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An extremely controversial guest today: Paul Cameron, Chairman of the Family Research Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado, whose anti-gay studies have been vehemently rejected by his peers but embraced by those on the Far Right who would deny Gay Americans equal rights to marry and care for children. Cameron, a former psychologist, has been called “the most dangerous antigay voice in the United States today.”
Cameron claims his studies prove gay people are criminals, killers, deviants, and perverts.
The scientific community does not agree. The American Psychological Association expelled Cameron in 1983. In 1985 and 1986 the American Sociological Association found that Cameron had consistently misrepresented sociological research on homosexuality. The Nebraska Psychological Association formally dissociated itself from him. Cameron’s Family Research Institute has even been classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
PAUL CAMERON MISSTATED HIS FINDINGS ON MY SHOW TODAY, AND UNFORTUNATELY, I HAD NOT READ THE STUDY TO WHICH HE REFERRED. He claimed the CDC supported his findings. As is discussed in detail below, the U.S. Center for Disease Control emphatically rejects his research as “bad science.”
The courts have weighed in on Cameron as well. The U.S. District Court in Dallas, Texas specifically found Cameron’s sworn testimony that “homosexuals abuse children at a proportionately greater incident than do heterosexuals” and that “homosexuals are approximately 43 times more apt to commit crimes than is the general population” to be a “misrepresentation” based on shoddy science (Baker v. Wade (1985)).
That’s not all. Cameron has purportedly discussed the option of “the extermination of homosexuals”, tattooing AIDS patients on the face, and castration of gay people. At a militant anti-abortion group Human Life International conference, Cameron called for the government to brand HIV positive people with an â€œAâ€ on their foreheads. In 1985 at a conservative symposium in Washington sponsored by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom, Cameron made headlines by calling for the quarantine of homosexuals as a way to stop the spread of AIDS.
You may ask: why am I having this — um, how do I put it gently — unorthodox, generally considered unethical expelled psychologist on my show? The answer is it’s not about Paul Cameron. It’s to show the depths to which the right-wing has sunk in promoting this guy. Pat Buchanan, Bill Bennett, Gary Bauer, the Oregon Citizens Alliance, Colorado for Family Values, and even the U.S. Army and Navy have circulated Cameron’s dubious studies.
Think we can have a civil debate?
For contrasting viewpoints, check out Cameron’s own website and a website from the University of California (Davis) debunking as flawed his studies and sampling techniques.
What follows are some interesting quotes by Paul Cameron:
“If you isolate sexuality as something solely for oneâ€™s own personal amusement, and all you want is the most satisfying orgasm you can get â€“ and that is what homosexuality seems to be â€“ then homosexuality seems too powerful to resist. The evidence is that men do a better job on men, and women on women, if all you are looking for is orgasm. Itâ€™s pure sexuality. Itâ€™s almost like pure heroin. Itâ€™s such a rush.â€
â€œNormal people probably could take a hit or two from a mosquito carrying AIDS but a small child couldnâ€™t. If children start dying of AIDS, I donâ€™t think a homosexualâ€™s life will be worth a damn.â€
â€œUnless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.â€
In 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it â€œformally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality.â€
The American Sociological Association, in 1985, adopted a resolution that said, â€œDr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality and lesbianism.â€
Few scientists have critiqued Paul Cameron’s work because it’s so outside the mainstream that no one takes it seriously. (For the same reason, few have critqued claims that the “earth is flat.”)