John Boehner’s DOMA lawyer, former Bush solicitor general Paul Clement, has been having a bad week. Yesterday, one of the authorities he cited in a legal brief defending DOMA publicly accused Clement of having “completely misrepresented my research.”
Today, we find out that Clement is citing an anti-gay study that is based in part on the work of a man, Paul Cameron, who once mused about the extermination of all gay people.
[Cameron] told the 1985 Conservative Political Action Committee conference that “extermination of homosexuals” might be needed in the next three to four years. He has advocated tattooing AIDS patients in the face, and banishment to a former leper colony for any patient who resisted. He has called for gay bars to be closed and gays to be registered with the government.
Cameron even has called AIDS a “godsend”…
A man so out of the mainstream that the Southern Poverty Law Center long ago branded him a hate group, and accused his anti-gay “science” of having “echoed Nazi Germany.” And it’s not just the SPLC. The American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association, the Nebraska Psychological Association, and the Canadian Psychological Association has all rejected Cameron as a nut – APA even kicked him out of their membership.
Paul Cameron isn’t just another anti-gay religious right leader. He’s the Fred Phelps of anti-gay researchers. Even the religious right groups now tend to shy away from Cameron, he’s so incendiary and been so thoroughly debunked. It is downright bizarre, and beyond offensive that Boehner through Clement would embrace someone in such disrepute as Paul Cameron. It’s a huge mistake by Clement, and hugely embarrassing for Boehner as we enter election season.
Alvin McEwen, who discovered all of this, dug into the BLAG memo and examined the work of Professor George Dent, another of the Boehner/Clement authorities. It’s ugly:
There is a portion of Clement’s documentation which bears much scrutiny. It is the section called “Plaintiff Misstates the Science on Same-Sex Parenting” and it is a huge mess.
Part of this section (pg. 24) cites George W. Dent, Jr., No Difference?: An Analysis of Same-Sex Parenting.
Dent is a law professor at Case Western Reserve University who has written many negative papers on marriage equality and homosexuality in general. In the paper cited by Boehner’s legal team, he pulls out all of the stops to make the case that same-sex parenting is inferior to heterosexual parenting, even the citing of folklore:
Every child with homosexual guardians has lost at least one biological parent. Loss of a parent is universally regarded as a great misfortune. If the child has one biological parent, the other adult is a step-parent. In fables step-parents are typically hostile to their step-children.
If you pardon me for being so bold, anyone who takes Dent’s paper as credible is dealing in folklore themselves. There are several problems with it including:
On page four, Dent cites both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, both discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies and Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year’s scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a “rentboy.”
So, the Boehner legal team is misrepresenting some research, while relying on the discredited work of Cameron and Rekers.
As Alvin has said in the past, “Paul Cameron is the grandfather of all anti-gay junk science.”
And, Rekers, well, the thing speaks for itself.
These are the “experts” making the case for DOMA on behalf of the Speaker of the House. And these are your tax dollars at work.
This shows why Clement and Boehner are going to lose.