Yesterday, state lawmakers in Gaston County held a town hall where they discussed the proposed anti-LGBT constitutional amendment. Guests at the meeting, held at a church of all places, included state Sens. Kathy Harrington and James Forrester and Reps. Kelly Hastings, John Torbett and Bill Current. Each of the lawmakers present are sponsors of the constitutional amendment, so it should come as no surprise that the meeting was inherently one-sided. What should surprise everyone, though, is the local Gaston Gazette‘s follow-up “reporting” — just as one-sided and just as unfair. This much is abundantly clear: Objectivity, balance and fairness took a vacation at the Gazette yesterday.
Among the most concerning pieces of the Gazette‘s irresponsibility is this line: “Forrester, a physician, said the lifespan of homosexuals is decreased by at least 20 years due to the increased risk of developing AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases.”
Why did the Gazette leave this comment unclarified? That’s a very dangerous comment to make without any refutation or balance or research. Did the reporter do no outside research? If, in a public meeting, I made a crazy, over-generalized claim about heterosexuals would my comment be printed as-is? Very irresponsible on the part of this particular Gazette reporter. Indeed, the whole article stinks. There was no balance and no opposing voices heard in the piece. Did the reporter take no time at all to track down a citizen opposed to the amendment? How can you write an article about such a hotly-contested issue without speaking to some of the very people an amendment such as this will affect?
The overwhelming majority of so-called “studies” on the lifespan of gay people was done by discredited “researcher” Paul Cameron, who has been shunned by every credible, national medical association (http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_obit.html ). Other so-called “studies” have been based on Cameron’s work and, thus, are just as invalid.
There are no accurate or credible studies indicating that gay lifespan is shorter. To the contrary, there are studies that say the lifespan is nearly the same between gays and heterosexuals (http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2008/11/new-study-refutes-cameron-gay-lifespan-claims/).
As a physician, Sen. Forrester knows the truth about the medicine and the science. As a politician, however, it seems he just doesn’t care what the science says; there is, after all, an agenda to push.