Christian Post runs article lauding Paul Cameron’s fraudulent claims
September 4th, 2012
They should know better. They really should know better.
By this point, everyone in media from Mother Jones to the National Review, from the Catholic Register to the American Atheist Magazine, everyone should know that quoting Dr. Paul Cameron will bring embarrassment and make you the subject of public ridicule.
After Cameron was booted from the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association for distorting the research of others, it should have been obvious. After Bill Bennett stupidly relied on Cameron (and had to publicly apologize), it should have been obvious. After the Lincoln police called his bluff about a “four-year-old boy who has had his genitals almost severed from his body at Gateway [mall] in a restroom with a homosexual act”, it should have been obvious. After making a complete fool of himself in Sacha Baron Cohen’s mockumentary film Brüno, it should have been obvious.
I guess it isn’t obvious. Or not to the Christian Post. They think that Cameron has discovered that gay folks are mentally ill.
Cameron has decided to “debunk” Dr. Evelyn Hookers seminal research into the mental health of gay men. Her study went like this: (APA)
She recruited 30 exclusively homosexual and 30 exclusively heterosexual men, matched for age, IQ scores and education. With the aid of the Mattachine Society, one of the first gay-rights organizations, access to homosexuals was no problem, but finding heterosexual men who would agree to participate was very difficult. She could not conduct the study on the UCLA campus in spite of pressure to do so. The nature of the research required strict confidentiality, so she used a small study on her spacious Los Angeles estate on Saltair Avenue. She approached firemen, policemen, maintenance workers, any heterosexual men she could persuade to participate. Her husband said, “No man is safe on Saltair Avenue.”
Each participant took three projective tests: The Rorschach, the Make a Picture Story Test (MAPS) and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). After scoring the tests herself, she then gave the test protocols with all identifying information removed to experts in those tests: Bruno Klopfer for the Rorschach, Edward Shneidman, the inventor of MAPS, and Mortimer Meyer for the TAT. An adjustment rating was assigned to each participant based on the test scores, and then the experts were given paired Rorschach protocols, one from a gay participant, one from a straight participant and asked to identify the homosexual. As with heterosexuals, homosexuals’ adjustment varied from superior to disturbed. Two-thirds of the research participants in each group were judged as having average or better adjustment. Further, experts were unable to identify the gay participant’s protocol from the matched pairs at better than chance accuracy. There was no association between homosexuality and psychological maladjustment. One of her experts, who was sure he could distinguish the groups, asked for another chance to review the protocols, but was no more successful the second time than the first.
Ah, but according to the Christian Post:
FRI’s close research, however, led the organization to believe in a different outcome.
“The Hooker study stands as the major reason for why they (homosexuals) are okay. We wanted to look at that very carefully, and we discovered that not only is it riddled with holes, but it is being covered for – not only by the American Psychological Association. Many other people either can’t read, or their mind glazes over, when they are told that this is an important study,” Dr. Cameron told CP.
He explained: “Hooker was a professor – she had friends who were homosexual and they implored her to do a study on them to prove that they were normal. What they were supposed to do was talk about pictures, talk about ink blots, without showing that they were homosexual. It appears that every single one of them was unable to talk for about two hours without revealing their homosexuality.”
Really. Truly. Stupid.
A three minute Google of Hooker would illustrate just how distorted that statement is from reality. Another three minute Google of Cameron would illustrate just how dishonest (and perhaps deranged) that Cameron’s claims have been over the years.
They really should know better.
The Christian Post has doubled down on their stupidity, running a “disclaimer” that is more of a defense:
Disclaimer: Cameron, a former member of the American Sociological Association, left the organization in 1983 after branding it “more of a ‘liberal PAC’ than a professional society.” The ASA then passed a resolution in 1986 condemning Cameron for “consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.” The Nebraska Psychological Association also disassociated itself from Cameron and his work in 1984.
What Makes Cameron Tick? (A Final Stab At It)
May 22nd, 2012
[Note: An earlier draft of this post was mistakenly published on Monday night when the blogging software had a hiccup. (My inbox was also suddenly flooded with emails generated by comments from the day before.) Not sure what happened. Anyway, here is the final final stab at it.]
Back in 1978, before Dr. Cameron made a name for himself in anti-gay circles, he tried his hand at being a sex advice author. Ann Landers he wasn’t. In Sexual Gradualism: A Solution to the Sexual Dilemma of Teenagers and Young Adults, Cameron proposed a “middle way” between the what he saw as the libertine left and the puritan right. With his system of “sexual gradualism,” he suggested that parents school their children in the fine art of slowly escalating their teens’ sexual activity through eight “levels” of physical intimacy:
Level 1: Being near another. If you like a person, you try to be near that person. Just sitting close to someone you admire, perhaps just barely brushing against that person or touching him or smelling him or feeling his warmth is one level of sexual intimacy. (The male pronoun will be used throughout for the sake of grammatical simplicity and flexibility. Women are not being ignored. How could a book on sexuality be written without them?)
Level 2: Holding hands, touching arms, hugging and the like.
Level 3: Kissing (not differentiating between open and closed mouth or active and passive tongue kissing.) Kissing, which is a fairly casual level of intimacy in our culture, is probably among the most harmful practices in which our culture indulges. I know of no absolute way to compare the amount of disease attributable to sexual intercourse as compared to mouth to mouth exchange. But I would suspect there are far more dangerous diseases communicated by way of the mouth than the genital track. As kissing is an integral part of our culture, however, and because gradualism is not attempting to modify society in this particular, it is Level 3.
Level 4: Breast fondling, manipulating, sucking, kissing and so on.
Level 5: Mutual hand exploration of the genitals including mutual masturbation, fingering, touching, rubbing.
Level 6: Total nudity, perhaps in a shower or a bathtub accompanied by such things as physical stimulation.
Level 7: Oral sex — that is, kissing of the genitals, etc.
Level 8: The final level of sexual intimacy — sexual intercourse. The actual insertion of the penis into the vagina. [Page 7]
First of all, how fascinating is Cameron’s disdain for kissing? But more so, how surprising is it that the man who would later become an important figure in conservative circles would approve of oral sex among teens? In a concession to more conservative parents, Cameron reserved the last level, “the actual insertion of the penis into the vagina,” for those who were married. But levels one through seven were not just fair game, they constituted a road map for teens (and their parents) to follow since, as he reasoned, teens were going to have some sort of sex anyway. The problem was, as he saw it, the split between liberal and conservative sexual ethics was “a ‘go/no-go’ system. Either a person has to abstain from sexuality… or he has to ‘go all the way.'” Gradualism was his way of letting teens have as much fun as possible without going all the way:
But a key tenet of gradualism is that there is a lot of fun, excitement, and pleasure to be had at all levels of sexual involvement. From Level 5 upward, the possibility of complete and satisfying sexual release is about as high as at Level 8 (for some people even higher).
Many of us have come to believe that we have not really “made love” unless we engage at Level 8. But there is every reason to believe that people can and do “make love” at Levels 3 through 7. Making love with someone you love is a joy. The level at which we make love is, to a considerable degree, irrelevant. It is reasonable for teen-agers who are in love to make love with each other. However, as this study will bear out, it is unreasonable for teen-agers to make love through intercourse (Level 8) outside of marriage. [Page 11, emphases his.]
Cameron’s “conservative” position is that the child’s virginity must be preserved for marriage — a virginity defined strictly on the basis of whether the child has broken the penile-vaginal boundary. But to preserve that conservative position, he adopts a decidedly “liberal” policy of not just allowing, but encouraging just about every other form of sexual expression short of the actual deed. This is Cameron’s “third way.”
Sexual Gradualism isn’t strictly a physical how-to guide through the levels: he dedicated a few pages to the emotional aspects of dating, falling in love, and sexual intimacy. But he quickly moved on to the practical tips of going from one level to the next: plan it out, talk it out, bathe properly. And he encouraged parents to help prepare the right setting for that special time when their teen is ready to literally take it to the next level:
Gradualism would best be practiced in the home. A responsible set of parents might allot a room, privacy, access to a bathroom, a television and snacks for their teen-agers to practice gradualism. Providing privacy and encouraging them to develop in friendship and perhaps sexuality without fear of adult interference is civilized and civilizing. .. Thoughtful parents might provide a teenager with access to comfortable gradualism, knowing that the teen-ager might indulge in sexual practices.
Some parents may shudder at the prospect, but they should remember that the minute a child or a teen-ager leaves in a car, he or she is able to to do anything desired. … If a parent has raised a child who is going to violate prohibitions of one kind or another, denying him access to the parents’ home is likely to do little in the way of interfering with his sexual activity. The parent who teaches gradualism to his children is actually making promiscuity less likely. If you want people to behave in a given way, you must be quite explicit about that behavior. [Pages 24-25, emphases his.]
… Some will object. “My goodness. Aren’t you just inviting them to ‘go all the way’ by providing them with a room and a bathroom and all this privacy?” If you just provided room then the answer is,” Probably!”
Sex education is best taught in the home. Only in the home can a young person receive advices and instruction from people maximally concerned with his well being. If parents provide both explicit instruction in gradualism and the opportunity for its expression, they are increasing their influence and control over the sexual development of their children. Obviously this is accompanied by some risk, but the trouble that youngsters can get into on their own is almost always greater.
Whenever practiced, gradualism covets pleasant, safe surroundings. Lovely sex is enhanced by beautiful settings. Similarly, it is difficult for sexuality to be marvelous in squalor. Sexuality is a difficult process in and of itself, without compounding its difficulty by unpleasant surroundings. [Page 26.]
The extent to which Cameron thinks it’s appropriate for parents to become involved with their children’s sex life is remarkable in many ways. Cameron is far better known today for his prominent role in the very socially-conservative anti-gay movement, and I have a feeling that this book would have been anathema to his compatriots at the Fuller Theological Seminary where he was teaching at the time, let alone among those at the Family Research Council and others who continue to use his work to this very day.
But this book is also notable for something else. It suggests that Cameron may very well have struggled with appropriate boundaries between adult “mentors” and children. To be sure, it is sound advice for parents to take an active instructional role in educating their children on relationships and sex. But Sexual Gradualism goes further. It suggests that the parents’ role extends to ensuring their children have an understanding on good sexual performance and technique. It stops short of suggesting a show-and-tell session, thankfully. But suggesting that mom prepare a snack tray of milk and cookies whenever young Stephanie has her boyfriend over for a shared shower and a blow job is generally not the kind of sexual advice that comes from someone with a healthy respect for boundaries.
Boundaries are often an issue with victims of child sexual abuse. As I wrote last week, the therapists I talked to abut the subject say that one of the common effects of such abuse is that the abuse victim often doesn’t see his or her sexuality as something he or she owns. From a very early age, that that person was taught that his or her sexuality belongs to someone else. We think of sexuality as something very intimate and private, but to a child who has been sexually abused, it is neither. Instead, it is very public and it is other people’s business. And for the better part of the past 35 years, Cameron has made other people’s sexuality his business.
Today when we think of Cameron, we think of a man obsessed with homosexuality. It’s tempting to see if there are any clues to explain his unabashed hatred of gay people in Sexual Gradualism. But Cameron’s later obsession is mostly absent in this book. Sure, hints pop up here and there, but this is 1978; the book’s disapproval of homosexuality doesn’t particularly stand out from other texts of the day. But there are a few passages which can be seen as a kind of foreshadowing:
Probably there would be little argument that children ought to be getting into Levels 1 and 2 somewhere between the ages of 10 and 15. One to gradualism’s precepts is that active heterosexuality inhibits the formation of homosexuality (or bestiality or any other non-erotic sexual outlet.) [Page 32]
If gradualism were adopted as social policy and taught in the home, the school, and the church, I believe we would go a long way toward providing a more rational and orderly kind of sexual experience for the children and teen-agers of our society …As already mentioned, another advantage of gradualism is the insulation value it provides against homosexuality. Human sexuality is learned. As with any other learned activity, the first time something is practiced, and in this case the first time sexuality is practiced, it has a great deal of importance. With sexuality, as in any other area, just because a person’s first experience or set of experiences is of one kind or of one orientation, it will not necessarily turn out that their orientation will be just that way in the future.
However, social scientists are also aware that the first activity or the first set of activities is of considerably greater importance than succeeding activities. By gradually introducing, in word and deed, a young person to the opposite sex, establishing firm parameters as to what is to be done and not to be done, by being explicit, and further, by explicitly directing that young person toward the opposite sex, gradualism steers in a heterosexual direction.
I can think of no greater compliment to the example of a happily married couple than gradualism in directing the child’s interests to the opposite sex. For weal or woe, many of the marriages inthe United States and Canada are not so ideally put together.
Gradualism serves as a second line of defense against the often homosexual reaction to inadequate or substandard heterosexual expression on the part of the parent. Gradualism clearly will work best when parents display general love and physical intimacy with each other in front of their children. … Do parents treasure the hope of their children acquiring a heterosexual orientation? The best defense against homosexuality is a vigorous, active heterosexuality, at the onset of sexual experience. [Pages 36-37, emphases his.]
If the book appears internally schizophrenic by offering a sexually permissive solution to a conservative value, the psychic split is highlighted further by the fact that in the very same year he published Sexual Gradualism, Cameron also published his first anti-gay tract. The summer issue of the obscure Human Life Review featured his article, “A case against homosexuality,” a rambling thirty-three snoozer which is essentially Cameron’s first draft for the more than forty anti-gay papers to follow. The Human Life Review is published by the Human Life Foundation, which publishes not only articles against abortion and euthanasia, but also on “how moral relativism has pervaded our political process as well as our educational system” and other topics which “reflect a society sharply divided on the most basic moral questions.” How does he publish one article in a journal that decries “moral relativism” while simultaneously writing a book that positively revels in it?
Here, I think is where we get to the question I posed in the title of this series. This is where we begin to understand What Makes Cameron Tick. And I will point you to the one thing that has always been consistent in everything Cameron has ever written or espoused. Again, we find it in Sexual Gradualism:
Human sexuality is not “natural.” In fact, I have found it most useful to consider human sexuality as totally learned. There is nothing absolutely biological about human sexuality. Learning to be a good lover does not come “naturally.” Nor is there anything particularly natural or normal about human sexuality. We cannot trust to “mother nature” to deliver our children into sexual bliss, or land them safely on the sexual shore.
On the contrary, the kind of sexuality that our children will exhibit is not due to their genetic make-up, is not due to their hormonal balance, and in fact, has precious little to do with biology.
In many ways the performance of sexuality is analogous to playing tennis. People are not born good tennis players, and they are not born good lovers. On the contrary, learning to be a good tennis player takes many, many hours of practice, thought and hard work. Similarly, learning to be a good lover takes many hours of practice, thought, and application.
To the degree that the general populace buts “sexual naturalism” and excuses their sex practices as being due to faulty heredity or hormonal imbalance, society limps sexually. [Page 49, emphasis in the original.]
Did you catch that? To Cameron, sexuality is “the performance of sexuality,” or, more precisely, the performance of the sexual act(s). It is merely the summation of the words spoken, the moves practiced, and the actors hitting their marks. It is all action, and all actions are learned, and the better practiced actions are better learned (like tennis!). Elsewhere in Sexual Gradualism, Cameron describes his proposal as a systematic process for discerning one’s “proclivities” — one of his favorite words that he uses whenever he wants to avoid the deeper aspects of sexuality: love, passions, attractions, romantic attractions, and the inner sense of self in relation to others. “Proclivities” is also a word that he typically uses to dismiss the “tendencies” (another of his favorite words) of gay people. To Cameron, the very idea of an orientation is a fraud. Sexuality isn’t related to what once senses in himself or herself as a component of their innermost being. It doesn’t even begin to approach that level of intimacy. Instead, sexuality is the performance of acts, of habits and proclivities that the individual is taught.
And Cameron feels that he understands this mechanism very well. Here is what he wrote in 2002 about how gay people supposedly pick up their “habit”:
In reality, sexual abuse of a boy often leads the boy to discover that sexual activity with another boy or a man can be pleasurable. That is why molestation of boys by men is so dangerous. Except in a few isolated instances, molestation does NOT lead to “gender identity disorder” in boys. Rather, it sets up the makings of a very bad habit — a habit that can turn the boy away from responsibly contributing to society through his sexuality to engaging in sex only to satisfy his desires.
…With rare exception, gays don’t do these things because they are “confused as to whether they are a man or a woman.” They know that they are men, they have just learned to enjoy sex with other men. They are not “sick,” nor typically in great psychological distress. Rather they have acquired an evil habit, a bad habit, a socially injurious habit.
This is Cameron’s great consistency, and it’s the rare consistency which pre-dates his turn to rabid anti-gay extremism in 1978. Cameron’s conviction is that sexuality is synonymous with “performance of sexuality,” and that all performances are taught, and the best performances are the result of persistent practice by wise and understanding teachers.
Again, this only begins to make sense in light of what Cameron describes as his own sexual abuse as a child. It’s hard not to read, “The best defense against homosexuality is a vigorous, active heterosexuality, at the onset of sexual experience” in Sexual Gradualism without recalling the onset of Cameron’s own sexual experience: he was abused by a man, then he was molested by a woman. He then decided that his “proclivities” lies with women. But in his mind, if he hadn’t been “taught” by that woman he may have picked up the “bad habit” of becoming a homosexual man. “Had that continued,” he said last week, “I don’t know where I would have ended up. But I do know that the culture was directed toward heterosexuality overcame whatever feelings I had.”
The fact that Cameron once suggested that parents take an unusually active interest in their children’s sexuality (or their sexual performance) strikes us as more than just odd. It’s creepy. But to him, it’s just a part of growing up. Adults taught him a lot of sexual practices when he was a child. And in 1978 it did not seen so odd to him that he should not want to pass what he learned on to others.
What Makes Cameron Tick? (Cont’d)
May 19th, 2012
Appropos to my question yesterday, Andrew Sullivan also questions the role Cameron’s childhood abuse in his obsessive campaign against gays and broadens the subject to misaimed attempts to exorcise pain generally:
The longer I am in this debate, the more something emerges. Most people don’t really care much about gays. The subject doesn’t come up; and most adjusted straight men do not feel passionately on the subject one way or the other. And so you notice patterns. You find that most of the really impassioned anti-gay activists are just as motivated by personal passion – whether as an early victim of sex abuse (Paul Cameron), or as the father of a gay son (Charles Socarides), or as a single mother abandoned by her boyfriend (Maggie Gallagher), or someone fighting to restrain their own gay feelings (Ted Haggard, Larry Craig) – as pro-gay activists are. This is a perfectly legitimate motivation for all sorts of political movements, but on the gay question, one should always be alert to the personal psychological undercurrents. (That goes for us gays as well as out opponents, and I am grateful for the odd psychological diagnoses I receive via email.)
Is it any surprise, for example, that Cameron believes that large numbers of gays are sex abusers, or that we all die young, and other canards he has spread over the years? Is it not relevant that he says he was raped as a child by a man? Any major surprise that one of the very few psychiatrists to advocate reparative therapy, Charles Socarides, blamed it on fathers, while having a gay son, Richard, who went on to become the Clinton administration’s point person on gay issues? You can go all the way up to the current Pope’s absurd obsession with the subject.
What Makes Paul Cameron Tick?
May 18th, 2012
I can’t help but think that so much of his animus is motivated by some deep, deep wounds caused by this alleged “raping”. There seem to be a lot of unresolved issues there, and I can’t help but pity someone who is that psychologically bound.
— BTB commenter “DJ”
I couldn’t agree more. While I can’t claim to know Cameron’s mind, I do think that child sexual abuse — or perhaps some form of child abuse in general — is an unexplored area (at least I haven’t explored it much) which may explain some of the behaviors that we see among anti-gay activists.
A few weeks ago, gay blogs excitedly posted about a study which showed that some individuals who grew up with controlling parents (mainly fathers) and were identified as likely being gay themselves through testing but who otherwise denied that they were gay, those individuals were found to be more likely to employ “defensive processes” which include displays of greater hostility toward gay people. There’s a lot of “more likelies” and “some individuals” in that statement, but many people nevertheless jumped to the obvious oversimplification (homophobe=gay!). But the way the study was constructed it doesn’t allow us to work backwards from someone’s outward homophobia to conclude that they are probably gay — unless you’re talking about someone who is in the ex-gay movement obviously.
But that study was still fresh on everyone’s minds when David Pakman interviewed Paul Cameron earlier this week, and that may explain everyone’s excitement that Cameron acknowledged that he had “some feelings” after having been sexually abused at the age of three until he was about eight or ten when he became “thoroughly interested in girls.” I think for a lot of gay and pro-gay bloggers, that was big “aha!” But for me, that looked like a normal developmental process, at least as normal as such a one could be under the circumstances.
Is Cameron secretly gay? I don’t know. If he were, it would go along way toward explaining what he told The Rolling Stone’s Robert Dreyfuss in 1999, when he explained how he thought “untrammeled homosexuality” could take over and destroy an entire society:
“If you isolate sexuality as something solely for one’s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get — and that is what homosexuality seems to be — then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men, and women on women, if all you are looking for is orgasms.”
He doesn’t explain what evidence he has for that statement — I’ve never seen it, and given the high degree of individual variability of what one likes and dislikes among gays I seriously doubt that such evidence exists. But Cameron nevertheless found the idea compelling. He told Dreyfuss, “I’m convinced that lesbians are particularly good seducers.” And in the next paragraph, Cameron called homosexuality “pure sexuality. It’s almost like pure heroin. It’s such a rush.” People have been pondering what he meant by that for the thirteen years since then.
Despite his protestations, he may be just another closet case. But I think the rush to latch onto that as an explanation for anti-gay extremism may prevent us from seeing another important, more painful, and little-discussed factor that is staring us in the face: child sexual abuse.
As a refresher, here’s the video again:
And here’s the transcript, beginning at the 11:14 mark where the relevant part of the conversation takes place:
Pakman: What age were you when you decided, “I’m going to evaluate men and evaluate women, and I’m going to choose for the rest of my life I will be attracted to women.” How were you when you did that?
Cameron: Well I didn’t do that so much consciously. I reacted to my environment. As you’re probably aware, I was seduced or raped as a child. I was about three. And I was raped homosexually. And so had that continued, I don’t know where I would have ended up. But I do know that the culture was directed toward heterosexuality overcame whatever feelings I had — and I had some that I acquired as a three year old. And by the time I was, say, eight or nine or ten, I was thoroughly interested in girls.
Pakmna: But Dr. Cameron, with all due respect, don’t you think that if we combine the attraction that you stated that you had to men when you were very young, combined with the fact that your entire life you have focused on homosexuality, sex between men to a degree that almost no one that I’ve come across except a handful of people, isn’t it possible that you are gay?
Cameron: (Laughs) Well it’s impossible. I’m … No one… Gay is kind of a political term. Am I interested in homosexual relations? Not at all. I don’t… on a scale of one to a hundred? Zip. And uh, as a matter of fact, as I’ve dealt with people who have this affliction or this desire or this interest, if anything I’m repelled by it. I’m probably about a minus a hundred.
This isn’t a new revelation. Reporter Paul Harkavy obtained a similar revelation from Cameron in 1996:
Paul Cameron was about four years old, he recalls, when a young man accosted him in an apple orchard and ordered him to perform oral sex.
The memory makes him chuckle. “I must have been a beautiful and charming little boy,” says Cameron. “But I didn’t like it much. He just told me, ‘Hi, kid, I want you to do this.’ I remember that he was kind of dirty, and that bothered me.” He didn’t tell his parents about the incident. “Kids want to live their own lives,” he explains. “They don’t want to tell everybody everything.” Nor did he tell his folks about another molestation a year later, after his family had moved from Pittsburgh to Florida, when a female stranger lured him into her apartment, gave him a bath and “fiddled” with his genitals.
“I remember that one more fondly,” Cameron says with a laugh. “I went out and looked for her apartment afterwards–never did find it, though. I had a much more positive experience with the woman. I thought it was a rather pleasant experience.”
In other words, Cameron wasn’t molested once, but twice — at least.
I’m going to have to admit that I haven’t done much studying in this area. (Maybe some crowdsourcing in the comments will come in handy here. BTB readers are the best in the land when it comes to things like this.) But I have broached the subjects with a very few therapists who deal with child sexual abuse, and they confirm that one of the common effects of such abuse is that the abuse victim often doesn’t see his or her sexuality as something he or she owns. From a very early age, that that person was taught that his or her sexuality belongs to someone else, and that other people have mastery over that his or her sexual being. And for too many children, that instruction comes painfully early in life, long before that child even has an opportunity to understand that the child even is — or will be — a sexual being. That child is taught that the most private and intimate parts of that child’s body and being are the property of someone else.
I am not aware of any studies which examine possible pathways of child sexual abuse and homophobia in adulthood. Those few therapists I talked to weren’t aware of any either. If someone does know of any, I’d really appreciate it if you would let me know in the comments or via email. So without those studies, all we have is a hypothesis in search of evidence.
But with very little effort, one can easily imagine that this must play a link. Being a closet case may explain the shame and strong aversion that some homophobes exhibit when they are around gay people, but I wonder if it is enough to explain the obsession, the rage, and sometimes the violence. In Cameron’s case, the violence isn’t physical. He commits extreme acts of violence to the truth which he has taken to radical, almost pathological, extremes.
As I have pointed out many times, his willingness to lie about scientific research has led to denunciations by the American Psychological Association in 1983, by the Nebraska Psychological Association in 1984, the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986, the Canadian Psychological Association in 1996 and, more recently, the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007. I cannot think of any other individual who has racked so many denunciations by so many organizations, and yet Cameron keeps on going as though he had never been challenged in his life.
And his anger against gays has been quite astonishing. As early as 1983, he was advocating “medical extermination” for gay people with AIDS. In 1999, he penned an article describing in approving terms how the Nazis “dealt with” homosexuality. That’s a road on which few other anti-gay extremists have dared to travel.
You can add Cameron to Joe Dallas, an ex-gay activist who says that he was molested as a child. Ditto Alan Chambers, Richard Cohen, Greg Quinlan, the late Anthony Falzarano — the list is particularly long in the ex-gay movement. Melissa Fryrear, a ex-gay advocate who was formerly with Focus On the Family, routinely told “Love Won Out” audiences that she had never met a gay man or a lesbian who hadn’t been sexually violated as a child. She also said she had been abused as a child.
As a matter of fact, it is extremely easy to find people in the ex-gay movement who say they were abused as children. Partly because it’s become something of a dogma in the ex-gay movement that most gays were abused as children and that’s why they became gay. Being molested is an almost de rigeur touchstone in ex-gay testimonies of transformation. Alan Chambers said in 2006 that of those who contacted Exodus International, “85 percent of the men and women have been sexually molested prior to age 13.” He assumed that his statistic applied to the entire gay population. But of course it doesn’t. It applies only to those whose deep-seated shame and pain over their sexuality — a sexuality that was already claimed by someone else — has led them to want to try to change that horribly corrupted sexuality. Or to just get rid of it altogether in exchange for a lifetime of celibacy.
But testimonies of molestation outside of the ex-gay movement are quite rare, which makes Cameron’s statement rather unique. But I’ve often wondered if a similar explanation may lie behind the anger displayed by some of the more extreme anti-gay activists. Take Scott Lively, for instance. He talks about growing up in an abusive household, but he has never mentioned sexual abuse as far as I know. The closest he comes to suggesting that sexual abuse might have occurred in his family was during his infamous 2009 talk in Kampala, Uganda. He opened that talk with a brief introduction, in which he said, “I have another sister that wasn’t able to enter into marriage until she was in her 40’s because of the pain of the family life that we had.”
Is that a hint? I don’t know. But something must surely explain the incredible anger that lies just underneath the surface. It doesn’t take a psychologist to understand that there are some rather deep unresolved emotional issues at play, whatever their source may be. There is a whole field of questions that I think deserve exploring, and I hope some enterprising researchers or grad students take up the question soon.
Paul Cameron Denies Being Gay
May 16th, 2012
Paul Cameron appeared on David Pakman’s TV program, where he finally fessed up to what many of us had thought all along:
Anti-gay activist Paul Cameron, Chairman the of Family Research Institute, explains why he thinks President Obama is gay, why homosexuals want to rape all young boys, and incredibly, denies being gay himself after admitting he was attracted to men as early as age 3.
Before Cameron came along, religious gay rights opponents stuck mainly to religious-based arguments. It was Cameron who worked up tracts with copious footnotes which purported to lay out a “scientific” explanation why LGBT equality was bad for society. One classic example is his pamphlet, “Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do,” which contains 33 footnotes from otherwise often-reliable medical, psychological and sociological sources. The casual reader would likely see those footnotes and conclude that the pamphlet was well-researched and backed by sound scientific data. But in one of my first projects — a project that gave birth to this very web site — I examined that pamphlet closely and found that nearly all of the source material was mischaracterised, and that some of sources actually contradicted Cameron’s claims.
Yet his work was hugely influential to the growing anti-gay political movement, and his discredited “research” is still cited by a large number of other anti-gay activists and writers today — despite his having been denounced by the American Psychological Association in 1983, by the Nebraska Psychological Association in 1984, the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986, the Canadian Psychological Association in 1996 and, more recently, the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007.
Oh, and he believes that the Nazis did a swell job in “dealing with” homosexuals during World War II.
This interview really explains a lot in my mind. I’m pressed for time, but I’ll have more on this later.
Update: I’ve truncated the headline. It used to read “Paul Cameron Denies Being Gay Despite Being Attracted To Men.” But having finally had the chance to listen to this all the way through, I don’t believe the hype surrounding this video is accurate. But I do think this interview is very revealing for other reasons. That’s what I want to touch on later.
(If anyone has any guesses about where I want to go with this — and it does relate to his childhood — go ahead and leave your thoughts in the comments. Maybe I’ll use them, with credit of course, in my upcoming post.)
So Who’s Crazy Now?
May 14th, 2012
Last week, I posted video of a woman from Lincoln, Nebraska, who testified before the city council against a proposed anti-discrimination ordinance. It had all of the hallmarks of a an anti-gay extremist’s diatribe, but little did I know (and I probably should have caught it), the poor woman was actually schizophrenic.
But as many of you pointed out in the comments section, it’s sometimes hard to tell who’s crazy and who isn’t when it comes to anti-gay rhetoric. Exhibit A is Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute, who we haven’t heard from in a while. He is a discredited “researcher” who has been cited by a large number of other anti-gay activists and writers, despite having been denounced by the American Psychological Association in 1983, by the Nebraska Psychological Association in 1984, the American Sociological Association in 1985 and 1986, and, more recently, the Eastern Psychological Association in 2007. Oh, and he believes that the Nazis did a swell job in “dealing with” homosexuals during World War II.
Last week, Cameron appeared on VCY America (Voice of Christian Youth). You tell me: is he any saner than the lady from Lincoln?
Well, the timing is I think miserable for his re-election. I would have expected him, as you did, to wait until he was the new president and say, “Guess what? I’ve changed my mind,” or, “I’ve evolved.” But homosexuality is the one sin, or the one habit, that is 24/7. It is homosexuality all the time. And actually, while I’m not sure about the claims by the various people who have reported that Obama has at least participated at times with them in homosexual acts, this certainly lends some credence.
…Mark my words clearly: the long term goal of the homosexual movement is to get every little boy to grab his ankles and every little girl to give it a try. They will not rest until every one of our children at least gets to try, has the opportunity and maybe is forced to at least once experience homosexual acts. There is no retreating from that, they made it very clear earlier on -— now they don’t take about it —- but that’s what they want, they will not be happy until they get it, marriage is just a step along the way.
According to Right Wing Watch:
Cameron later said he “partially agreed” with a caller who said, “they gave blacks equal rights and that was a bad path and now look where we are, if I don’t feel like I want to hire a black man for my business I’m in all sorts of trouble and now it’s going to be some homo who is gonna have to get a job because I can’t do nothing about it.” Cameron claimed the push for LGBT equality “brings into question the civil rights mentality” because it created “special rights on the basis of certain characteristics,” calling gays and lesbians “mentally deranged” and transgender people “people that are really strange.”
Right Wing Watch has more here, including Cameron’s repeating his demand that gays be rounded up an imprisoned.
Paul Cameron in Moldova
October 25th, 2011
It’s a lengthy video and I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. But as we reported last weekend, anti-gay extremist and self-described Nazi admirer Paul Cameron is visiting Moldova to lobby against the adoption of an anti-discrimination law that includes sexual orientation. Today, he’s held a press conference where he presented his usual distorted and misrepresented “research.” It is those tactics which have earned him the condemnation of the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Assocation and, most recently, the Eastern Psychological Association.
Paul Cameron Headed to Moldova
October 15th, 2011
Scott Long, former director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch, has learned that American anti-gay extremist Paul Cameron is headed to Moldova to oppose proposed anti-discrimination legislation which would include sexual orientation. Long writes:
Moldova is a splinter of a country between Romania and Ukraine, a point of contention between Russians, Turks, and others for centuries, and one of the poorest states in Europe. An anti-discrimination bill that prohibits unequal treatment on grounds including sexual orientation is before its Parliament, due for debate at month’s end.
In the days before the debate starts, Paul Cameron is coming to town. An e-mail from the Alianţa pentru Salvarea Familiilor din Moldova (Alliance to Save the Family in Moldova) announces that the “U.S. sociologist, founder and president of Family Research Institute” will stay from October 24-29, and “will share the U.S. experience in implementing anti-discrimination legislation.” There will be a roundtable with “representatives of various parliamentary committees, ministries and other institutions of the state,” plenty of lobby meetings with lawmakers — and, of course, media will be saturated with Cameron’s fake statistics.
As you can see, Cameron is already up to his famous tricks of lying through his teeth. Shortly after being expelled from the American Psychological Association for his gross misrepresentations of psychological research, he started calling himself a sociologist (as he does in the email from the Moldovan anti-gay organization). That led the American Sociological Association to denounce him — twice. The second time, in 1986, the ASA said, “The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.” [Emphasis added.]
Cameron’s views on homosexuality are particularly venomous. He has written of his open admiration for how Germany “dealt with” gay people in the concentration camps of Dachau and Sachsenhausen. During the early years of the AIDS crisis, he called for the quarantining and extermination of gays with HIV, and continues to call for the re-criminalization and imprisonment of gay people.
Cameron will likely find a receptive audience in Moldova. The last time the gay community in the nation’s capital of Chisinau tried to hold a gay pride march in 2008, the marchers were surrounded and attacked by skinheads as police stood by and watched.
Long reminds us that this is Cameron’s second visit to Moldova:
In 2008, he came through to preach about the dangers of anti-discrimination laws. An Orthodox priest who translated for him describes his message:
According to what Dr. Paul Cameron said, it is necessary for every woman of a nation to give birth to 2.1 children, so that that nation may perpetuate, while in the Republic of Moldova, every woman gives birth to 1.3 children. In this way, the population of Moldova will be halved in 35 years. Among the factors that have brought us to this demographic disaster, it is so-called “woman’s emancipation”, that gave such a position to a woman, that she prefers a career, studies, etc. to giving birth to children and being a mother. Among other factors are the spread of the imposed immorality and especially, the promotion of so-called “rights of sexual minorities”, i.e homosexuals, that don’t contribute in any way to the perpetuation of the nation or to the wellbeing of the society.
Here, for those who forgot to order a horror film from Netflix for Saturday night, is a video of one of his lectures in Chisinau.
Earlier this year, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively traveled to Moldova to denounced the anti-discrimination law as “the seed that contains the entire tree of the homosexual agenda, with all of its poisonous fruit.” It looks like Moldova, like Uganda, may be becoming a special project of American extremists seeking to export they hatred to other parts of the world.
CO Civil Unions Defeated In House Committee
April 1st, 2011
The crazies came out again in Colorado last night to defeat the Senate Bill 172, which would have provided Civil Unions and other protections for LGBT Coloradans. The bill died in the committee on a 6-5 strict party-line vote. All Republicans voted no, including Rep. Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) whose uncle is gay. “It was tough,” said DelGrosso. As tough as it is for his uncle?
Rep. B.J. Nikkel (also R-Loveland), after voting no herself, thanked members of the committee and the bill’s sponsor for “a very thoughtful, civil dialogue about the issue of civil unions.” That “civil dialogue” not only included the “anus lady,” but last night featured the testimony of Paul Cameron.
To give you some perspective about where Cameron gets these crazy ideas, as recently as five years ago, the head of the Eastern Psychological Association publicly denounced Cameron for fraudulently passing off a paper he wrote as having been presented before the assembled association at a meeting in Philadelphia. Cameron has been removed from the rolls of the American Psychological Association for ethical violations in his fraudulent “research”, and his he has also been denounced by the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association (twice), and the Canadian Psychological Association, all for consistently misinterpreting and misrepresenting research on sexuality, sexual orientation, and the gay community.
You would think that were bad enough, but it gets worse. In a March 1999 edition of his newsletter, Cameron wrote glowingly of how the Nazis “handled” homosexuality. Specifically singling out the policies of Rudolf Höss, the mastermind behind Auschwitz. This echoes what Cameron said in 1985 at a CPAC conference, in which he proclaimed, “Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.” Cameron’s manifesto calls for the recriminalization of homosexuality and the denial of private domestic partner benefits to anyone who is HIV-positive. He would ban LGBT people from teaching or working at schools or day care centers, and mandate that all course material present homosexuality as “a public health hazard.”
To the shame of Coloradans everywhere, arguments like Cameron’s carried the day.
Update: ThinkProgress has more audio.
“Children of Homosexuals” Researcher More Apt To Ape Paul Cameron
October 17th, 2010
There’s a study out that’s causing quite a stir. It’s by Walter R. Schumm, a professor Kansas State University whose paper has appeared in latest issue of the Journal of Biosocial Science. (JBS was formerly The Eugenics Review from 1909 to 1968, at which time the Eugenics Society changed its journal’s name.) Schumm’s paper, titled “Children of homosexuals more apt to be homosexuals: A reply to Morrison and to Cameron based on an examination of multiple sources of data,” essentially picks up where a very similar 2006 paper by Paul Cameron left off, which claimed that 33% to 47% of children of gay parents wound up being gay. Schumm’s paper claims that children of gay parents were 1.7 to 12.1 times as likely to become gay as children of straight parents, “depending on the mix of child and parent genders.” The implication behind Schumm’s paper, as it was with Cameron’s, is that gay parenting can somehow influence a child’s sexuality, with the implication that homosexuality itself is not biological but determined according to how a child is raised.
Schumm’s study is currently making a big splash on AOLNews, where, according to an article by Paul Kix, Schumm has supposedly conducted a new “robust” study examining whether Cameron was right: Do gay parents make gay children? Cameron’s paper, also published in JBS, was just another example of the shoddy “scholarship” and deliberate distortion of other publications that we’ve come to expect from him. Schumm’s paper seeks to replicate Cameron’s work while acknowledging some of the criticisms of Cameron’s 2006 paper. It’s important to emphasize however that Schumm only acknowledges someof the criticisms. The most important criticism — the completely non-random nature of the so-called “dataset” that Cameron used — Schumm not only ignores, but he repeats that same flaw and embellishes it in a grandly enlarged form.
Schumm, like Cameron, calls his study a “meta-analysis” of ten smaller samples. (Cameron used only three.) When researchers use the term “meta-analysis,” they mean that they collected a bunch of data from a collection of other studies. And typically, these studies are drawn from what are called “convenience samples.”
To obtain a convenience sample, a researcher defines the type of population he’s looking for and recruits his sample according to eligibility requirements that he defined ahead of time from among people who are more or less conveniently available to him — hence the name. But critically, that researcher would have accepted everyone who volunteered and met the predefined criteria. While this isn’t a representative sample, it is, at least for the most part, a relatively random one, even if it is often very far from being a perfectly random one. Putting together nationally-representative samples is extremely costly and, therefore, extremely rare. Convenience samples are much more common. Good researchers, however, are very mindful of the limits of their sample and would never extrapolate their findings to the population as a whole.
Convenience samples have many weaknesses, and one of the weaknesses is that they tend to be small. A “meta-analysis” is intended to correct that problem. To perform a meta-analysis, a researcher collects a bunch of other studies and combines all of the data from their samples, re-crunches the data, and sees which trends hold up in the much larger sample. This too, is valuable, although it also has its pitfalls. It’s not important to go into them here, but for our purposes it’s fair to say that meta-analysis techniques are useful — as long as the studies gathered for the meta-analysis contain samples that were similarly constructed and were meant to examine the same set of questions. And that also means that the smaller samples were somewhat similarly random, even if they were not statistically representative. The larger meta-analysis retains the same weakness of the smaller random-but-not-representatives samples, but with the larger combined sample, it can tend to diminish some of the quirks (or “outliers”) of the smaller samples. These kinds of studies can be useful in identifying trends and correlations, but they cannot be used to extrapolate behaviors or conditions to the population as a whole.
But Schumm’s “meta-analysis” (and Cameron’s before him) doesn’t even have the benefit of being built off of random convenience samples. There were no convenience samples in any of the ten prior works that Schumm used for his meta-analysis. In fact, they weren’t even professional studies. They were popular books!
That’s right, each of the ten sources that Schumm used to construct his “meta-analysis” were from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com. Schumm read the books, took notes on each parent and child described in the book, examined their histories, and counted up who was gay and who was straight among the kids. The ten books were:
- Abigail Garner’s Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
- Andrew Gotlieb’s Sons Talk About Their Gay Fathers: Life Curves
- Noelle Howey and Ellen Samuels’ Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up with Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
- Maureen Asten’s Lesbian Family Relationships in American Society: The Making of an Ethnographic Film
- Mary Boenke’s Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones
- Jane Drucker’s Families Of Value: Gay and Lesbian Parents and their Children Speak Out
- Peggy Gillespie’s Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Families
- Louise Rafkin’s Different Mothers: Sons and Daughters of Lesbians Talk About Their Lives
- Myra Hauschild and Pat Rosier’s Get Used to It!: Children of Gay and Lesbian Parents
- And Lisa Saffron’s What About the Children: Sons and Daughters of Lesbian and Gay Parents Talk About Their Lives
The first three were also used in Cameron’s 2006 paper. Schumm comments these books, saying:
The authors of these ten books have done important data collection for the entire scientific community. While their samples may not be random, they may be no worse than the convenience and snowball samples used in much of previous researcher with gay and lesbian parents; certainly their combined dataset is far larger than that of the early studies on gay and lesbian parenting.
This is utter nonsense. None of the books contained any semblance of a sample — not even a convenience sample, and the authors certainly didn’t do anything approaching an “important data collection” by any stretch of the imagination. What they did was tell stories, or, rather, helped the families themselves to tell their own stories. The people chosen in each of these volumes were were not picked according to a pre-defined criteria in the manner in which a researcher would construct a sample. They were chosen solely because the authors and editors thought their stories were compelling. In 2006, Abigail Garner, an advocate for children of LGBT parents, was particularly incensed at Cameron’s misuse of her book and implying that the people selected to appear in it were in any way random. In fact, Abigail said that her book was intentionally non-random:
In fact, I had made a point of having a roughly even number of straight kids and second generation [gay, bisexual or transgender] kids so that both views would be evenly represented in the book. In other words, because of the goals of my book, I deliberately aimed to have 50% of the kids interviewed to be queer. Not because it is statistically reflective of the population, but to give it balance of perspective.
Schumm used Abigail’s book in precisely the same illegitimate way that Cameron did. Despite the fact that Abigail expressly said that she intentionally made her balance of gay kids to straight kids at about 50/50, Schumm used that sample as part of his “meta-analysis” to conclude that gay parents are more likely to create gay kids. Schumm doesn’t say how many of his 262 “samples” he derived from Abagail’s book. Cameron said he used “over 50” of Abigail’s interviews, so it is likely to be a considerable chunk of Schumm’s “dataset” as well.
But even if the “dataset” from Abigail’s book was minimal, the other books won’t make up for the flaw. The books that Schuum chose are best characterized as literary works, many with essays and stories of kids “speaking out” about having gay parents. (Gotlieb’s Sons Talk About Their Gay Fathers is something of an exception. But here, too, his work is descriptive and not statistical. He also only talks about twelve young men.)
These stories were chosen for their literary and illustrative qualities, and for the compelling nature of each of their situations. The method for collecting the stories for these books is anything but random. In fact, the process is best described as anti-random. Sticking to a rule for randomness would have likely rendered these books both boring and unmarketable. The goal of these authors and editors was not to examine their subjects in a statistical sense, but in a literary sense — to explore issues and perspectives and different points of view, with each story chosen because it illustrates an issue that isn’t touched on by the other stories. And no matter how great or small the so-called “samples” were (Gotlieb’s consisted of only twelve young men), it’s a given that these authors and editors ensured that the experiences of LGBT children were well-represented alongside their straight compatriots, without regard to whether their numerical presence were in any way statistically representative.
That is how good stories are gathered, but it most certainly is not how a sample is collected for statistical purposes. To run statistics on this non-statistical (or anti-statistical) sample would be like judging the ratio of giraffes to chimpanzees in Africa by comparing the populations selected by the zookeepers at your local zoo. Whenever a non-random selection process is used, any attempt at statistics on that process is completely meaningless — and an abuse.
But to add further insult to that injury of statistics, Schumm needed a control sample of children from straight families. For that, he turned to a population-based representative sample from 1994: Edward O. Laumann, et al’s, The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. That’s right. He used a deliberately anti-random sample of children from LGBT parents and compared that number with a population-based nationally representative sample of children from households overall to conclude that gay parents are much, much more likely to cause their children to become gay.
Which means that he’s now comparing elephants to oranges.
Before I end this critique, I have another surprise: In his JBS paper, Schumm actually cited me by name and included a complete block-quote from my 2006 criticism of Cameron’s study — while blithely ignoring the main point of that very criticism. Of course, he had to, because the main point of my criticism of Cameron’s work can be multiplied three-and-a-thirdfold for Schumm’s.
And having become a subject of Schumm’s highly selective citation, I can’t help but notice that Cameron often did the same thing. He was famous for picking out a small paragraph of other researchers’ work while ignoring that researcher’s primary findings in the hope that nobody would notice.
But I noticed with Cameron and I’m noticing it again with Schumm. And I’m not surprised. Back in 2007 when Cameron tried to launch an online “journal,” Schumm agreed to be part of Cameron’s editorial board. Cameron’s “journal” failed to get off the ground, but Schumm continues on. More recently he served as an “expert” witness alongside George “Rentboy” Rekers in Florida’s gay adoption trial. As far as I can tell, Schumm comes off appearing more “sciencey” than Cameron, but his methodology is exactly the same. And when you use the same methodology, you end up with the same result: junk science.
Stay tuned. I’ll have more later.
Paul Cameron’s experience with censorship
March 24th, 2010
Paul Cameron longs for the good ol’ days when homosexuality was taboo, outlawed, considered a mental illness, a cause for lobotomies or other bizarre experimentation, and unacceptable in polite society.
In a strange turn of events, Cameron’s Family Research Institute briefly got a chance to relive those days, but from the other side. In a move reminiscent of the 50’s, FRI’s March 2010 newsletter was deemed obscene by the US Post Office. (Colorado Springs Gazette)
On March 4, according to the complaint sent to the Postal Service by Cameron’s attorney, the newsletter was delivered to the bulk mailing office on Fountain Boulevard and was initially approved for bulk mailing.
The next day, however, Cameron’s group was informed by postal supervisor Paul Hill that it did not qualify for the nonprofit mailing rate because it violated the regulations against mailing material that was “obscene” and incited forcible resistance to the government, the complaint stated.
Hill later told the group’s representative that the initial decision had been reviewed and the newsletter would be accepted at a slightly higher pre-sorted rate, which Turner said is about 3 cents per piece more than the nonprofit rate.
Cameron does not appear to post his newsletter online in pdf or other whole form. However, the two pieces which we were able to review do not fit the definition of obscene. Offensive, untruthful, and brimming with contempt, but not obscene.
Although FRI is but a vehicle through with Cameron indulges his personal hatred, it is nonetheless a valid non-profit organization and does engage in “educational” activities. And while FRI is listed as a Hate Group by the SPLC (as is anyone who relies too much on Cameron’s claims), the direction of one’s opinion about homosexuality is not cause for denying non-profit status.
Finally the USPS finally did the right thing. After a review by the Postal Service headquarters, the USPS reversed the local decision and restored FRI’s non-profit billing rate.
Ironically, Cameron owes his freedom to mail objectionable materials about homosexuality in part to the “militant homosexual activists” which he so despises. A decision more than 50 years ago by the Supreme Court had cleared FRI from the USPS’ objections to materials about homosexuality.
Up until 1957 material that was depraved or corrupting of young mind was considered obscene. And obscene material was not protected under the First Amendment. But in that year, the SCOTUS changed the definition of obscene to be “whether to the average person, applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest.”
But the relevant application of this decision was the following year in One, Inc. v. Olesen, a gay rights case.
The Postmaster of Los Angeles had declared that the October 1954 issue of One Magazine, an advocacy, education, and general interest magazine for gays and lesbians, was obscene and thus banned from the postal service. The magazine lost in court in March 1956 and at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in February 1957.
But the Supreme Court didn’t even wait for oral testimony and on January 13, 1958, acting collectively, issued a one sentence reversal based on the previous year’s decision thereby determining that material about homosexuality was not necessarily obscene.
So Paul Cameron has a pre-Stonewall gay publication to thank for his postal discount. But somehow I suspect that his “thank you” card has been lost in the mail.
Uganda’s Official Media Centre Publishes Article Suggesting Anti-Homosexuality Act Not Needed
December 10th, 2009
(Correction: An earlier version of this report identified the Ugandan statement’s author as Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo. We regret the error.)
UPDATE: In a discouraging development, the Uganda Media Centre has taken down Katureebe’s op-ed. It’s Google cache is here.
Columnist Obed K. Katureebe wrote an opinion piece in which he suggests that the Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act may not be needed. While Katureebe does not hold a governmental position, the fact that this piece appears on the government’s official Media Centre web site might be significant. The Media Centre acts as a “centralized location where all official government correspondence and information can be easily accessed.” In an undated article published by the Media Centre, Katureebe writes:
Hon. (David) Bahati has a strong point. However, I personally think that there is no need to have a fresh legislation on such unnatural offences. What Hon. Bahati should have emphasized is to improve the penal code just to widen the definition already existing.
According to the Penal Code Act (cap 120), any person who permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment for life. There is no question about that homosexuality, long regarded as taboo (culturally and socially) in the highly-religious society of Uganda, has of recent been raising its head and profile in the field of public debate.
No longer content to remain in the closet, proponents of homosexuality and lesbianism are actively seeking to be heard. They are up against an uphill task as they are pitched not only against culture and religion but against public perception of morality.
What is required at this moment is to let all Ugandans be rational and put their views across before parliament moves to debate the contents of the bill. Calls by rights organisations that Uganda’s obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights would be undermined are uncalled for.
The bill was introduced in Uganda’s Parliament by MP David Bahati. While Bahati is a member of the ruling party, he introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Act as a private member’s bill, meaning that it was not a part of the official ruling government’s program. Observers suggested that this mechanism was used in order to provide maximum flexibility on the part of the government to respond according to reactions. That now appears to be happening. Bloomberg has already reported that Ugandan officials have moved to drop the death penalty from the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Act. This statement appears to lay the groundwork for dropping the legislation altogether:
However, the country should recognise the impressionable body politic and civil society groups in developed economies of the west. With their clever portrayal of the fight against homosexuality as a human rights abuse, the attachment of the adjectives like fascist to regime may lead to policy reviews.
Which is why I call on the government to avoid the bad press. Since homosexuality is already criminalised in Uganda, one wonder whether parliament is utilising its time optimally by focusing on homosexuality when the majority of our people are suffering from hunger, lack of access to water and disease and collapsing infrastructure.
Moreover, as pointed out by the gay lobbyists, same sex marriage is not a common social practice in Uganda therefore legislating against it is redundant and is likely to attack more attention to them. Perhaps parliament should be spending its time on real issues that impact on the lives of long-suffering Ugandans.
As a country, let us also engage other remedial institutions to try and counter this vice that is slowly but steadily coming into our lives. We ought to know that homosexuality community across the world is now 10% of the world population. Since we are part of the global community how feasible would it be to kill off 10% of the population.
But just as the statement becomes encouraging, it ends with this:
As research has shown homosexuality is not a mental illness symptomatic of arrested development or that gays desires are genetic or hormonal in origin and that there is no choice involved. Homosexual behavior is learned. According to research by Dr. Cameron, no scientific research has found provable biological or genetic differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals that were not caused by their behavior. Dr. Cameron is the chairman Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, USA.
That “researcher,” Paul Cameron, is the researcher who has been denounced and disbarred from the American Psychological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, and more recently, the Eastern Psychological Association for his unethical practices, including specifically his falsification and abuse of legitimate research. Cameron’s admiration for how the Nazis dealt with homosexuality suggests that he may have no problems should Uganda decide to “kill off 10% of the population.”
Uganda’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba Buturo has been a strong proponent for the Anti-Homosexuality Act, making him the highest governmental figure advocating directly for the bill. It is unclear whether the appearance of Katureebe’s article on an official Ugandan governmental web site marks a trial baloon, the opinions of a faction within the government, or an attempt to lower the temperature of the controversy surrounding the legislation.
Judge Jerry Buchmeyer (1933-2009)
September 21st, 2009
The Dallas Voice is reporting that Federal district court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer has passed away. Judge Buchmeyer declared Texas’ anti-sodomy law unconstitutional in 1982, writing, “Homosexuals are not ill or mentally diseased… Homosexuality is not communicable… There is simply no rational connection between the acts proscribed by [the law] and the claimed interests of morality, decency, health, welfare, safety and procreation.” Judge Buchmeyer’s ruling in Baker v. Wade was later overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Texas’s anti-sodomy law remained on the books until 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it in Lawrence v. Texas, a ruling that also swept away all other remaining anti-sodomy laws nationwide.
One of may notable points in Baker v. Wade is that Judge Buchmeyer had to deal with Paul Cameron, who was just starting out in his career as an “expert witness” on homosexuality. Let’s just say Judge Buchmeyer wasn’t impressed with Cameron’s professionalism. In his written opinion, Judge Buchmeyer condemned Cameron by name for having “himself made misrepresentations to this Court,” and called out two specific examples:
(i) his sworn statement that “homosexuals are approximately 43 times more apt to commit crimes than is the general population” is a total distortion of the Kinsey data upon which he relies–which, as is obvious to anyone who reads the report, concerns data from a non-representative sample of delinquent homosexuals (and Dr. Cameron compares this group to college and non-college heterosexuals);
(ii) his sworn statement that “homosexuals abuse children at a proportionately greater incident than do heterosexuals” is based upon the same distorted data–and, the Court notes, is directly contrary to other evidence presented at trial besides the testimony of Dr. Simon and Dr. Marmour. (553 F. Supp. 1121 at 1130 n.18.) n30
We have more details on those distortions here. Judge Buchmeyer’s smackdown stung Cameron, who is still complaining about it on his Family Research Institute web site nearly thirty years later.
Judge Buchmeyer was nominated by President Jimmy Carter as federal judge for the Northern District of Texas on August 3, 1979. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 4, and received his commission on October 5, 1979. He served as chief judge from 1995 until his retirement in 2002. According to Wikipedia, he was known around the courthouse as a Talking Heads fan, and after retirement he maintained a legal humor blog with the Texas Bar.
Paul Cameron Gets Punked In Bruno
July 5th, 2009
Okay, now I definitely have to see Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie, Bruno:
One didn’t even know he was in the film until The Post phoned.
Victim: Dr. Paul Cameron, chairman of the Family Research Institute, Colorado.
Scene: Bruno comes to him for advice on going straight.
“I did a German thing a year ago. Is that this? I wondered what had happened to that. I’m in this bloody film? Well, I’ll be jiggered. I guess you never can believe when people are in distress.
“I had to go to Kansas City. I was told that this chap was a homosexual in Germany, had a popular TV program in Germany, was perhaps suicidal and wanted to [become straight]. And I was supposed to see if I could help him in some way.
His producer was telling people what to do. He’d say, ‘Here’s the setting. This will be your office. He’ll come in, give him the kinds of advice that will be useful for him.’ It took about two and a half, three hours. To put it mildly, a few of his questions seemed strange. When he tried to sit by me and he wanted to give me a b – – w job, that kind of stuff pushed it.
If it’s a gag, it was pretty well staged. I’ll be another laughing stock. Oh, well.”
It won’t be the first time.
[Hat tip: Warren Throckmorton]
Anti-Gay Extremists Cite Gay Pedophile As Typical Of All Gays
June 30th, 2009
Anti-gay extremists are all over this news item from Durham, North Carolina:
A Duke University official has been charged in federal court with offering his 5-year-old adopted son up for sex. Frank Lombard, associate director of the Center for Health Policy, was arrested Wednesday in Raleigh, the FBI said.
An unidentified informant who already faces child porn charges in a different child sex case pointed investigators to Lombard, according to court documents. The informant told investigators he had met Lombard on the Internet four years ago. The informant described in graphic detail how he allegedly observed Lombard molesting an African-American child on four occasions over an Internet video chat service called ICUii.
…During the chats, according to the affidavit, “FL” [Frank Lombard’s screen name] told undercover investigators that he had himself molested his child, whom he adopted as an infant, and that he had allowed others to molest his child. “FL” stated that “the abuse of the child was easier when the child was too young to talk or know what was happening, but that he had drugged the child with Benadryl during molestation.”
Predictably, anti-gay extremists are already using this horrific crime as “proof” that all gay people are unfit to be parents. They’ll tell you that this is how virtually all gay men behave. LifeSite is already eating it up, as are Dakota Voice’s Bob Ellis and Town Hall’s Mike Adams.
We’ve seen them equate homosexuality with pedophilia by tagging the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act with the libelous “Pedophile Protection Act” moniker. Adams piled onto that them by following his first post up with another one noting that Lombard was Facebook Fan with Rev. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop of the Anglican Church. The Right Rev. Robinson has 3,668 other fans, but that didn’t deter Adams from asking, “Is this arrest thwarting an effort by Lombard to promote tolerance of pedophilia in the Episcopal Church?”
This episode even gave discredited anti-gay “researcher” Paul Cameron the chance to come out of the woodwork to claim that this sad episode “demonstrates why gays should not be able to adopt.”
Kiliann Melloy has a great rundown on anti-gay reactions to Lombard’s arrest at EDGE Boston, including a blog which claims to be a “grassroots network of the Republican Party of Virginia.” And she reviews the contention by Paul Cameron and another so-called “researcher,” Dr. Judith Reisman, that gay men are more likely to molest children. (Reisman’s Ph.D. is in Communications, but as Melloy notes, that doesn’t stop her from writing about the physiological effects of pornography on the brain without the aid of any research.)
The lesson we ought to learn from Lombard’s arrest is that being a horrible, abusive parent is an equal-opportunity crime. Gay individuals are no more immune from engaging in criminal conduct with five-year-olds than straight people. Like this heterosexual couple from Indiana, just to name one tragic example.
But it’s gay men in particular which get the blame for molesting children. Anti-gay activists will claim that gay men are guilty of this horrible crime in numbers far exceeding their proportion in the overall population. The problem with that assertion though is that there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim. That’s not to say that there are no gay predators. But there is no evidence to suggest that gay men are more likely to molest children than straight men, which is the fear-mongering message that extremists return to again and again.
The real tragedy in this case is that a very young boy has been horribly abused. The crime that anti-gay extremists engage in by slandering all gay people with this episode is, without a doubt, the much lesser crime. But it is a crime nevertheless, and it’s one they will have to answer for someday. Just like this Lombard bastard.