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Religious Right Icon’s ‘Irrefutable’ Anti-Gay Claims Slammed By PolitiFact

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The anti-gay claims of one of the brand names of the religious right have just gotten slammed by Politifact’s PunditFact researchers. Ralph Reed became a big name in theocratic politics in the 1990s when he ran Pat Robertson‘s Christian Coalition — until those pesky IRS and Federal Election Commission investigations took him down. Reed mounted a successful comeback (there’s nothing the religious right likes better than a sinner who’s sinned big time but pleads forgiveness and repentance: David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich…) and in 2009 started his own religious right money machine, the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

On Easter Sunday, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported, Reed appeared on the ABC News talk show, “This Week.” During a segment on same-sex marriage, gay parents raising children, homosexuality, and a bit of Vladimir Putin tossed in for good measure thanks to Franklin Graham’s fawning over the Russian president, Reed offered host Martha Radditz and the nation this insight:

“And by the way, Martha, the social science on this is clear. This isn’t about Vladimir Putin, this is about what’s best for children here in the United States and the social science is irrefutable. And it is a child who grows up in a home without the mother and father present — and they both play very unique, procreative, nurturing, and socializing role — they’re nine times more likely to end up dropping out of high school, they’re five times more likely to end up in poverty, and they’re three times more likely to end up addicted to drugs and alcohol.”

Enter PolitiFact’s PunditFact researchers:

PunditFact wanted to know what social science has to say about the effects gay parents have on children compared to straight parents.”

We rate Reed’s statement False.”

There are 392 words in between those two sentences, but it’s vitally important that every member of the religious right, every anti-gay activist, and even your friends, co-workers, and family members know that Reed and those who parrot the anti-gay lies that gays are pedophiles, or children raised by gays will suffer, or gays adopt children to “recruit” them for sex (thanks for that lie, Franklin Graham), or whatever, that those are indeed lies.

Here’s Politifact’s statement, with some bolding on our part:

PunditFact wanted to know what social science has to say about the effects gay parents have on children compared to straight parents.

The social science statistics Reed called “irrefutable” actually have nothing to do with gay couples raising kids. Instead, they’re focused on the effects of children who grow up without a father in a one-parent household. Put another way, the studies focus on the quantity of parents and not their gender.

Reed’s office pointed us to his book, as well as a Brookings Institution report that says parents who graduate from high school and bear children within marriage have a 2 percent chance of living in poverty. But neither the study nor his book draws any comparison between gay and straight marriages. In fact, it makes no mention of gay marriages.

Other research often cited by gay parenting critics, like Sara McLanahan’s Growing Up With a Single Parent, similarly doesn’t include any information on gay parenting, specifically.

Again, the critique is focused on having one parent present versus two. We decided not to investigate further the specific stats Reed cited once we realized they weren’t measuring what he said they were.

Comparisons like Reed’s are “a complete misuse of the research,” said Judith Stacey, a New York University sociologist.

We did find one study funded by conservative organizations as showing gay parents are worse than straight ones, but it’s been denounced by the American Sociological Association, the researcher’s own university and many reputable sociologists. In conducting the study, Mark Regnerus loosely defined same-sex couples and, in doing so, only spoke with two children who were actually raised by gay parents.

Research is still limited, but many reputable studies so far have concluded that children of gay parents, generally speaking, are just as well off as children of straight parents. What’s more important is the number of parents a child has, experts told us.

“Kids are better off with two parents,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University. “But we don’t have much evidence that those parents must be of the opposite gender.”

Our ruling

Reed said there’s “irrefutable” social science to show that children are better off being parented by a mother and father. That’s not right. What studies really show is that children are better off with two parents. Those studies do not focus on gender.

All reputable research so far indicates that children brought up by gay parents are just well off as those brought up by straight parents.

We rate Reed’s statement False.

The end?

 

Hat tip: Daily Kos
Image: YouTube

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News

Trump Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst

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A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search

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Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”

 

Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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News

Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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