Title: Marriage equality: Traditional vileness Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 4th September 2012 - 3:49pm1346730540 Article: 12231 Rights
Wholly predictably, the New Zealand Christian Right is already using faulty and erroneous US Christian Right propaganda when it comes to opposition to marriage equality. At present, there are two principal items. Bear in mind that opponents of marriage equality probably realise that they can't reuse earlier fundamentalist books against marriage equality from the Civil Union Bill debate because we're already quite familiar with them. Therefore, they've reprinted material from Robert George, a conservative Catholic Princeton University legal scholar and advocate of conservative Catholic "natural law theory." George argues that marriage equality will somehow 'infringe' what he calls 'religious liberty." There's just one problem with the piece in question- it goes well beyond advocating the abrogation of actual and meaningful religious freedom and freedom from religion when it comes to divergent religious views about homosexuality and marriage equality. Indeed, Professor George wants far more than that- according to his article, he appears to be advocating for widespread religious exemptions to antidiscrimination laws when it comes to employment, accommodation and provision of goods and services. While the United States doesn't have a federal antidiscrimination Employment Non-Discrimination Act still, New Zealand has had our own Human Rights Act 1993 for the last nineteen years and it has no such wide-ranging religious exemptions except when it comes to core religious practises like ordination and doctrinal practises. This raises questions about whether militant fundamentalists want to attack our right to live free from discrimination as well as marriage equality. I doubt whether most mainstream New Zealanders would agree with them. And then there's the Family Research Council's "Problems With Same-Sex Marriage." Before I begin criticism of this mendacious piece of propaganda, I want to state that I abhor and unequivocally condemn the actions of the lone gunman who attacked the FRC's Washington offices. Please, let us counter their propaganda with reasoned, civil and factual responses. "Problems With Same-Sex Marriage" was released as a DVD in May 2012, although it is also available on YouTube. Now, it is the core premise of propaganda that it tries to distort and embellish specific events and information, and also resort to presentation of deliberate deceit as 'fact.' Thus, it is no surprise to witness two Massachusetts fundamentalist parents claim that the father of this family was 'unjustly imprisoned'. Uh, no. After a school appointment with state school teachers, he was asked to then leave school premises, which he did not do and was consequently arrested for trespass. Moreover, in the case of another fundamentalist Massachusetts couple that opposed diversity education at primary school, it does raise further troubling questions about whether or not militant fundamentalists want to attack our existing rights to service provision equality under antidiscrimination law as well as marriage equality. That couple took their case against family diversity education to the state courts and then the US Supreme Court and failed at all levels. In another piece of deliberate distortion, Brian Camenker of the antigay Mass Resistance group brandishes a "Little Black Book," arguing that it is intended for primary school students. In fact, it is a safe sex education resource for older gay male adolescents, above the age of consent, not primary school students. It is unconnected with marriage equality concerns. Then there's the infamous Paul Cameron, fabricator and incompetent "social scientist", expelled from the American Psychological Association, American Sociological Association and Nebraska Psychological Association for his distortion and appallingly flawed "research" methodologies. Cameron is the source of unsubstantiated claims that "large numbers" of children of same-sex parents turn out lesbians or gay men. Appallingly, he goes un-credited in this piece- perhaps because we'd be sure to point out his lack of legitimate research credentials? Inexplicably, then there's the 'exgay' section. Given that Manurewa's "Exodus Ministries" is the sole such organisation left in New Zealand, why does the Christian Right think that is going to be a convincing case here? And, as Wayne Besen's Truth Wins Out website tells us, the American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Counselling Association, American Medical Association, US National Association of Social Workers and American Academy of Pediatrics all reject so-called "reparative therapy" as a legitimate psychotherapeutic tool. I must also note Mark Regnerus' seriously compromised study at the University of Texas, funded by the antigay Witherspoon Institute and Bradley Foundation, and abused by the National Organisation for Marriage and Family Research Council. Moreover, one of the Institute's Directors, Robert George, is an outspoken conservative Catholic and opponent of marriage equality, as one can see from above. Although the University of Texas has not acted to censure Regnerus after a complaint from an investigative journalist, the American Sociological Association is poised to act, while several professional organisations have filed an amicus curiae in one recent case slamming the shoddy 'research' methodology that Regnerus used. There was a tiny and unrepresentative sample of labelled (as opposed to self-perceived) "lesbian and gay parents" who had broken up with their straight partners, while the control group was biased in the direction of straight parents in stable relationships. These organisations are the American Psychological Association; the California Psychological Association; the American Psychiatric Association; the National Association of Social Workers; and its California Chapter; the American Medical Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the American Psychoanalytic Association (see the link below). I have a sinking feeling that the above aren't all the derivative and erroneous US Christian Right propaganda that their craven New Zealand satellite movement will use, but the above is what is currently in circulation, however weak and pitiful it is. Not Recommended: Problems With Same-Sex Marriage (US Family Research Council, May 2012): Robert George: "Marriage, Religious Liberty and the Grand Bargain" Family First: July 27, 2012: Recommended: Pam's House Blend: Truth Wins Out: Lez Get Real: "American Sociological Association may move against study soon" Lez Get Real: 31.08.2012: AMA et al Criticism of the Regnerus Study: Craig Young - 4th September 2012    
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