Comments: equality bill - committee stage begins

ooh - with all the hoo ha about gordon/obama I wouldn't have noticed so thanks TA!

Posted by riazat butt at Thursday, 4 June 2009 at 6:30pm BST

Thanks lots to Savitri Hensman for her summary and bit of context.

We're still wrestling with darkness pretending to be light, the package being 'obeying my conscience or beliefs' with the reality being 'closing doors on gay folks.' That contradiction will not go away just because certain strict religious believers wish to practice it. Indeed, insofar as it is practiced, and we all see it and hear it, the contradictions hasten the day when believers will correct the legacy errors we and our forebears make in holding only negative views of those same gay folks. Meanwhile no extra intellectual or ethical credit for packaging flat earth theological anthropologies in a democratic citizen's leeway to be sincerely wrong, or in the fine box of having a good conscience that preaches mean things, or in having strict doctrines which ... lovely phrase ... exhibit no humility before the divine, nor compassion for gay neighbors.

Transitional, then. Surely only people who do not really know their gay family members, coworkers at office or lab, or neighbors can continue to press such fear and fear upon fear?

The dearest wish in USA now is among the far right for as much of a nasty backlash as possibly can be stage-managed. The Senate confirmation hearings on SCOTUS nominee Sotomayor will be a sort of dress rehearsal for that beloved, wider, nastier business.

Posted by drdanfee at Saturday, 6 June 2009 at 7:48pm BST

Yet more discrimination against Christians and people of other faiths. This Govenmnent is writing the longest suicide note in history. I am impressed by how balanced the Catholic bishops statement is...the key is unjust discrimination.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 7 June 2009 at 7:24am BST

"I am impressed by how balanced the Catholic bishops statement is...the key is unjust discrimination." - R.I. Williams -

The ethos of 'Magisterium' doesn't sound like much of a *balance* to me - especially on issues where the Roman Catholic Church is intent on prserving the endemic culture of patriarchy within its own ranks.

To my mind, the Roman Catholic bishops are only equally 'balanced' with those of other faith communities who insist on preserving the status quo, to the detriment of women and the LGBT. community.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 7 June 2009 at 10:56am BST

Hi drdanfee-

You write: 'Surely only people who do not really know gay family members, coworkers...or neighbours can continue to press such fear and fear upon fear'.

(1) Everyone I know (and that obviously includes me and doubtless you) is correct about some things and mistaken about others. (Often people will be mistaken through ignorance; often through disinclination to examine the evidence; often through not having got round to examining the evidence, but not having the patience to reserve judgment.) In the case of every person therefore we love and affirm the person 100% while agreeing with a proportion of their views that may vary between 1% and 99%. There is not going to be any necessary correlation between how much we like or affirm the person and how many of their views we agree wtih. So why should that be different in the case of our attitude to gay people from how it is in the case of our attitude to other people?

(2) If you are one of the many who *does* make a correlation between liking/affirming people and agreeing with their views, you must (a) accept the potential irrationality of such a position ['I like you therefore you are right' is agreed to be a non sequitur], (b) be numbered among those perennial existing friends whose predictable endorsements grace back-book-covers.

(3) The people we know are - in the case of every one of us - obviously far too few to be statistically significant. We know a small fraction of 1 percent of the people even in this little island.

(4) Of course, similar views may be a reason for friendship in the first place. Yet this emphasis on views/conclusions (which are 2 a penny) as opposed to approach/method/argument/research is pre-intellectual and you would therefore presumably shun it. Besides the fact that people have (for social, psychological and promotion-related reasons) powerful desires to belong to some tribe or clique and will often do anything to avoid being seen to hold views that are deviant within that tribe.

(4) I saw only one aspect of your comment which made it unworthy of dialogue. It has repeatedly been pointed out that 'fear' is only one possible reason for opposing homosexual activity. Wise people factor this in; surely only ideologues would continue on as though this were the case rather than holding the range of possible reasons within their purview.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Monday, 8 June 2009 at 12:44pm BST

Ah yes, Mr. CS. So (1) - we are not playing percentages here. I suspect you know that anyways.

Fact is, if you know a gay citizen as a family member, coworker at the office or lab, school team mate, or neighbor of more than distant acquaintance - you may find it cheesy or dishonest to preach the going religious trope, Nothing good exists in daily life for gay people. Nothing good at all.

Of course, you can persist and cling to categorical negatives; but you have to work harder to keep them going. You may be faced over and over again with the real, live gay person in whose daily life those ethics or goods are lively and intact. Close up and personal, can we not see the gay person through the acts? Can we not see and appreciate the behaviors as clues to ethical motives, driving those behaviors?

Truth telling, for example, is one ethical area, consistently ignored by conservative believers with a presuppositional, negative blind spot.

Self-efficacy is another ethical area. Gay folks strive to live up to ideals and centers of value, even though all the traditional preachments tell them they are expected to live down, down, down. Categorically downwards, in fact. Are not our legacy faith traditions (as well as our many associated folk beliefs?) telling us, Gay equals nothing but down?

A special mix of empathy and service is another area. We see that gay folks are disproportionately involved in the helping professions and in the creative arts. (At least in some cultural and economic contexts) Something in daily gay life may tilt, vulnerable - to making the world, just a little bit better than one found it, and toward celebrating or engaging with the many goods in life, nature, relationships over a lifetime.

There is a world of huge difference – maybe – between one way leeway and two way leeways. Traditional believers inherit a one way leeway towards gay people. We may let them live and let live to some extent, though we can always take that back at the drop of a condemning hat. Safely ensconced in our negative belief systems, we never, ever have to inquire into what sort of violence occurs when we deny and ignore the goods in gay folks daily lives, and when we hold nothing but nasty and negative expectations for them as gay folks?

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 8 June 2009 at 10:44pm BST

Continuing Mr. CS. Re: (2). I'm not sure why you gloss me as presuming that liking must mean agreement. I do not see strictly eye to eye with nearly anybody else in my daily life – not at work, not in immediate or extended family life, not in my own home life, not in my citizenship, not in my neighborhood networks.

Irrational I am, and we all are, to some extent. So much more important, then, to engage with empirical hypothesis testing, models which emerge from all that data, and reasoning in application from all that.

Meanwhile, I occupy a shared two way leeway. In this social, citizenship, and yes, religious community space, I have learned not to look down on irrational depths in life. We are all unique, all different, in mysterious, puzzling, and difficult to analyze ways. That's a lively, good quality, provided we do not abandon data, reason, and all the rest in total favor of letting the irrational guide us.

Sadly, I evaluate some legacies of our faith traditions as irrational in the unhelpful sense.

I've slowly but surely looked at our traditions about gay folks, and concluded that way too many flat earth ideas are being taken too much for granted, precisely among the traditionalistic believers with the strongest global voices in the Anglican Communion.

I'm not immediately affected by what they still preach, flat earth and all, but I would guess that some real gay person is, somewhere near to them. I certainly would not wish for any real gay person I do know, up close and personal, to be much affected by that preaching.

I'm also bothered, really bothered, about false witness against gay neighbors.

About sixty years of data thoroughly contradicts our legacy negative claims that all of being gay is innately, categorically, bad. Yet we persist. What's up with that?

Again, there are real ethical and practical positives in daily gay life upon which we can build. We can reference these goods to correct our mistaken views of gay folks; not to mention, correcting our baldly false witness against them as innately nothing but bad, precisely to the extent that they are really gay citizens.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 8 June 2009 at 10:53pm BST

Apologies to the thread for multiple reply posts. Important criticisms deserve an answer. Now back to CS. Re (3, 4.1).

I'm lumping points together, as they seem to read in a cluster.

As to (3), I agree. None of us ordinarily has anything other than a skewed sample of the real world. Outside careful research. That also means, none of our forebears did, either. Why else could people believe in the obvious fact that the earth was flat, for long, long centuries?

If this holds true, then why privilege a legacy skewed sample with its historic categorical negatives about gay folks, anymore than we would privilege a skewed sample from our own era?

This point about skewed samples, and the mistakes we can readily make in data, inference, and religious discernment – well, isn't that a key question?

As it happens, we do have much less skewed sample in the sixty years or so of empirical hypothesis testing that looked for the negatives our legacy said were involved in being gay. Every time a study controlled for experimenter bias and other biases, the negative in question could not be confirmed. Further, when best practice controls were in place in a study, negatives which could be confirmed had little or nothing to do with being caused by sexual orientation as such.

(Pause. We already knew this with straight people, since we never, ever argue that something bad in straight life is caused by heterosexuality as such. We had to laboriously discover or rediscover this reality with gay citizens.)

As to (4.1) I'm a little bit mystified.

I agree. Good method will serve better, than going along to get along, or worse, going along to get promoted. Again, we have sixty years of real data, and all that goes with real data.

Yet much that I see in bowing down patly to our mistaken traditions and beliefs about gay people, to me, often looks just like what you decry. Church leaders go along to get along, so that they do not make unwelcome waves by saying that our legacy has mistaken gay folks. Worse, we church folks seem to sometimes use our allegiance to this bad witness, at least partly as a way to demonstrate that we ourselves are solid gold orthodoxists. I smell a promotion in there somewhere.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 8 June 2009 at 11:21pm BST

Apologies twice to the thread for multiple reply posts. Important criticisms deserve an answer. Now back to CS. Re (4.2).

Let's see, CS, you deny hearing fears being mongered, meanly, about gay folks. I'm mystified. Nearly every antigay voice I hear these days is preaching some sound of alarm, some sound of danger connected with not condemning gay folks out of hand.

I hear fear, fear, fear, fear. Fear of civilization going to hell in an immoral sexual handbasket. Fear that family life or children will be harmed. Fear that some hidden gay agenda, all destructive, is aiming to mess terribly with decent straight religious folks, at the earliest opportunities.

Akinola sounds like he is afraid of getting cancer – either being gay as cancer, or being a progressive believer as cancer, I can't quite tell which is scarier to Akinola. This trope often seems to be saying that the two cancers are connected, gay connected with progressive believer witness, worship, service.

When I hear loud cries of alarm, the first hunch I get is that somebody is afraid. Squares best with what the cries of alarm seem to be yelling. If fear isn't driving the alarm, then what else?

Well, maybe, next ... disgust? What if some life committed gay couple down the street is getting all squishy with bodily fluids, wet, squishy, wet, squishy? Is that scary? Or, just disgusting?

I also hear traditionalist believers saying they are deeply afraid for gays, period. Afraid the gays will burn in eternal hellfire as sinners? Afraid that God may look askance on straight believers who do not take a properly negative approach to the gays who will burn in hellfire for all eternity? But what is a properly negative approach, these days?

We've given up preaching that being gay causes stillborn cattle, crop failures, or weather patterns. You still hear those notes sounded indirectly in passing at times, but overall the connection is more and more laughable. Sexual orientation, straight or gay, just does not cause any of those dire things. We used to know that any known gay person must be properly excluded – immediately, with all proper haste – from schools, workplaces, family neighborhoods, churches or faith communities, and from society in general. That does not go in many places around the planet, though in other places it is law and public policy.

Dangerous gays equals prison?

Posted by drdanfee at Tuesday, 9 June 2009 at 4:42am BST

"We've given up preaching that being gay causes stillborn cattle, crop failures, or weather patterns."

Not at all. Most Christians have given up these sorts of claims, but those like Pat Robertson still love this theme. And not as an indirect claim, either.

Posted by BillyD at Tuesday, 9 June 2009 at 11:19am BST

"Most"

Most??? I'd sooner say "some", "a few", but certainly not most, at least not on this side of the pond. It may change now that, I assume, nutjob fundies no longer breakfast once a week with the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, but I don't think it's "most" yet, at least not in terms of loudness of voice, which can be misleading, I suppose. And don't forget it's more subtle form, the hint of dire unspecified disasters to come if we don't keep these evil, perversion choosing gays in check. That's hardly uncommon. We see it here fairly regularly, elaborately justified

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 10 June 2009 at 1:58pm BST

When I was in London at half term I purchased a Catechism of christian Doctrine from the Catholic Truth society. The catechism bears the imprimatur of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales..and homosexual practice is described as one of the four sins crying for vengeance to Heaven.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Wednesday, 10 June 2009 at 6:25pm BST

Again, we might guess that, if the fear dial is twirled up even higher for real, as BD and FE suggest, then it seems even more interesting that anybody listening is so entirely out of hearing range of these same mighty preachments? Occam's Razor? Seems easier, simpler to just admit that probably Akinola or Orombi is running way scared of the flat earth awfulness that he still believes gay folks to be, instead of saying that All That Fear is Too Distant to be heard clearly.

Another clue? Revising Flat Earth does not equal, No Earth. A scary proposition, otherwise. Just as leaving off flat earth beliefs about gays does not equal Anything Goes.

I'm still waiting for any consistent antigay religious explanation that does not end up, having to reference some flat earth idea about gays in one way or another. It's been a long wait, decades. Forty years since New York City's Stonewall Inn Riots. Sixty years and counting since WWII when the queer soldiers helped liberate Atlantic Rim and Pacific Rim peoples.

Another guess? Beneath the fears, exist the hidden secret S&M satisfactions that accompany trash talk, misbehavior, policing, punishment. No agreed leather-style-church safe word there. Shhhhh.

Posted by drdanfee at Wednesday, 10 June 2009 at 8:28pm BST

Hi drdanfee-
Thanks for responding in such detail. I wish everyone took such things as seriously.

A lot of your points are background rather than specific. Also you are quite a Rowan Williams in that I often cannot immediately understand what you are talking about - but then you are a bright guy.

On some of your points:
Of course we are all different but what needs to be proven is that this is a good or a neutral things. Mobile phone stealers are different from non mobile phone stealers.

We have to play percentages because aggregate is the direct product of average. Otherwise we are left with anecdotal evidence which could not be less statistically significant.

If you look at my previous comments you'll see I am anti 'religion' whereas truth is my no.1 concern.

Gays' involvement in the caring professions would likewise be predicted by anti-homosexual-practice theorists, ie they might speak of men who have not come into their full masculinity yet, were more at home in a female-dominated environment etc.. Not that I personally agree - I think the more people in caring professions the better - full stop. But there is a range of reasons why people apply for this or that profession.

Your points on skewed examples in research would be important if true. You speak from a position of apparently having an overview of the totality of such research. So details much appreciated.

Gays cause all evil in the world? Scarcely. Often there is no A to B causation - things are more complex. On the other hand everything is related to and connected to everything else in a huge causative web. One small act may have massive repercussions we are unaware of, - good acts for good, and bad acts for evil.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Thursday, 11 June 2009 at 1:30pm BST

Hi CS you request details, mainly concerning the sea change in our views, towards (A) disconfirming our legacy negatives about gay folks in particular, plus (B) starting to suggest/explore some possible positives about the same group.

I cannot effectively list detailed references to sixty years of empirical research in a blog post. Happily, anybody with computer access can begin to search the peer reviewed research literatures. By now it is a gargantuan task. I suspect an accurate, annotated bibliography would most likely run to several volumes.

If I were doing such an annotated bibliography, I would start by sorting each study so far as I could into the dominant research trends, then work out from there.

The great empirical literature databases (at least, in USA academia) start with (1) PsychINFO Current plus Historical, (2)Biological Abstracts BIOSIS, (3) PubMED MEDLINE, (4)Educational Resources Information Center ERIC, (5) Sociological Abstracts plus SocINDEX, (6) Social Sciences Citation Index, (7) Dissertation Abstracts. A beginning.

In many USA colleges/universities, EBSCO hosts online access to one or more databases, or to specific journals or other library materials. Some of the online access is paid. So far as I know (I'm out of date, easily), only ERIC is completely free, and thus available to anybody who registers to get access.

Interested people may find ERIC at: http://www.eric.ed.gov

ERIC is free because it is now hosted by the US Dept of Education, paid for with taxes.

As we review this large, large body of research, we note several slow moving trends. One, we can see a published shift, away from further testing or investigation of legacy negative claims about gay folks.

Two, an emerging research interest takes place, wherein we focus on studying the negative legacy beliefs in themselves, seeking to investigate just how those negative legacy beliefs function.

Three, we see an emergent interest in analytic-descriptive-investigative studies of gay folks, and cultural domains - economics, politics, law, history, ... all the way to sports, which few sport fans ever expected.

Four, we see a shift to studying sexual orientation determinants and development, across the board. In this research, being straight is just as much of an empirical mystery unexplored as is being gay.

I'll post again to reply - about human goods, skewed sampling effects, NARTH gender stuff, effects of good vs bad behaviors.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 12 June 2009 at 9:30pm BST

Apologies to the thread, multiple posts in reply to CS.

Now. CS. Right off, two initiatives you make will not float very well.

One is the claim that no evidence exists about real gay folks, that we can call truth, alternative to the legacy negatives. In addition to the large (and growing) body of research, we also have greater everyday exposure to real gay folks in our families, among our friends, in our work teams at office or lab, at school, and the like. All of this is true, so far as it goes.

To consider those alternate truth claims, we engage in two ways. We ask, is this particular or set of particulars true? Then we ask, how widely do these true phenomena apply, generally?

I submit (A) that the particulars of both the research studies and our positive everyday experiences of real gay folks are, True. Plus (B), these true things generalize more likely to all gay folks as a population of interest, than, say, our legacy religious negatives.

True, both research and everyday experience can find gay folks living effectively. Gay folks who are humanly competent in nearly any domain you may wish to measure and observe, up close and personal. The research is already published. Every day, we decide whether or not we can trust people; and among those people we can trust, are very likely some gay people (even if we do not recognize them as gay).

So. We can surely say that the existence of gay folks who live effectively is brute disconfirmation of the legacy negative claim (that competent gay people cannot by definition exist, because being gay is categorically bad and disordered?)? I am encouraged by how the empirical data disconfirms my negative beliefs, so I am encouraged to trust my positive experiences with gay people – in my family, among my friends, at work, at church.

More. Truly, we can reasonably think, these functioning gay folks are more representative of all gay folks, all around the planet, than gay folks we will meet in a clinic, jail, hospital, or other venue for troubled living? Side note. This is just the way we commonly think about straight folks; so it is not like we have never, ever made such inferences. We can often think about gay folks, more or less generally in the useful ways we think about straight folks.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 12 June 2009 at 9:54pm BST

Apologies to the thread, multiple posts in reply to CS.

Now. CS. You seem to be saying that the previous great witnesses who first wrote down our legacy negatives about gay folks had a less skewed sample of gay folks, than do we moderns. Surely you cannot really mean this? None of the NT authors, none of the OT writers, had any access whatsoever to any of the empirical research now published on the subject.

Such a claim tries to read sexual orientation science, directly in scriptures or our traditions. Do not we believers get into trouble, every time we try to do that?

Now I have little reason to doubt the reconstructed, likely ancient near eastern particulars. Informed scholarship and common sense tells me, the ancients well knew three patterns of same sex behavior. Yes, early church believers and Jews found these patterns odious and unethical. (Warriors raping the conquered in war. Ritual sex in temples. Dominant males sexually using anybody of lesser status, however they wished.) Many would probably agree today, these are unethical, harmful patterns.

How the goods of modern gay life are at all equivalent to these ancient horrors, well I wonder.

Our modern sciences in fact do tell us, about the true goods in modern gay life. We have good news: being gay does not predict any significant impairment in any core life domain. We have good news: gay folks are free to combine being gay with any domain of aspiration or achievement to which they might aspire among us. These are two types of true goods. You may still say that we do not have proof of these goods, but the truth is, we do have proof. Modern gay life exhibits goods.

You repeat a NARTH-type claim that being gay is a clinical syndrome. Nicolosi and other NARTH figures assume this model. Yet Nicolosi and his NARTH colleagues sidestep doing the independent research needed to show that their model works, truly. Nicolosi and company never bother with explaining the patients who fail therapy or exit therapy before becoming straight. No explanations for the many potential patients who are not suffering because of being gay, in the first place.

Masters and Johnson probably faked their data about sexual orientation change. So we need to investigate Nicolosi's model. We need careful controls for experimenter bias. Still waiting.

Posted by drdanfee at Friday, 12 June 2009 at 11:00pm BST

Hi drdanfee-
Great! Since so much research exists, to what effect is that research (on average, in the broad picture) on matters such as life-expectancy, STD-rate, promiscuity-rate?

Posted by Christopher Shell at Wednesday, 24 June 2009 at 1:22pm BST

"Since so much research exists, to what effect is that research (on average, in the broad picture) on matters such as life-expectancy, STD-rate, promiscuity-rate?"

STD rate has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and everything to do with safer sex practices. Given that unsafe heterosexual practices are what has driven the AIDS epidemic in Africa, citing STD rates as a reason to disapprove of gay people is the same as saying AIDS rates should spur the disapproval of heterosexual Africans. Promiscuity is also a behavioural choice, having nothing to do with sexuality per se. Is it your contention that promiscuity is a constitutional part of being gay? And, your "life span statistics" are not in any way reliable, and, contrary to your oft repeated statement, bad information is NOT useful as "the best we have available to us". So, your linking of the transmission of infectious disease to a state of being, however pathological you believe that state to be, rather than to behaviours shows your poor understanding of the transmission of infectious disease. One would think you believe that AIDS develops sui generis in people just because they are gay. Your suggestion that promiscuity is somehow a constitutional element of homosexuality shows your poor understanding of sociology and psychology, let alone of modern sexual behaviour in general, and your ideas as to gay lifespan are based on unsupportable data produced by poorly constructed studies, of one of which the authors specifically state that their work cannot be used to draw the conculsions you do. Do you understand how this pretty much destroys your claim to be a rational objective "seeker after truth"?

So, do you believe that gay people are inherently more promiscuous? Do you believe that being gay itself leads to more STDs? Do you believe that this supposed "shortened life span" is an inherent part of being gay? In short, what causes the supposed differences you claim to be able to identify between gay and straight people?

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 24 June 2009 at 8:27pm BST

Hi Ford-
Much saddened headshaking. No statistics.
It would be very surprising if male homosexuals were not more promiscuous than the average. For three reasons, (1) men are more promiscuous than women; (2) there is less reason for marriage *even in* a society that permits it for homosexuals; (3) it's far less likely there will be children involved. (2-3) apply also to female homosexuals. The only study I recall puts the average female-female sexual relationship at even shorter than the average male-male.

AIDS is everywhere more prevalent per person among homosexuals. In many places more heterosexuals will naturally have it on aggregate because vastly more people are heterosexuals in the first palace. Aggregate, but not average.

Yes, you're right: much of the behaviour of heterosexual Africans and westerners is another thing that one could not approve of: that is taken as read by anyone with a Christian stance.

Your dismissal of lifespan statistics cannot carry weight for the three reasons already mentioned: (1) you expect to carry the day by personal authority not argument; (2) you cite no actual statistics; (3) you expect it will be taken as read by all readers that you know more about this topic, which is a topic taken at random, than do those (whom I have cited) who specialise in it.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Friday, 26 June 2009 at 12:29pm BST

"(1) men are more promiscuous than women; (2) there is less reason for marriage (3) it's far less likely there will be children involved."

1 is debatable. You don't know the women I know. And I always find it funny that conservative ideas about promiscuity seem to see it as something of a given, a "natural" thing in some sense. It suggests you conservatives have a hard time controlling yourselves, and don't really expect people to be able to do it without the threat of eternal damnation. 2 is astounding. I wonder what you consider to be the "reasons for marriage", and 3. really, in the age of birth control? And you left out the effect of having to live a life in the shadows, full of shame and fear. A life caused by the attitudes of people like you.

"AIDS is everywhere more prevalent per person among homosexuals."

You'd be better off looking at incidence as opposed to prevalence. In an age of effective anti-viral therapies, prevalence is no measure of the effect of changes in unsafe behaviour. The incidence of HIV is actually higher in other groups. So, the decrease in unsafe sexual behaviour has had a good effect in the gay population, though the incidence is creeping up again.

WRT lifespan, you cite no statistics, either. Claims based on a faulty study are NOT statistics, Christopher. A quick PubMed search for homosexual life expectancy turned up only one study that did NOT deal with HIV related illness, and I know you aren't going to say that HIV, an infectious disease, is inherent in gay people. It studied lifespans of gay people married in Denmark. There was a elevated mortality, much higher for men married before 1995, but equally low for both men and women married after that point, though still higher in the first three years. They attribute these facts to pre-existing illness prior to marriage, and the advent of better HIV therapy after 1995, and acknowledge the need for more research. Another interesting thing was that the number of people touting this "shortened lifespan" thing were conservative Christian websites, all taking as fact the results of Cameron's discredited work, which is to say relying on no science at all. There was the occasional reference to Satinover. NONE of these sites even considered the actual reliability of the study(and it is almost always Cameron's reading of obituary columns) they were basing their claims on. The assumption in ALL of these sites is that there is something inherent in gay people that makes us die earlier, an assumption that reveals an appalling willingness to abandon common sense and basic concepts of infectious disease transmission.

Posted by Ford ELms at Monday, 29 June 2009 at 4:47pm BST
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