For a while there, it seemed like the religious right group Family Research Council (FRC) was making some attempt to clean its website of bogus “research” that defamed gays. Material that peddled a series of falsehoods — in particular, the articles “Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,” “The Negative Health Effects of Homosexuality,” and “Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk” — went missing from the website. These studies contained several lies, the most important being that gays molest children at far higher rates than heterosexuals; that same-sex parents harm children; and that gays don’t live nearly as long as heterosexuals.
In 2009, FRC claimed the material had been taken down because the sources used for the articles were, in FRC’s words, “outdated.” But thanks to the dogged efforts of blogger Alvin McEwen, we now know that that defamatory material has found its way back onto FRC’s website. Not only that: Where the reports used to have a disclaimer that marked them as outdated, they no longer do.
This year, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) began listing FRC as a hate group, based precisely on the kinds of material that McEwen points out. Rather than defend the material, the FRC launched a propaganda offensive, saying the SPLC was “maligning” individuals rather than discussing the issues. But, in fact, FRC chief Tony Perkins went on MSNBC in a debate with the SPLC’s Mark Potok and promptly insisted that gays were dangerous to children — a real maligning of individuals, and one that had been proven false years before. Perkins even cited a tiny group of anti-gay pediatricians as his source, making it sound as if their group were actually the nation’s pediatric professional organization. It was not.
The FRC’s reposted material is completely baseless and taken straight from some of the country’s most notorious gay-bashers. Take, for example, “Homosexual Parenting: Placing Children at Risk.” McEwen points out that the piece cites the work of “researcher” Paul Cameron “to make the case that same-sex household are not simply bad places to raise children, but actually places them in danger (by making them susceptible to incest) — an assertion refuted by more credible researchers and medical bodies.” The piece is back up on the FRC site with no disclaimer.
Cameron is an infamous anti-gay propagandist whose one-man statistical chop shop, the Family Research Institute, churns out hate literature masquerading as legitimate science. His work has been rejected by both the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association. With these repostings, it seems clear that the FRC’s anti-gay propaganda offensive against the LGBT community won’t be letting up any time soon — and that the FRC would in fact rather malign individuals than have an honest debate on the issues.