National Institutes of Health Director condemns anti-gay pediatrician group

Timothy Kincaid

April 16th, 2010

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is perhaps best known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project. He is also known for being a scientist that has written about his Christian faith and serves on the scientific academy of the Catholic Church. Collins is a man of intellect and integrity and is consequently an immensely respected man.

And it was this integrity and respect that the bogus anti-gay group American College of Pediatricians sought to coopt in the letter to school principals they issued a few weeks ago. They thought this would impress the reader:

Dr. Francis Collins, former 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 predeterminations.” He also states [that] “…the prominent role[s] of individual free will choices [has] a profound effect on us.”

But the ACP has now learned that with increased impressiveness comes increased risk. The more prominent the person you seek to misrepresent, the more prominent their rebuke.

Dr. Collins has now issued the following on the NIH Director’s Page:

Statement from NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in Response to the American College of Pediatricians

April 15, 2010

“It is disturbing for me to see special interest groups distort my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality. The American College of Pediatricians pulled language out of context from a book I wrote in 2006 to support an ideology that can cause unnecessary anguish and encourage prejudice. The information they present is misleading and incorrect, and it is particularly troubling that they are distributing it in a way that will confuse school children and their parents.”

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Well, I guess it doesn’t get any clearer than that.

a. mcewen

April 16th, 2010

Let’s start a list of condemnations. So far, I’ve got three – counting this one

Bubba C

April 16th, 2010

Alvin, I am sure your list is going to get a lot longer, but do you really think it will matter to these bigots.
They have all of the same scientific reports you do, they don’t care, they will find a way to hate.


April 16th, 2010

Nice catch — but they’re “principals” when they run schools.


April 17th, 2010

Also “coop” probably isn’t the verb that was intended (unless the ACP wanted to confine Francis Collins’s integrity and respect in a small space), more likely “co-opt”. Not to mention the faulty parallelism in the second sentence or the relentless initial conjunctions, but grammatical excellence is not why we read Timothy Kinkaid’s work, is it?


April 17th, 2010

Distorting other Christians’ words is what some Christians do best. I’ve seen the creationist author Ray Comfort bring Dr. Francis Collins’ name into his own works as well. He conveniently omits the fact that Dr. Collins is not a 6,000-year-old-earth kind of guy.

Ben in Oakland

April 17th, 2010

“He conveniently omits the fact that Dr. Collins is not a 6,000-year-old-earth kind of guy.”

But he is someone who calls the gospels “near eye-witness” reports.

Nevertheless, I appreicate Dr. collins’s willingness to stand up and be counted.


April 17th, 2010

Collins’ rebuke should be sent out to every school district in the country. There will be many who hear the first message and not the response, unfortunately.


April 18th, 2010

so why was it misrepresented? Sometimes you don’t have to like what you’ve discovered. Maybe Collins simply doesn’t like the fact that his work reflects exactly what the College of Pediatricians extracted ‘out of context’?


April 19th, 2010

The sole purpose of the this small group of pediatricians is to foster anti-gay sentiment under the veil of authority.


April 19th, 2010

Alvin, I am sure your list is going to get a lot longer, but do you really think it will matter to these bigots.
They have all of the same scientific reports you do, they don’t care, they will find a way to hate.


April 19th, 2010

I’m a retired teacher who taught for 33 years in a public school in GA. If the American College of Pediatricians sent this to the schools in the system from which I retired, it would not receive one ounce of scrutiny because most of the administrators, teachers, BOE members, and the community is composed of small-minded individuals driven by religion. It’s a shame that places like these still exist, and I think they do because there is a strong thread of authoritarianism that runs through them. In places like these you either comply, or you are ostracized. I am glad that I only worked in the town and did not live there.


April 20th, 2010

Copied this part from the Box Turtle Bulletin article at the green link in the article above (“letter to school pricipals”). The link goes to:

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).

* Dean Byrd – past president of NARTH and influential in Evergreen, the Mormon ex-gay group

* Joe Nicolosi – the founder of NARTH and current board member

* George Rekers – NARTH board member, Christian reconstructionist, and closely associated with Paul Cameron. Rekers once recommended banning Native Americans from being able to adopt.

* Arthur Goldberg – founder of Jewish ex-gay group, JONAH. Goldberg was recently removed from NARTH’s board when he was exposed as a con-man with a felony record.

* Rick Fitzgibbons – member of NARTH’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the Catholic Medical Association.

* Trayce Hansen – an inexperienced psychologist who has written anti-gay opinion pieces and testified (disastrously) on the side of an ex-lesbian who was trying to deny her ex-partner access to their children.

* John Raney – The only information we have on Raney is that he was part of the Editorial/Review board for Paul Cameron’s self-promoting (single issue) Empirical Journal of Same-Sex Sexual Behavior.

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.


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