Yesterday we found out that during the Prop 8 campaign Ron Prentiss reportedly distributed a booklet to churches that included an article entitled "'21 Reasons Why Gender Matters' Examines Gender Disorientation Pathology And Social Policy." By the way, he made up his own psychological terminology, "Gender Disorientation Pathology," as any first year psychology graduate student with knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-TR) would know.
Dr. Lamb obviously had never heard of it either. Dr. Lamb refuted the 21 reasons with peer-reviewed research and literature.
At least four of the reasons were just complete make believe.
- 15. "Healthy gender development prevents individuals from developing compulsive obsessive disorders leading to sexual addiction and other pathologies." (The terminology is actually "obsessive compulsive disorders.")
- 16. "Gender disorientation pathology is a symptom of family dysfunction, personality disorder, father absence, health malfunction or sexual abuse."
- 17. "Gender disorientation pathology will lead to increased levels of drug abuse and partner violence."
- 21. "Gender disorientation pathology encourages the sexual and psychological exploitation of children."
The full list, as well as notes from the trial, is after the jump.
Yes on 8 Campaign used bogus research and terminology
Apparently, in the booklet, Prentiss makes statements like "12% of children of lesbians became active lesbians themselves."
Dr. Lamb says this is inaccurate according to extensive research on children of same-sex parents.
Gays not more likely to abuse than heterosexuals
Prentiss states: "The sad truth is that homosexual abuse of children is higher than heterosexuals. It is the right of the child to know and have a relationship with bio parent. Gender orientation pathology increases the risk that children will suffer sexual exploitation. It is our duty to protect them."
Lamb refutes all of the above and states that gays are no more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexuals and reiterates that there is no such concept or disorder called gender orientation pathology. He asserts that there is three decades of research refuting this myth and that children are most likely to get hurt by school bullies who don't respect or accept their LGBT parents.
Post-lunch cross-examination of Lamb
(Sorry, this is a bit out of order.)
Defendant Council Thompson begins focusing on research that step-fathers are more likely to abuse their step-children then biological fathers. He's not arguing for covenant-no divorce marriage (yet), but he seems hell-bent to say that all step-fathers and anyone non-biologically related to the child is a menace to that child, to wipe out all non-biological parents from capable child-rearing.
First, it is true some step-fathers molest their children. I ran a sexual abuse survivors program for ten years when I worked as a psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. There were many women who had been sexually abused by their biological parents too. Does that mean that we should take children away from their biological fathers because of the chance that, being men, they might abuse their children?
Second, this case is about marriage. Couples who never or can't have biological children can marry and no one is rushing to pass constitutional amendments to take away their marriage rights. Also, have you noticed, same-sex couples are already legally raising children, but I'm not naïve, I know that they are hoping to use this kind of bogus logic to take away same-sex couples rights to parent and adopt. They just did in Arkansas last year.
Grandparents can be important to a child's psychological adjustment, correct?
Thompson: So the grandparents' financial contributions to children make a difference in their lives, correct? Clearly we note that the psychological well-being of parents affects their ability to parent and the quality of relationship with their children.
Holy research-twisting Batman!
Thompson is now taking the fact that some straight parents of LGBT people reject their children and so are not involved in their grandchildren's lives and that this hurts these kids--the implication that kids would be better off with straight parents because their parents don't reject them.
Okay. My friend's Ashle and Kinna have two wonderful daughters and the grandparents are extremely involved in their grandbabies' lives. My friend, Maurie, a straight mom of a lesbian daughter and proud grandmother of two, is extremely active in her grandchildren's lives and is more than happy to show you the beautiful picture of her grandchildren as ring bearer and flower girl at their mothers' long-awaited legal marriage before Prop 8 passed. Should they be denied their Constitutional rights because some straight parents/grandparents are stifled in the current ability to accept their LGBT children? Should straight people who have difficulties with their parents and have been disowned for various reasons or chosen themselves to cut off communication lose their right to a marriage license? Again I think the answers are obvious here. And similar arguments were used to keep interracial couples from marrying.
Gays suffer from minority distress
While the psychological research shows that LGBT people experience minority distress due to homophobia and discrimination, Thompson decides to take the implication to an illogical conclusion.
He is also making the point that because LGBT people suffer minority distress, which leads to anxiety and depression, and because depression and anxiety affects parenting, LGBT parents do not make good parents. Wow!
I wonder what he says about People of Color who also experience minority distress due to racism and discrimination. I'm sure somewhere in there these folks may be advocating for fewer babies of color (remember they are very concerned with population growth) and believe that gay marriage will lead to the population dying out.
When I debated Maggie Gallagher at Brown University in 2006, she spoke with concern about the reduction of children being born in Western Europe. I could be wrong, but it sure seemed like she was suggesting that not enough white babies were being born, because as far as I can tell, there's no overall global shortage of babies being born.
Is it almost over yet?
Thompson: "Dr. Lamb likes to talk about these rich, deep studies, but you don't have any knowledge if these studies had control groups with biological, married parents which is the core of our case."
Judge Walker interceded and says to Counsel Thompson. "We're trying a case. Is there a way to shorten your questions?"
I agree. My brain and body are starting to check out. I tend to dissociate a bit when Thompson steps up for cross-examination. He is quite annoying and his disdain for educated people, reality, facts, and gay people make me feel like I've been watching FOX News for hours. I can only take this stuff in doses, that's why I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. At least there are funny jokes in between his reports of the assault on logic, truth, and human decency.
Did I mention that there is a huge group of Stanford Law Students here today?
Discussing the Michael Rosenfeld study based on U.S. Census.
Lamb - It is the only study we have, a rare study, which compares all the children in the country in the environments that they are reared, couple thousand children raised by lesbians, with couples thousand children raised by gay male couples, compared to children raised by heterosexual couples.
Matthew D. McGill Plaintiffs' Attorney - In your experience is a sample based on U.S. Census adequate to be reliable?
Lamb - Yes.
McGill - Why does it make sense to maintain a control group of heterosexual couples raising children?
Lamb - Seems most appropriate control group.
McGill - Why?
Lamb - Because you have unmarried couples in all of those groups. Children adopted into two parent family and children in bio family.
The point is to answer Thompson's early assertion that none of the research used only heterosexual married couple with biological children. If they had, it would not have been an accurate group to compare with gay parents who are not legally married and some are their children biologically, others are adopted, and some are from IVF and other forms of alternative insemination. The researchers chose to be in the real world, acknowledging the diversity of families, rather than embracing only one family type.
And speaking of typing, my wife wants to know. Are you done yet?
Yes dear, for tonight.
21 Reasons Why Gender Matters' Examines Gender Disorientation Pathology And Social Policy
Summarized by the NARTH, full reasons at the Fatherhood Foundation's site.
- Gender uniqueness and complementarity means that each gender has a unique contribution that can't be filled by the other.
- Acknowledging gender differences helps children learn more effectively.
- Men and women are happier when they recognize these gender differences.
- The masculine gender is an essential ingredient for fatherhood.
- The feminine gender is an essential ingredient for motherhood.
- Marriage is the best way for men and women to enjoy complementarity.
- Gender complementarity in a life-long marriage is essential for the continuation of humanity.
- Gender complementarity in marriage is needed for a healthy, stable society.
- Gender complementarity in marriage between a man and woman is good for the economy.
- Marriage between a man and woman is the foundation of a successful family and best way to protect children.
- Gender complementarity in marriage is the best way to teach children about the value of gender.
- Gender is important in understanding the significance of manhood.
- Gender is important in understanding the significance of womanhood.
- In healthy societies, gender complementarity is celebrated; societies rejecting this face harmful consequences.
- Healthy gender development prevents individuals from developing compulsive obsessive disorders leading to sexual addiction and other pathologies.
- Gender disorientation pathology is a symptom of family dysfunction, personality disorder, father absence, health malfunction or sexual abuse.
- Gender disorientation pathology will lead to increased levels of drug abuse and partner violence.
- Gender disorientation pathology will increase the risk of communicable disease and bad health.
- Gender disorientation pathology will decrease life expectancy.
- Gender disorientation pathology is preventable and treatable.
- Gender disorientation pathology encourages the sexual and psychological exploitation of children.