Former head of the Human Genome Project and current director of the venerable National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins has once again sent a strong message warning that passages of his book have been twisted to fit an anti-gay agenda.

Statement from NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in Response to the American College of Pediatricians
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

April 15, 2010

“It is disturbing for me to see special interest groups distort my scientific observations to make a point against homosexuality.  The American College of Pediatricians pulled language out of context from a book I wrote in 2006 to support an ideology that can cause unnecessary anguish and encourage prejudice. The information they present is misleading and incorrect, and it is particularly troubling that they are distributing it in a way that will confuse school children and their parents.”

The latest charge comes as a result of a letter sent out by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPED) to all school superintendents in the US.  Not to be confused with the actual American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ACPED was formed in the 90s by a few who believe homosexuality is a disorder (a view not held by the AAP).  If these names seem confusing, you will understand what as been happening.

Anti-gay organizations will reference statements issued by ACPED, presumably in the hope that the average reader will think they are coming from the real 60,000 strong AAP.  Just such an instance occurred on CNN last week when ex-gay guru Richard Cohen gave non sequitur responses including a blurb about the aforementioned letter to school superintendents.

This is not the first time Dr. Collins has found it necessary to admonish those with an anti-gay agenda from co-opting or distorting his work.  In 2007, XGW asked him to address a NARTH article written by Dean Byrd.  He was asked simply to give us the facts and he did so eloquently.

In 2008, ex-gay activist Greg Quinlan further distorted Collins’ work in an interview with the pseudo-news site One News Now.  When we brought this to Quinlan’s attention, he questioned the validity of our contact with Collins and refused to correct the erroneous quote.  That single source has contaminated the web on this issue.

Even after we elicited another quote from Collins, had Warren Throckmorton copied for verification, and posted the entire exchange, Quinlan and One News Now preferred to leave the distortion up.  Other groups like PFOX repeat the quote occasionally, seeming to prefer fiction over fact.

The only person to respond to a correction request was Bob Stith writing for the Baptist Press.  He listened and took the comments from Collins while making a correction to his article.

A direct statement from the NIH, combined with the AAP’s own admonishment, is about as clear as it gets.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: