Press Release - November 22, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 22, 2004
Contact: Wayne Besen
AUTHOR CALLS ON EDITOR OF DIVISIVE, ANTI-GAY ADVERTISING INSERT TO APOLOGIZE FOR DEFAMING THE GAY COMMUNITY
Dr. David Grier of Grace Christian Church Misused Social Science and Shamefully Misled His Readers, Said Wayne Besen
WASHINGTON -- Author Wayne Besen today condemned Grace Christian Church in Woodbridge, Va., for divisively vilifying gay people in last week's Washington Post. The attack, which was intended to arouse anti-gay sentiment in the African-American community, came in the form of an advertising insert called "Both Sides Magazine". Besen called on "Both Sides" editor Dr. David Grier to apologize for his politically motivated, scientifically incorrect and mean-spirited attack.
"This is disgraceful propaganda designed to incite anger and contempt by using an inexcusably vicious combination of sensational pictures and bogus scientific claims," said Besen, author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth. "Editor Dr. David Grier ought to be ashamed of his wanton manipulation of the facts designed to distort the lives of gay people."
Grier argued that gay people don't deserve equal rights because their "lifestyle" causes them an early death. He arrived at this conclusion by using phony stats that compare the "median age of death for a homosexual man with AIDS" to the "average age of death for a married heterosexual male."
"This is as ridiculous as comparing the average age of death for healthy gay men to the age of death for African-Americans with severe diabetes," said Besen. "Contrasting life spans of healthy people from one group to sick people from another group is beyond absurd."
Sadly, Grier got his information from Dr. Paul Cameron. In 1985, The American Sociological Association adopted a resolution that stated: "Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality and lesbianism."
The insert also contends gay people should not gain equal rights because homosexuality is not immutable, like race. Drier made the silly argument that, "If homosexuality is a genetic trait and homosexuals were true to their orientation, the trait would die in the first generation."
"First, Grier should take Biology 101. Second, the vast majority of gay and straight people would agree that their sexual orientation is deeply ingrained and is not changeable," said Besen. "The American Psychiatric Association says attempts to change sexual orientation can lead to 'anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior.'"
Fortunately, most black leaders such as Al Sharpton, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Nelson Mandela and Coretta Scott King have been leading voices for gay and lesbian equality.
"For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people," Coretta Scott King said at the 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. "Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions."
According to Besen, people like Grier learned all the wrong lessons from the civil rights movement.
"The beauty of the civil rights movement is that it had a universal message that laid down a simple moral principle: 'Caste systems where people are born into second-class citizenship should be abolished', said Besen. "It is a shame that in this day and age some people only believe themselves worthy of dignity, freedom, equality and respect."