Internet Advocacy 101: How To Use This Resource


This internet advocacy resource is intended to provide a linkable repository online. Frequently, as an advocate for human rights I would encounter hatred and bigotry on forums or social sites like Facebook, and I would answer their hatred and bigotry with quotes of scientific research and facts. The trouble is, you soon get tired of copy-pasting tracts of text, carrying huge files filled with urls/links etc… So I created the first version of this resource on my Blogger site in about 2009.

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Then it was easier to find and reference the information online – instead of having to carry the file with me on a flash drive, I would just go to my blog site and copy-paste the links into my reply saying something like “You’re talking BS – look here at what X, Y, and Z scientific research study says:” or something of that order.

Here is an example from an actual example of a debate on Facebook in which I engaged right-wing supporters and members of the ACDP in 2009:

“Bigot: “It is scientifically impossible for someone to be born a homosexual. It is something that is developed with time, often due to things like abuse etc. There is absolutley NO scientific evidence whatsoever proving that someone is “born gay”. It is a disorder that can be treated…whether that is a politically correct statement or not, I do not care…it is the truth that can be backed up by fact, and that’s what matters.”

Respondent: “Excuse me, but credible scientists the world over – with educational degrees in their field – happen to disagree with you. Here is your evidence:

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4215427.stm  Non sex genes linked to ‘gay trait’

http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/050511_transfrm.htm   Preliminary work, genetic link found in transsexuality

http://www.uel.ac.uk/news/press_releases/releases/borngay.htm  Dr Rahmann

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7456588.stm  BBC NEWS Health Scans see ‘gay brain differences’

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080617151845.htm  Swedish study brain symmetry GLBT

The assertion that a person’s sexuality is a “disorder” is offensive and degrading – and the opinion that it can be changed or “cured” woefully mistaken – in fact those quacks have been discredited and sidelined by the reputable medical profession.

“Ex-gay” is a fraud which does nothing but destroy lives and produce broken, depressed and dysfunctional gay people living with internalized homophobia promoted by organizations such as NARTH, Love Wins Out and other ex-gay torture camps promoting fallacies and using outdated methodologies and principles discredited 40 years ago.

To sum up, science disagrees that there is any choice in sexual orientation or gender identity, and it does definitely show that it is immutable – hence the immense failure rate of organizations such as those I mentioned. The ranks of those who survive the ex-gay fallacy swell with stories of the inhumanities gay and trans people face at the hands of those who will not accept the truth – or cease their hypocrisy.

Claiming something is a disease simply because you don’t agree with it is a sign of ignorance, even gratuitous ignorance. Gay people aren’t broke – stop trying to “fix” them.”

I found this method to be extremely effective and time-saving –  and when bombarded with facts, most people spouting bigotry based on nothing more than their own feelings, would fall silent from embarrassment  – and also, if lucky enough, find themselves a little education. Only the most hardened, brainwashed and hateful bigots would refuse to see reason, and reject solid scientific reason out of hand in favor of wilful ignorance and to indulge their own personal hatreds. Often I found these would dump shit-loads of Christian scripture (usually from Leviticus) into the debate – most of which had absolutely no bearing whatever on the issue at hand.

Another tactic they sometimes use is to refer to outdated and obsolete medical and scientific sources and practices which have been discontinued, updated or revised, in order to lend their bigoted argument some form of credibility. In other words, they refer to something that is no longer accepted fact simply because it fits their views and quite often their opponents might not have knowledge to counter this tactic, or to expose it.

For example:

Bigot: “As recently as 1972, the American Psychiatric Association treated homosexuality as a disorder deserving of treatment.”

Response: Funny enough, the next year (1973) the very same organization removed homosexuality from its DSM (manual of mental diagnoses) and now opposes any attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity because of the harm this does to the individual. Since then, virtually every single psychiatric or psychological body has followed suit and include some form of condemnation of such practices, discrediting those who practice them.

http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/therapeutic-response.pdf  – Research on the Impacts of Reparative Therapy, Harms Caused by Societal Prejudice
http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2009/08/3706/  – The APA Says ‘No Evidence’ In Support of Ex-Gay Therapy

Wow, how about that? I see you only like to tell half the truth, etc.”

Some bigots persist and continue to claim that “science is flexible” or that science is “at best inconclusive”. Many will try to sneak in biblical references and allude to Creationism v/s Evolution (though what this has to do with the topic of nature and science I have no idea). This kind of nutfuckery is easy enough to defuse and expose, as one need only point out that they “think they know better than scientists and academics” and by asking questions like: “Where did you get YOUR doctorate in anthropology, medicine, genetics, etc that you can dispute this actual study/lab result etc?”

“Studies” or “statistical facts” by quasi-scientists and unethical “researchers” (like Paul Cameron, Masters & Johnson etc) are often quoted or referenced by bigots in order to back up their prejudice and persecution and in order to justify dismissing LGBT rights as undeserving by right wingers – and this resource also contains links to material exposing these unethical and extremely biased “experts” as the charlatans and frauds they are for their quackery. Thus, by referring people to the facts exposing the foundations of their own argument as fraudulent, you also yank the foundations of their argument out from under them, exposing their argument as bigoted, hollow and without any scientific basis.

Bigot: “I read a report by a Dr Cameron, a psychiatrist in the USA who did studies on homosexuals, and he proved that gays spread disease, ingest faeces, live unhealthy lifestyles and their average life-span is 40 years, are pedophiles who molest children etc.”

Respondent: “There’s where you went wrong – you’ve referenced a quack who was tossed out of the psychological profession in 1983 because every single one of his alleged “studies” performed on gay people were done in an unethical fashion, or simply thumb-sucked in a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey fashion.

Here is some more about that “reliable source” you refer to: “Paul Cameron, the chairman of the Family Research Institute, is a discredited Psychologist who has been kicked out of the American Psychological Association and condemed by the Nebraska Psychological Association and the American Socialogical Association. He has campaigned against the civil rights of homosexuals based on misrepresentations of science. In the past, he has advocated facial tattoes for AIDS victims and the castration, deportation to a former leper colony, and even extermination of homosexuals.” – http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Paul_Cameron

My, but that’s a reliable source you have there – I’m sure we can believe every one of those “statistics” and “studies” he produced, etc”

If that is not enough to just sink their source, you can do more by delivering an extra blow by providing some references to actual scientific and medical evidence which completely disproves the points of their arguments as well, so they cannot simply claim you are “playing the player instead of playing the ball”. Sometimes it’s also better to supply more than just one reference per point – because a) it will keep them busy, and b) a short response time to your comment will indicate whether or not the bigot has bothered to read your material.

Respondent: “Further, to disprove your claims wrt to gay people being pedophiles and a threat to children: “Some conservative groups have argued that scientific research strongly supports their claims that homosexuality and pedophilia are linked. The Family Research Council – run by Paul Cameron, incidentally – has produced what is perhaps the most extensive attempt to document this claim. It is an article by Timothy J. Dailey titled Homosexuality and Child Abuse. With 76 footnotes, many of them referring to papers in scientific journals, it appears at first glance to be a thorough and scholarly discussion of the issue. On further examination, however, its central argument – that “the evidence indicates that homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls” – doesn’t hold up.” “In summary, the scientific sources cited by the FRC report do not support their argument. Most of the studies they referenced did not even assess the sexual orientation of abusers. Two studies explicitly concluded that sexual orientation and child molestation are unrelated. Notably, the FRC failed to cite the 1978 study by Groth and Birnbaum, which also contradicted their argument. Only one study (Erickson et al., 1988) might be interpreted as supporting the FRC argument, and it failed to detail its measurement procedures and did not differentiate bisexual from homosexual offenders.” – http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html ; and

“In 1978 psychologist Nicholas Groth screened 175 men who had been convicted in Massachusetts of sexual molestation of children and referred by a court for psychological evaluation. He found not a single gay man in this sample. Every one of the perpetrators was either an exclusive heterosexual, a bisexual with a predominantly heterosexual orientation, or a fixated pedophile with no sexual interest in adults.[4] His conclusion? That “the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater risk to the underage child than does the adult homosexual male.” In the same year, researcher David Newton reviewed the scientific literature and found no reason to believe that anything other than a “random connection” existed between homosexual orientation and child molestation.[5] Later research has confirmed these findings: In 1988, renowned sex researcher Kurt Freund at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry in Toronto studied two groups of paid volunteers and found that gay men responded no more to male child stimuli than heterosexual men responded to female child stimuli.[6] He later described as a “myth” the notion that gay men are more likely than straight men to be child molesters.[7] In 1992, alarmed over claims made during a campaign for an anti-gay state constitutional amendment in Colorado, two physicians reviewed every case of suspected child molestation evaluated at Children’s Hospital in Denver over a one-year period. Of the 269 cases determined to involve molestation by an adult, only two of the perpetrators could be identified as gay or lesbian. The researchers concluded that the risk of child sexual abuse by an identifiably gay or lesbian person was between zero and 3.1%, and that the risk of such abuse by the heterosexual partner of a relative was over 100 times greater.[8]“ – http://www.robincmiller.com/gayles4.htm”

There are also numerous links in the repository referring to positive and affirming religious resources to counter the overwhelming sort of hatred being peddled by many Christian leaders and churches and religious prejudice-fed groups around the world. This demonstrates how split mainstream religions are by the personal lives of people regardless of whether or not they are part of those religions. These resources are also very useful to refer to when encountering religious-fuelled hatred and bigotry, especially to demonstrate that hate is not the only, nor the “true” viewpoint of that religion.

Quotes which affirm people for who they are, or which demonstrate respect or tolerance for other people’s beliefs go a long way to oppose violent and hateful examples of any particular religious grouping. Good examples include Christians such as Bishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Bishop (ret) George Irvine, and frankly, any other clerics who are quotable sources speaking out in compassion without encouraging judgemental attitudes and which provide a challenge to those of their own faiths who indulge in fanatical and frankly “opposite” behavior. I find that things which demonstrate how open to interpretation any viewpoint based on biblical scriptures is, are very helpful to the cause of human rights – once you show how a person’s hatred is based upon their own misunderstandings or opinion based on something as riddled with duality as religious scriptures, their position can be eroded away.

Pictures, or images with captions are also literally worth a thousand words – even if they have a few words in them…

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There is also plenty of room for what I call “common sense responses” – though sometimes you only calm down enough later to realize what your response could or should have been:

Bigot: “the ultimate purpose of relationships and marriage is for the reproduction of children. And until such time as homosexuals are able to do that, their orientation is not legitimate and worth being awarded marriage.”

Respondent: “Did you forget the millions of heterosexual couples who cannot produce offspring because of medical infertility. Are their relationships (and marriages) also not “legitimate”? And then there is the fact (which you won’t like I take it) that people don’t need to get married to produce offspring. Another minor point of note is that many gay and transgender people already have at some point produced children in the course of previous relationships (including marriages) and …etc.

Over time of course, since I only posted the links and the basic subject of what the link was about, I didn’t take into account that  these news articles and even whole websites would vanish over time, or that the web-masters would reorganize the sites every decade or so, and the links I saved and organized meticulously, would be rendered virtually useless on their own.

This time round, I not only went through all the links to eliminate the dead ones, I added new ones to the resource, and I also copied quotes of the relevant information attached to each link into the site, so that should the sites or articles linked to vanish in future, the information would still be available to the user and could still be used – and after all, the resource itself can be linked to by the user.

Please feel free to use this resource and to link to it. Also, I welcome any input from the public – please send this to me via the contact form on this site.

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