At Americablog, Becca Morn documents the ways in which the American religious right is aiding and abetting the spread of anti-gay attitudes around the world. The strategy is one with which American activists are familiar – create and publish a scientifically questionable study, but market it as scientifically valid (or just distort legitimate research), spread it far and wide and sit back and wait.
In this case, it is the debunked Regnerus study which reportedly demonstrated gays and lesbians were bad parents. The study is massively flawed:
The “study” was conceived and designed deliberately to produce predetermined (anti-gay and trans) results and conclusions.
An example of the “study’s” bias: A parent was classified as gay or lesbian if they had just one same-sex encounter or relationship, no matter how brief, at any point from their child’s birth until age 18. One same-sex encounter in your lifetime and you’re gay.
In fact, most of the supposedly gay and families in his study were the result of failed heterosexual marriages. Only two of the families, both lesbian headed, were long-term relationships.
And none of the gay and lesbian families were stable two-parent households raising a child together from birth. Not one. In other words, the study as to how children fare with gay parents didn’t include any children actually raised full-time with gay parents. A slight omission, one might think.
IOW, the Regnerus study demonstrated that stable households with two parents are better than unstable and single parent households.
However, the Regnerus study has been disseminated in nations such as Russia.
Why does this ridiculous and completely discredited study matter? Because it is the reason why in country after country — in Russia, in France, and throughout Africa — the notion that “gays are bad for children” is raised as the sole, or at least primary, reason for the anti-gay activist protests and for the new spate of anti-gay legislation.
It’s not just Russia or France. American anti-gay and religouis right activist Scott Lively is facing trial for crimes against humanity for his participation in crafting and supportingUganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill:
The suit alleges that Lively’s involvement in anti-gay efforts in Uganda, including his active participation in a conspiracy to strip away fundamental rights from LGBT persons constitutes persecution. This is the first known Alien Tort Statute (ATS) case seeking accountability for persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Here’s how Towleroad sums up Lively’s career:
We and other gay blogs have reported on evangelical pastor of Abiding Truth Ministries Scott Lively many times, from him claiming that the rainbow flag was a sign of the end times to hiring child molesters to run his coffee shop. What The Pink Swastika author is most notorious for though is inciting anti-gay hatred in Uganda and aiding in the passing of their “Kill the Gays” bill, a law that is so broadly worded that just touching someone can be enough to be in violation of the law, and heterosexual citizens could receive the death penalty for failing to turn in gay people they know.
(Lively’s book The Pink Swastika makes the historically inaccurate claim that gays were behind Hitler’s rise to power and the subsequent world war and the Holocaust. To put it mildly, it ranks up there with The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a piece of fakery.)
There’s been a lot of legal back and forth, including claims that Lively could not be sued under the law, which were rejected last week:
Today, in a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law. The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Lively’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Lively is easily the most noxious of America’s anti-gay activists – a bilious, ignorant, venomous crackpot selling hate and bigotry to anyone and everyone who will listen. But he’s not alone, as we see with the spread of the debunked Regnerus study.
In recent years, more and more decent people have been rejecting anti-gay attitudes and behaviors. Some of this is a function of more and more glbt persons living their lives openly and honestly and of straight persons seeing the ordinariness of gay lives. Some of it is a result of people being fundamentally decent. The fiercest straight allies I personally know are women in 70s and 80s, some of whom have gay children or grandchildren, but many of them are simply decent, moral people who embrace basic values of equality for all persons.
Harvey Fierstein was on Chris Hayes’ show last week and said:
“The gay community, in our history, has been attacked in every way you can attack a group. There is nothing that the human race has thought up to tear down other peopel that hasn’t been used on us.”
The religious right can dress up their hatred in pseudo-scientific language, they can pretend they’re simply advocating for “traditional” families but at the end of the day, everything they’re doing is about demeaning, attacking and dehumanizing glbt persons. Whether they’re doing it here in the US with the media savvy and sound bite ready Tony Perkins or with the completely crazy Scott Lively, the foul Maggie Gallagher or in the from of reasonable sounding op-eds claiming “What is conspicuously absent from the “civil rights” argument for gay marriage is an appreciation for the rights of children” or that question whether or not gay rights is even a civil rights issue it’s really all part and parcel of the same old time bigotry. And it’s an old bigotry fewer and fewer Americans share.