Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cameron Crazies

Talk about a gaffe. The San Francisco Chronicle quoted anti-gay extremist Paul Cameron as a bona fide intellectual source--without even identifying who he really is. I cited referencing Cameron as one of my reasons for doubting the credibility of an academic anti-gay marriage article, and even though S.F. Chronicle shouldn't be held to the same standards as the University of Illinois Law Review, giving accurate background on Cameron shouldn't be that hard. Here's the quote from the article:
Focus on the Family's objection to same-sex parents is grounded in interpretation of biblical scripture and research by Paul Cameron, director of the Family Research Institute in Colorado. Cameron says gays and lesbians are unfit parents, are more likely to molest children of their same sex, switch partners frequently, have shorter life expectancies and cause their children embarrassment and social difficulties.

Sounds innocuous enough, no? But Cameron is not only discredited in the science community, he's a hateful bigot too.
He told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that "extermination of homosexuals" might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government.

He was kicked out of the American Psychological Association, and his institute is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. There is really no redeeming factor to this guy.

The thing is, this is actually an important story. That a major Christian group like Focus on the Family is basing its claims about homosexuality on a man analogized by the SPLC to Nazis (and they would know--they spend most of their time tracking neo-nazi groups in the US) is something people should know. This is a data point that should be entering our discussions.

Since this is San Francisco,, hopefully there will be a reader response that might provoke a clarification. But, nonetheless, teaching moment: Focus on the Family and other major Christian organizations are deeply invested in using pseudo-scientific research to buttress their anti-gay agenda. In doing so, they align themselves with folks like Dr. Cameron, who believes homosexuals should be "exterminated." You can tell a lot about people from their friends.

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