Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter March 22, 2007

Stop Hate 2000 has not evaluated the research Focus on the Family cites regarding same-gender parent families. Stop Hate believes families of all nationalities, racial groups, religions, sexual orientations, and gender identifications need good parenting resources. We are not taking a position on how accurately Focus on the Family reports scientific research about gay people. We are reporting a news item.

While careless mistakes can be made, which result in misquoting an author or inaccurately reporting research findings, there could be cases in which consistently inaccurate reporting of scientific research might call a person?s academic honesty into question. Very serious complaints are being leveled against James Dobson and his ministry, Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family cites some scientific researchers when Focus on the Family expresses concerns about same-sex couples raising children. The complaints are that Focus on the Family is making the research studies sound like they are saying things the researchers did not intend to say, or is using research studies to defend conclusions that are not supported by the actual research.

Complaints against James Dobson and Focus on the Family are coming from very different sources. A few researchers and professors are cited as saying Focus on the Family has not accurately represented their findings and has twisted their findings or comments to say things the researchers themselves did not say.

The web site, Respect My Research, has letters and/or videos from six people who state their work is not being accurately reported by Focus on the Family. According to the Respect My Research site, the following people feel their research was not reported accurately by Focus on the Family:

  • Carol Gilligan, professor of education and law at New York University.

  • Kyle Pruett, professor of child psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.

  • Robert Spitzer, professor of psychiatry, Columbia University.

  • Angela Phillips, professor at Goldsmiths College.

  • Elizabeth Saewyc, professor of nursing, University of British Columbia.

  • Judith Stacy, professor of sociology, New York University. Judith Stacy's response to James Dobson's comments can be found in a Soulforce interview seen on the You Tube web site.

  • Additional information can be found on the Soulforce web site. The link to Soulforce provides a Soulforce interview about how Focus on the Family interprets research about same-gender parenting.

    Should the complaints by Soulforce, Respect My Research, and some of the researchers Focus on the Family quotes be true, Focus on the Family might be engaging in either careless reporting of research findings or academic dishonesty. At Stop Hate 2000, we have not studied the facts enough to make a decision. We encourage people to very carefully check the research reports before making a personal decision.

    * * *

    Some organizations dedicated to helping families seem to spend inordinate amounts of time expressing concerns about the development of straight kids who have gay parents. Unfortunately, the concerns of these family support groups seem to have overlooked the obvious problems caused by homophobic parents raising gay, lesbian, or trans-identified children. Given the serious problems facing some queer teens, problems such as substance abuse, homelessness, teen prostitution, domestic violence, and suicide, social scientists and organizations dedicated to assisting families need to look at the damage done to the healthy sexual and emotional development of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-identified youth by homophobic parents. The damage is so serious it cannot be overlooked or dismissed!

    An outstanding editorial, titled Suffer the Little Children, by Richard Rothstein, discusses the damage done to queer children when they are raised by homophobic parents. The article at Queer Sighted should be read by all social scientists, parents, teachers, and psychotherapists who care about the healthy development of children and youth. Suffer the Little Children is a must read article for the parents of all queer children.

    * * *

    We gather Andrew Anthos, who is a senior citizen, was riding in a bus when a man asked him if he was gay. When Anthos left the bus, the man followed him and assaulted him. The assault left Anthos paralyzed from the neck down. Unfortunately, Andrew passed away ten days. This murder sounds like it could be a hate crime. The Advocate/Gay.Com internet site has an article about the attack. News about his death can also be read on the Advocate/Gay.Com system. An article about Andrew Anthos? campaign to have the Michigan state capital building?s dome lighted in red, white, and blue can be read on the State News web site.

    * * *

    In our February newsletter, we mentioned this item:

    "There are some tensions between the gay and the Christian communities. That makes the presence of an article on a gay web site about a priest noteworthy. Abbe Pierre, a priest in France, was given a national tribute when he died at age 94. President Jacques Chirac declared a day of national homage for the priest. Much of his life, Abbe Pierre helped fight for the poor and oppressed. He is known to have supported the poor and gay people. During World War II, he helped Jewish people escape into Switzerland. Abbé Pierre's life is an example of what people can do to build bridges. A priest, a man not expected to assist gay or Jewish people, built bridges to assist people in the gay community, the Jewish community, and the poor community. An article about Abbe Pierre can be found on the PlanetOut/Advocate web site."

    Abbé Pierre's death did sadly tend to show how tensions can arise, despite the best efforts of a lot of people.

    Somebody else agreed with the Advocate and with our newsletter about Abbé Pierre's life and shared his regret at his passing. That individual goes by the name of Pope Benedict XVI. Through his Secretary of State, he sent the following telegraph to be read at his funeral. There is no official translation, so we'll reproduce it in the original French, and then follow it up with a translation by one of our group.

    INFORMÉ DU DÉCÈS DE L'ABBÉ PIERRE, LE SAINT-PÈRE REND GRÂCE POUR SON ACTION EN FAVEUR DES PLUS PAUVRES, PAR LAQUELLE IL A DONNÉ UN TÉMOIGNAGE DE LA CHARITÉ QUI NOUS VIENT DU CHRIST. IL LE CONFIE À LA MISÉRICORDE DIVINE ET DEMANDE AU SEIGNEUR D'ACCUEILLIR DANS LA PAIX DE SON ROYAUME CE PRÊTRE QUI A TOUTE SA VIE LUTTÉ CONTRE LA MISÈRE. EN GAGE DE RÉCONFORT ET D'ESPÉRANCE, SA SAINTETÉ VOUS ENVOIE DE GRAND COUR, AINSI QU'À LA FAMILLE DU DÉFUNT, AUX MEMBRES DES COMMUNAUTÉS D'EMMAÜS ET À TOUTES LES PERSONNES RÉUNIES POUR LA CÉRÉMONIE D'ADIEU LA BÉNÉDICTION APOSTOLIQUE.

    CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE

    SECRÉTAIRE D'ÉTAT DE SA SAINTETÉ

    [To Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux and President of the French Episcopal Conference, January 23, 2007]

    Informed of the death of Abbé Pierre, the Holy Father gives thanks for his work in favor of the poorest, by which he has given a testimony of the charity which comes to us through Christ. He confides him to God's mercy and asks the Lord to greet this priest, who all his life fought against misery, into the peace of His Kingdom. As a pledge of consolation and hope, His Holiness thus sends from the depths of his heart, his Apostolic blessing to the family of the dead man, to the members of the Community of Emmaus and to everybody present at the funeral.

    Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
    Secretary of State for His Holiness
    ----------------------------------------------------------

    It is one of the great failings of the human race that people feel the need to justify their own righteousness by calling somebody else down. In this case, one of our members was reminded that there are some Catholics who regard the Pope as insufficiently Catholic, and who wish their superior faith to be made known to the world.

    * * *

    We add that the Bishop gaillot is a retired bishop who has made particular efforts to reach out to the gay community. To be sure, he's done things which raised a few eyebrows, but nobody in authority would call him a heretic!

    This is not a particularly Catholic trait, or even a religious one. One sees it in ideologues of any sort, on any subject. There are people who seem to have a major investment in keeping tensions up, if not open warfare. And it gets used in every direction, not least against Catholics.

    We mention in passing that another january story, which should have been regarded as a good news story, the rescue of two kidnapped boys in St. Louis, Missouri, was duly turned by the "truly righteous" into an attack on one of the boys.

    Our virtue, it would appear, is often only measured by the degree that we can believe in the iniquity of others.

    * * *

    A few news stories we are following appear below:

  • An Advocate/Gay.Com news story reports that a poll says the majority of Americans would vote for a gay person for President, if their party nominated a well qualified gay candidate. Should this poll represent how Americans feel about gay people, this may show a very positive trend regarding the acceptance of gay people in society.

  • According to an article on the Advocate/Gay.Com site, the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski stated the human race would "disappear if homosexuality were freely promoted."

  • Aaron Webster is a gay man who was brutally murdered by a group of people in Vancouver, Canada. His murder, which many people feel was a hate crime, does not appear to have been treated as a hate crime by the police, prosecution, or the Government of British Columbia. Some people feel the Aaron Webster murder was not treated as seriously as is warranted in the case of hate crimes. We received an email advising us that one of the people convicted in Aaron Webster?s death, Ryan Cran, is going to have a parole hearing April 3, 2007. We hope justice will be done and will seen to be done. Should Ryan Cran be released, he will have served about 26 months for the murder of Aaron Webster. A news story about the parole hearing can be found on the CKNW web site.

  • An article in the Rocky Mountain News tells about a young gay woman who was assaulted by a man. According to the news story, two men made sexual advances. She rejected the advances, telling the men that she was gay. One of the men punched her and kicked her in the face. The Rocky Mountain News story did not say the assault was a hate crime. This crime could be a hate crime, based on either gender or sexual orientation.

  • Anybody with news about hate crimes or discrimination is welcome to email us.



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