Thursday, February 15, 2007

Anti-Gay Groups -- the Names of the Players......

A large number of organizations exist in the US, all of which have in common the desire to roll back the progress that gay Americans have made over the course of the past two or three decades. Many of these organizations have existed for years and have chapters across the nation; others were formed in response to specific legislative victories and gains made by the gay community in specific locales at specific times. It is interesting to note the manner in which these organizations have employed careful choice of wording in formulating their titles, both (in the opinion of the writer) to hide the full extent and degree of malevolence and outright hatred that they harbor towards members of the gay community, and to make themselves readily identifiable to similarly-minded individuals and organizations that share the same anti-gay agenda.
The word "family," when it appears in the name of an organization dedicated to the pursuit of social change, is almost always a dead giveaway. In the guise of "protecting the family," many of these organizations advocate the recriminalization and remedicalization of homosexuality, and attack gay men and lesbians using some of the ugliest lies and evil propaganda imaginable. The purpose of much of the rhetoric espoused and disseminated by these organizations is to convince Americans that it is not possible for gay men and lesbians to coexist with "traditional" families in a multicultural, pluralistic society such as that found in any medium-to-large US city. In fact, it is the writer's contention that these groups pose a clear and present danger to the very concept of democracy itself, and that the beliefs espoused by these groups are actually incompatible with democracy as this term is known and understood by the majority of political scientists and sociologists.
When sociologists and politicians use the word "democracy," they usually refer to a society in which the will of the majority is inscribed into law, with certain protections created to ensure that the will of the majority will not harm, destroy, or impair certain fundamental rights enjoyed by all members of that society, including members of minorities. In the US, the rights of minorities are chiefly protected by the courts; both the state and federal judiciaries have the power of judicial review, and can strike down not only the manner in which state action is implemented, but also the substance of state action itself. Here in the US, this has been the status quo since the US Supreme Court handed down the decision named Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803). In this watershed decision (which is bitterly resented by social conservatives precisely because it prevents them from imposing their anti-gay agenda on US society), the Court enunciated what is considered to be one of the bulwarks of the American democratic system; the judiciary has the power to interpret the law, and in cases where the law conflicts with provisions of the US Constitution, federal judges have both the power and the duty to declare such legislation to be unconstitutional and hence unenforceable. (State court judges also possess the power to adjudicate the constitutionality of state statutes, and to strike down state statutes that conflict with state constitutional provisions; when a state supreme court strikes down a state statute on state constitutional grounds, that decision is immune to review by the US Supreme Court; this is one of the premises that undergirds our system of judicial federalism. State courts are not limited to the adjudication of state constitutional issues; state courts are fully entitled to adjudicate federal constitutional issues too. However, when a state supreme court adjudicates a federal constitutional issue, its decision is reviewable by the US Supreme Court, which is the final arbiter of federal law and US Constitutional interpretation. (In those cases where a state supreme court relies upon both state and US constitutional analysis to arrive at a judgment, the US Supreme Court is limited in its inquiry to a review of the state court's adjudication of the US constitutional issues involved; if the judgment would still be carried by the state court's interpretation of state law and the state constitution in question following the US Supreme Court's rejection and reversal of the US constitutional analysis -- i.e. if there exist "independent state constitutional grounds" to support and compel the judgment -- then the US Supreme Court cannot reverse the judgment. State constitutions are frequently more generous with respect to the protections that they grant citizens from the state than is the US Constitution, either by their actual terms or as construed by state supreme courts; for example, many state constitutions specifically make reference to and recognize a right to privacy that is much more generous than the right to privacy recognized in the US Supreme Court's privacy jurisprudence.))
Bearing the above in mind, we turn to the most visible and energetic of the anti-gay groups, a few of which are listed below:

American Family Association (
Family Research Institute (
Family Research Council (
Focus on the Family (
Colorado for Family Values
Alliance Defense Fund (
Concerned Women for America (

Of these organizations, the first two (AFA and FRI) publish what are considered by many people, including the writer, to be the most gratuitously vicious and filthy lies imaginable. The AFA hides behind this benign name to oppose such common-sense measures as adding sexual orientation to the list of characteristics (e.g. race, national origin) that may not be taken into consideration in making decisions pertaining to employment, housing, access to places of public accommodation, and the extension of credit. Few Americans realize that, at present, the Civil Rights Act of 1963 (as amended during the 1990s) does not include sexual orientation as a protected class. About 15 states have crafted state statutes prohibiting such discrimination statewide, leading to situations in which a gay person may be protected from irrational and cruel decisions to dismiss or demote him or her depending on the state in which that person is employed. Some of the ugliest and most malevolent lies are published by the AFA, which has also mounted a long-running boycott against Ford Motor Company due to the fact that Ford has tailored several of its commercials to target a gay consumer base, and due to the fact that Ford has sponsored several gay events. As more and more employers grant domestic partner benefits to the spouses of their gay employees, so the AFA becomes more and more vociferous in its attacks on corporate America. The AFA regularly endorses slanderous "studies" that purport to show that pedophiles tend to be gay (thereby conflating pedophilia and male homosexuality, which are in fact two entirely different issues). Pedophiles prey upon and sexually abuse children, and the majority of pedophiles self-report as being married heterosexual men. Homosexuality, on the other hand, was dropped from the list of mental disorders recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, following a unanimous vote by the Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association (the American Psychological Association also dropped homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in 1973). Gay men and lesbians do not prey on children; by definition, they are individuals who are sexually and romantically attracted to members of the same sex.

The Family Research Institute (FRI) is as debased and as immoral in its attacks on the gay community as is the AFA, if not more so. Prominent among its staff is an ex-psychologist who was stripped of his license to practice psychology in the only state where he had such a license (Nebraska) following the filing of serious allegations against him -- specifically, allegations that he had knowingly distorted the research of his colleagues in an effort to show that gay men tended, disproportionately, to be child molesters (when, in fact, the research that he distorted led to exactly the opposite conclusion). In addition to losing his license to practice psychology, Cameron was expelled from the American Psychological Association (APA). The bylaws of the APA make it absolutely clear that any member of the APA who resigns during the course of being investigated for ethics violations is expelled from the APA -- regardless of what that member may state to the contrary. This is exactly what happened in Cameron's case.

Cameron likes to brag about the work he has had published in a journal named "Psychological Reports." However, "Psychological Reports" is what is referred to as a vanity journal -- individuals who wish to have their work published in this journal pay by the page for such publication. This is most certainly not the manner in which genuine, peer-reviewed journals such as, for example, the "New England Journal of Medicine" publish the results of research. It is an honor to be published in a real, peer-reviewed journal, and the person whose work is published in such a journal does not pay by the page for his or her work to be printed! Contrary to Cameron's outrageous "findings" to the effect that most child molesters are gay men, Dr. Carole D. Jenney (a specialist who works with abused children in Denver, CO) published a paper showing that the overwhelming majority of child molesters self-identify as heterosexual men.

Not to be outdone, Cameron went on to claim that he was a sociologist. The American Sociological Association took the unusual step of releasing an announcement to the media, stating that Cameron was not a sociologist and that he was certainly not a member of the American Sociological Association.

During the mid-1980s, Cameron was verbally thrashed by Federal District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, who accused Cameron of deliberately trying to mislead the Court in a trial involving the constitutionality of the Texas sodomy statute (which is, of course, now dead following the US Supreme Court's recent decision in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)). Buchmeyer accused Cameron of attempting to "perpetrate a fraud" against the Court.

The above are merely a few of the anti-gay hate groups that gay Americans have to deal with in order to make social and legal progress in the US. The Family Research Council is another group that disseminates lies and misinformation in its attempt to discredit and to defame the gay community. Now that the Democrats have both chambers of Congress under their control, it is quite possible that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) may finally stand a chance of passage. This Act would prohibit employers nationwide from making hiring, firing, or promotion decisions based on the sexual orientation of employees. Those who claim that this legislation would grant gay Americans "special rights" fail to take into consideration the fact that this statute would apply to everybody -- not just to heterosexuals. The writer has patronized gay bars in Chelsea, NY where the bartenders have been heterosexual, and nobody has objected to this. The ability, competence, and willingness of the bartenders to do their jobs in a friendly and efficient manner have been the only criteria that have mattered to patrons, and the bartenders in question doubtless learned -- simply through exposure to gay people -- something about the humanity of their clientele. In order to survive equal protection challenges, non-discrimination laws are written to identify a characteristic possessed by everybody and to make it illegal to make adverse decisions on the basis of that characteristic -- in this case, sexual orientation (not homosexuality). Thus, heterosexuals are also protected from discrimination at the hands of gay men and lesbians. Everybody has a sexual orientation.

The FRC contends that the addition of sexual orientation to federal hate crimes statutes would in some way constitute "thought policing" of the people. Yet federal hate crimes statutes already permit for penalty enhancements in cases where attacks against people are motivated on the basis of race or national origin. The FRC does not explain how the addition of sexual orientation to federal hate crimes statutes would constitute "thought policing" of the people. Once again, all people are protected from violence by such statutes, which specify that the commission of hate crimes motivated by the race of the victim result in heavier punishment than common assaults. Once again, these laws cut both ways -- they apply to white and non-white offenders alike.

The above is merely a brief list of some of the more prominent anti-gay hate organizations in existence here in the USA. There are, of course, other organizations with vicious and pernicious objectives. This will be discussed in subsequent additions to this blog.


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