A prominent lawmaker in Scotland is demanding the Catholic Church prove its allegations that gay people die 12-20 years earlier than straight people. Patrick Harvie (image, right), co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, challenged Peter Kearney, spokesperson for the Catholic Church in Scotland after Kearney’s flagrantly false and offensive comments last week.
“There is a link between same-sex sexual practice and early death,” Kearney said, according to a Pink News report in which Kearney added:
“That’s not something that the Catholic Church believes; there is an overwhelming body of medical evidence to suggest that. One study has shown that the life expectancy of a practising homosexual man will be reduced by something between 12 and 20 years.
“We only need to imagine the complex infections, diseases and illnesses that are caused. I think we’re all aware of it. We tend to indulge ourselves in a willful fantasy that there are no dangers, that it’s not harmful.
“That’s not a particularly compassionate response for a society to take.”
Harvie, in an open letter to Kearney, writes:
“Whether this line of argument has any bearing on the same sex marriage debate is unclear; I am sure you were not implying that poor health should be a legal barrier to marriage or civil partnership for anyone, regardless of their sexuality.
“However it is important that those of us in the privileged and powerful position of speaking on these issues in the national media don’t confuse proper scientific evidence with some of the distortions which circulate online or in the wilder imaginations of some campaigners in the very polarised debate in the US.
“I am sure that you will be aware of some of the studies which have been misused in this way. The work of the avowedly anti-gay campaigner Paul Cameron for example, has been thoroughly discredited by the American and Canadian Psychological Associations and by the American Sociological Association and although it is based merely on a sampling of obituaries in gay newspapers it continues to be cited by some campaigners as though it is based on robust science.
“Similarly, research by Hogg et al published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (which was designed to make an assessment from limited available data about the impact of HIV in urban Vancouver in the days prior to modern antiretroviral therapy) has been misused to such an extent that the authors have had to issue a statement to clarify the actual meaning of their work and to oppose “the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group”.”
Pink News, which notes the Catholic Church has promised a response next week, adds:
Jack Drescher, a member of the World Health Organisation’s Working Group on the Classification of Sexual Disorders and Sexual Health told the Scotsman: “There are no reputable scientific studies that show gay men, in general, die earlier than heterosexual men. Unfortunately, there are individuals known to oppose gay civil rights who create their own ‘data’ and reach questionable conclusions about gay men’s lifespans.
“Although these ‘studies’, more like pseudo-studies, have little or no basis in empirical science, some choose to publicise them to the general public and use them as political scare tactics.”
Image by GullibleKit via Wikipedia
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