Friday, May 19, 2006

Homophobia cubed.

I think I've found a wingnut who might actually be nuttier than the creationists. Meet Paul Cameron. He's a US psychologist who was kicked out of the American Psychological Association on ethical grounds in the early 80s. You see, Cameron is a homophobe. And a really nasty one, too. Generally when people think "nasty homophobe" they think of Fred Phelps, the Baptist preacher who likes to picket the funerals of homosexuals--but even the Religious Right distance themselves from his antics. Cameron, on the other hand--whose views on homosexuality are just as warped as Phelps'--is one of their own. He's the founder of the Family Research Council, one of America's major conservative think-tanks, and his . . . um . . . "research" is cited ad nauseam by just about anyone who believes those "homos" are getting too uppity. At Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton remarks: "There may not have been a less credible "scholar" in the last century. If he said the sky was blue, I'd double check his findings." Via the same, the Southern Poverty Law Centre has published a report on Cameron that has to be seen to be believed. Here's a sample:

Parsley heaped praise on Gov. Perry for "protecting the children of Texas from the gay agenda." Then he rattled off a series of shocking statistics: "Gay sex is a veritable breeding ground for disease," he said. "Only 1% of the homosexual population in America will die of old age. The average life expectancy for a homosexual in the United States of America is 43 years of age. A lesbian can only expect to live to be 45 years of age. Homosexuals represent 2% of the population, yet today they're carrying 60% of the known cases of syphilis."

The televangelist did not reveal where he got those numbers. He stated them starkly as facts to be accepted on blind faith. But they are not facts. They are gross distortions lifted straight from the pages of pseudo-scientific studies by Dr. Paul Cameron, a crackpot psychologist and champion of the anti-gay crusade.

Cameron also compares homosexuality to "the dog that gets a taste for blood after killing its first victim and desires to get more victims thereafter with a ravenous hunger." He has described homosexuality as a "crime against humanity," and once campaigned (successfully) against a gay and lesbian civil rights ordinance in Omaha, Nebraska by spreading the false meme that "a local 4-year old boy had recently been dragged into a shopping mall bathroom and castrated by a homosexual." He claims that homosexuals are "10-20 times more likely than heterosexuals to molest children," and duing the 80s AIDS crisis he called for the establishment of concentration camps for "sexually active homosexuals." One of his "studies" also claimed that 17% of homosexuals eat human faeces.

This is homophobia taken to Phelpsian extremes, but the most worrying thing about Cameron are not his views, the SPLC argues, but the fact that those views "are repeated ad nauseam by lawmakers, radio talk show hosts, preachers and anti-gay activists across the country," and that he has a greater social impact than all but a few genuine researchers.


On a slightly different tangent, here's something you don't see on prime-time commercial television everyday. Big Brother housemate David Graham, who was a victim of a brutal gay bashing in January, held forth on the topic of gay marriage on last night's episode:
In the outside world, I don't have the right to get married. I don't have a lot of rights. Rob and I are both in a situation where we live in a Western democracy, and we're second class citizens and no-one at this table knows what that's like. Except homosexuals, 'cause we're the only ones in this country that are barred from so many rights that you just take for granted. [. . .] I came in here on a mission to change that.
David obviously hasn't received the memo from John Heard--the man with his finger on the pulse of GLBTI opinion in Australia--which clearly states that most GLBTI people in Australia have no intention of getting married. (Heard wields this survey finding as an argument against legalising same-sex marriage--which it so clearly is not. It's not surprising that many GLBTIs aren't interesting in getting married, given that marriage is not an option currently open to them!! The finding indicates absolutely nothing about what majority GLBTI opinion might be on the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legally recognised.) Obviously David is one of those "homoactivists" Heard talks about, right out on the fringe of the gay community; and as for the housemates who unanimously applauded him--what a bunch of radical feminist socialist anarchists! Big Brother: yet another forum stacked against John Heard.