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A discredited anti-gay researcher by the name of Paul Cameron held a press conference recently in which he said according to his "research, gays are pedophiles who also engage bestiality

The sad thing about this is not what Cameron claims, but the fact that many lgbts – and heterosexuals for that matter – don’t know who he is.

Cameron is a sad fool, a pathetic old man who has been kicked out of or censured by several medical groups over the years, including the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association, for the blatantly hideous methodologies he uses to smear the lgbt community.  Among other things, Cameron claims that:

    - Lesbians are more likely to die in car wrecks,
    - Gay men molest children at a high rate and are more likely to be serial killers,
    - Gay men stuff gerbils up their rectums,
    - Gays and lesbians in the military are more likely to rape their heterosexual counterparts

In short, Cameron is a laughing stock, a clown, a person so oblivious to his obvious failings that he continues to flail away.

But he is so much more. He is a reminder of something. You see, as religious right groups combat the growing popularity of marriage equality by portraying themselves as bullied organizations merely standing on their faith, they don’t want you to know about Cameron.

It wasn’t that long ago when these religious right groups, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for American, the American Family Association, et. al., openly and freely cited his work in spite of his many professional rebukes.

However, as Cameron’s reputation for distortion became more widely known, these groups either disassociated themselves from him, cited him through a second source (which some still do), or cherry-picked legitimate research to prove crackpot theories which originated with him (such as the lie that gay men molest children at a high level or the false accusation that gay men have a shorter lifespan than heterosexuals).

None of these groups ever apologized for using Cameron’s lies to smear the lgbt community nor even acknowledged that for a time, he was a main component in their war on the lgbt community.

And for the most part, they were able to get away with it because neither the lgbt community nor our leadership pressed the issue.

So Cameron is a symbol in another way. He is representative of the failure of the lgbt community to take the offensive in the fight for our equality.

While we laugh at this doddering old man, we forget that his work is still being cited as fact by people as insignificant as commentators on Facebook to very significant as Republican leaders (i.e. Michigan Republican leader Dave Agema).

Yet, other than a few bloggers such as myself, there has never been a major offensive to connect him to the religious right groups or take them to task for citing his bad work in defense of their “morals.”

The defense of morality should never include lies. And those who are lied on should not allow it to happen without challenge. But the lgbt community has allowed this to happen by underestimating just how willing religious right groups are to deceive. Meanwhile because of our carelessness and inattention, they have built up a firewall of anti-gay theories backed by lies, distortions, and cherry-picked science. The vast majority of these theories originated from Cameron.

So will there be some serious part on behalf of the lgbt community to knock down this firewall? It can be easily knocked down because it’s so flimsy. Lies generally are.

Or are we going to continue to do what we have done, which is attack the media for allowing anti-gay spokespeople like Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, or Peter Sprigg to repeat these lies without challenge.

Forget blaming the media. Our community is powerful enough to handle this. We are powerful enough to take on these lies before they are used against us. And we especially powerful in knocking them down.

But are we ever going to take the initiative?

There is nothing wrong with us relying on intelligence and progressive ideas to achieve equality. But the religious right deceptions are something which cannot be ignored. There is nothing wrong with addressing them head on.

When dealing with folks not afraid to lie, good old fashioned and straightforward truth-telling never hurts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hook him up to a lie detector (0+ / 0-)

    and ask him how much gay sex he's had.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 06:28:43 PM PDT

  •  I don't know that you are correct in saying that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy, Scioto

    LGBT activists haven't roundly worked to discredit Cameron.

    There are lots of good sites out there that, not only roundly criticize Cameron but other junk science and misrepresentations of science.

    The Box Turtle is one. Gregory Herek's website and blog is another. Herek hasn't updated his blog in quote sometime but his blog is still an invaluable source of LGBT social science research.

    I think the reason that Cameron flies under the radar is that his junk science is old news. He's been discredited and marginalized from the scientific community for so long that most people don't think to waste time on him.

    I am however reccing your diary. Not because I agree with your criticism of LGBT activists but because any time anyone wants to demonstrate the fallacies behind the anti-gay movement and its terrible use of junk science or manipulation of the science, the better.

    •  You forgot one blog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dogs are fuzzy

      How could you forget the incredibly awesome, monumentally legendary blog Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters which has done more than its share to expose Cameron. It's run by an intelligent young man who strangely looks EXACTLY like me.

      Seriously though, my point is that other than those blogs,very few have worked to expose Cameron. You don't hear about him in gay publications such as The Advocate and such.

      Also, these blogs have come out recently in the years. Cameron has been doing his mess since the 1980s. The religious right right was citing him back then and even now in some cases. They get away with it because other than those blogs, no one in the lgbt community, especially not the lgbt media or the the larger lgbt activists groups, have ever conducted a huge campaign in calling out their distortions.

      I'm talking something mega and mainstream.

    •  The problem is that activists are treating it (0+ / 0-)

      as old news and (incorrectly) assuming that everyone knows about it. The information is certainly there, but pretty much only afficionados are aware of it. And thus we fall into the standard trap of progressive activism: we try to pretend that we're teachers and the people we're trying to persuade are our students.

      That's a trap because a teacher expects his/her students to work. But you can't persuade people by giving them homework assignments. A teacher can expect his/her students to do research on where these gay-bashing memes are coming from, and eventually find Cameron. But most members of the general population (and even the GLBT community) simply don't have to motivation (in fact, probably not the time) to do so.

      So we have to do a lot of things that most teachers would find inimical. We have to hand knowledge to our audience on a silver platter, and we have to grab our audience's interest. That doesn't mean we have to "dumb down" what we know; it just means that even if we proudly call ourselves nerds, most people don't, and we have to realize that nerdiness represents not only high intelligence but a certain degree of obsession with a subject.

      Simply put, we have to communicate with an audience who doesn't care as intensely about our issues as we do. What we cannot do is assume that that lack of intense interest represents opposition, or even apathy. Our ideas are, after all, fairly popular when we go to the trouble of promoting them. But most people aren't going to seek them out on their own, no matter how much we wish they would.

      Writing in all lower-case letters should be a capital offense

      by ebohlman on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 08:41:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would that really be what "take initiative" means? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner

    If I say you're sacrificing purple elephants to Satan in your garage, and you call me a liar, what's the effect on anyone listening?

    They're now thinking about Satanic sacrifices in your garage.

    If, on the other hand, you'd blown past me and shown a TV ad of you fixing neighbor kids's bicycles for free in your garage, you'd have won.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 10:46:40 PM PDT

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