A reader forwarded me an e-mail that had been forwarded to him containing anti-gay propaganda being disseminated by MassResistance
, a extremely dishonest and hysterically
homophobic organization based in Massachusetts. The organization is so extreme and utilizes such outrageous lies and untruths that it makes Daddy Dobson
look relatively rational in comparison. If Daddy D drinks Kool
-Aid by the glass, the MassResistance
folks drink it by the barrel full. In its latest epistile
of hate, MassResistance
cherry picks and/or annotates information from a new Massachusetts Department of Public Health report in a manner to depict gays as disease ridden, mentally ill, and by intimation a menace to society. Not surprisingly, if one reads the entire report
, the picture is far less dire than MassResistance
would have its sheeple
followers believe. MassResistance
also omits reference to this disclaimer contained
in the report:
There are limitations to the data in this report. First, the cross-sectional design does not allow us to identify trends over time even though changes occurred between 2001 and 2006 including same-sex marriage and the advent of health care reform. Further, all of the data are self-reported and there are no additional state-level sources of data (such as hospital discharge or outpatient) to confirm any of the findings. Finally, although the sample size is relatively robust to answer questions about disparities related to sexual orientation, there is insufficient power to analyze rare outcomes or to provide analysis based on race and ethnicity within sexual orientation identity groups.
Of course MassResistance
- which does all in its powers to denigrate, malign and engender hatred towards LGBT citizens (all in the name of Christ I might add) - totally ignores the fact that in the areas of mental health
and alcohol/drug use, the reported findings concerning gays are likely highly influenced by the atmosphere of hate and non-acceptance promoted by MassResistance
and its Christianist
allies. In short, MassResistance
blames its victims for the consequences of the campaign of lies and hate it sponsors. A new study entitled " The Psychological Harm of Anti-Gay Ballot Campaigns
" looks at the harm done to LGBT citizens by the Christianist
gay bashing initiatives. I know that on a personal level, I felt very depressed initially after learning that all the anti-gay measures had passed on November 5th
even though I do not live in one of the effected states. Of course what I find most distressing is that to groups like MassResistance
, we are not even human, but rather are regarded as less than animals. Here are highlights of some of the new study findings:
Sixteen years ago, by a margin of roughly 53-47%, Colorado voters passed a constitutional amendment written to overturn gay rights ordinances in Denver and other cities, and to bar the future enactment of such laws by cities or the state legislature. Amendment 2 was ultimately struck down by the US Supreme Court in 1996 . . . . in its historic Romer v. Evans decision . . .
Although Amendment 2 was ultimately nullified, Colorado’s gay, lesbian, and bisexual residents nevertheless had to endure the months-long antigay pre-election campaign waged by its Christian Right sponsors. And they had to deal with the knowledge that a majority of their neighbors had voted to strip them of their rights.
In the wake of the 1992 vote, a research team led by psychologist Glenda Russell conducted a statewide study to assess the psychological well-being of Colorado lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. In her 2000 book, Voted Out: The Psychological Consequences of Anti-Gay Politics, Dr. Russell reports extensive analyses of the data. In particular, she details her group’s examination of the research participants’ accounts of how they experienced the Amendment 2 campaign.
In those accounts, Dr. Russell’s group detected themes that today are all too familiar to many sexual minority residents of California, Florida, Arizona, and Arkansas. Respondents reported feeling overwhelmed or devastated by the vote. Some were shocked that the measure passed. Many experienced anger, fear, sadness, or depression. Some felt a sense of loss, saying they would never again feel the same about living in Colorado. Some expressed regret at not having done more to prevent the measure’s passage.
[O]ne of her important findings was that a substantial segment of the sample reported many symptoms that are commonly associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and they perceived that these symptoms were a direct result of having lived through the months of antigay campaigning. . . . gay and lesbian and bisexual people living in the targeted states endured rhetorical — and sometimes physical — attacks against themselves and their families.
In 2006, marriage amendments appeared on the November ballot in 8 states. All of them passed except in Arizona. Given the earlier findings of Dr. Russell’s research team in Colorado, it was reasonable to assume that those campaigns in other states would also exact a psychological toll. That hypothesis is supported by data from a new study to be published early in 2009 in the prestigious Journal of Counseling Psychology. The study, titled Marriage Amendments and Psychological Distress in Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual (LGB) Adults, was conducted by Drs. Sharon Rostosky, Ellen Riggle, Sharon Horne, and Angela Miller.
In sum, the findings of Dr. Rostosky’s group support and extend those of Dr. Russell’s research team. By examining the experiences of sexual minority adults residing in different states, and by comparing scores on mental health measures before and after the statewide antigay campaigns, they provide good evidence that marriage amendment campaigns are harmful to the mental health of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.
Dr. Rostosky and her coauthors suggest that sexual minority individuals should avoid blaming themselves or accepting antigay stigma and prejudice as valid. Instead, it’s important to remind oneself that the people who foment antigay hostility are the ones who deserve blame.