Bryan Fischer today touted a very limited two-decade old and no-longer relevant study to proclaim that gay men die up to twenty years earlier than their heterosexual peers. This old, bogus claim that gay men on average die twenty years earlier than their straight counterparts is a flat out lie, one that hate groups have claimed since the study was published.
Fischer is, of course, the chief spokesperson for the SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association.
The study was done on one Canadian town and published in 1997, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and even the authors revisited the study a few years after it was first published in the International Journal of Epidemiology to specifically denounce people like Fischer:
“The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia,,” the researchers reported in 2001, adding, “it appears that our research is being used by select groups in US and Finland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthy lifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. These homophobic groups appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being.”
“In contrast, if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996.”
“Overall, we do not condone the use of our research in a manner that restricts the political or human rights of gay and bisexual men or any other group.”
Yet Fischer and his ilk do not bother to share this information. It would be as if Fischer went on the radio to report it was snowing, because a weather report six months prior said it was.
Politifact looked at the study, and spoke with its researchers, last year when a Virginia raging homophobe, Delegate Bob Marshall, quoted from it. They rated his claim “false,” adding:
Bob Marshall said homosexual behavior cuts a person’s life by about 20 years.
The research Marshall cites to support his claim is two decades old and was conducted near the height of the HIV epidemic. One of the authors said there have been tremendous advances in HIV treatment over the last 20 years and that Marshall’s statement is a “gross misrepresentation” of the research.
The U.S. death rate from HIV was nine times higher in 1990 than it was in 2010, the latest year for the data.
Marshall cites a number of other studies that show homosexuals face certain health risks. But none of them focused on the life expectancy of homosexuals, and they certainly didn’t conclude that gays die about 20 years earlier than heterosexuals.
On his show today, Fischer starts off with yet another study, and yet again twists it to fit his anti-gay hate mindset.
Fischer points to a study that touted — and The New Civil Rights Movement reported — that finds that non-married same-sex couples report feeling less healthy than their married heterosexual peers. Fischer concludes that homosexuality therefore is unhealthy. In fact, as we reported, the article noted that “if gay unions were sanctioned by law it could improve health by reducing stress and discrimination and providing health benefits enjoyed by married couples.”
“If marriage can promote health, it is reasonable for us to expect that if same-sex couples had the advantage of legalized marriage their health may be boosted,” Liu [the researcher] added in an interview.
But Fischer cherry picks, twists, and misuses the studies to support his false claims.
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