The other day I blogged about the Australian lunatic, Jim Wallace, and his alleged scientific proof that smoking was less than harmful than being being gay. Of course all the poofter bashers leapt on this on both sides of the Tasman and on my blog.
Colin Craig too has said he is going to run a science and evidence based campaign against marriage equality. I not that the Protect Marriage website aligned with him and Family First is prominently showing this as news with links to The Age nespaper and the comments.
Well it turns out that the study is seriously flawed:
THE controversial claims by some Christian leaders that gay men die younger than heterosexual men appear to have originated from flawed US research that was funded by a Christian research group.
Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, drew strong criticism for comments on ABC TV’s Q&A on Monday night that the gay lifestyle led to a “significantly shorter life”.
He was responding to comments by the Australian Christian Lobby chief, Jim Wallace, that a homosexual lifestyle was as unhealthy as smoking.
One of several studies by Paul Cameron and his son, Kirk, of the Family Research Institute in Colorado in the United States – which claims its ”overriding mission is to generate empirical research on issues that threaten the traditional family, particularly homosexuality, AIDS, sexual social policy and drug abuse” – concluded heterosexual men outlived gay men by 20 years.
The study has been criticised for its lack of academic rigour. It was partly based on lifespan estimates of men and women and gays and lesbians from obituaries in several US newspapers.
That is just intellectually dishonest, but it is worse:
”The gist of the Camerons’ argument was that lesbians and gay men must die younger than their heterosexual peers because they appeared to be under-represented in studies of older people,” Dr Holt, from the University of NSW, said.
A Danish epidemiologist, Morten Frisch, said the research flaws were ”of such a grave nature that no decent peer-reviewed scientific journal should let it pass for publication”. Dr Frisch’s 2009 study found there was an increase in the mortality rate of same-sex couples in the first few years of marriage but this was likely due to pre-existing illness.
”Although further study is needed, the claims of drastically increased overall mortality in gay men and lesbians appear unjustified,” he concluded.
A public health researcher, Julie Mooney-Somers, of the University of Sydney, said a biennial survey on the health of lesbian and bisexual women had found some gay women had health issues – higher rates of smoking, mental illness and alcohol abuse – but there were no inherent health risks with being a practising lesbian. Such health issues were likely to be the result of higher rates of discrimination, she said.
While practising gay men were at risk of HIV infection, the disease was also a problem for heterosexual couples.
So the higher incidence of mental health issues and alcohol abuse amongst gay women is likely to be because of discriminatory behaviour by homophobic bigots…nice.
Is this the evidence and science based argument that Colin Craig speaks of?