Wednesday, July 06, 2005

'Cause all gay people are exactly the same

My favorite Arizona lobbying group, the Center for Arizona Policy is at it again. I am constantly amazed at the new ways they come up with to twist the truth. To be fair, with this story, they're merely repeating someone else's sweeping generalizations, but still.

If courts and policymakers are truly interested in learning what is in the best interests of children when it comes to issues like adoptions for same-sex partners, they should consider the testimony of Dawn Stefanowicz. Dawn grew up in a homosexual household during the 1960s and 1970s, and though she loved her father, who died of AIDS in 1991, she is speaking out about the awful consequences of raising a child in a home dominated by homosexuality.

Basically, same-sex parenting is bad for all children because of one woman's experience.

Okay, let me get this straight (no pun intended.) She was raised in a "homosexual household" in the 60s and 70s. You know, the 60s. When the only people who led wild, promiscuous lifestyles were gay people. She writes:

From a young age, I was exposed to explicit sexual speech, self-indulgent lifestyles, varied GLBT subcultures and gay vacation spots. Sex looked gratuitous to me as a child. I was exposed to all-inclusive manifestations of sexuality including bathhouse sex, cross-dressing, sodomy, pornography, gay nudity, lesbianism, bisexuality, minor recruitment, voyeurism and exhibitionism. Sado-masochism was alluded to and aspects demonstrated. Alcohol and drugs were often contributing factors to lower inhibitions in my father's relationships.

So not only are these things unique to "homosexual households" in the 60s and 70s--because certainly no straight couples use drugs and alcohol, molest their children, or expose them to inappropriate things--but all same-sex couples raise their children this way. There's no such thing as same-sex couples who believe in appropriate boundaries for children.

Oy. I can't even type that with a straight face. I feel for Ms. Stefanowicz. It sounds like she had a horrific childhood, one I wouldn't wish on anyone. But to say it was caused by the fact that her father was gay and further to universalize this kind of abhorrent behavior to all same-sex couples is ludicrous. Her father was a bad father. Her father was also gay. There is no cause/effect relationship here. To infer one is no different than concluding that because someone was once raped by a black man, all black men are rapists.

There's a word for that. It's called PREJUDICE.


At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Bad Methodist! I enjoyed your comment!

I once read an anology of religions coexisting from Gandi that comes to mind when I read your comment.

Gandi reffered to the religions of the world like the digits of a hand; if any one of the other digits was missing, the hand would not function correctly.

Wow! How philisophical is that?!

Are animals that naturally exibit gay/lesbian behavior in the wild subject to the same ominous fate that religions have bestowed upon all gay people? Are they all the same too?

And, are the "straight" parents who raised me and subjected me to a similar experience of exploitation to sexual indescency subject to labeling, "All straight people are exactly the same"?

(I know that is ludicrious!)

Sounds like that woman has chose to be a victim!...not a survivor...

Does that mean as a gay person...(if we are all the same)...we are all strong survivors?

Not every gay person was molested by a straight person and not all straight people where molested by gays!

What do you think?

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Susan said...

I was around, and was an adult, in the 1960's, and I seem to remember a lot of people doing everything this woman describes and more, with kids around, and they were almost all straight. So, it follows that straight parents are all bad parents?

What a nut. It's hardly worth commenting on, except that this kind of junk just aims to perpetuate prejudice.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Knitress said...

That's such an amazing piece of evidence. Not.

It's like pointing to German couples who raised their kids in the 30's as Nazi true believers, and then saying that I shouldn't be able to get married because I'm German.

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

The truth is, the vast majority of sexual abusers are married white men who are "religious." Hmmm. I guess our kids should be taken away from my husband because they are clearly in danger from being raised in a household with a married white man who regularly attends church.

The logic is stunning, isn't it?

At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Dawn Stefanowicz. No child should ever, ever have to suffer that way! Obviously if her father was indeed so cruel he must have been very ill…and she should have been taken away from him. But, the fact that he was gay has nothing to do with his illness. In fact, I would argue that if we look at statistics, he is the rarity not the status quo when it comes to this incredibly destructive behavior.

Here are some facts from the Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute.

93 percent of the admitted molesters described themselves as religious. They are educated; more than 46 percent had some college education and another 30 percent were high school graduates. 65 percent of the admitted abusers are employed, and 70 percent are classified as Caucasian. Numerous studies of adult victims have sought to link child molestation victims to lower social class and lower family income. All have failed. Child victims and their abusers exist equally in families of all income levels and classes. And, now from the study, we know that child molesters are as equally married, educated, employed, and religious as any other Americans.

Contrasts: Admitted Molesters vs. All American Men

Admitted Child Molesters American Men
Married or formerly married 77% 73%

Some College 46% 49%

High School only 30% 32%

Working 69% 64%

Religious 92% 92%
Sources: The Abel and Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study and the 1999 U.S. Census Statistical Abstract

The religious right has taken on this mean-spirited agenda to maliciously “pin” this societal problem on the gay population. I might suggest (if I were as mean-spirited), after looking at the above statistic, that the overriding identifiers as to whom might be a child molester, and possibly should not have children in their homes, are individuals who are white, most likely married males who describe themselves as religious. But alas, I am not mean-spirited and have no specific agenda, and so would state the facts, people whom harm children are those who are mentally ill.

Most importantly, any miss information as to who a child molester might be only puts all of our children in harms way. I would suggest to everyone who is concerned about this painful, difficult issue to go to the Child Molestation and Prevention Institutes’ Website at The site has a great deal of information-check out the Prevention Plan which provides a REAL plan, using REAL facts that can educate ALL of us on the ways we can protect ALL of our children.


At 11:59 PM, Anonymous jean said...

Thank you for looking at these reports without the blinders that most straight people choose to wear! My partner and I are oth middle age females in a small midwest city and our lifestyle is NOTHING like this woman portrayed. I was a teen in the 60s and me and my straight friends did all those wild things she describes---it was life in the 60s. It was the generation of "FREE LOVE" and "LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH" and the drug culture--it had nothing to do with being gay! At the time I didn't think I was gay either--and most of my friends from the period are happily (some unhappily) married to a person of the opposite gender. My spouse (we had a ceremony of Holy Union on Sept.1, 2000) was married to a man and raised 6 boys and was the church pianist at a large Baptist church for 15 years. I was married to a man, raised 1 daughter, and raised her in the Pentecostal church. We are not the WILD people that gays are portrayed as. We never go to bars or wild parties, we are monogamus and sex is not the focus of our relationship. Neither is it a public display in front of anyone, especially our children and grandchildren. Sex is an almost spiritual thing that is kept in the privacy of our bedroom. We have a glass of wine with some friends to welcome the New Year every year and otherwise neither drink nor use drugs. All of our children are heterosexual. We both know a number of abused people (we both now have a degree in psychology and have worked with survivors of childhood sexual abuse--my spouse gradated this spring with her BA in Psychology and a BA in Music, Piano Performance) and not one of the hundreds of abused people we know were abused by a gay person---everyone of them were abused by heterosexuals and usually a family member or family friend. I have found, living more than half my life straight, that gays and heteros are no different when it comes to morality--there are straight people who hang out at singles bars and pick up people have "loose" sex and never committing and there are gays who do the same. Both of these groups may or may not drink excessively and use illicit drugs. There are heterosexuals who marry, divorce, marry again, divorce again (or cohabit, split, cohait, split) and there are gays who do the same. But just as there are some straight people who are in LONG TERM committed relationships--marriage ( or cohabiting for years) so there are also gays who have LONG TERM committed relationships. Our relationship has lasted 8 years and our union for 5--more than many marriages. And there are gays who have been together for much longer. A lesbin couple I read about the other day have been together for 55 years! How many marriages last that long these days. And we know personally 2 gay relationships (men) that have lasted over 40 years! Another gay couple we know have been together 18 years now! All gays are not alike anymore than all straight people are alike---some of both are extremely moral and some aren't. Thanks for giving me a place to comment and thanks for caring about equality! JEAN

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

Thank you, Jean, for sharing. These are the stories that need to be told.

At 8:04 PM, Blogger rafael said...

Before we state the obvious -- that really bad aspects are also present in many (but by no means the majority of) heterosexual families, we better analyze Stefanowicz's claims.

They're extremely hyperbolic, lacking in balance and nuance, and they play very clearly into almost every and each stereotype held by Christians about gay men -- polymorphous perverse and sex-obsessed, predatory, dettached and emotionally cold. Her account as the child of a gay parent seems to be completely politicized (see, for example, her talking about being outraged at domestic violence in gay relationships; in the place she lives domestic violence in straight relationships are not a big problem as well?).

Let's see Abigail Garner. Like Stefanowicz, she is a heterosexual woman raised by her biological father -- a gay man. However, she seems to be the opposite of Stefanowicz: according to her writing, her relationship with her gay father and her experience in the gay community were overall positive and something she is in fact grateful about. But she is also nuanced on her account as a "queerspawn" (term she herself coined) and she is still able to straight-forwardly talk about bad aspects in having gay parents, as evidenced by her article about heterophobia in gay families (which appeared in a lesbian magazine and stirred really mean comments by gay and lesbian readers). When talking about her childhood and her relationship with her father and his partner, Garner reminds an experienced and mature individual trying to reach out adults and kids who live as she lived -- as the child of gay parents. Dawn Stefanowicz reminds a talk show guest trying to shock and disgust an audience that already holds far less than positive or neutral views on gays as persons and as parents. Garner seems to want to talk with the gay parent and their child, Stefanowicz seems to want to convince the politician.

At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a scientific and sociological perspective, the morality, legality and imperative for a defense of marriage act hinges on the two following questions. First, is gay marriage a minority rights issue like inter-racial marriage? Secondly, will any harm result if the legal definition of marriage is changed?

The inter-racial marriage debate differed from today’s gay marriage debate in two ways. First, it concerned the union of one man and one woman. Secondly, it was a clear case of unjust discrimination because it was based on an innate and immutable trait – skin color. This is not so with same sex attraction.

In 1995 the pre-eminent openly homosexual gay gene researcher, Dr. Dean Hammer, made a startling admission - “[we] know from twin studies that 50% or more of the variation in sexual orientation is not inherited.” A study by Kendall and associates in 2002 suggests that 70% or more is not inherited.

This means that there is no gay gene or set of genes. Skin color, in contrast, is 100% determined by skin color genes. Homosexuality is not genetic like skin color. Homosexuality is not innate.

Yet, same sex attraction is not a conscious choice either. According to the American Psychiatric Association, sexual attractions develop across a person’s lifetime due to a combination of familial, social, societal and biological factors. In other words, SSA arises from a developmental process that is only partly influenced by biology.

While people do not choose their same sex attraction, they can choose whether to act on, suppress or attempt altering those attractions. True lasting change of sexual orientation is possible. This has been documented by gay affirmative researchers in the peer reviewed psychiatric literature, most recently by Dr. Robert Spitzer.

Members of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Queer by Choice, and radical lesbian feminist Camille Paglia are examples of true to science gay activists. Even the president of Parents Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFFLAG) and the American Psychological Association recently affirmed the position of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality that re-orientation therapy may be beneficial for those who desire it.

Sexual orientation, unlike skin color, develops as a result of various familial and social factors perhaps in only biologically predisposed individuals. Biological predisposition, however, is not destiny. Sexual orientation, unlike a person’s genetically determined skin color, is changeable.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Bad Methodist said...

I'm neither a scientist nor gay, so the issue of biology vs. invironment simply doesn't interest me much. I believe what I believe regardless of whether same-sex attraction is or is not a choice.

To use the interracial marriage analogy: while people cannot choose their skin color, love itself is a choice. A black woman who falls in love with a white man can choose to overcome her feelings and walk away for a more "acceptable" choice of a black man. But we finally came to the point in our society where we no longer think it's our right to demand that she do so.

That's the standard I believe we should be applying to the issue of same-sex marriage. If a man chooses to make a life with another man (however he got the attraction in the first place), then who are we to tell him he can't, and to not allow him and his family the same protections we grant the black woman who chooses to make a life with a white man?


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