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Posts for August, 2014

Support for Marriage Equality Accelerates

Jim Burroway

August 15th, 2014

America’s growing support for marriage equality is rapidly accelerating, with support in the latest McClatchy-Marist poll now at 54-38 percent. It’s 75-19 for those aged eighteen through twenty-nine, and solid majorities support marriage equality in all age groups up to age sixty. And even for those above sixty, opposition has now fallen to the fifty percent mark. What’s driving this huge shift from just a few years ago?

By 71-27 percent, American adults say they know someone who’s gay. That’s a dramatic change from a generation ago, when a 1999 Pew poll found that Americans said by 60-39 percent that they didn’t know anyone who was gay. … The personal experience makes a big difference. Those who know someone who’s gay support same-sex marriage by 61-31 percent. Those who say they don’t know anyone who’s gay oppose same-sex marriage by 57-36 percent.

One would think this news would be demoralizing for the National Organization for Marriage and other marriage equality opponents. These results also show the kind of dilemma the Republican Party will be facing the next several years:

There are still opponents. Republicans oppose same-sex marriage by better than 2-1. Tea party supporters oppose it by nearly 3-1.

…And while there’s been vocal opposition, the poll found that virtually any movement in public opinion has been in favor of same-sex marriage. Twelve percent of adults have switched from opposition to support; just 1 percent changed from support to opposition.

Another Turning Point: Older Americans See Gay Relationships As “Morally Acceptable”

Jim Burroway

June 5th, 2013

The Gallup organization released a poll on Monday revealing that for the first time, more than half of Americans aged 55 and over now see gay relationships as morally acceptable. From 2012 to 2013, support in that age group jumped from 46% to 51%. In that same period, support among those aged 18 to 34 leaped from 65% to 74%, providing further evidence that gay people are simply a non-issue among the younger generations.

Puzzling, though, is that middle group, those aged between 35-54. Their support peaked in 2010 at 59%, and it has drifted downward to the mid-fifties since then. Gallup doesn’t give individual margins of error for each of the groups, and they don’t say what the sample sizes are. They just give an overall samples size of 1,535 for a margin of error of ±3 percentage points. Margins of error for each of the individual groupings would be higher (perhaps as high as the ±5 range), which may mean that the 35-54 group has remained essentially unchanged over the last four years.

Similarly, it’s also conceivable that the jump in support in the older group could be a statistical fluke. I wouldn’t be alarmed if next year’s showing fell a point or two. Even so, the data continues display a very consistent trend over the past ten years.

The Era of Civil Unions Is Coming To An End

Jim Burroway

May 17th, 2013

Click to enlarge.

Remember when Civil Unions were the viable alternative to marriage equality? Robert Jones and Daniel Cox of the Public Religion Research Institute explain that those days are quickly drawing to a close:

The changing political composition of civil union supporters shows that the center of gravity of this debate has shifted significantly. The civil union option has moved from being a middle way dominated by political moderates a decade ago to one that is, today, most attractive to political conservatives. And looking ahead, there is evidence that the civil union option may have a limited future, at least if younger Americans are any indication. When given a three-way choice, civil unions are the least popular option among Millennials (Americans born after 1980). Only slightly more than 1-in-10 (13%) Millennials prefer civil unions, while 67% say they support allowing gay and lesbian people to marry, and 15% oppose any legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.

Nate Silver Examines Growing Support for Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

March 27th, 2013

On Tuesday, Nate Silver examined national and state-level polling data on the growing support for marriage equality, and while he’s not yet ready to announce that a majority of Americans support marriage equality — there is still a lot of variation in the polls — he does say that supporters now outnumber opponents nationally:

What’s clearer is the long-term trend. The chart below documents national polls on same-sex marriage since 1996, as according to PollingReport.com. (It excludes polls that offer a three-way choice between same-sex marriage, civil unions, and no legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples, focusing on those that require a binary choice.) The polls are accompanied by a trendline determined through Loess regression to reflect the change in public opinion over time.

Click to enlarge.

In the past, we have sometimes considered the possibility that support for same-sex marriage is increasing at a faster rate than before. The data seems to suggest, however, that the increase in support has been reasonably steady since about 2004.

Silver notes however that the linear increase in support since 2004 nationally does not necessarily mean that support has been increasing steadily in all fifty states:

In 2011, I published a model projecting ballot initiative results for same-sex marriage based on two scenarios: one which assumed a linear increase in support, and the other which assumed an accelerating trend.

In general, the more conservative linear model was closer to the mark in forecasting the 2012 results. It predicted that 48.8 percent of voters would vote in support of same-sex marriage on average among the five states, fairly close to the actual figure of 50.1 percent. By contrast, the accelerated model predicted that 53.6 percent would vote to support same-sex marriage in these states.

…However, the predictions were not especially accurate when looking at individual states. Both versions of the model underestimated same-sex marriage support in Maryland and Minnesota, while both versions overestimated it in Maine, North Carolina and Washington.

But what about future predictions in the states? After all, that’s why we read Nate Silver, isn’t it? Well, here it is. Silver predicts that by 2016, voters in 32 states would approve same-sex marriage legislation, and by 2020, voters in 44 states would do so — including even Texas and Oklahoma. Readers in Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey, Delaware, take heart: there’s no good reason for you guys not having marriage equality soon. Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi: it’s gonna be a while.

Yet Another Poll Shows Young Evangelicals’ Increased Support for Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

September 9th, 2011

The Washington Post points to a poll from the Public Religion Research Institute released in late August that found a huge generation gap between young Evangelical Christians and seniors in support for same-sex marriage. PPRI found that there is at least a 20-point gap between Millennials (age 18 to 29) overall regardless of religious affiliation and seniors (age 65 and older) on every public policy position concerning LGBT people. The survey found that 62% of Millennials favor allowing same-sex marriage, 69% are okay with gay couples adopting children, 71% favor civil unions and 79% favor employment anti-discrimination measures. Sixty-nine percent of Millennials overall believe that religious groups are alienating young people by being anti-gay.

The gap persists among Evangelicals as well. Forty-four percent of white Evangelical Millennials favor marriage equality, as opposed to 12% of Evangelical seniors.

Taking religion out of the equation, the same poll also found that 49% of Republican Millennials also favor marriage equality, in contrast to 19% of Republican seniors and 31% of Republicans overall.

The same poll also found that 52% of self-identified Catholics favor allowing gay people to marry, and an identical proportion believe that gay relationships are not a sin. What’s more, 46% of Catholics think the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality is too conservative, 43% think it’s about right, and only 6% think it is too liberal. Among Catholics who attend Mass weekly, 37% overall think the church is too conservative on gay issues while 54% say it is about right. This poll also confirms earlier findings that there is a significant ethnic division among Catholics on this issue, with 55% of Hispanic Catholics believing the church is too conservative on homosexuality, compared to 43% of white non-Hispanic Catholics holding the same view.

The poll’s margins of error: ±2% for the general sample, 3.7% for white Evangelicals, 3.9% for Catholics, 8.3% for Latino Catholics, 4.5% for Millennials, 3.8% for seniors, and 3.5% for Republicans. No margin of error was given for white Evangelicals Millennials or for white Evangelical seniors.

Bipartisan Pollsters Find Rapid Increase In Support for Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

July 29th, 2011

Over the past year or so, we have had several polls showing increased support for marriage equality. While we know the trend has been in our favor for quite some time, it’s been hard to take some of these polls seriously. Many of us remember all too well the polls showing Prop 8 going down in defeat, only to wake up on the day following election day to see the equal rights of millions of Californians stripped from them.

Today, Freedom to Marry had announced that two leading pollsters, one Republican and the other Democrat, have reviewed the polling data over the past fifteen years and have seen a very notable shift in support over the past two years specifically. According to their study (PDF: 136KB/4 pages), that increased support in the past two years has been across the board, including among older Americans and Republicans.

This isn’t a new poll, but rather an analysis of other polls which have already been published, including Gallup, Quinnipiac University, Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), CNN/Opinion Research Corp (CNN/ORC), ABC News/Washington Post, and Pew Research Center.

This study confirms what Rob Tisinai noticed a few weeks ago by looking at the ABC/WaPo poll alone. Rob noticed that “For the most part, older people are more supportive of marriage equality in 2011 than younger people were in 2005.” And that increase in support among older Americans cannot be explained by older people dying off alone. His analysis is worth revisiting here. The authors of the Freedom To Marry study agree:

Ultimately, things are changing very quickly because support levels are up in all age and party categories. This allows one to conclude that many adults are rethinking their position, and it is taking place at all age levels and among all partisans, including older Americans and Republicans. Attitudes are changing at a slower pace among older adults and conservatives, but they’re changing.

More encouragingly, they notice that “the intensity of opinion is changing at a rapid pace. As of today, supporters of marriage for gay couples feel as strongly about the issue as opponents do, something that was not the case in the recent past.”

US Adults Think 25% of Americans Are Gay

Jim Burroway

May 31st, 2011

I really don’t know what to make of this:

U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52%) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35% who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15%.

How one views the percentage of gay Americans appears to have mixed results when it comes to equality. Those who support marriage equality peg the percentage of gay people at 25.1% versus 24.1% for those who don’t. But those who believe gay and lesbian relationships should be criminalized peg the percentage at 26.2% versus 23.8 for those who don’t. With a 4% margin of error, both results are a statistical tie, but the results on criminalization might be worth further investigation.

Researcher Questions Intense Focus on LGBT Youth Suicide: Is it Time for a More Holistic Approach to Supporting LGBT Youth?

Jason Cianciotto

October 22nd, 2010

On October 21st, Ritch Savin-Williams, professor of developmental psychology at Cornell University, was interviewed by NPR’s Robert Siegel about LGBT youth suicide and the significant attention the issue has received over the past several weeks. In the interview, Savin-Williams claims there is no “epidemic” of LGBT teen suicide and that attention to the issue may be stigmatizing the majority of LGBT youth who are, in fact, just as happy and healthy as their straight peers.

SIEGEL And what, if anything, is harmful about all this attention?

Prof. WILLIAMS: For me, first off, scientifically it’s not true. That is that, as a developmental psychologist, when we look at the wide population of youth who identify as gay or who have same-sex attractions, it appears to me when I look at the data that they’re actually just as healthy, and just as resilient, and just as positive about their life as are straight youth.

So from a scientific perspective, there is certainly no gay suicide epidemic. But the more problematic aspect for me is that I worry a great deal about the image that we are giving gay-identified youth.

Savin-Williams is a noted researcher and published author. He isn’t a right-wing hack with an anti-gay agenda hiding behind a faux academic mask.

Rather, much of his work has focused on the experiences of LGBT youth, the resilience factors present in their lives that enable them to thrive in anti-LGBT climates, and the new ways LGBT youth are assimilating and expressing their identities, often without adopting the labels used by established LGBT culture. (For more, see his book The New Gay Teenager).

When asked in the interview about the differences between reported research confirming that LGBT Youth are significantly more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers and his own conclusions, Savin-Willams claims that those results may be skewed by lack of representative samples:

…As we get a more representative sample of youth who identify as gay, who have sane-sex attraction, what we discovered is that difference begins to narrow considerably. So, do we emphasize this kind of difference, group difference, or do we begin to say, well actually it’s not quite as bad as we have portrayed it to be , or at least as how the medical sciences, the mental health providers and research, and the public policy people have said.

While many academics are just as quick to point out limitations of research on LGBT people  – an issue often discussed here on BTB – Savin-Williams seems to stand nearly alone in his conclusions that life for LGBT teenagers is not that bad. He admits that it is possible to “cherry pick” studies that support either conclusion about LGBT youth, but for him it is more about the strategy and message employed by those working to support and protect them.

Do we solely focus on the cohort of LGBT youth struggling the most? Or, should we broaden our attention to the larger proportion of LGBT youth who are healthy, well-adjusted, and not suicidal?

In the interview, Savin-Willams concludes:

Most gay youth – how many gay youth? I would say 90 percent – are actually doing quite well. They are not depressed, They are not anxious. They are not attempting suicide. They are really quite ordinary adolescents.

On the surface it may seem like this interview is fodder for anti-gay leaders’ efforts to discredit research on LGBT populations and absolve themselves of responsibility for the affect the homophobic society they create has on young people.

However, Savin-Williams is simply trying to get us to look at the “other side” of the data often cited when we are confronted by tragic incidents of LGBT youth suicide.

For example, in 2007 the American Journal of Public Health published the results of a study of over 14,000 youth ages 18 to 26 who participated in the federal National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Nearly 5 percent of youth who identified as LGB in the study reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6 percent of non-LGB youth. In other words, LGB youth were over three times more likely to attempt suicide – certainly cause for alarm.

However, approximately 95 percent of the LGB youth in the study did not report that they attempted suicide.

This is not merely a matter of semantics. There is a critical need to examine the lives of the overwhelming majority of LGB youth who are not suicidal. The goal is not to be critical of the focus on youth in despair. Rather, a better understanding of the factors and circumstances that support resilience and health in the lives of LGB youth will help us further support and decrease the prevalence of suicide for those most in need.

Still, I personally struggle with trying to balance focus on the lives of LGBT youth when confronted with the seemingly never-ending, heart-breaking stories about those who have completed suicide.

More than 15 studies have consistently shown that gay and lesbian youth attempt suicide at higher rates than their heterosexual peers (see: Kitts, R. L. (2005, Fall). Gay adolescents and suicide: Understanding the association. Adolescence, 40(159), 621-629.) Clearly LGBT youth suicide is widespread, even if “epidemic” is not the appropriate word to describe it.

To further explore this struggle, I took a closer look at  Savin-Williams earlier research, in which he hypothesizes that LGB youth who participate in studies through their connection to programs at LGBT community centers or who are willing to identify as LGB on a government survey may be at higher risk for suicide than the population of LGB youth as a whole.

Additionally, he points out that many of the surveys used to asses suicide risk do not ask questions that differentiate between reported and more serious suicide attempts, such as those that are life-threatening and require medical attention.

In support of his assertions, in 2001 Savin-Williams published the results of a study of 226 youth ages 17 to 25 recruited at introductory human development and sexuality college courses, which though small may have provided a more representative sample than participants recruited at LGBT community centers and youth programs.

While he did find that the LGB men and women in his study were more likely to report past suicide attempts, the magnitude of difference decreased when only “true” and “life-threatening” attempts were considered. For example, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual women reported the same incidence of life threatening attempts (3 percent).

However, gay or bisexual men were still significantly more likely to report a life-threatening attempt (6 percent) than heterosexual men (0 percent).

In 2005, a study of 528 LGB youth in the New York City metro area incorporated some of the critiques of Savin-Williams and other researchers concerned about the impact of research design. While nearly 33 percent of the LGB youth in that study reported a past suicide attempt, less than half (15 percent) reported “serious” attempts, about half of which required medical attention. (See D’Augelli, A. R., et. al.  .(2005, December). Predicting suicide attempts of lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35(6), 646-661).

The researchers compared these findings to comparable epidemiological data from New York City, which showed that approximately 11 percent of high school students reported planning suicide. They concluded that, when making a reasonable assumption that many of the attempts reported in these epidemiological data were not serious, LGB youth still attempt suicide at higher rates than heterosexual youth, even if only attempts that are serious and life-threatening are considered.

What should we conclude based on this analysis and should our approach to the needs of LGBT youth change based on Savin-Williams’ critique?

First, there is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence that LGB (and T, though there is a need for more quantitative research) youth attempt suicide at higher rates than their heterosexual peers. Yes, the magnitude of that difference may decrease when more representative samples are studied and when only attempts that are “serious” or “life-threatening” are considered. However, we should continue to focus attention and resources on creating socio-political pressure and demanding appropriate policy change that addresses this threat to the health and well-being of America’s youth.

Second, the goal of reducing the incidence of LGBT youth suicide would be even better served by researchers and activists focusing as well on the resilience factors that enable the majority of LGBT youth to be healthy and well-adjusted despite the anti-gay climate perpetrated by conservative religious political leaders and organizations. Caitlin Ryan’s research on family rejection is an excellent example of how we can identify critical factors that affect the health and well-being of LGBT youth and direct public policy and public education efforts accordingly.

Finally, in addition to focusing resources on creating long-term and large-scale social change, we need to concurrently support the growing number of programs and interventions that make it better for LGBT youth today. From Gay-Straight Alliances and other programs at schools that create community for LGBT youth to innovative efforts like the It Gets Better Project that connect youth to the millions of adults, gay and straight, who support them and have survived despite their own struggles, there are considerable opportunities to provide hope to youth who are struggling and continued support to those who are thriving.

We must never forget the youth whose lives were taken far too soon – their stories inspire us to work even harder. Concurrently, a more holistic approach to understanding the lives of LGBT youth will only enhance our efforts to support and protect them.

Beware: Journalists Reporting on Science

Rob Tisinai

September 23rd, 2010

You’ll be hearing our opponents trumpet a new article from the UK Guardian. The headline reads:

1.5% of Britons say they are gay or bisexual, ONS survey finds

The article messes things up pretty fast. Here’s the second paragraph:

The findings, based on interviews with more than 450,000 people – the biggest pool of social data after the census – show that an estimated 481,000 people regard themselves as gay and a further 245,000 – mainly women – say they are bisexual.

And here’s the third:

The estimate puts Britain’s gay community at 1.5% of the total population – much lower than the most commonly used estimate of 5% to 7%, which was cited by ministers introducing civil partnership legislation and implied a non-heterosexual population of 3.5 million.

See the problem? The article assumes the percentage who say they are LGBT equals the percentage who are LGBT. Is that reasonable? No. One obvious objection is that some people (especially the elderly) aren’t willing to tell a stranger they’re gay. But the article is even sloppier than that. Here’s a snapshot of the data:

Category Percentage
Straight 94.8
Gay/Lesbian/Bi 1.5
Other 0.5
Don’t know/refused to answer 2.8
No response 0.5

 
You see that? The study failed to identify the orientation of 3.8% of the population. There’s only one way to conclude, “The estimate puts Britain’s gay community at 1.5% of the total population,” and that’s to assume none of these people are gay, lesbian, or bi.

Is that reasonable? Given the way straight people flaunt their sexual orientation, and given the continued existence of the closet, it makes sense to wonder if a good chunk of that 3.8% is gay, lesbian, or bi (not to mention transgender).

Unfortunately, based on my experience with the right wing echo chamber, our opponents will repeat the 1.5% figure over and over until they’ve forgotten where it comes from. But that makes sense. Sloppy numbers are the best defense of sloppy thinking.

Slim Majority of Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage

Jim Burroway

September 20th, 2010

A new AP-GfK poll (PDF: 176KB/24 pages) shows that perhaps a very slim majority of Americans (52%-46%) believe that “the Federal Government (should) give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the same sex.” I score that as being a potentially slim majority because the poll’s margin of error is +/-4.5%. We’ve seen similar polls before, only to see those slim majorities vanish at the voting booths, so take this finding for what it’s worth.

Further, Americans agree (58%-38%) that “couples of the same sex (should) be entitled to the same government benefits as married couples of the opposite sex.”

Other interesting findings: A majority (56%-41%) agree that “Judges should interpret laws broadly, taking into account the broader interests of the nation,” instead of a more narrow interpretation of the law. Also, a significant majority (62%-35%) agree that “The rights of everyone should be protected, even when that means saying no to something the majority of people want to happen.” Both of these have important implications for the Prop 8 ruling in California.

And one last finding worth noting: Only 41% of Americans are confident in “Independent or citizen media, such as online blogs.” Of the 18 institutions Americans were asked to rank spanning governemnt, media, the military, religion and banks (yes, banks!), bloggers came in dead last.

Update: Timothy already covered this poll last Friday, drawing a similarly skeptical conclusion as I did on the first question. Unfortunately, this was a long weekend for me and I forgot he already covered it. No wonder Americans look askance at bloggers.

The Trend Toward Acceptance

Jim Burroway

August 12th, 2010

Prompted by yesterday’s CNN Poll, Nate Silver looked at public polls since 1988, and believes we are experiencing an accelerated trend toward broad acceptance of same-sex marriage:

One caveat is that LOESS regression tends to be fairly sensitive on the endpoints, and so yesterday’s CNN survey, which showed the pro-gay marriage position leading 50.5-48.5, makes a fair amount of difference. But even if we ignored that survey, support for gay marriage would instead be in the range of 45-46 percent (and opposition between 51-52 percent): that would reflect acceleration in the rate of support for gay marriage, about a 4-point gain over the past 16 months, faster than the long-term rate of increase, which has been between 1 and 1.5 points per year.

The More They Get To Know Us…

Jim Burroway

May 25th, 2010

…the better these numbers look:

According to a recent Gallup poll, the percentage of Americans who believe that gays and lesbians are “morally acceptable” is at an all-time high. At 52% viewing gay people favorably against 43% disproving,  this is the first time that a clear majority of Americans see gays as good since this polling began in 2001. And in even better news, this year marks the first time in which that spread blew the doors off the ±4% margin of error.

LA Times Poll: Californians support marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

April 6th, 2010

A new LA Times/USC poll has findings similar to last month’s PPIC poll:

Q.46 Do you think that same-sex couples should be allowed to become legally married in the state of
California?

Yes, strongly ………………………………………………………………40
Yes, not so strongly …………………………………………………..12
No, not so strongly……………………………………………………….8
No, strongly………………………………………………………………..32
(Don’t know)…………………………………………………………………6
(Refuse) ……………………………………………………………………….2

Total Yes……………………………………………………………………..52
Total No ……………………………………………………………………..40

The poll claims a margin or error of about 2.6%, but in looking at the demographics, I’m not sure that this poll is exactly representative.

Bogus “American College of Pediatricians” distributes deliberately fraudulent anti-gay propaganda to schools

Timothy Kincaid

April 5th, 2010

In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics, an association of 60,000 pediatricians, voted to adopt a position in support of gay parents. Six pediatricians who opposed this policy on religious grounds rallied like-minded friends and, on October 19th, about 15 people founded the American College of Pediatricians. It would be accurate to describe this organization as a vehicle through which a small minority of anti-gay doctors advocate in opposition to gay rights, abortion rights, and euthanasia.

According to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, at the end of March, the ACP sent out a letter to school superintendents. They don’t say how many schools received the letter, but even one is too many.

Despite the name, ACP is not a institute of higher learning. Nor is it a professional organization for pediatricians. This is an advocacy group dedicated to political goals which is using an authoritative sounding name to fool the unaware.

Yes, their officers and their board are all pediatricians (usually older gentlemen in the South), but their “Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee” reads like a members roster of the virulently anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).

The connections don’t stop at the committee level. One ACP board member, Quentin Van Meter, was a featured speaker at the 2009 NARTH Convention. And Michelle Cretella, a real nasty piece of work, sits on both boards. She is also listed as the “chair of the Sexuality Committee, American College of Pediatricians”.

With connections this deep to an organization whose primary function is to generate anti-gay propaganda masquerading as scientific research, it should not be too surprising that the American College of Pediatrics uses the same tactics. Their letter to the schools is rife with lies, misrepresentations, distortions and outright fraud. In fact, there is little there that has any distant relationship to truth.

The letter – and the website it directs the reader – makes a number of claims. And the ACP has adopted Paul Cameron’s tactic of lengthy footnotes. But, as with Cameron, the supporting documents do not support the claims. Let’s take a look at the first three.

Homosexuality is not a genetically-determined, unchangeable trait.

Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Genome Project, has stated that while homosexuality may be genetically influenced, it is “… not hardwired by DNA, and (that) whatever genes are involved represent predispositions, not predetermination[s].” He also states that “…the prominent role of individual free will choices have a profound effect on us.”

Well that’s not the first time that Byrd has twisted Collins’ work to support his own agenda. And Collins has refuted this misinterpretation. Twice.

The evidence we have at present strongly supports the proposition that there are hereditary factors in male homosexuality — the observation that an identical twin of a male homosexual has approximately a 20% likelihood of also being gay points to this conclusion, since that is 10 times the population incidence. But the fact that the answer is not 100% also suggests that other factors besides DNA must be involved. That certainly doesn’t imply, however, that those other undefined factors are inherently alterable.

Misquoting once is perhaps an error in judgment. Repeating the process after you have been refuted is fraud.

Next:

Homosexual attraction is determined by a combination of familial, environmental, social and biological influences. Inheritance of predisposing personality traits may play a role for some. Consequently, homosexual attraction is changeable.

Consequently? Oh please dear God don’t let our nation have school superintendents so stupid that they don’t immediately burst out laughing.

First, while we know that genetics plays a role for at least some gay men (there’s less study performed on women), we do not know whether the other contributing factors include family, environment (in utero, social, chemical, or other), or social. Interestingly, other than a book by a NARTH member, all other footnoted sources were support for the role that genetics plays.

But as for “changeable”, the evidence suggests quite the opposite. And to find that orientation has a number of contributing factors does not “consequently” support that claim.

This is simply bait and switch deception.

Third,

Most students (over 85%) with same-sex attractions will ultimately adopt a heterosexual orientation if not otherwise encouraged. Most questioning students are experiencing temporary sexual confusion or are involved in experimentation.

Rigorous studies demonstrate that most adolescents who initially experience same-sex attraction, or are sexually confused, no longer experience such attractions by age 25. In one study, as many as 26% of 12-year-olds reported being uncertain of their sexual orientation, yet only 2-3% of adults actually identify themselves as homosexual. Therefore, the majority of sexually-questioning youth ultimately adopt a heterosexual identity.

Impressive, right?

Except that the source they use for the “26% of 12-year-olds” doesn’t quite say what they pretend.

From the article:

The percentage of students who were “unsure” about orientation steadily declined with age from 25.9% in 12-year-old persons to 5% in 18-year-old students.

But what does this “uncertainty” mean? Are these same-sex attracted kids?

The percentage of students reporting predominantly homosexual attractions steadily increased with age, while the proportion with bisexual or predominantly heterosexual attractions decreased.

In fact, only 2.2% of 12-year-olds reported predominantly homosexual attractions.

These kids were not “sexually-questioning youth”. And they were not “students with same-sex attractions”. Rather, these 12-year-olds were not yet “sure” about their sexual orientation. Frankly, they probably weren’t exactly sure what it all meant. But they did figure it out over time.

And were they “involved in experimentation”? Not according to this study.

Overall, 1% of respondents reported some homosexual experience; and 52%, some heterosexual experience… For males, but not females, the prevalence of reported homosexual experiences increased with age, from 0.4% at 12 years to a peak of 2.8% at 18.”

Everything that ACP claimed is refuted by going to the source they credit. This isn’t a “perspective” or a “way of reading the data”. This is a lie.

They go on with the usual litany of lies. You know, that homosexuality is a dangerous lifestyle wrought with physical and mental illness caused by sexual abuse. But therapy has proven to be effective in curing homosexuality (and behavior is a choice anyway) so you shouldn’t allow support groups on campus (they aren’t good for kids). It’s pretty evil stuff.

No school should rely on this bogus organization for truth. They have none to offer.

But what they have done goes beyond opinion. It goes beyond faith or values or religion. This was a deliberate attempt to deceive. It twisted the work of legitimate researchers and sought to establish positions in educational institutions that are the opposite of what their research found to be best for the kids. If school superintendents rely on this information, it could harm the lives of children.

The board of directors of this organization are licensed medical doctors. They are pediatricians. It is unconscionable what they have done.

Majority of Californians support marriage equality

Timothy Kincaid

March 25th, 2010

CA marriage graph
For the first time, the PPIC Statewide Survey reports that a majority of Californians support same-sex marriage. 2,002 Californians were surveyed and there is a +/- 2% margin of error.

Participants were asked

“do you favor or oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married?”

50% favor
45% oppose
5% I don’t know

Various demographics supported marriage equality:

64% Democrats
55% Independents
28% Republicans
55% whites
43% Latinos

This polling suggests a 6% increase in support within the past year, which is quite significant. The survey does not report what contributed to this change in thinking and it is difficult to identify what may have happened since last March that could have led to the change.

However, if I were to guess, I think it is possible that there were two counter-acting public responses to the anti-8 rallies, marches, and protests. It may be that these public demonstrations caused some voters to realize for the first time that the gay community was upset and angry about being denied equality and caused them to consider that anti-gay votes are discriminatory. There may also have been some backlash from some voters who felt that the gay community was behaving lawlessly.

Over the past year the public image of angry marches may have diminished and those upset by it may have become calmer, while the concept of inequality and unfairness raised by the marches may have germinated and resulted in increased support, yielding a net increase. This is, of course, only speculation.

Additionally, the PPIC confirmed that Californians strongly favor allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the military. A total of 75% (and a majority in every demographic) agreed.

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