This so-called culture war over lgbt equality is so immersed in the religious angle and the “personal story” angle that there is scarcely attention paid to how anti-gay groups make attempts at either distorting scientific research or relying on junk science in order to denigrate the lgbt community.
An incident – reported recently by Science Insider and brought to my attention via Truth Wins Out – should give us an idea of how dangerous it is for the lgbt to not bring attention to this aspect:
On 24 February, Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, signed a draconian Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law, after 2 months of declining to do so. Science, he says, changed his mind—in particular, the findings of a special scientific committee his Health Ministry had appointed earlier in the month. “Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic,” Museveni wrote to President Barack Obama on 18 February, in response to Obama’s pleas that he not sign the bill. “It was learnt and could be unlearnt.” But some scientists on the committee are crying foul, saying that Museveni and his ruling party—Uganda’s National Resistance Movement (NRM)—misrepresented their findings. “They misquoted our report,” says Paul Bangirana, a clinical psychologist at Makerere University in Kampala. “The report does not state anywhere that homosexuality is not genetic, and we did not say that it could be unlearnt.” Two other committee members have now resigned to protest the use of their report to justify the harsh legislation . . .
What seems like a deliberate attempt by Museveni to distort science in order to justify that awful bill puts him in a wide company of folks guilty of the same offense, i.e. distorting science to justify anti-gay persecution or stances against lgbt equality. For over two years, bloggers and activists in the lgbt community and the scientific community in general have been waging a war against a bogus study created by University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus. This study, which denigrates same-sex households, has been criticized by experts for several methodological flaws, including the fact that it never really established a link between same-sex households and negative outcomes regarding children.It was also condemned by the American Psychological Association and over 200 professors and therapists (in fact, those particular experts all signed a letter condemning the study’s publication and methodology).
But these two recent cases only scratch the surface. Over the years, I have documented at least 11 other times in which anti-gay groups have been caught distorting research. And after they are called out, these so-called Christian groups continue their tactics. Their reason is simple. No one seems to give enough of a damn to make a fuss about their actions so perhaps they figure they can get away with it.