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07/22/2011

Far-right still claiming Franken was wrong; America still getting class in how far-right operates

by Jeremy Hooper

You know, it's one thing to remain defiant in the face of your political opposition's own advocacy. But when a person who led a certain project plainly states a claim to be wrong and the crowd that would benefit from said claim still stridently digs in the heels? Well that's just a mutant strain of gall right there!

I give you the Family Research Council:

Homosexual activists are gloating over an exchange Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) had with Tom Minnery (of Focus on the Family affiliate CitizenLink) at yesterday's hearing on a bill to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Minnery had cited a December 2010 federal study which showed that children raised in a "nuclear family" have better health outcomes. Franken, however, triumphantly noted that a "nuclear family" was defined (in part) as one headed by "two parents who are married to one another"--not two opposite-sex parents. But did Franken forget the law he wants to repeal? DOMA says, "In determining the meaning of . . . any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States , the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Since this was a federal study published by a federal agency based on a federal survey conducted by federal (Census Bureau) employees, its definition of "married" is bound by DOMA. Even if, by chance, the interviewers or authors violated that law, the survey data was collected from 2001 to 2007. During that time (and only from mid-2004 on) there was only one state (Massachusetts) in which homosexual couples could "marry." The vast majority of homosexual couples raising children fall in the categories of "unmarried biological or adoptive family," "blended family," or "cohabiting family"--all of which have poorer outcomes for children than the traditional "nuclear family."

Al Franken Thinks He's Funny--But He's Just Wrong [FRC]

But now to remind you what the study's lead author -- someone should know just an teensy bit about the study -- told Politico:

“Sen. Franken is right,” the lead author of the study told POLITICO. The survey did not exclude same-sex couples, said Debra L. Blackwell, Ph.D., nor did it exclude them from the “nuclear family” category provided their family met the study’s definition.

The study’s definition of nuclear family is: “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive parents of all the children in the family.”

That means the study does not provide evidence that straight couples’ children necessarily fare better than same-sex couples’ kids, as Minnery claimed.
Al Franken clashes with Focus on the Family executive [Politico]

"Sen. Franken is right." That should end the conversation right there. If Family Research Council actually respected the credible application of their organization's first two words, it would be enough. But since FRC is an organization that'd be more accurately labeled the Family Research That's Convenient To Our Pre-Conceived Narrative Council, being called out by a lead researcher is painted as simply an opinion or a suggestion, not a smack down.

Reminder: This is what Tom Minnery said of Ms. Blackwell's work:

Screen Shot 2011-07-22 At 9.17.32 Am

The obvious, heterosexist intent was to exalt opposite-gender married couples above all couples -- something that is not supported by the study, regardless of how many same-sex couples (married or not) were included. Period. End of story. Minnery. was. wrong!

In a debate where fair discourse mattered to both sides, FRC and Focus on the Family would spine up and admit that they were publicly called out for doing what they do all the time. But here in this "culture war," it's much easier for them to shoot the honest messengers rather than risk the contrived messaging that the "pro-family" (contrived message) crowd has turned into a movement.

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