As our readers may be aware, it was recently reported that the popular online insurance portal Insure.com has posted disturbing and completely inaccurate information about the lifespan of gay people. Worse, the source for their claims is the discredited and largely avoided Dr. Paul Cameron and his Family Research Institute.
Insure.com CEO Robert Bland defended the use of Cameron’s data in the articles, the core claim of which is that “a gay lifestyle takes away 8-20 years from the average lifespan.” Further, insurance companies don’t charge higher premiums for gay clients (supposedly because of some sort of political correctness) so gays “save money on life insurance at the same rate they die young.”
This is compared to smokers, who do pay higher premiums. This entire argument comes directly from Cameron and his bizarre obituary studies, which have been discredited by numerous researchers for serious methodological flaws.
This is not the first time Bland has mixed a divisive personal platform with his openly traded corporation. He is also the chairman of the Illinois Right to Life Committee. As far back as 1999, financial forums contained chatter of concern over his poor judgment for combining that work with Insure.com.
As recently as two weeks ago, the resource page (cached, archived) of the Illinois Right to Life Committee listed Cameron’s Family Research Institute along with Peter Labarbera Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and similar groups. Today, the entry for FRI is missing. We have written Bland to ask if he had something to do with this — he is their chairman after all. His reply, should there be one, will be appended.
What do we make of this change? At least one of the original articles remains on Insure.com. Bland has used Cameron’s research while staunchly defending their claims about gay lifespan, yet Cameron’s group has been removed from the resource list of an organization for which Bland is chair.
Is this a slow retreat?