Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, earlier this week opened his big mouth and verified the Southern Poverty Law Center's charges of anti-gay hate against his organization.
On his show, Washington Watch, he played host to Dave Agema, the Michigan Republican leader catching flack for posting discredited information about the lgbt community on his Facebook page. To call it a vile conversation would be a supreme understatement. The vindictive, yet condescending tone towards the gay community from these two would take about three or four blog posts to fully explore.
Amongst other things, Agema compared being gay to alcoholism and wished that he could supply high schools with the information he put on his Facebook page. But for my money, a significant portion of the interview came when Perkins said:
I’m joined by Dave Agema; he is the Republican National Committeeman from the state of Michigan. We’re talking about a post that he put on his Facebook page citing facts, statistics regarding the homosexual lifestyle during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage. What is troubling to me is that your post has been called a form of hate but simply what you are doing is having a conversation presenting the truth. These are documented facts. I looked at what you put up there and some of it is the same information we have on our website, some of it comes from the CDC, comes from other medical sources, it’s all footnoted, there’s nothing hate in here it is just talking about the facts.
Let's take a look at some the statistics that Agema placed on his Facebook page - statistics both he and Perkins said are "facts" and statistics that Agema want children, including our lgbt children, to know:
50% of suicides can be attributed to homosexuals.
About 50% of the women on death row are lesbians.
There is a notable homosexual group, consisting of thousands of members, known as the North American Man and Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). This is a child molesting homosexual group whose cry is "SEX BEFORE 8 BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE." This group can be seen marching in most major homosexual parades across the United States.
Many homosexuals admit that they are pedophiles: "The love between men and boys is at the foundation of homosexuality."
Homosexuals live unhealthy lifestyles, and have historically accounted for the bulk of syphilis, gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, the "gay bowel syndrome" (which attacks the intestinal tract), tuberculosis and cytomegalovirus.
Homosexuals are 100 times more likely to be murdered (usually by another homosexual) than the average person, 25 times more likely to commit suicide, and 19 times more likely to die in a traffic accident.
Perkins said that these claim are accurate, as well as fact checked. But that's a lie. One source listed as a citation on the post Agema cited, Paul Cameron
, is a discredited researcher who has been either censured or dismissed
from several medical associations for his bad research methodologies and outrageously homophobic claims, including the claim that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums
And another source of Agema's post, Edward R. Fields, has been recently revealed to be a white supremacist and a Holocaust denier.
Perkins also said that some of the information comes from the Centers for Disease Control. While he is accurate about that, he is still being highly deceptive. Dr. Judith Kovach, director of the Michigan Project for Informed Public Policy, recently told a Michigan newspaper that while the CDC does say that the gay community has more general health problems, it is not because of the orientation (which Perkins and Agema implies) but because of the stress which comes from having to deal with homophobia and discrimination:
"A member of any group that experiences discrimination, stigma and oppression is going to react to that stress with higher degrees of anxiety, depression and hopelessness. But there's absolutely no evidence that if you control for stress that there are any higher frequencies of mental health disorders."
The same article
points out that the CDC clearly says homophobia and discrimination - and NOT the lgbt orientation - can contribute to mental and physical health problems.
So why is Perkins' statement, intended no doubt to give Agema some type of credibility, significant? Because he has unintentionally proven the Southern Poverty Law Center correct.
In late 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated FRC and several other religious right organizations as hate groups because of the information they spread about the lgbt community:
Even as some well-known anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family moderate their views, a hard core of smaller groups, most of them religiously motivated, have continued to pump out demonizing propaganda aimed at homosexualsand other sexual minorities. These groups’ influence reaches far beyond what their size would suggest, because the“facts” they disseminate about homosexuality are often amplified by certain politicians, other groups and even news organizations.
Since this happened, FRC and Perkins have consistently claimed that SPLC targeted them simply because they are a Christian group which opposes homosexuality and marriage equality.
But now, because of Perkins' need to vouch for incredibly bad anti-gay statistics by claiming that some of those same statistics are on FRC's webpage, that talking point has perhaps been revealed as a careful dodge.
After all, what Christian group do you know vouches for statistics partly created by a discredited researcher who thinks that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums and a white Supremacist who denies that the Holocaust happened?
Two years ago, I wrote a post entitled 16 reasons why the Family Research Council is a hate group.
Thank you, Mr. Perkins for giving me reason number 17.