The San Francisco Chronicle wrote this article Monday on a recent effort to encourage gay and lesbian couples in San Francisco to foster children. The problem?
They uncritically cited Paul Cameron and his bogus research which is just self-published bigotry and hatred, with no scientific validity.
But there are signs of hope…
Here’s the contribution from Paul Cameron, bigot and fraud, to the article:
The campaign, which will include a billboard in the Castro featuring two dads with their teen daughter, is perhaps the first of its kind and sure to be controversial. It comes just two weeks after the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family began its drive to recruit more Christians as adoptive parents, partly — the group said — to keep foster children out of homosexual hands.
Focus on the Family’s objection to same-sex parents is grounded in interpretation of biblical scripture and research by Paul Cameron, director of the Family Research Institute in Colorado. Cameron says gays and lesbians are unfit parents, are more likely to molest children of their same sex, switch partners frequently, have shorter life expectancies and cause their children embarrassment and social difficulties.
“Any child that can be adopted into a married-mother-and-father family, that’s the gold standard,” Cameron said. “An orphanage would be the second choice, and then a single woman.”
Focus on the Family’s drive follows the March release of a study by the Urban Institute think tank and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law concluding gays and lesbians are a great untapped parenting resource, considering that 500,000 children are in foster care nationwide and an estimated 2 million gay, lesbian and bisexual people are interested in adopting.
This uncritical quotation of a bigot, who has been drummed out of professional societies, who has no legitimacy as a source of factual information (for a full idea of his misdeeds see Ed Brayton’s extensive coverage of Cameron ) is a mistake of the highest order for a journalist seeking to inform an audience about anything. Coverage of the opening of a Jewish community center shouldn’t require talking to holocaust denialists for balance. Studies on HIV shouldn’t need input from Peter Duesberg. Similarly, coverage of science suggesting gays and lesbians as an untapped resource for foster care should not rely on information provided uncritically from bigots such as Paul Cameron.
Denialists have no business being consulted for articles on anything factual. This was a terrible mistake. To the Chronicle’s credit, the article is now accompanied by this disclaimer:
CLARIFICATION: In an article about San Francisco’s campaign to get more gays and lesbians to adopt foster children – as well as an opposing evangelical campaign to get more Christian families to adopt — the Chronicle quoted Paul Cameron, director of the Family Research Institute. The article should have noted that Cameron, who believes gays make unfit parents and self-published dozens of articles he said were based on his research, was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 when he refused to subject his work to peer review. The article also should have reported that his Family Research Institute was named a hate group in 2006 by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Hopefully in the future they will bypass consulting hate groups altogether, and just report the facts.