#LGBT: ‘Fix Society’: Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn Posted Plea Before Suicide


When Society starts to understand there is no choice in being #LGBT Maybe lives will be saved

When Society starts to understand there is no choice in being #LGBT Maybe lives will be saved

By @ShaunyGibson Used to be @ ShaunyNews Via http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fix-society-transgender-teen-leelah-alcorn-posted-plea-suicide-n277666 and other sourced images and my views –  #RealLiveTransAdult

lgbt2bwiki2bworld2I have spoken to people, mainly real confused American people who actually think being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, [LGBT] is choice, like Leelah Alcorn, kids, confused kids and Adults being driven to suicide because of  the ‘American Religious Way’ In the 1st World, the developed world in my society it just is not an issue, I live in Scotland, statistics are always England and Wales, Scotland has different laws, rules and ways, it’s a problem, but we help, I have friends who are Gay, Transgender and bisexual, I have known many since School, it’s the way they were made, God made them born to be normal, society calls them ‘Different’, we live and let live. Westboro Baptist Church said “Scotland deserved tragedy because we allow fags” I am acutely aware ‘Fags’ is a bad word in America, here in the UK this word means ‘Cigarette’ not gay. So sorry I had to use this word. To all the angry, unhappy, gossiping, nasty religious people, kind of like Westboro Baptist in a way, how do you feel knowing your beliefs kill people? STOP IT, GIVE IT A REST, DO YOUR OWN CHURCH THING AND LET PEOPLE LIVE, below I leave scripture as a reminder of how RIDICULOUS this all is, Religion kills our World, it kills people, it is Dangerous, I am sorry. These are my thoughts only, not AceNews, Shaun’s views.

Transgender-suicide-Leelah-Alcorn-2014-672x372

Transgender teen’s suicide note a plea for change
Via WLWT on You Tube

John 8:7New 

 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

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1. Genesis 19:5: “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.”

2. Leviticus 18:22: ” Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

3. Leviticus 20:13: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

4. Deuteronomy 23:17: ” There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.”

5. Judges 19:22: “Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial, beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.”

6. 1 Kings 14:24: “And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

7. 1 Kings 15:12: “And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made.”

8. 1 Kings 22:46: “And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land.”

9. 2 Kings 23:7: “And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.”

10. Romans 1:26-27: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

11. 1 Corinthian 6:9: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.”

12. 1 Timothy 1:9:10: “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”

The suicide of a transgender teen from Ohio — who wrote an anguished note pleading, “Fix society” before walking into the path of a truck — has struck a chord across the country. Others who have transitioned from one gender to another took to Twitter to post their stories under the hashtag #RealLiveTransAdult. An advocacy group called for a national effort to ban “conversion therapy.” And an online petition calling for the teen’s family to use her chosen name on her tombstone has gathered 35,000 signatures.

What got me through hard times? Love yourself. One day you will transition, but you are beautiful no matter what. #RealLiveTransAdult

— Not Dragon Age Sera (@IC_Celestrata) December 31, 2014

As a depressed teen I’d never have guessed that by 30 I’d have a PhD & owe much of my success to my trans experience. #RealLiveTransAdult

— Lal Zimman (@lzimman) December 31, 2014

HOW EVIL IS GOD MADE TO LOOK THROUGH RELIGION – BE GOOD OR YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR EVER AND EVER…BUT HE LOVES YOU!!

The death of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn, who was called Joshua by her family, also highlighted the high suicide rate in the transgender community. Advocates say 40 percent of trans youth report attempting to take their life at some point, although data is limited.

“Suicide attempts are higher for trans youth because they face high rates of discrimination, rejection, fear and hatred than other youth,” said David W. Bond, a clinical social worker who is vice president of programs for the suicide-prevention group The Trevor Project. “These youth are trying to understand and build their identities in a world that tells them they are wrong for who they are.”

Suicide letter "Change Society"

Suicide letter “Change Society”

In a posting on her Tumblr account, verified by NBC News, Alcorn said her parents did not accept her identification as a female and she felt shunned by the world at large. “Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse,” Alcorn wrote. “People say ‘it gets better’ but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.”

Early Sunday, Alcorn left home in Kings Mills and walked in front of a tractor trailer on Interstate 71. The Warren County coroner is waiting for toxicology results before issuing a cause of death, but lead investigator Doyle Burke told NBC News, “It’s going to be ruled a suicide.”

Alcorn’s parents did not return phone calls Wednesday. A minister at the church where her wake and funeral service will be held said in an email that he could not comment. “Our focus right now is to help a family broken by tragedy to grieve and heal,” Tim Tripp of Northeast Church of Christ said. In the suicide note, Alcorn said she had felt like a girl trapped in a boy’s body since she was four but did not learn what transgender was until she was 14. She came out to her parents, who took her to Christian therapists and denied permission for transitioning treatment, she wrote.

A friend who worked with Alcorn at the Kings Island amusement park last summer said she didn’t agree with the parents’ reaction — or the vitriol heaped on them after the note went viral. “They did what they thought was right and it’s very difficult to actually put ourselves in the situation. They lost a child,” said Azalea Laverde, 16. “We need to stop harassing them and focus on bringing awareness and promoting equality to transgenders.”

71f

People came out and supported #RealLiveTransAdult

245A7DB200000578-2893255-Defying_odds_In_the_wake_of_sadness_thousands_took_to_Instagram_-a-5_1420106956911

Laverde said she called Alcorn Josh until about a month ago, when she came out as transgender. “I told her, ‘I’m proud of you for telling me, and I support you 100 percent,'” she said. “She never told me how depressed she was.” Alcorn said in her note that she wanted her belongings sold and the money donated to transgender rights and support groups, and she begged for change in the way her community is treated.

“My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year,” she wrote. “I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s f—ed up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.” Bond said he was concerned that the attention Alcorn’s death received could have negative repercussions.

“Many people think it’s going to spread awareness,” he said. “But an enormous challenge is that contagion is very real in suicide. We don’t want to send the message that being trans means being suicidal or that if you take your own life the world will respond to you in this way.”

HELP LINES FOR ANYONE, WORLDWIDE NEEDING HELP #LGBT

He encouraged trans youth considering suicide to call the Trevor Lifeline: USA866-488-7386.

LGBT National Helpcenter USA – http://www.glbtnationalhelpcenter.org/

LGBT Helpline Scotland – http://www.lgbt-helpline-scotland.org.uk/

LGBT Cymru (Wales) Helpline & Counselling Service – http://www.lgbtcymruhelpline.org.uk/

LGBT Switchboard Northern Ireland– http://www.cara-friend.org.uk/projects/lgbt-switchboard-ni

LGBT Safe Network (England) – http://www.safenetwork.org.uk/training_and_awareness/Pages/supporting-lgbt-young-people.aspx

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Doctor Kills Himself When Mum Said ‘Cure’ Your Homosexuality


 

B4VNo0wIUAEd7vNBy @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews Via Sources below and my own words 

In the year 2014 I would hope this agenda in the #LGBT community would go away. We are more informed now as a species. Some actually think a ‘Gay Gene’ exists. Let me be clear here ‘THERE IS NO GAY GENE’ People are born to be attracted to the opposite sex. There are no drugs to make Gay go away, there isn’t an operation either. I sit and shake my head in sadness when I see this in the first world. I know in the 2nd and 3rd world these things happen but in 2014 UK for this to be an issue, I am astounded R.I.P to the poor lad, all the wanted was his Mum to love him.

Harley Street GP Nazim Mahmood died on July 30, when he threw himself off the balcony of his fourth-storey £700,000 West Hampstead apartment. The 34-year-old had been with fiancé Matthew Ogston for 13 years.
St Pancras Coroners’ Court heard today that just days before he died, Dr Mahmood had come out to his Muslim mother after years of secrecy – only for her to urge him to seek a “cure”. According to the Evening Standard, Mr Ogston told the inquest: “She had suggested to him he needed to see a psychiatrist to see if he could be cured. Together I think they agreed they would get through it.
“Telling someone they needed to be cured would not be the easiest thing to take.” The coroner’s court was told that Dr Mahmood had taken mephedrone and ketamine before he died, and was naked when he jumped off the balcony.
Coroner Mary Hassell said: “It seems incredible that a young man with so much going for him could have taken his own life. But what I’ve heard is that he had one great sadness which was the difficulty his family had in accepting his sexuality. “It seems desperately sad that in 2014 a person should feel that they can’t be accepted because of the way that they live and I can only feel the deepest sympathy for Nazim that he felt so sad and desperate about this that he took his life.”
Scotland Yard previously apologised after his body was left lying on the pavement for hours with only a thin blanket to cover him. Fiancé Matthew Ogston is planning to start a foundation in his partner’s name.

'He always wanted to help other people, always put other people first'

‘He always wanted to help other people, always put other people first’

https://niume.com/pages/post/?postID=18334

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2862226/Harley-Street-doctor-34-killed-jumping-penthouse-flat-court-hears-Muslim-mother-told-cure-gay-told-engaged-man.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/doctor-killed-himself-after-mother-asked-him-to-seek-gay-cure-9907249.html

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/uk-doctor-killed-himself-after-his-mother-told-him-seek-gay-cure-therapy051214

download

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Scotland: Support for same-sex marriage at record high ahead of first wedding


324421-same-sex-marriage-douglas-pretsell-and-peter-gloster-converted-their-scottish-civil-partnership-to

First wedding: Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster converted their Scottish civil partnership to a Scottish marriage in Australia

 

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews Via: http://news.stv.tv/scotland-decides/303627-support-for-same-sex-marriage-at-record-says-scotcen-research/

As someone who was part of the process along with a million more here in Scotland to get our Government to allow Gay marriages I am delighted with this news. I did an article on it when it broke earlier this year. It goes against a Worldwide trend, all over the World people are shocked at this, why? I don’t get it. In the Middle East and North Africa it’s certain death, in many other countries it’s just not liked https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/americans-against-gay-public-affection-lgbt/ As a species the 1st World people MUST understand this isn’t going away it will only gain more support. 2nd and 3rd World I don’t know. The only thing I can EVER see getting in the way of the happiness of 2 people is Religion. Religion is the ONLY thing against Gay Marriage yet people still say Religion doesn’t hate or cast stones, I beg to differ

Support for same-sex marriage has reached a record high in Scotland, with more than two-thirds of people agreeing that gay couples should be allowed to tie the knot. A total of 68% believe gay or lesbian couples should have the right to marry, up from just over two-fifths of the public (41%) in 2002.

While same-sex marriage ceremonies cannot take place before December 31, couples who have already entered into a civil partnership can complete the necessary paperwork to convert that to a marriage from Tuesday.

The first couple to make use of the new law were Douglas Pretsell and Peter Gloster, who converted their Scottish civil partnership to a Scottish marriage at the British Consulate in Melbourne, Australia, as soon as the law came into effect at one minute past midnight UK time (11.01am Australian Eastern Daylight Time). Douglas, who is originally from Edinburgh, and Peter, from Melbourne, had a civil partnership in August 2010 at Fenton Tower in North Berwick, East Lothian.

The 47-year-olds said : “We are so proud of Scotland for introducing equal marriage, and we hope that other countries like Australia will soon follow Scotland’s lead.” The new research found a “dramatic shift in the last 12 years towards support for same-sex marriage”, with 35% of people now “strongly agreeing”. The figures from ScotCen Social Research’s Scottish Social Attitudes Survey were released to mark the first same-sex marriages coming into force. The 2014 survey revealed fewer than a fifth (17%) of Scots are against same-sex marriage, compared to 29% in 2002.

Younger people are more likely to believe gay couples should be allowed to wed than older Scots, with 83% of 18 to 24-year-olds in favour compared to 44% of those aged 65 and above. But the research said: “Across all age brackets, support for marriage equality has increased and in fact the attitudes gap between the oldest and youngest has narrowed between 2010 (52 percentage points) and 2014 (39 percentage points).”

While same-sex marriage is most widely supported by those of no religious affiliation (81%), the survey suggested about 60% of those who identified themselves as Christian backed it — with 59% of those questioned who were in the Church of Scotland in agreement as well as 60% of Catholics surveyed and 58% of “other Christians”. However, among those who attend church or another place of worship on a weekly basis, only 33% agreed with same-sex marriage, the 2014 survey found. Rachel Ormston, co-director of social attitudes at ScotCen Social Research said: “Increasingly we are witnessing a consensus in favour of same-sex marriage emerging in Scotland.

“The demographic analysis shows that the vast majority of groups in Scottish society now back the idea. “It’s only among those who attend religious services regularly and the over-65s where a majority remain opposed. “What’s particularly interesting is the shift since 2010. Attitudes within some groups that have been typically more likely to disagree with gay marriage have liberalised considerably over the last four years, and looking at the longer-term trends it seems likely that they will continue to do so.”

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Americans against gay public affection #LGBT


HOW ABOUT BOTH AMERICA?

HOW ABOUT BOTH AMERICA?

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

Time to ‘Live and let Live’ on this planet. Religion in many parts of the World, mostly 3rd World are totally against Gay Marriage. Sadly 1 solitary 1st World country remains 2,000 years behind the rest of the developed World in hatred of Gay people and Gay marriage. I was part of an Edinburgh group that helped the SNP (Scottish National Party) at Scotland’s Parliament in Edinburgh allow Gay Marriage, I was over the moon at the time. It allows people to be happy, who are we as a species to say who can’t be happy? America, I am sorry, AGAIN, you are on your own on this one. Like the Israel issue, you guys (NOT YOU ALL) give the impression Religion, 2,000 year old books have brain washed many, a large % of Americans to go against ANYTHING #LGBT America, you are a young country, maybe over time you will awaken from your Religious ways and let people live. Be Liberal but not in a political sense, just, if you don’t like, don’t look, because I tell all from the USA, nothing is going to change this. The fact I say ‘THIS’ when I am talking about people, friends I love is wrong. But this is how many define the issue

A majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, but that doesn’t mean they’re so cool with gays and lesbians displaying affection in public, a study published Thursday suggests.Sociologists at Indiana University asked more than 1,000 people how they might feel about seeing couples hold hands, kissing on the cheek and French kissing in a park.

96% of heterosexual respondents said they were OK with straight couples holding hands in public — but only 62% approved of gay men doing so. 95% approved of men and women kissing on the cheek, but 55% thought likewise if the couple in question were both men. 50%, meanwhile, approved of a straight couple publicly engaging in French kissing — but only 22% thought it was acceptable for a gay lovers to do so.

The level of approval for lesbian couples was a bit higher, at 75% 72% and 26% respectively, but it still lagged behind the level for straight couples. Long Doan, lead author of the study, said the findings revealed ongoing prejudices towards gays and lesbians, despite the big gains they have made in marriage equality. “Gay rights cannot be summarily measured by public approval of same-sex marriage. Attitudes toward same-sex couples are more complex than that,” the doctoral student told AFP by email. “Over 50% of Americans support same-sex marriage,” said Doan, whose research focuses on the ways that emotions can maintain inequality in society.

“This is a remarkable increase in support from where it was several years ago, but what does that mean in terms of American ideals of equality?” One twist surprised Doan and his colleagues: in some cases, gays and lesbians were even less approving of same-sex couples engaging in public displays of affection. For instance, 45% of gay respondents thought it was acceptable for straight couples to French kiss — but only 39%  believed gay men ought to do so as well.

That might be due to fears in the gay community that such behavior might lead to harassment and hate crimes, said Doan, whose study appears in the December issue of the American Sociological Review. Support among Americans for marriage equality has consistently been running at better than 50% in successive Gallup polls since May 2012 to now!

Defining our World for too long

Defining our World for too long

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Brighton UK: Sainsbury’s lesbian couple were told to leave the branch by security guard ‘for kissing’


What if it was a man and woman?

What if it was a man and woman?

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

A “Big Kiss-In” has been held in the Brighton branch of Sainsbury’s after a lesbian couple were threatened with expulsion by a security guard for briefly kissing.

Dozens of people – men and women, including one couple in wedding dress – descended on the store on Wednesday as bemused shoppers looked on. Video footage of the event shown by ITV News showed a number of couples, some in fancy dress, kissing as people held signs with supermarket-style slogans like “Live well for lez”.

Sussex University’s students union said in a tweet: “Thanks to everyone who took part in the #bigkissin. Great to see people in Brighton and beyond showing we like kissing and hate homophobia.” The incident that sparked the protest happened last week when a customer complained about Annabelle Paige, a Sussex University student, and her partner kissing.

Ms Paige told The Times that she had only given her girlfriend a light kiss, but was told by a security guard to stop or leave the store. “I’m so shocked and upset about it. I get that if another customer is uncomfortable that’s a bad thing… but the problem is the other customer was in the wrong and essentially being homophobic. The guard did not seem to understand that, I was absolutely humiliated,” she said shortly after the incident.

Sainsbury’s had this to say:

It is clear that Miss Paige and her partner were not behaving inappropriately and we are very sorry that they were treated in this way. We have called Miss Paige to apologise and will be making a donation to a charity of her choice.

– SAINSBURY’S
Video of the Kiss-In
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What’s the problem?

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Man and a Woman, no big deal here right?

stream_img (2)

Woman wore her Wedding Dress, again, man and woman, no issue

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Two Woman, told to leave! Man and Woman not told to leave!

Scotland, where I live allowed Gay Marriage last year

Scotland, where I live allowed Gay Marriage last year

Blabbermouth Scots UKIP MEP launches foul-mouthed attack on Ruth Davidson


UKIP MEP David Coburn

UKIP MEP David Coburn

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

Well I can’t see this going down well in the LGBT Groups

UKIP’s only Scottish MEP has launched a foul-mouthed attack on fellow Scottish politicians. Blabbermouth David Coborn, the newly-elected UKIP MEP for Scotland, was overheard on a train journey slagging off a list of rivals. In quick succession fellow passengers heard him describe gay Tory leader Ruth Davidson as a “fat lesbian” and Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont as a “fish wife”. Other passengers in the East Coast train journey last Sunday were shocked to overhear the UKIP politician launching loud personal attacks without a care for who was overhearing. As the insults flew Coborn told his travelling companion that the Greens were a “cult-like scientology” and made frequent references  to “Nigel” and Brussels.

The incident will be a major embarrassment to UKIP leader Nigel Farage whose party conference opens at Doncaster race course tomorrow. During the journey south last Sunday passengers in coach M of the East Coast train heard the loudmouthed MEP taking calls from party colleagues on how to target voters in Scotland. A number who witnessed Coburn’s tirade recounted how he told “Joe” on the other end of the line not to worry about the Greens. They described him saying: “Don’t worry, the sort of person who would vote for the Green Party would never vote for us.”

Coburn added: “Voting Green is a cult like Scientology or something.” In a previous call he discussed party funding and told a caller that  “my friend Maurice the Money will put the money up for that.” Coborn, who was born in Glasgow and lives in London, seemed very concerned that someone was leaking information on the party. He mentioned several times that they needed to “solve the Monkton problem”.

He then asked the caller not to talk to anyone about the matters they will be discussing at conference. Before signing off he told the caller that his prescription for the party was to “get rid of the old farts basically”. Yesterday 55-year-old openly gay MEP said he could not remember the details of every conversation he had on trains. He said: “I’m a fat Scotsman, there so. I don’t recall any of this.” A UKIP spokesman lated added: “David Coborn has no recollection of the alleged conversation.” Little has been seen of Coborn in Scotland since the unexpectedly won the country’s sixth Euro-seat in the May elections.

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Uganda seeks to reinstate anti-gay bill


Homosexuality remains taboo in many socially conservative African societies

Homosexuality remains taboo in many socially conservative African societies

President wants to introduce new version of controversial anti-gay law that was earlier overturned, politician says.

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni wants to reinstate a divisive anti-gay law that was rejected by a court, but without tough penalties for consenting adults, a ruling party legislator has said. “We agreed to come up with a new version that doesn’t hurt our Western friends but also protects Ugandans,” Medard Bitekyerezo said on Tuesday. “(The president) said he wants the law back in the house but now says if two consenting adults go into their room and decide to be stupid, let them be,” he said.

“What he said he doesn’t want, and which we must even increase the penalties (for), is recruitment of children and exploiting financially vulnerable youths.” Both the ruling National Resistance Movement party and the opposition vowed to re-introduce the law after the constitutional court ruled it had been passed without the presence of the required number of politicians in the parliament. Bitekyerezo said the meeting on Monday had appointed a committee headed by the country’s Vice President Kiwanuka Ssekandi to come up with a new version of the law, without saying when it might be introduced into the parliament.

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The original version of the law, which passed in February but was overturned in August on a technicality, outlawed homosexuality and made it punishable with long prison terms. The law had been criticised by the international community including the US, the World Bank and some European countries which delayed or redirected funds meant to aid the government. The law was popular domestically, but was branded draconian and “abominable” by rights groups and was overturned on a technicality by the constitutional court on August 1. Homosexuality remains taboo in many socially conservative African societies where some religious groups have branded it a corrupting Western import. Critics have accused Museveni of drumming up homophobia to boost his support ahead of a presidential election scheduled for 2016, which will be his thirtieth year in power.

What the Australian Study Really Tells Us About Gay Parenting


This article will send many religious people into a hot flush of anger, but I honestly don’t care. I am in no position to say this is right or wrong, and neither are you. Some old book says it wrong. WOOPY FRIKKIN DOO! Lets all live our lives to a book that is older than the invention of grass and trees. Anyway, read on, you might learn something!

The Right is in a flap this month about a new Australian parenting study that shows gay parents raise children who are as healthy as those from straight parent families, but if anything the Right’s reaction is actually more edifying than the study itself.

The study employed data from the cross-sectional survey known as the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (2012). The survey used a sample of 390 patients who self-identified as same-sex attracted and who had children aged up to 17-years-old. Of them 315 same-sex parents ultimately contributed to the analysis, which led to data on around 500 children. The ratio of female and male parents was as follows: 80 percent of the children had female parents, while 18 percent were raised by a male couple.

You will have noted that the sample was self-identifying. We’ll discuss why that has become important below. Regardless what the researchers found was that, when comparing to national data on average heterosexual parent families, same-sex parent families tended to raise children who scored about 6 percent higher than the general population when it came to things like general health and sense of family cohesion.

Why might this be? Well same-sex parent families in the sample tended to be more affluent than the national average (and, again, we’ll talk about that more below), and we might guess based on other research that they probably waited until they were financially stable before having children, therefore they could create an optimal environment.

Unsurprisingly though, in most other regards the children of same-sex parent families scored roughly the same in things like mood, behavior, and also in mental health and self-esteem. This, the researchers say, is despite the fact that anti-gay stigma may still affect many children of same-sex parent families, which in turn can as they get older impact a young person’s mental and sometimes physical health. What we’re likely seeing, then, is that same-sex parent families are able to mitigate the hostilities that they might face and raise children who are roughly the same in terms of wellbeing as heterosexual families.

“It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health,” said researcher Dr. Simon Crouch of the University of Melbourne in comments made to NBC. “We know that same-sex attracted parents are more likely to share child care and work responsibilities more equitably than heterosexual parent families, based more on skills rather than gender roles. This appears to be contributing to a more harmonious household and having a positive impact on child health.”

As you might expect, the Religious Right has taken a dislike to this study. In fact, they’ve decided it is flawed and in fact misleading research. They charge that, as we mentioned above, the research is meaningless because the participant families were not randomly selected but rather volunteered data themselves. This, they say, meant that same-sex couples with an agenda could have biased the research. They also say that because Crouch himself identifies as gay, he was not qualified to carry out this research.

In particular, criticism has come from American researcher Mark Regnerus.

You may be familiar with Regnerus’ work as he is the lead researcher behind the highly dubious and flawed (his own department’s word choice, not mine) New Family Structures Study which, using a national data sample, was billed as showing that same-sex attracted parents are worse for children. Except that it didn’t. By Regnerus’ own admission the study relied on a sample where the parents were divorced and only one of them identified as gay and sometimes not even that–some had just had one same-sex relationship in their lives. We know that divorced children often face hardship. Regnerus’ study appeared to imply that the hardship was a result of having a same-sex attracted parent, and Rengerus has allowed his research to be represented as such and to attack same-sex marriage in places as high profiled as the Supreme Court of the United States.

So what is Regnerus’ criticism of the Australian study? He believes the population sample is biased because same-sex parents with an agenda might have volunteered precisely to affect the results. “To compare the results from such an unusual sample with that of a population-based sample of everyone else is just suspect science,” he writes.

We could laugh at how ironic this is given the problems with his own population samples. Yet it may surprise you to learn that we can agree with him that it would be better if this was a random national sample. Of course it would. However, because Australia does not collect data in a way that would allow for such an analysis, this study works within the parameters it is allowed. The fact is the researchers recognize and highlight the drawbacks of this in their methodology. That, contrary to what Regnerus might think, is actually good science.

Regnerus has a great deal of waffle on this subject, but we’ll settle for looking at his main criticism because I think it’s worth discussing.

Regnerus takes exception to the fact that the children in the study were conceived through planned medical treatment. While it is true that not all same-sex parent families may have planned for having a child, say where one parent was involved in another relationship where they conceived a child, for Regnerus to claim as he does that this research is virtually meaningless for the wider gay parenting population because it involves only “elites” who could afford fertility treatment disregards the fact that the research actually specifically notes that same-sex couples have to be financially stable in order to have and raise children:

Higher relative income in same-sex families is not surprising however, given that there is often a need to engage in costly and complex medical procedures in order to create a family where the parents are same-sex attracted. Children with male index parents are more commonly born through surrogacy arrangements. However, with commercial surrogacy illegal throughout Australia, and altruistic surrogacy poorly established, these arrangements often take place overseas, and thus parents with lower incomes may be less likely to avail this method.

While Regnerus’ may think this helps his critique, it actually dramatically undercuts him.

Lately he’s been busy arguing in a Michigan federal court that same-sex marriages shouldn’t be legalized because based on his research only heterosexual married families provide the best environment for child rearing. It’s worth noting that, just as many in the scientific field have not been impressed with his research, nor was the judge in this case who in quite biting terms said, “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration.”

Regnerus’ agenda in testifying before the court was to keep marriage out of the hands of same-sex couples, and in so doing he wants to define them out of being able to access the state and federal benefits of marriage that support child rearing. You may have guessed where the rub lies on this.

He complains that there are only financially well-off families in the above Australian study and that it can’t give us a true picture of same-sex parenting ability or what the average same-sex parent family is really like. The fact is, it probably does give us a fairly good grasp of same-sex parenting because it’s precisely the discrimination that Regnerus supports that is keeping same-sex couples who aren’t affluent out of being able to raise children because without assistance, and with all the extra hardships of not having their partnerships recognized, they can’t afford it.

Yet, perhaps the best answers to all this and other criticisms comes from the lead researcher himself. On the subject of the parent sample, Crouch points out in a recent blog post that, besides Australia not handling national data in the same way as the US, there’s a serious flaw in the criticism:

It is argued that only parents with a vested interest in promoting positive health outcomes will volunteer. While this cannot be discounted as a possibility there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case.

Interestingly, no commentator on the Right has been able to provide said evidence despite the fact that the methodology and protocol for the study have been published. This criticism, therefore, should stop there until such a time as that proof is offered.

As to how outrageous people seem to find the notion that the children of same-sex parents might score slightly higher on some measures, Crouch points out that this happened in only three of the 29 measures. Besides, the study was never to prove that same-sex parents are better but to assess whether they can provide stable environments for child rearing, which as the biggest survey of its kind anywhere in the world is an important inquiry. It also tallies with other, smaller research but it is worth saying, as the researchers themselves note, that the study is limited.

That to one side, Crouch then turns his attention to attacks made on him based on his sexuality. He points out that while he was the lead researcher, his entire team is diverse and made of many heterosexuals from many different backgrounds. He then goes for the metaphorical throat on that criticism:

To suggest that my family situation is of relevance implies that no heterosexual researcher can produce unbiased work on heterosexual families. Or that any non-Caucasian researcher would be able to objectively conduct research on racial discrimination and child health.

In essence, the fuss over this study has never been about the data. Really it is a reaction from the Right to the sound trashing the Regnerus study rightly received. That research was supposed to be a weapon in the court battle against same-sex marriage, but when its flaws were exposed it became impotent.

What we’re seeing now is that the Right is trying to blunt any research that shows same-sex parenting in a positive light. Discount what this data shows us about same-sex parents if you must, but it shows the Right is acting out of desperation and is far removed from the facts.