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Oh Look, Yet Another Flawed Study That Portrays Gay People Negatively



A new study from Texas claims to have found that same-sex couples suffer much higher rates of intimate partner domestic violence, but the data is ancient history, and thus, worthless — and potentially harmful

It’s likely just a coincidence that Mark Regnerus and his debunked anti-gay “study” of supposedly adult children of gay parents has been in the news this week. (No, his study was not of adult children of gay parents.) Regnerus testified before a federal judge deciding the future of same-sex marriage in Michigan this week, and, of course, his beliefs were thoroughly yet again debunked.

LOOK: Read What Mark Regnerus Just Said In Court About Kids Of Same-Sex Couples

So imagine my surprise when I came across an article yesterday, supposedly from a science news site, titled, “Who Has More Intimate Partner Violence, Gays Or Straights?” And imagine my surprise when the answer was, of course, “gays.” And as I debated publishing this article, yet another article has come out about the flawed study, titled, “Intimate Partner Violence More Common Among Non-Heterosexual Partners.”

Both authors should have, but did not, bother to explain that the old data is essentially useless if applied to today’s society.

LOOK: As Regnerus Testifies Against Marriage In Court, His University Denounces His Research

The “study,” (technically, two studies, published together,) coincidentally was also out of Texas, just as Regnerus’ “study” was. Its title is “The Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization By Sexual Orientation.” (PDF)

“The first study found that homosexuals and bisexuals were more likely to be involved in intimate partner violence,” reads the article at Science 2.0. “In the second study, homosexual or bisexual victims of intimate partner violence were more likely to use drugs and alcohol and have health issues compared to heterosexual victims.”

“Homosexuals and bisexuals had 36 percent more likelihood than heterosexuals of being involved in intimate partner violence – in the dataset the totals were 50 percent and 32 percent respectively.”

Tucked away in the article (from the researchers’ published report) is this particularly important yet wholly glossed-over fact:

“The dataset was a sample of 7,216 women and 6,893 men from the National Violence Against Women Survey from 1995 and 1996.”

Yes, the National Violence Against Women Survey from 1995 and 1996.

We’re talking about data that was collected nearly two decades ago. Many of you reading this might not even have been born when the information was collected. The average age of the study’s respondents — the people who participated in the study — was 45. This means that the incidents of abuse occurred, actually between, probably, 1965 and 1996.

If the study were titled “The Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Between 1965-1996 By Sexual Orientation” then, fine.

Heck, Lawrence v. Texas, which, in essence, made homosexuality legal, wasn’t decided by the Supreme Court until 2003. Meaning that all these incidents of reported violence (no one’s suggesting they aren’t legitimate) happened when being gay was in essence illegal.

One of the study’s authors, Maria Koeppel, told me in an email conversation in response to my question about the dataset:

The study did use data pulled from the National Violence Against Women Survey. That survey originally had about 16,000 participants, however, the sample that we used for our study only included individuals who had reported being in current or former romantic cohabiting or marital relationships. As a result the number of people included in our study was about 14,100.

The study itself claims that, “[m]irroring other measurements of sexual orientation, one percent of our sample was identified as non-heterosexual.” I know of no study that finds just one percent of the population is non-heterosexual. (See below for more.) Also, the study at points  identifies “non-heterosexual” as homosexual, which is incorrect.

So, the study focuses on one-percent of its data to draw conclusions about intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships from the 1960s to the 1990s. And this is relevant in what way to today, exactly how?

If you were to say in no way whatsoever, except as a look into history, you would be correct — certainly in my opinion.

The study also is based on a dataset in which a full 30 percent of respondents are unemployed, and the balance are not necessarily employed full-time. So, one might automatically expect overall incidence of violence, and alcohol and drug use to be higher.

What is truly sad is this study, released by the Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University, actually seems to be well-intentioned — unlike the Regnerus “study.”

The authors, Maria Koeppel and Leana A. Bouffard, Ph.D., write that “by determining which specific IPV [Intimate Partner Violence] effects have the greatest impact on non-heterosexual victims, shelters and programs can allocate proper funding to specific issues.”

Totally agreed!

But the LGBT community has changed dramatically since the 1960s-1990s, and this study paints us just a bit better than the “article” Michigan RNC Committeeman Dave Agema used that called gay people “filthy.”

To be fair, and in her defense, here’s what Koeppel told me, again via email:

The dated nature of the dataset, as well as the small sample size of sexual minorities are limitations of the study, and as such, conclusions drawn from this study should be not be used to make generalized statements. It should be noted however, that 1.0% of the sample being identified as not heterosexual closely emulates the same-sex cohabitation rate from the 2008 U.S Census, and that research, by necessity, will have to look at this population with smaller numbers since they are a minority. Regardless of such limitations, one goal of this study was to determine if differences in consequences varied between sexual orientation groups. To date, there have been no published studies which look specifically at that, and the dataset we used was unique in that it had measures for both sexual orientation, and various forms of intimate partner violence. Secondly, the study wanted to bring attention to the potential differences between groups as justification for further research comparing aspects of intimate partner violence between sexual orientation groups. Future research would benefit from including a larger number of same-sex couples, being nationally representative, measuring minority stress in same-sex couples, and using comprehensive and innovated measures of intimate partner violence to allow for stronger conclusions and comparisons to be made.

Note to all researchers: you do not publish in a vacuum. You can claim all you want that your research “should be not be used to make generalized statements.”

Too bad, it is, and you all have a responsibility to foresee how it will be misused, twisted, and made into a weapon that is against the ultimate goal you probably have.

Case in point:

Who Has More Intimate Partner Violence, Gays Or Straights?

The LGBT community absolutely needs and deserves more research and more funding for that research, but using ancient history and claiming it’s relevant to today is not just pointless, it’s harmful.


Image: Photo of artist George Segal’s commemoration of New York City’s 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, by Tony Fischer via Flickr

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‘Sexy’: Comer Obtains Unredacted Emails to VP Biden Revealing Women ‘Privately Mused’ They Found Him Attractive



Amid the chaos of what top Democrats are calling the GOP House’s “civil war,” infighting that threatens to shut down the federal government in nine days, Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Comer has been obtaining some of then-Vice President Joe Biden‘s emails from the National Archives.

Politico reveals Chairman Comer has been able to obtain several unreacted emails, including one which relayed a tidbit of hearsay, or, “private musings,” from 2009, after an overseas trip Biden took: “multiple” women said they found the Vice President “sexy.”

The emails “include schedules with ordinary family get-togethers,” Politico adds. “One shows Biden had lunch with Hunter Biden’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan. Another reveals that the Ukrainians were praising his now-deceased brother, Beau. And then there are the private musings of multiple Georgian women saying they found Joe Biden ‘sexy’ during a 2009 trip that also included a stop in Ukraine.”

“’Must-read email below,’ read an email forwarded by Biden’s then-national security adviser Tony Blinken to Joe Biden and his sons, Hunter and Beau. The email’s subject line: ‘Biden as new Georgian sex symbol.'”

READ MORE: ‘Total Breakdown’: House Sends Members Home – Experts Warn ‘Republicans Can’t Govern’ And Have No ‘Working Majority’

Other emails from the National Archives’ trove include a “June 14, 2016 schedule card shows Biden was to meet with the prime minister of Ukraine. The newly unredacted portions show he was also scheduled to work out with his personal trainer, and to dine with Hunter’s then-15-year-old daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, in the vice president’s office.”

Politico, noting that “Republicans have yet to turn up direct evidence that Joe Biden benefited personally or that he took any official action as a result of those [Hunter Biden’s] connections, also reveals a “May, 27, 2016 schedule card includes a call with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Hunter Biden was copied on the day’s schedule. It’s already been reported that Biden was also due to attend the one-year anniversary of the passing of his son, Beau, back home in Delaware.”

“Comer had been pointing to this scheduling item, since it was also emailed to then-Vice President Biden under a pseudonym email address. Comer even said the vice president was sending a secret message to his son that he was about to fire the prosecutor. As recently as last week, Comer included that email on a list of ‘evidence’ of Joe Biden’s ‘involvement in his family’s influence peddling schemes.'”

Politico also notes that Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy “and his allies insisted that opening a formal impeachment inquiry would empower them to dig deeper. Yet the emails are another example of the House GOP failing to turn up evidence they’ve assured the public exists and that will implicate Biden in some form of corruption that rises to an impeachable offense.”

READ MORE: Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.

Image via Shutterstock

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‘Total Breakdown’: House Sends Members Home – Experts Warn ‘Republicans Can’t Govern’ And Have No ‘Working Majority’



Nine days before an increasingly-likely shutdown of the federal government of the United States, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has effectively adjourned the House for the rest of the week, with GOP leadership telling members they may go home and come back next week, after a procedural vote to fund the Dept. of Defense failed for the second time this week.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram reports, “Note that the House has not officially dismissed everyone.. but everyone expects they are done for the week. Why? They House lacks the VOTES TO ADJOURN.”

He later added that “Things are very fluid,” and “there could be votes TOMORROW or this weekend still in the house. This could be a problem if some members already got on flights.”

Fox News online is reporting, “House abruptly cancels votes for the week without spending deal after series of defeats for GOP leaders,” and notes members are not expected back until Tuesday.

READ MORE: ‘Just Want to Burn the Whole Place Down’: McCarthy Rails Against House Republicans as GOP Conference Explodes in Chaos

McCarthy this week has repeatedly denigrated and attacked the extremist members of the House Republican conference on camera to reporters, and Thursday was no different, saying, “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) blasted House Republicans upon hearing the House was about to adjourn for the week.

“What you need to understand is that chaos is the point for a big chunk of House Republicans. They came to congress to BURN THE GOVERNMENT TO THE GROUND,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote. “Their goal is a shutdown.”

The sentiment is being echoed by political experts, but many of those are placing the blame on Speaker McCarthy.

Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett, senior advisor to former Obama Cabinet secretary Julián Castro Thursday afternoon wrote: “Reminder: Kevin McCarthy could put a clean bill to fund the government on the floor right now and it would pass easily. Instead, he’s sending members home for the weekend with 9 days until a shutdown—all because he’s afraid he’ll lose his job.”

Evidence that the far-right extremist House Republicans, led by U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) are effectively in control comes via Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman:

At 1:13 PM ET Sherman posted that Rep. Gaetz had “just emerged from” Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s suite. “Gaetz said that he’s advocating for pausing consideration of the Pentagon spending bill and moving to bills that cut spending. He mentioned: State-Foreign Ops, Agriculture, Energy and Water.”

READ MORE: Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.

Sherman noted that Gaetz “said again there are not enough votes” for a continuing resolution, legislation to keep the government open temporarily, possibly 30 days past the September 30 deadline.

“Just to review, the plan right now is to begin passing 11 appropriations bills with relatively open rules allowing for amendments between next tues (possibly wed) and Sunday.”

At 2:40 PM, Sherman added, “This is now the strategy. They’re going to bring up individual approps [appropriations] bills next week, per lawmakers who just met with @SpeakerMcCarthy.”

Congressman Gaetz’s “strategy is now house gop’s plan, Sherman wrote, to which Gaetz replied: “God Bless America.”

Others were less pleased.

Veteran foreign policy journalist Laura Rozen wrote: “truly insane. Mccarthy surrendered to Gaetz.”

Even before McCarthy adjourned the House for the rest of the week, political experts had warned the volatile situation was worse than it may have appeared.

Sherman, late Thursday morning, issued this warning on social media after the failed Defense Dept. vote: “Just to put this in context, republicans cannot even agree to debate the pentagon spending bill. This bill usually passes by big margins. It failed twice this week. Kevin mccarthys House Republicans are in a state of crisis.”

READ MORE: ‘Good Riddance’: Experts Blame Rupert Murdoch for ‘Intellectual and Moral Decay’ of America, Issue Warning on Future

Josh Chafetz, Georgetown Law professor of law and politics, responded to Thursday’s failed Defense Dept. procedural vote, writing: “if you can’t pass the procedural stuff you don’t have a working majority.”

Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) is calling the state of the GOP House a “total breakdown.”

“I started working in the House nearly 11 years ago, I’ve seen some crazy days and some chaotic votes but never seen anything like what is happening with this majority. Just a total breakdown,” he wrote Thursday morning.

Professor and American historian Aaron Astor on Thursday asked, “Does the GOP actually have a working majority in the House?”

Veteran journalist John Harwood quickly replied, “clearly not.”


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‘Just Want to Burn the Whole Place Down’: McCarthy Rails Against House Republicans as GOP Conference Explodes in Chaos



Speaker Kevin McCarthy unleashed his anger against his own House Republican conference Thursday as chaos erupted after yet another procedural vote on a defense spending bill failed and the clock ticks closer to a GOP-caused shutdown of the federal government.

McCarthy “failed a crucial test Thursday of his ability to unite his fractured Republican caucus as he tries to rally support to pass a spending bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the month,” CNBC adds.

“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand why anybody votes against bringing the idea and having the debate, and then you got all the amendments and if you don’t like the bill,” McCarthy admitted to reporters in what has increasingly become opportunities for him to trash the most far-right Republicans in the House.

“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down,” he lamented. “It doesn’t work.”

“This is really unheard of,” CNBC’s Emily Wilkins reported. “I mean just a rule going down as a procedural thing, that’s pretty rare as is, and for it to happen twice in one week. Last night Republicans came ut of their all hands on deck Republican meeting. A number of them sounded optimistic about moving forward.”

READ MORE: Pete Buttigieg Just Testified Before Congress. It Did Not Go Well for Republicans.

Thursday failed procedural vote “really did catch Speaker McCarthy by surprise,” Wilkins added.

“He said he did not realize there were not going to be the votes to move forward on this.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.


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