Title: Don't let Family First fool you! Credit: Craig Young Comment Wednesday 29th April 2009 - 12:56pm1240966560 Article: 7377 Rights
Nobody's favourite local Christian Right pressure group Family First has reiterated erroneous antigay claims against same-sex parenting, sourced from the UK Christian Institute. The Christian Institute is one of the hardcore UK Christian Right opponents of LGBT rights, but it has a record of total failure in the context of such opposition. It opposed the repeal of Clause 28 of the Local Government Act and took the Blair administration to court, and lost, in 2000. It was censured by the Charities Commission over its publication of Homosexuality and Young People (2001). In 2004, it sought to add sibling nonsexual cohabitation to the Civil Partnerships Act, and failed again, leading to questions about its charitable status in the House of Lords. In 2007, it unsuccessfully sought judicial review of anti-discrimination sexual orientation regulations in Northern Ireland. In 2008, it upheld the case of Lillian Ladele, a fundamentalist registrar in Islington who refused to officiate over civil partnerships. In December 2008, she lost her case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Now, the Christian Institute (and Family First) are at it again, arguing that Scotland's devolved legislature 'ignored' alleged research related to children of same-sex couples and bullying. Excuse me, isn't this the same Christian Institute which tried to beat up a university conference on strategies to deal with schoolyard antigay bullying? Yes. Anyway, and predictably, the Christian Institute is repeating the same old mendacities about inclusive adoption reform and same-sex parenting. So, what is it saying? Predictably too, it is at odds with benchmark literature reviews like the work of Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz, who published their findings in the American Sociological Review in April 2001. Stacey has been a professional witness for same-sex marriage cases in Canada and the United States, where she has testified about the benefits of same-sex parenting. As for the Christian Institute's Patricia Morgan, her earlier Children as Trophies? (2001) cited the work of Paul Cameron, himself repeatedly censured and expelled from social science professional associations over the risible flaws in his methodology and absence of professional ethics. Morgan has raised illusory 'concerns' about the 'risks' of same-sex parenting, arguing that 'children will be emotionally damaged,' although Stacey and Biblarz' survey showed that there were no negative results on children's educational achievements or employment status as a result of same-sex parenting. In fact, lesbian parents scored well on spousal and parent-child interpersonal communication. The Christian Institute claims that 'same-sex relationships are shorter than straight ones.' It does not cite evidence to substantiate this. It also doesn't cite what its research sources are for its 'study' that shows bad outcomes for educational outcome and later employment. Stacey and Biblarz do, within their article biography. "Gender confusion" is not rife amongst daughters of lesbian mothers, unless one is so perverse as to argue for young women's interest in non-traditional employment options as such. Finally, the Christian Institute claims that progay research methodology is skewed. Again, Judith Stacey has argued that in this context, the Christian Right tries to transpose the inapplicable rules of one form of social scientific research method to another, demonstrating their ignorance and opportunism. Finally, the Christian Institute cites findings from heterosexual cohabitation as if it were applicable to same-sex relationships and parenting. It's sad, it's sorry, and while the Christian Institute may be born again, it should remember that the rest of us weren't born yesterday. Not Recommended: "Hushed Report on Gay Adoption Puts Kids at Risk of Bullying" Christian Institute: 21.04.09: -at-risk-of-bullying/ Family First: Strongly Recommended: Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz "Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?" American Sociological Review: 58:2: April 2001: 158-183. Craig Young - 29th April 2009    
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