Updated: Exodus President Alan Chambers responds.
Amid recent warnings about the integrity of data used by antigay activists, Exodus International continues to air the distorted statistics and false health claims of antigay activists Paul and Kirk Cameron — laundered through third parties.
On its recently redesigned web site, Exodus continues to host at least four articles, written by two longtime Exodus activists, that rely upon Cameron’s false claims about the health and longevity of same-sex-attracted persons.
The Exodus FAQ “Is there a connection between life expectancy and homosexuality?,” written by Exodus blogger and member-activist Nancy Brown, is blatant in its re-use of classic Cameron propaganda. And Exodus is apparently aware that the information in this FAQ is false: The document is riddled with internal staff annotations requesting “more information on citation” — something that isn’t possible to achieve, given that Cameron’s claims are scientifically unsupportable.
Instead of removing false information from the FAQ, though, Exodus clings to the FAQ’s antigay health claims as a matter of faith.
Among those claims:
— The median age of death of a lesbian is 457 Note: Provide more information on citation. (sic)
— The median age of death of a homosexual man without AIDS is 42, with AIDS is 398. Note: Provide more information on citation. (sic)
These factoids’ footnotes launder such claims by Cameron through an antigay tract printed in Marietta, Ga., in order to disguise the data’s origin. The tract, in turn, is presented as a reputable source of information.
The FAQ also resorts to blank footnotes for substantiation of its leading claims. (See at left.)
Among the only true statements in the article, it seems, is an inadvertent admission by Exodus that while gay people may account for only 3 to 5 percent of the population, in 2003 they accounted for 16.6 percent of the victims of violent (felony) hate crimes reported to the FBI.
On the Exodus web site, at least two more articles — written in the 1980s but presented as current commentaries on homosexuality — repeat Exodus’ practice of laundering outdated and discredited information.
These articles repeat the FAQ’s false claims by Cameron, laundered through uncredited antigay tracts, 1980s studies of a then-barely understood disease called AIDS, and cherry-picked 30-year-old surveys of mental-health opinions and of promiscuity among San Francisco men who visited STD clinics in the sexually libertine 1970s. These decades-old artifacts — classic and central elements of Paul Cameron’s work — are presented to Exodus readership as though the information were current proof of runaway homosexual male promiscuity.
On occasion, the Exodus web site will admit its use of Paul Cameron’s data directly. In Great Myths about Homosexuality, Medinger unapologetically credits Cameron’s Family Research Institute for some of the document’s claims. Whether the document’s other footnoted sources also borrowed from Cameron is unclear.
Some weeks ago, despite a quick heads-up by one of his blog’s commenters, Exodus executive vice president Randy Thomas declined to correct or denounce misinformation fed to Armstrong Williams by Paul Cameron. When his parroting of Cameron was subsequently discovered and publicized by Ex-Gay Watch, Thomas expressed a partial retraction but rejected responsibility for own his failure to check dubious and malicious claims before repeating them.
Thomas’ lack of ownership of his writing is mirrored at Exodus HQ. As with Thomas-parroting-Williams-parroting-Cameron, the excuse for Exodus-parroting-Medinger-parroting-Cameron is worthy of a indignant child who has uttered a naughty profanity:
“He said it first.”