Saturday, May 19, 2012
Paul Cameron Admits Gay Attraction...And Why We Should Care
Hello everyone...Earlier this week it was announced that, while being interviewed on the David Pakman radio show, discredited anti-gay researcher Paul Cameron admitted on air to having same-sex attractions from the age of three. For those of you who are not familiar with Cameron or his work, Cameron was a psychologist and sex researcher who built his career by bogus "studies" and research papers vilifying the gay community. In order to create credibility for his assertions, Cameron would often distort and sometimes outright bastardize the work of other credible scientists. This ultimately led to him being expelled from the American Psychological Association and roundly condemned and discredited by the medical and psycholigical communities. However,...not letting a pesky thing like facts stop them...promininent anti-gay orgs continue to use Camerons works to bolster there own viewpoints and to pad their arguments with his false statistics. This mans works are the source documents for groups who right this minute seek to eliminate any protections the gay community might attain.
Therefor...it was with to my chagrin that his anouncement on the Pakman Show didn't garner more attention. I saw it as a big dam hairy deal. We need to be shouting it out as loudly as we did George Allen Rekkers. If your not familiar with Paul Cameron, you should be and I will tell you why...(Video Below the fold)
A short list of the groups that have used Camerons works to make their own anti-gay cases includes a list of names assembled by Box Turtle Bulletin...some of whom you may recognize right away, but what all have in common is the fact that they primary role is to move public opinion away from affirming the worth, dignity, and humanity of the gay community and recharacterize us as dangerous, shadowy, and a threat. Just a very few of the most popular are:
*The Family Research Council... who's figurehead, Tony Perkins is on CNN almost nightly
*The American Family Association
*Americans For Truth.
*Concerned Women For America...a very close NOM affiliate.
Also drawing heavily on Camerons work are reparative therapy organisations of Exodus International and the LDS church run group, Evergreen International. Also on the list is the International Healing Foundation which was founded by Richard "hug the gay away" Cohen...as well as The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality(Narth)...which you will all remember best for it's founder George Allen Rekkers and the scandal that over his hiring of rentboy to "lift his luggage"....and this is just the short list of those who have drawn on Camerons work.
And just as NARTH scrubbed all mention of Rekkers from the websites in order to distance themselves from him and the damage his scandal caused the ex-gay movement, so also do most of the organisations who use Camerons work in their own tracts, documents, and legal testimony distance themselves from mentioning that Cameron is the source of their information. Being that his work has been utterly discredited any mention that their information was sourced from him would shoot their arguments out the water immediately....especially when Tony Perkins is testifying before Congress or appearing on CNN...again. Or even David Blankenhorn during the Federal Prop 8 trial siting arguments that have their basis in Camerons....arguments which were identified and shredded on the witness stand. But they don't have any other substantive arguments and so they continue to draw on a man who has been expelled from the scientific community.
And while some groups have not directly used Camerons work, they still rely on many of his conclusions and simply restate them in their own words. So when Maggie Gallagher calls homosexuality an "unfortunate lifestyle" is because Cameron attempted to institutionalize the idea that being gay is bad for you health by asserting that gay men only live to an average age of 42. And when Brian Fischer of the AFA or Peter Sprigg of the FRC go on air saying they think that gays should be quarantined they are only echoing the Camerons own words. Cameron is also responsible for supporting through his bogus findings the gay=pedophile myth. He has asserted in several sources, including legal testimony that gays molest young boys to "recruit" them into the gay lifestyle. He also asserted that gays take more from society in resources than we return to it and therefor branded us "parasitic"(BTB). This is also only a short list of his words and findings that I could find in an afternoons googling....the complete list is much more extensive and all of it drawn on the findings of other researchers taken out of context and distorted beyond belief.
So when I saw the news that Cameron had admitted to gay attraction I was floored....not because he's another anti-gay conservative closet case but because his works are being used as the foundation for other groups who we have to go toe to toe with daily....because pamphlets and literature are still being handed out to parents and teens drawing on his conclusions. Those families send their kids to Evergreen and Exodus, those kids sometimes take their own lives because they were only told that their was something wrong with them. The FRC and cohorts rally the troops with fearful characterizations of us based on Camerons work. While Cameron himself may have become a scientific pariah...his work lives on and continues to harm people to this day. Sadly...he is not as irrelevant as many would like to think he is. And to those who think that highlighting his admission is giving him five minutes more of fame need to take another look at the affects his words are still having. It is why I say he is one of the many wellsprings of institutionalized homophobia that still has the county in it's grip.
And just as the George Allen Rekkers "rentboy scandal" landed a fell blow to the exgay movement by poointing out the hypocacy of it's proponents...so to does broadcasting Camerons admission to gay attraction further call into question his motivation for conclusions he has drawn about homosexuality and then attempted to scientifically prove. So the next time an "average" person hears them..they should be recognizable as his and the source of laughter instead of tacitly accepted truth. We need to shine a light on this and bring it to a national awareness in much the same way has happened during the rentboy scandal. The Family Research Council, Exodus International, The Concerned Women for America, and others should not get a pass for using his research and the only way to do that is to shout it from the roof tops. Paul Cameron could not handle his own sexuality...and like many others before and after him, he turned that self hatred outwards onto the gay community. EVERYONE needs to know that...not just those of us who follow certain blogs. Letting this story go by with barely a squeak is a lost opportunity to point out the falsehoods of not only Cameron himself...but also the organisations who are thriving by working to block legal equalities for all LGBT people. People need to know his name and works just as they know Maggie Gallaghers...so the next time they are spoken in a church.....given to a teenager in a pamphlet...or spoken in court of before congress people will know where they are from and recognize the hypocacy which birthed it. These are the people and ideas that we need to know in order to publicly combat these falsehoods...and when a man with a history like like Camerons makes an admission like this one it should not get dismissed because of his percieved irrelevance or get lost in his other crazy ramblings. The man may be out of the public eye but we are still fighting his work everyday.
Until next time dear readers....