Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sen. Franken slams anti-gay group for distorting study

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Twisting and distorting studies to suit their bigoted agenda is practically a pastime for anti-gay conservative “family” groups, but it’s only too rare to see any of them ever be held accountable for it. Which makes this all the more wonderful: Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) grilling Tom Minnery, the head of CitizenLink (the group behind this atrocious video), a Focus on the Family affiliate, over his insidious misrepresentation of a 2010 government study wherein he redefines “nuclear families” as “opposite-sex married families” and claims to be ignorant of which definition the study used – despite it being right there in the actual text of the study. Watch:

My transcript: (click the [+/-] to expand/collapse →) []

[Senate debate on DOMA repeal (SH-216)]

SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MN): Mr. Minnery, on page eight of your written testimony, you write, quote: “Children living […] with their own married, biological and/or adopted mothers and fathers were generally healthier and happier, had better access to healthcare, less likely to suffer mild or severe emotional problems, did better in school, were protected from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and almost never live in poverty compared with children in any other family form.” You cite a Department of Health and Human Services study – that I have right here [holds up study papers] – from December 2010 to support this conclusion.

[smiles] I checked the study out. [mild audience laughter] And I would like to enter into the record, if I may?

SOMEONE: [No objection.]

FRANKEN: And it actually doesn’t say what you said it says. It says that nuclear families, not opposite-sex married families, are associated with those positive outcomes. Isn’t it true, Mr. Minnery, that a married same-sex couple that has had or adopted kids would fall under the definition of a nuclear family in the study that you cite?

TOM MINNERY: I would think that the study, when it cites nuclear families, would mean a family headed by a husband and wife.

FRANKEN: It doesn’t. [audience laughter] The study defines a nuclear family as “one or more children living with two parents who are married to one another and are each biological or adoptive to all the children in the family.” And I frankly don’t really know how we can trust the rest of your testimony if you are reading studies these ways.

It’s less clear whether these Liars for JesusTM actually don’t bother to read the research they’re basing their bullshit arguments on, or if they do know exactly what the text says and conscientiously lie about it. Either way, it’s a pretty damning show of utter dishonesty that would immediately disqualify any further testimony they may have brought to bear in any ideal world.

For all the previous fuss over how Franken’s previous career as a comedian might hinder his competence as a legislator, he certainly seems keen on disproving such notions by being one of the damn best lawmakers in the Senate. Even more kudos to him for holding these bastards’ feet to the fire until they’re nicely burned.

(via Joe. My. God.)