Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality" Part 4


Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Homosexual Parenting/Homosexual Adoption #67-82".


Acronym Key:

TIM = ThisIsMarriage
MSM = men who have sex with men
WSW = women who have sex with women
SS = Same sex
(p240) = page 240

See response part 1 (link below) for details concerning why newspaper articles, books and Paul Cameron studies are dismissed. It is recommended that first-time readers start there.
http://homoresponse.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/response-to-truth-about-homosexuality.html

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59) A Paul Cameron Study.
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60) Bronstein et al. 1993, Family Relations, 42(3), 268-276:
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/585556

TIM's insinuation: Children raised in "traditional" families fare better than those from other family types.

This study is not on SS parents at all and its use by TIM simply demonstrates the dearth of evidence that TIM is able to find to support its claims. The study was conducted prior to the legalization of SS adoption in any U.S. state and does not even appear to refer to "traditional" families. If anything about the study could be extrapolated to SS couples it would be that SS marriage legalization would likely benefit SS couples and their children.

The study's findings, as summarised by the authors:
"Biologically or adoptive parents in maritally intact families tended to show more positive parenting and coparenting practices than did parents in other family configurations, and children in intact families showed higher levels of adjustment".

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61) Golombok & Tasker, 1996, Developmental Psychology, 32(1), 3-11:
http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doiLanding&doi=10.1037/0012-1649.32.1.3

TIM's insinuation: Being raised by a homosexual parent increases the chances of becoming homosexual.

As is often the case, TIM's own study refutes TIM's claim:
"In terms of sexual identity, the large majority of young adults with lesbian mothers identified as heterosexual. Only 2 young women... identified as lesbian... This group difference did not reach statistical significance" (p7).

The idea that 5 daughters and 1 boy can be used to accurately gage the effect TIM is describing is absurd and converting such small numbers in to percentages is simply an attempt to inflate them. That there were no homosexuals among the offspring of the heterosexual parents itself proves this point because generalising this tiny sample population to the whole populace as TIM does would require us to conclude that no heterosexuals ever have LGBT offspring. This is clearly incorrect.

Further points:
"There was no significant difference between adults raised in lesbian families and their peers from single-mother heterosexual households in the proportion who reported sexual attraction to someone of the same gender" (p7).

"It is important to point out that the mothers and children who participated in the research were genetically related to each other, and thus it is not possible to disentangle the influence of genetic and social aspects of the parent-child relationship" (p9).

"It should be noted that the young adults raised in lesbian households were no more likely than those from heterosexual households to experience mental health problems and both groups obtained scores on standardized measures of emotional well being that did not differ significantly from those of general population samples" (p9).

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62 + 63 + 64) These are examples of argumenta ad populum. Consider what portion of people thought that the Earth was flat during previous epochs and whether or not this was therefore true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

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65) An unsubstantiated assertion from TIM's favourite hate group.
66) A book or news article.
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67.1) Golombok & Tasker, 1995, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 65(2), 203-215:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7611338

TIM's insinuation: Female children with a lesbian parent are more likely to become lesbian themselves.

This is another study by the authors of TIM reference 61, on the exact same sample population. It therefore contributes no new information and TIM's use of it is foolish at best, deceptive at worst.

The abstract of the study directly and explicitly refutes TIM's claims:
"A longitudinal study of 25 young adults from lesbian families and 21 raised by heterosexual single mothers revealed that those raised by lesbian mothers functioned well in adulthood in terms of psychological well-being and of family identity and relationships. The commonly held assumption that lesbian mothers will have lesbian daughters and gay sons was not supported by the findings."

67.2) Stacey & Biblarz, 2001, American Sociological Review, 66(2), 159-183:
http://faculty.law.miami.edu/mcoombs/documents/Stacey_Biblarz.pdf

TIM's insinuation: More children raised by lesbians consider having SS relationships than those raised by heterosexuals.

This is a review I.E. it did not introduce a new sample population.  The claims that TIM is referring to (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001, p170) are actually based upon Golombok & Tasker's 22 lesbian and 18 heterosexual parents (TIM references 61 and 67.1).

That a higher portion of children raised by lesbians considered the possibility of having a SS relationship compared to those raised by heterosexual parents is not only unsurprising but seemingly irrelevant.  As previously established, only two actually identified as lesbian, a disparity which "did not reach statistical significance" (Golombok & Tasker, 1996). Entry in to any relationship is governed by whether or not the participants wish to, not whether or not they consider the possibility of it.

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68) This is reference 67.2 (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001).

TIM's insinuation: Girls raised by lesbian mothers are more sexually adventurous.

Regarding chastity the review noted that:
"Relative to their counterparts with heterosexual parents, the adolescent and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to have been more sexually adventurous and less chaste, whereas the sons of lesbians evince the opposite pattern-somewhat less sexually adventurous and more chaste" (p171).
Note that this is still Golombok & Tasker's sample population.

Once again TIM's own reference contradicts its position (Stacey & Biblarz, 2001):
"We unequivocally endorse (the) conclusion that social science research provides no grounds for taking sexual orientation into account in the political distribution of family rights and responsibilities... Researchers must overcome the hetero-normative presumption that interprets sexual differences as deficits" (p179).

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69) Demo & Cox, 2000, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62(4), 876-895:
http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/f/D_Demo_Families_2000.pdf

TIM's insinuation: Most studies on homosexual parents rely on white, middle class families and so their generalizability is limited.

This isn't actually a review on SS parenting, it is on "families with young children", though it does briefly mention SS parenting. Fortunately, in the context of SS adoption, most people who apply for adoption are white and middle class. More importantly however, we have over a decade more of research since the review was published in 2000, back when, as described by the authors (Demo & Cox), this topic was a "relatively new line of inquiry".

Demo & Cox note that, even at the time of the study:
"There is evidence that children reared in lesbian and gay households fare very well and in some cases better than children in two-heterosexual-parent households." (p899).

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70) A link to a web forum.
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71) Koepke et al. Family Relations, 1992, 41(2), 224-229:
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/584837

TIM's insinuation: "Even individuals who believe that same-sex relationships are a legitimate choice for adults may feel that children will suffer from being reared in such families."

TIM use this reference to make an irrelevant point. It is merely the authors acknowledgement of the existence of prejudice... just as with the argumentum ad populum fallacies used earlier by TIM, the existence or prevalence of an opinion does not itself justify or substantiate that opinion.

The quote TIM uses is actually part of a section where the study authors are cautioning against such prejudice attitudes and how they may interfere with future research:
"(START TIM) Even individuals who believe that same-sex relationships are a legitimate choice for adults may feel that children will suffer from being reared in such families (END TIM). Recognizing negative attitudes and stereotypes may help the practitioner avoid projecting these stereotypes onto the lesbian family. For example, if a teacher perceived the child as coming from an "abnormal" home, that teacher may provoke problems where none exist” (p228).

The study concludes that:
"Overall, this sample reflected well-adjusted and happy couples in both groups" (p228).

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72) Three books, which incidentally appear to be referring to comparisons of single parent homes, not SS couples, with married couples.
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SECTION FIVE SUMMARY:

This section of TIM's essay is particularly weak, with at least 3 of it's references all based upon the same study of 25 children raised by a homosexual parent (Golombok & Tasker, 1996) and used by TIM to draw conclusions that the authors explicitly disagreed with. Other than a study not on homosexual's parenting ability at all but on the benefits of marriage, the rest of the references appear to be a mixture of books, web-forums, hate groups and of course the obligatory Paul Cameron study.

Further discussion of SS adoption can be found at the following URL:
http://homoresponse.blogspot.com/2011/05/countering-heterosexist-arguments.html#18


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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Genetics and Homosexuality #83-90".

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73) A book.
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74) TIM's insinuation: Homosexuality would have disappeared long ago due to natural selection were it genetic.

Just like how no men or women are ever born sterile...
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75) TIM's insinuation: Homosexuality results from a combination of genetic and environmental impacts.

The quote notes that homosexuality has a genetic component therefore seemingly being in disagreement with TIM's claim in reference 74. All scientific disciplines have advanced somewhat since 1966, the year TIM's source was published. However, the current scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental impacts.

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76) Scott Richards, 1993, AMCAP Journal
https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/IssuesInReligionAndPsychotherapy/article/viewFile/369/347

TIM's insinuation: Specific environmental causes of homosexuality include; atypical childhood gender expression, unloving fathers or dominant mothers.

TIM's use of this study is highly deceptive. The quote provided by TIM is prefaced with the following:
"Reparative therapists make several assumptions about homosexuality and therapy with homosexual clients".

As the title of the paper indicates (see below), it is simply noting down various perspectives and the quotation provided by TIM is merely an outline of the perspective of reparative therapists:
"The Treatment of Homosexuality: Some Historical, Contemporary, and Personal Perspectives".

AMCAP (TIM's source) does not actually appear to be a peer-reviewed scientific journal, given that it doesn't have an impact factor... and that it stands for "The Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists"... and that its self-stated purpose starts "With an eye single to the glory of God and centered in Christ"...

Scientific journals attempt to decipher reality objectively, free of dogma and preconceived ideologies. This "journal" does the exact opposite. Any one of the above reasons would be sufficient to reject TIM's use of the quotation. Actual scientific organisations reject TIM's insinuations.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists on Homosexuality's Origin:
"Despite almost a century of psychoanalytic and psychological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heterosexual or homosexual orientation".
http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Submission%20to%20the%20Church%20of%20England.pdf

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77) TIM's insinuation: The declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder involved discarding many studies that conflicted with this decision.

This is reference 76 and quotes the opinion of Charles Socarides, perhaps the most famous proponent of ex-gay therapy.

The Rosenhan experiment was likely far more of a "disheartening attack upon psychiatric research" than the declassification of homosexuality ever could be and additionally served to undermine whatever studies Socarides was referring to. The declassification was also based upon multiple studies, details of which can be found here:
http://homoresponse.blogspot.com/2011/05/countering-heterosexist-arguments.html#2

If TIM have "hundreds" of research papers supporting their position then they should provide their full texts and they can be evaluated. Until then, references to them are as useless as unsubstantiated claims of "hundreds" of research papers to the contrary.

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78) A book... used to make a vague and unverifiable statement.
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79) No reference given.

TIM's insinuation: A 2001 study found that most of the 200 participants had been able to change their sexual orientation slightly.

It almost certainly refers to Robert Spitzer's study.  This study has been criticised on multiple grounds but particularly on the basis that there was no reliable means of determining the truthfulness of the participant's statements, which were likely to be heavily biased. Dr Spitzer now wishes to retract his study, as detailed below.

Dr Spitzer quoted regarding his study by Gabriel Arana in The American Prospect, 11/04/2012, page 3:
"“In retrospect, I have to admit I think the critiques are largely correct,” he said. “The findings can be considered evidence for what those who have undergone ex-gay therapy say about it, but nothing more.”"
http://prospect.org/article/my-so-called-ex-gay-life

A video of Spitzer's retraction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIifMxPcRnI

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80.1) Yarhouse & Throckmorton, 2002, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 39(1), 66-75:
http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/pst/39/1/66/

TIM's insinuation: People can change sexual orientation.

A response to this review was published in the same journal by several authors (Glassgold et al. 2002, Psychotherapy, 39(4), 376-378) stating that:
"The current authors were disappointed in the approach taken by the authors in their discussion and review of the empirical research, scholarly literature, and ethical concerns. The authors assert that Yarhouse et al failed to represent the issues accurately and comprehensively."
http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2003-06066-010

Another study published in the same year also contradicts Yarhouse and Throckmorton's claims (Shidlo & Schroeder, 2002, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(3), 249-259):
"The results indicated that a majority failed to change sexual orientation, and many reported that they associated harm with conversion interventions. A minority reported feeling helped, although not necessarily with their original goal of changing sexual orientation."
http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2002-01066-003


80.2) Warren Throckmorton, 1998, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 20(4), 283-304:
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1999-13888-001
http://www.drthrockmorton.com/effortstomodify.htm

This is another review by one of the two authors of TIM's reference 80.1. The quote provided by TIM does not appear to be in the full version of the review, located on the author's website (see URL above). It is therefore not possible to identify what study that the alleged quote refers to or comment further on it.

Dr. Throckmorton additionally no longer believes that most people can change their orientation:
"Gay and bisexual people who change their behavior infrequently lose their same-sex attractions, no matter how earnestly they pray. In my work as well as other studies, heterosexually married gay and lesbian people do not demonstrate change in attractions on average, even as they demonstrate devotion to their marriages."
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2011/11/04/a-new-test-of-orthodoxy/

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81) A book. "Dysfunction" here is simply a word with an unjustified negative connotation attached and represents nothing more than an attempt to stigmatize abnormality by pathologizing it. This quotation, much like all of those above concerning reparative therapy, are additionally nothing to do with genetics, despite TIM's title for this section. The point made is additionally predicated on the notion that homosexuality or asexuality are inherently incompatible with human procreation, which is clearly not the case.

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82) Warren Throckmorton, 2002, Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 33(3), 242–248:
http://wthrockmorton.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/242.pdf

Note that this is the same author as TIM references 80.1 and 80.2. TIM deceptively suggests that the APA endorse views that sexual orientation is changeable when in fact the opposite is true.

American Psychological Association:
"There are no studies of adequate scientific rigor to conclude whether or not recent SOCE do or do not work to change a person’s sexual orientation. Scientifically rigorous older work in this area (e.g., Birk, Huddleston, Miller, & Cohler, 1971; James, 1978; McConaghy, 1969, 1976; McConaghy, Proctor, & Barr, 1972; Tanner, 1974, 1975) found that sexual orientation (i.e., erotic attractions and sexual arousal oriented to one sex or the other, or both) was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose."
http://www.apa.org/about/policy/sexual-orientation.aspx
Note: SOCE = "sexual orientation change efforts".

A few quotations from TIM's own article indicate a similar sentiment (Throckmorton, 2002):
"Research in which the term ex-gay is used is sparse. I could locate only 11 reports in the professional literature or under review for publication concerning individuals involved in ex-gay ministries. The extent and degree of impact, positive or negative, of these ministries is currently impossible to gage. Other authors have provided anecdotal accounts of individuals harmed or disillusioned as a result of their involvement in ex-gay ministries (Bennett, 1998; Haldeman, 1994, 1999; Human Rights Campaign, 2000; Martin, 1984; Stein, 1996). Shidlo and Schroeder (2000) made a more rigorous study of those who report harm from ex-gay or change efforts."

Throckmorton also notes that:
"To limit the scope of this article, I do not consider sexual reorientation therapies in depth."

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83) A Paul Cameron study.
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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Incidence of Homosexual Behavior #98-104".

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84-90) Irrelevant.
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SECTION SIX SUMMARY:

It should be noted that the scientific consensus is that sexual orientation is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. The idea of a "gay gene" is an oversimplification and genetics aren't the only possible realm of a pre-natal cause of homosexuality. Furthermore, acquiring a homosexual orientation post-natally does not equate to it being a choice.

There is insufficient evidence for anybody to conclude that they were "born this way" those doing so are likely suffering from a very similar form of stupidity as the average heterosexist. That is, they know they did not choose to be homosexual and so assume that it must be pre-natally caused. The mistake they share with the heterosexist is to assume that only pre-natal causal origins can be involuntary.

The changeability of sexual orientation remains to be established and TIM's over-reliance on one author, who's conclusions have been heavily criticised and contradicted in the same journal of his original publication serves to reinforce this fact.

The abundance of a characteristic (I.E. homosexuality) within a population does not mediate whether or not it is morally acceptable to prejudicially discriminate against those in possession of that characteristic. Heterosexists typically pick a selection of the lowest percentages when trying to diminish the prevalence of homosexuality.

CDC, National Survey of Family Growth:
"Percent of males 15-44 years of age who have had oral or anal sex with another male in the last 12 months, 2006-2008: 4.3%."
"Percent of females 15-44 years of age who had a female sexual partner in the last 12 months, 2006-2008: 11.7%."
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/abc_list_s.htm#sexualfemales

The statistic above is for sexual behaviour, which is where the 10% statistic is typically derived from. The statistic for homosexual/bisexual orientation is typically slightly lower and is ~8% in the CDC's National Survey of Family Growth.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/abc_list_s.htm#sexualorientationandattraction

Further discussion of the biological component of sexual orientation determination can be found here:
http://homoresponse.blogspot.com/2011/05/countering-heterosexist-arguments.html#05


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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Homosexuality and Marriage #105-115".

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91) TIM's insinuation: Most people agree that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Irrelevant, particularly given that words and definitions always change over time. This is perhaps especially true of legal definitions, such as with legal marriage. Another argumentum ad populum fallacy.
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92) TIM's insinuation: A 2000 Gallup poll showed most Americans are against SS marriage.

Again irrelevant. As previously explained, what people believe does not dictate what is true, correct or right. Incidentally, the 2011 Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans support SS marriage.
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93) TIM's assertion: The purpose of marriage is for procreation only and this cannot change.

An unsubstantiated assertion that 1) fails to account for marriage between infertile people and 2) erroneously suggests that marriage has not been redefined for centuries. Even without marriage between infertile people, it would still be nothing more than a baseless, intellectually vacuous assertion.
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94) TIM's assertion: Procreative potential constitutes the sole state interest in the legislation of marriage.

1) Infertile couples. 2) Marriage between those that don't want children. 3) Marriage is not necessary or sufficient for procreation. 4) SS marriage legalization would not impact upon heterosexual marriages. 5) The "most imperative of all government objectives" is to treat citizens justly and equally.
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95) Unsubstantiated lies from TIM's favourite hate group.
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96) TIM's insinuation: The major religions consider homosexuality to be immoral, so it must be.

Yet again, what people think is irrelevant to what is actually true. Buddhism does not necessarily condemn homosexuality, nor do many denominations of Christianity.
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97) TIM's insinuation: Societies that stray from purely heterosexual marriage disintegrate.

A book from 1933... making another unjustified assertion. A quote from the American Anthropological Association should swat aside this pernicious myth.

American Anthropological Association:
"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.
The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples."
http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Statement-on-Marriage-and-the-Family.cfm

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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Homosexuality and Hate Crimes #116-119".

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98-99) The point made is of no clear relevance.
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100) TIM reference 35 uses the same references and makes the same point as is made here. See response to TIM reference 35.
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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Homosexual Activism #120-134".

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101 + 102) Newspaper article. Both make apparently irrelevant points.
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103) A Book. TIM's insinuation: Homosexual activists want homosexuality to be viewed as being normal.

Proof that "homosexual activists" don't care whether homosexuality is viewed as normal or not: Homosexuality is abnormal, just as athletes are abnormally athletic and lottery winners are abnormally lucky.
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104) A book providing anecdotal opinion. Were this quote of a "homosexual activist" to claim that the secret "homosexual agenda" was to kidnap heterosexual's children and murder them, this would be just as unsubstantiated and anecdotal and therefore just as irrelevant.
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105) Appears to be another book. Nothing requires moral "justification" until it has successfully been shown to typically be "unjustified" I.E. "wrong".  This is yet to occur with homosexuality. Homosexuality is additionally not limited to a "sex act" any more than heterosexuality.
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Response to "The Truth About Homosexuality", "Homosexual Activism in the Schools #135-145".

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106) Another alleged fact for which the relevance remains to be established by TIM.
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107) More irrelevant, anecdotal information, with TIM's references to "deluding" the legislature being the only apparent inflammatory part of the paragraph.
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108) A conservative website making unsubstantiated assertions.
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109-113) More anecdotal nonsense. Reference 113 in particular seems to make an especially benign point.
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SECTION SEVEN SUMMARY:

The last few sections of TIM's essay consist almost entirely of anecdotal opinion, the rationale behind which is frequently demonstrably fallacious.

Further discussion of SS marriage can be found here:
http://homoresponse.blogspot.com/2011/05/countering-heterosexist-arguments.html#17


PART 1
PART 2
PART 3

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