Gay sex, civil rights, and star-spangled axes.

In the Daily Progress today, Graham Moomaw’s coverage of the Republican Senate candidates’ remarks to a tiny gathering of Charlottesville Republicans contains a few great nuggets. First, Del. Bob Marshall bragging that in twenty years as a legislator, he hasn’t learned anything:

During his speech, Marshall portrayed himself as a savvy hard-liner who would hold fast to his principles.

“If you elect me, I’m going to cause liberals the same number of headaches, actually more, in Washington than I’ve done in Richmond,” he said, summing up his campaign. “I haven’t changed my views on one thing.”

Then Marshall demonstrates very clearly that he has no idea what “civil right” means, conflating the African-American civil rights movement with the concept of civil rights:

“Did you ever see water fountains in Virginia that say heterosexuals only? I didn’t. Did you ever see statements that all the homosexuals are going to ride on one bus and heterosexuals on the other? No…,” Marshall said. “It is an insult to suggest that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks are in any way parallel to the efforts to do things that have been criminal for most of this nation’s history.”

Marshall made this so-outlandish-it’s-almost-funny claim:

Marshall also was asked whether he believes consensual gay sex is protected by the U.S. Constitution.

“The court says it is in certain limited circumstances. But you know what that behavior does? It cuts your life by about 20 years,” Marshall answered. “It causes increased health problems. It doesn’t serve the common good to promote this.”

This is an item of faith that’s been passed around anti-gay circles for years now, based on a single, long-discredited study. I think it’s interesting that Bob Marshall is campaigning as a Tea Party candidate while arguing that it’s government proper role to regulate people’s behavior in the name of improving the nation’s collective health, the very objection that the same group has to national healthcare. This is a reminder that their real objection is to President Obama and gay people, and not actually to any consistent set of beliefs.

Finally, from Bishop E.W. Jackson (who?):

Jackson brandished a star-spangled axe during his speech, calling it a “symbol of the seriousness” with which he takes the nation’s fiscal situation.

“This is a symbol of what I intend to use to cut the budget,” Jackson said. “…I want to use this on Obamacare. I want to use it on the Department of Education and the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the United Nations.”

Tres serious, Bishop Jackson.

This blazing insight all came at the Hibachi Grill buffet, the latest in a series of depressing watering holes that area Republicans have used as their event venue as long as I can remember. It sounds like it was quite a night for the thirty attendees.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

32 replies on “Gay sex, civil rights, and star-spangled axes.”

  1. Who knew Marshall was actually a Socialist? For the greater good?

    Maybe he finally read some of Tom Perriello’s writings on the ‘greater good’ that characterizes everything he does. Marshall is a joke and is the ‘number one homophobe’ in VA. At least he is honest.

  2. So, if the study Marshall cites is “discredited,” where are the studies that do so? I’ve looked, and haven’t been able to find any. Perhaps you can enlighten us, Waldo, as to how there is no link between male homosexual behavior and shorter life spans.

    Or is all that data on how HIV/AIDS has “devastated” the male homosexual community just so much rhetorical excess?

  3. James,

    What Delegate Marshall was referring to was a study by Paul Cameron from 1994 which consisted of examining obituaries in GLBT-themed newspapers. Yep, that was actually his scientific method. There’s a decent, short and to the point explanation of what happened at A simple google search reveals dozens more scholarly and other commentary on how the “20 years” study is utter homophobic bullshit penned by a full blown whackaloon who was kicked out of the American Psychological Association way back in 1983. This leads me to conclude that either you don’t know how to do a google search, or you’re being disingenuous.

    Bob Marshall is embarrassingly wrong on this.

  4. If Bob Marshall is so concerned with behavior that decreases life expectancy* AND causes health problems, he must be FOR a law that forbids smoking. It clearly does not “serve the common good.”

    *even when he is wrong.

  5. I tried “a simple Google search,” Brian, and while you disparage that study (and even to the layman, the methodology seems haphazard), and cite to other disparagements using the nonserious, inaccurate, and slanderous term “homophobic,” you still fail to cite any other countervailing studies. Where are they? Couldn’t you come up with a link to even one? Or do you just want to rely upon the ad hominem attacks of homophiliacs?

    And likewise, Waldo, you don’t address the issue. Either the study (like those on smoking: average life-expectancy decrease: 13 years) is valid, or it is not. But your resort to ad hominem attack and failure to cite any contrary evidence suggests that it is not. Or, at least, that you lack evidence to contradict it.

  6. Good heavens James, the word homophobic seems to have been invented to describe Paul Cameron. It isn’t slanderous if it’s true. A few descriptive quotes from Paul Cameron:

    “Homosexuality is an infectious appetite with personal and social consequences. It is like the dog that gets a taste for blood after killing its first victim and desires to get more victims thereafter with a ravenous hunger.”
    — 1988 newspaper column

    …this is homophobic.

    “Most people who engage in homosexuality are of the lower strata; these are people who are waiters and busboys and bums and hobos and jailbirds and so forth.”
    — 1994 religious right conference panel discussion on homosexuality

    …this is homophobic.

    “At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, ‘Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.’ – Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995.

    …this is homophobic.

    And not that I assigned the adjective to Marshall in my previous post, but given that Delegate Marshall has referred to himself as “Virginia’s Chief Homophobe,” there’s no slander there if he describes *himself* that way.

    A 30-year-barred, discredited practitioner issuing a study consisting of solely looking at newspaper obituaries does not require additional study or counterstudies to say “gee, this is nuts. You don’t conduct scholarly study using nothing but newspaper obituaries from self-selected sources. Next topic.”

  7. “Fear of”? I can understand the desperate desire of advocates for the radical homosexual agenda to demonize and belittle their opponents as “fearful” of sexual deviance, but it is manifestly untrue.

    And I’m still waiting for reference to even ONE countervailing study. As I said, I’m perfectly willing to accept that the Cameron study is inaccurate, given its haphazard methodology. But if you can’t come up with even ONE study to the contrary, it raises one of two possibilities: (1) there are none; or (2) other, more scientifically rigorous studies confirm it. If the latter, you’re simply dishonest. If the former, one is compelled to ask why there are no such studies?

  8. “Radical homosexual agenda”.

    Ok, James. You want a study/data that disproves a discredited study, while saying there is a “radical homosexual agenda.”

    Yea, the “homosexuals” are the ones with the “radical agenda”.

  9. *chuckle*

    Person who uses the phrase “radical homosexual agenda” = “nutty old white man whose time has passed.” It’s practically a Merriam-Webster entry by now.

    I’ll say it again: A 30-year-barred, discredited practitioner issuing a study consisting of solely looking at newspaper obituaries does not require a countervailing study.

    If I put out a study claiming that the northern mockingbirds of Nokesville, Virginia have sixteen assholes, there does not need to be a countervailing study to demonstrate its falsehood.

  10. So there isn’t a “radical homosexual agenda”? How about just a “homosexual agenda”? Do you want to deny that, too? What color is the sky on your planet?

    And Brian, you claim that Marshall’s reference is false. Fine. I’m willing to accept that. But if HIV/AIDS has “devastated” the “homosexual community,” then surely, it must have had an impact upon life expectancies. That, along with the fact that there are dozens of other nasty little diseases prevalent among male homosexuals that appear very rarely among heterosexual populations. Oh, and the higher incidence of crystal meth in the “homosexual community.”

    You are plainly denying what is obvious. Whether Cameron’s/Marshall’s twenty years is accurate is something about which I am willing to keep an open mind. But don’t tell me that HIV/AIDS is a major problem for (mainly) male homosexuals, and then assert without proof that it has had no impact upon life expectancies. When you do so, you talk, as my dear old grandmother used to say — “like a man with a paper a**hole.”

  11. James, HIV/AIDS in its early stages did affect life expectancy in people afflicted (not just homosexuals). Since then, great medical strides have been made and it no longer has the same effect. Medical advances have made it possible for people with HIV/AIDS to lead full productive lives.

    That’s why it’s so ridiculous for Del. Marshall to say it reduces life expectancy by 20 years. Maybe it did…20 years ago (not really, but let’s just go with that), but not today. HIV/AIDS was a scourge; it no longer has to be.

    So why is Marshall referencing a discredited study? Is this really (REALLY?) who you want as an elected official; someone you’ve acknowledged used a false reference? C’mon, this is absurd and as an accredited attorney you should have just said so and moved on.

    But then again, maybe you have an anecdote from your grandmother about the “coloreds”?

  12. James has done a nice job of shifting attention from what’s really noteworthy about Marshall’s comments. James would have us focus on the impact of HIV/AIDS on gay male life expectancy, as if that had anything to do with whether or not consensual gay male sex is protected by the Constitution. “Where are the studies that discredit” the Cameron study, he whines? But the real question, for anyone who gives a damn about the Constitution, is not whether or not there’s a specific study that discredits Cameron (of course, there didn’t need to be a specific study to discredit it, given how crappy the methodology was), ought to be “why on earth would that matter?” Let’s look again at what Marshall said:

    “The court says [consensual gay male sex] is [protected] in certain limited circumstances. But you know what that behavior does? It cuts your life by about 20 years,” Marshall answered. “It causes increased health problems. It doesn’t serve the common good to promote this.”

    Lots of things cut your life expectancy. Lots of things cause increased health problems. Guns, for one. Cigarettes. Alcohol. Cars. We typically don’t interpret the Constitution to proscribe those activities if they are freely undertaken by all parties involved. Tea Partiers in particularly call that kind of move “nanny-statism,” when for example someone proposes legislation that would discourage people from smoking, or some other activity that is clearly established to be hideously costly to society. But suddenly Bob Marshall thinks the Constitution is all about “not encouraging” these behaviors.

    And James: citations for “the dozens of other nasty little diseases prevalent among male homosexuals that appear very rarely among heterosexual populations. Oh, and the higher incidence of crystal meth in the “homosexual community”?

  13. Yeah, David. So you finally concede the point, but you apparently also concede that there’s no data disproving it. Which raises the question: Why not? Political pressure against acquisition and analysis of such data, perhaps?

    Claire, you plainly don’t understand the difference between “constitutionally-protected activity” and activity which advocates for which the radical homosexual agenda are seeking public affirmation. It’s as basic as the difference between the First Amendment protecting the right of birthers to spew their nonsense, and suggesting that government should subsidize publication of their pamphlets.

    As for your question: “The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS” contains a discussion of the former, and this probably most understandable study to the layman ( appears fifth on the Google hit parade on a search for “incidence crystal meth use homosexuals.”

    Are you advocates for the radical homosexual agenda really so blinded by your nihilistic ideology that you have to simply deny the devastation wrought by the behavior you seek to have publicly affirmed?

  14. James, when the several generations that follow yours read or hear someone saying “radical homosexual agenda” in 2012, we process it as you would when hearing the generation that preceded you drop an N bomb when the black grocery clerk rings something up wrong. You seem unable to acknowledge this.

    I’m embarrassed for you.

  15. Sure, Brian. Congratulations, you epitomize the intellectual vanity and smug arrogance of the far Left. I suppose it’s not hard to understand why that group has arrogated unto itself the self-congratulatory title “progressive,” nor why the radical homosexual agenda finds so welcome a home among those who practice a similar narcissism.

  16. *chuckle* It’s not smug or vain to point out that yours is the last generation in this country to harbor these biases towards GLBT persons, and that these views will die out when you do. This must surely drive you nuts, knowing in your own lifetime that you are a relic.

    Keep using “radical homosexual agenda,” though. It helps Waldo’s readers identify “old, white and cray cray” easily.

  17. I don’t expect the smug and vain to recognize it, but it remains no, nevertheless. But “old, white and crazy”? If ad hominem attacks are the best that advocates for the radical homosexual agenda can do, your “argument” must be weak indeed. Of course, as demonstrated above, it’s an “argument” which fears facts above all else. The real pity is that I suspect you consider yourself some sort of great humanitarian, while what you will to your “beneficiaries” is a life of misery and early death. Come to think of it, that’s the typical result of the social engineering of the far Left.

    But biases? Against sexual deviants? Yeah, I suppose so. The same “biases” I have against child molesters, murderers, rapists, thieves, embezzlers, and liars.

    Be careful what you wish for, as the backlash against treating deviant BEHAVIOR as though it were some immutable characteristic when it plainly is not might cause a whirlwind beyond your imagining.

  18. …and James becomes totally unhinged.

    Somehow, it’s off limits for me to reference your generational biases on these issues, but it’s totally fine for you to compare being gay with molesting children, or assert without evidence that gay people are destined to a life of misery and/or early death. The country really has passed you by, James. If it makes you feel better to believe that there’s some backlash against GLBT people or a “whirlwind beyond my imagining” coming after your demise, that’s fine.

    James, this is really unfortunate. From what I understand, you’ve accomplished a lot in life. You have a lot to hang your hat on, so to speak. Most of that, though, was before the times where everything was digitally captured in perpetuity for future generations to parse through at their leisure. Your future family line will see this hateful side of you (nihilistic idealogy? sexual deviants? I can hear you screaming for some imaginary person to get off your lawn!), not all your accomplishments. I feel bad for you.

  19. And every post you make just reaffirms your smug condescension. Pretty bold for someone who, as far as we can tell (given that you post only under your first name, which speaks volumes), has nothing to “hang his hat on, so to speak.”

    There is no such thing is “being gay.” There is sexual behavior, and some who choose to engage in deviant sexual behavior, like homosexual behavior, or child molestation. And one of the many problems with the arguments of advocates for the radical homosexual agenda for gay “marriage” is that they are equally applicable to ages of consent, which are no less “arbitrary” than limiting marriage to members of the opposite sex.

    And dismissive ain’t argument.

    And if my “future family line … see[s] this [as a] hateful side of you,” then I will have failed indeed as a parent.

  20. Well Jimmmy, you certainly know a lot about what it means to be gay. How is that?

  21. James, you are awfully good at asking others to prove their assertions by asking for evidence, and then making assertions of your own without any evidence to back them up.

    I can accept that you don’t like homosexuals. What I can’t accept is that you seem to think a reasonable discussion includes the words, “radical homosexual agenda”. It isn’t good argument, it’s shock language.

    I could just as easily say, “radical far right reactionaries”, but I don’t. It doesn’t further discussion and derails any learning that should take place.

    I know you can argue better than this, you are an attorney.

  22. No, Mark. Instead, you use the disparaging, dishonest, contrivedly belittling word “homophobe.” So spare me your pretensions to civility, and your patently dishonest suggestion that “radical homosexual agenda” isn’t entirely descriptive. It’s a typical tactic among the far Left to deny what they are, and what they seek. Try it with someone who understands that less well.

    As for the question of “asking for evidence,” I have some: a study which has been attacked, but not debunked with countervailing evidence. I would really like to see some. As I have said from the outset, I’m perfectly willing to accept that the twenty years figure is inaccurate or, at least, no longer valid. But SURELY there are studies to demonstrate the impact of male homosexual behavior and diseases and other pathologies associated with it on life expectancy. The Federal government subsidizes so many ridiculous studies, and this one strikes me as more meritorious than most. Unless there are political considerations which make those who conduct such studies fearful of doing so.

    And this ain’t a courtroom.

  23. Marshall is the person making the extraordinary claim that homosexuals have a much shorter life expectancy than heterosexuals. He’s the one who has the burden of proof, which he hasn’t met by citing a discredited “study” from decades ago.

    Frankly, I don’t think there’s an actuarially sound way of answering the question now if ever. Sexual preference isn’t recorded on death certificates, census forms, etc. so there’s no objective source of data. And, how many boxes would there need to be to measure “sexual preference” in a truly accurate way?

    In a few decades, we will be able to compare the mortality data of those in heterosexual and same sex marriages. However, generalizing further from that data to determine the effect of sexual preference on life expectancy would be problematic.

  24. How can you suggest that there’s not an “actuarially sound way of answering the question”? Life insurance companies rate based upon marriage and all manner of behaviors (like the old joke: Studies show that married men live longer; no, it just SEEMS that way!). My guess is that the studies are there (hadn’t thought of life insurance companies). We’re just not hearing about them. The question is, “Why not?”

  25. James, I used the word homophobe in a quote of Marshall’s. If you want to criticize someone, criticize him.

    It’s hard for me to believe that having been trained and practiced as an attorney all these years, it doesn’t color everything you do, including your politics. So if you are saying we should all pretend, and that this isn’t a courtroom, you are more rabid that I imagined.

    The reason why you don’t find other information is that it is not in your interest to do so. Your argument would look much different if you came prepared to argue, whether it was bad data, skewed pollsters, or whatever.

    Want to get to the bottom of this? Accept the debunking of the study started in 1994. (Cameron) I challenge you to accept that debunking, and that will be the basis of any future discussions.

  26. Mark, we’re talking past each other. And please spare me the patronizing.

    I fully accept that this data was not, or is no longer, valid. I have looked for other data, and haven’t found any. It seems to me that those who challenge it would have a vested interest in providing, but don’t, which suggests to me that they don’t have it (I yield to virtually EVERYone in my Internet research skills). Yet, through 26 comments, no one has bothered to offer any. That strongly suggests that there IS none.

  27. James, Where you see patronizing, I see me trying to have a civil discussion.

    You and I actually get along sometimes. If anything, accuse me of being familiar with you and your style of argument.

    I don’t have the data, but neither do you. It would seem that since you have much more strong opinions about this subject, you would actually reach out and ask someone; friends, colleagues, whomever.

    No need for us to argue really. I objected to you, and you object back. Sound like a debate to me.

  28. Actually, Mark, I do have data. It may be old, and it seems to be “debunked” only by ad hominem. But it should take more than that to attack someone so fiercely (like Bob Marshall) who cites it as authority.

  29. I bring to your attention James, the body of this story, in which Waldo provided in it the link to the discrediting information from UC Davis in California.

    That is not ad hominem. And you know it.

    More like your statement is reductio ad absurdum.

Comments are closed.