberate rebellion against God’s word and His created order of male/female genders and marriage.”
In short, Linda is a woman driven by her objection to anything gay and she’ll not hesitate to say anything to advance her goal of changing America into a nation that conforms to her religious ideals. Honesty, integrity, empathy, or the Golden Rule seem not to be particularly important to this quest.
Linda through her organization Mission:America was a leader in the anti-gay opposition to the Day of Silence. Linda compiled and distributed a list of grievances which sought to portray the Day of Silence as an aggressive act against Christians. Some of these listed abuses seem almost impossible to believe.
In fact, they were so extreme that Dr. Warren Throckmorton, a conservative psychology professor with interest in sexual orientation issues, decided to check up on a few of Linda’s stories. Not surprisingly, what he found did not square with what Linda said.
For example, Linda said
Kirksville, Mo.: A parent reported that the Kirksville High School principal and superintendent laughed when she asked if her child could be excused from participating in the school’s Day of Silence. According to Mission America, she said, “They called me a narrow-minded bigot and refused to give excused absences.”
Dr. Throckmorton did not find that to be confirmed.
Curious, I called the Kirksville High School Superintendent of schools, Pat Williams about the allegation of name-calling. When I read the account to him, he said, “That’s absolutely false. I did not use that language with any parent or in response to any inquiry.”
Throckmorton also spoke with the principal of the school and found that while absences were not excused, the school also allowed the Day of Truth and did not allow either event to disrupt the teaching process.
I emailed Linda Harvey at Mission America to see if I could interview the parent involved but she declined to provide more information or contact the person who made the allegation. The Kirksville administrators were not aware of any allegations surrounding the Day of Silence until I called. In my opinion, the the information provided by Mr. Williams and Mr. Michael and the fact that the school district also allowed the Day of Truth detract from the credibility of the anonymous allegation.
Throckmorton also found out that claims Harvey made about an event in Mesa, AZ, were materially different from police reports. He concludes
And those were just the first two bulletpoints. I guess you can’t believe everything you read.
Dr. Throckmorton and I differ strongly about the appropriate theological, social, and legal responses to persons who are same-sex attracted. But we agree that dishonesty should never be a tool used in the debate over social policy about homosexuality.
Sadly, too many anti-gays (and too many pro-gays) are willing to make any claim that advances their cause. And for what? Ultimately the truth comes out and then what has one gained in exchange for their integrity?
If conservative Christians worried about their religious freedoms want to have their concerns taken seriously, they need to rid their movement of liars, extremist, and haters. Then perhaps we can find common ground where the rights of all can be respected.
Linda Harvey’s “Studies”
October 18th, 2006
Reader Scott passed this recent posting from Focus in the Family on to me:
Linda Harvey, president of Mission America, said even though the gay community brags about its buying power, the bravado is often more myth than muscle.
“The vast majority of people involved in homosexuality are projected by many studies to be people that are employed sporadically, because of their lifestyle,” she said. “They are more unstable.”
Let’s see. I’ve been employed by the same employer ever since I graduated from college in 1984. Just last evening, I had dinner with a very nice gay couple who have been together for more than twenty-five years. They are enjoying a nice retirement after more than a quarter-century with their respective employers. Another good friend of mine retires later this year after more than thirty years working for the city.
Unstable. Really? I wonder what un-named “studies” Linda Harvey could be referring to?
It couldn’t have been Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class. He demonstrated that the most economically successful high-tech communities are also ones that are more welcoming and attractive to gays and lesbians. Surely these folks aren’t adversely affecting these communities by their “instability”.
And it couldn’t have been Dan Black, et al.’s “Demographics of the Gay and Lesbian Population in the United States”, which appeared in the May, 2000 issue of Demographics (vol 37, no. 2 pp. 139-154). This study found that gays and lesbians were better educated on average — even though unstable people generally find it difficult to finish college. The study did find that gay men generally earn less than other men, but that lesbians generally earn more than other women. They attribute this lower earnings of men not to “instability”, but to differences in specialization in households, discrimination, and the particular labor markets where these men work.
And the possibility of discrimination was reinforced by another study by Michelle R. Hebl, et al.’s “Formal and Interpersonal Discrimination: A Field Study of Bias Toward Homosexual Applicants” in the June 2002 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (vol 28, no. 6, pp. 815-825). This study found that while there was little evidence of formal discrimination among gay job applicants, there was very strong evidence of interpersonal discrimination — the type of discomfort that could lead employers to give these applicants less lucrative job assignments. Maybe it’s not gay folks who are unstable — maybe it’s their employers.
So, Linda. What studies are you referring to that says gays make for more “unstable” employees? I’d really love to know so I can check them out, but I can’t seem to find them. Could you help me, please? Perhaps you can begin by responding to the e-mail I sent you.
It’s not good enough to claim that a study supposedly supports what you’re saying, especially when you don’t give any details about which study you’re talking about. Linda Harvey basically performed a drive-by assault on ordinary hard-working gay and lesbian Americans. If she’s going to do that, she really should share where she got her data like I just did, don’t you think?