Frank Turek, Anti-gay Martyr

My boss’s boss has scheduled a Habitat-for-Humanity team-building event next Thursday. The cause is worthy, but my initial reaction was decidedly less so:

A 90-minute drive and I’ve got to be there by 8am?  [whine]  To do manual labor?  [whine]  And as the group’s resident tall man who works out, guess who they’ll ask to dig the ditches and lug the heavy stuff?  [whine].

Part of that’s just because I dread any disruption of my routine (sad, but true). Fortunately, if experience tells me anything, the day will be satisfying and fun, and I’ll be glad we did it.

Assuming my company doesn’t hire Frank Turek to run the team-building activities.

Frank Turek is the latest anti-gay martyr, an independent contractor who runs leadership and team-building exercises for big corporations.  Both Cisco and Bank of America cancelled contracts with him after their employees discovered he’s an anti-gay activist and author of a book opposing marriage equality.  NOM, of course, is all over this.  He’s the first poster boy for their new project against gay-sponsored oppression: Fired just for believing in traditional marriage!

As usual, the truth is more complicated. I don’t have Turek’s book, but he’s done us the courtesy of summarizing his thoughts online.  The lowlights:

  • Turek declares homosexuality is morally wrong and objectively harmful.
  • He uses thoroughly discredited research by Paul Cameron to spread lies about gay men (Paul Cameron has been booted from many professional organizations after scientists complained he distorted their research to promote anti-gay slander).
  • Turek claims gay parents regards their adopted children as trophies.
  • He repeatedly lumps homosexuality with murder, rape, and incest.
  • He tells us a gay man can be romantically attracted and committed to his partner, but cannot truly “love” him.  He actually begins his reply to “But Same-sex marriage is About Love”  by saying “Even if that were true…”

That last one is especially dehumanizing.

But there’s more.  Here’s a video of him explaining homosexuality is part of humanity’s universal weakness for depravity. And another of him speculating that gays hate Western Civilization and the Declaration of Independence.

NOM, for some reason, doesn’t mention all that.  Nope, Turek is just “someone who was fired for holding a traditional marriage viewpoint.”  And to enhance his aura of martydom, this anti-gay author and lecturer actually had the nerve to say — on the radio! — that he was fired for his privately-held beliefs.

Enough background.  The issue is whether Turek is the victim of (to use the Vatican’s phrase) unjust discrimination.

No, he’s not.

Turek isn’t offering courses in some technical area like software training or bioassay analysis. He teaches leadership. Team-building.  Issues that focus on respect and trust.  How can he demonstrate respect for — and the gain the trust of — employees he’s characterized as immoral, depraved, America-hating creatures comparable to murderers and rapists, who reduce their children to trophies and cannot love their partners?

No one is shutting Frank up.  He’s exercising his freedom of speech (in an irrational, dishonest way), and Cicso and Bank of America are reacting in a perfectly sensible way.

Seriously:  If you were putting yourself out there, going on the radio, writing books, and working as hard as you could as a public figure spreading thoroughly-debunked lies that advance your political agenda against a group of law-abiding citizens…

…it would be reasonable for a business to decide against having you teach team-building and leadership to the employees you have publicly defamed.  It’s a rational decision, and this would be true whether the slander were directed at gays, straights, men, women, Catholics, atheists, evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, blacks, whites, Asians, or any other company staff.

This has been with me for a while, always in a distant, intellectual way.  That changed when my department scheduled its own team-building activity.  First I thought idly, What would I do if I showed up and Frank Turek were leading the day?

Then, during my hour-long commute, I had time to vividly wonder:  My god, what would I do if Frank Turek were leading the day?

The idea was horrendous.  My imagination swept me up and I began trembling with anger at the prospect.  Respect, trust, ethics, science-based thinking — these are my company’s stated leadership attributes.  Turek is disrespectful, dishonest, unscientific.  Would I silently eat my anger?  Or would I break in with snarky comments about hating Western Civilization? Which of these would contribute best to the team-building exercise?  Would I have other options?

Yes — I could go to my boss or his boss right away and explain.  And that would scare the hell out of me.

Our opponents have this vision of gay people as aggressive victims, seeking out — even hoping for — opportunities to flog normal people with our grievance.  But that’s not how it played out in my head.

My boss’s boss has put aside the staff’s daily work to gather us for a good cause and bring us together as a team. She’s allocated a chunk of her budget for Turek as a facilitator.  It’s the morning of the event, too late to cancel.  And here I am, telling her I cannot participate — even if Turek never says a thing about gays, even if he mouths all the right words and plays his part perfectly, I can’t be there because I could never accept the leadership expertise of a man who publicly defames me and my relationship, who would be a pure fount of hypocrisy if he dared speak of respect, trust, ethics, and science-based thinking.

I work for a gay-friendly company.  But that shit does not go down well.  Executives hate it when you mess with their plans, disrupt the work of all your colleagues.  No matter how good you are at your job, no matter what else you accomplish, you’ll always be the guy who fucked up Habitat-for-Humanity day.  You’ll carry that load for as long you’re there.

Then I snapped out of it.  My company (valuing respect, trust, ethics, and science-based thinking) would never hire Turek to teach leadership.  For a moment, though, I got a sense of what it would be like if they did.  The folks at Bank of America and Cisco?  The ones who reported Turek and got him released from his contract?  They’re not professional victims. They have guts.  They stood up for their dignity.   They’re heroes.

 

Share:
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • email
  • Reddit

30 comments to Frank Turek, Anti-gay Martyr

  • 1
    Emma says:

    So well said.

  • 2
    tavdy79 says:

    ^^^ What she said.
     
    Also, just to make thinking about this whole thing even more disturbing: given how many anti-gays and ex-gays are actually just severely repressed closet cases I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a man like Frank Turek knowing that chances are he’ll be checking out my booty.
     
    And on that thought, here’s a nice big bottle of brain-bleach.

  • 3
    clayton says:

    Of course, had a gay team-building consultant been proposed for a NOM function, and if NOM had discovered it and terminated his or her contract at the last minute, NOM would have been hailing it as a victory for religious freedom.

  • 4
    Christopher Mongeau says:

    The real victims of unjust discrimination are of course LGBT Americans, who can be fired without cause in 31 states just for being who they are. But I don’t think NOM will make a video of any of these people.

  • 5
    antipas knight says:

    If one takes a step back and see what he is presenting. You might be surprised.

    Turek uses scientific studies (these are peer reviewed, well designed scientific studies)

    A 2006 NATIONAL COHERT study of TWO MILLION native-born Danes. Denmark, the FIRST COUNTRY to legalize gay marriage, has a history of tolerance for alternative lifestyles, including homosexual partnerships. 

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17039403 
     
    Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior: a population study of twins in Sweden.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3695686/Genetic-and-Environmental-Effects-on-Samesex-Sexual-Behavior-A-Population-Study-of-Twins-in-Sweden 

    ParentingIn a review of the available literature on the risks of the homosexual lifestyle by the American College of Pediatricians (ACPEDS

    http://www.acpeds.org/Homosexual-Parenting-Is-It-Time-For-Change.html 
    Effects of unhealthy lifestyle.
    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/surveillance/resources/reports/2009report/pdf/table1a.pdf
    These are not small studies from questionable sources.
    -American College of Pediatrics (Board Certifaction statndard for USA Md’s)
    -Department of Epidemiology Research of Denmark (Government)
    -Center for Disease Control (US Government)
    - Swedish Twin Registry is supported by unrestricted grants from the Swedish Department of Higher Education, the Swedish Research Council, and AstraZeneca 

    In summary, these studies refute
    -the assertion that genetics determines homosexuality
    -the idea that the risks of homosexual behavior are on a par with those of heterosexual behavior
    -equating homosexual marriage/parenting with heterosexual marriage/parenting
    - the notion that sexual orientation education for children promotes healthier sexual attitudes and adjustments.

     

  • 6
    antipas knight says:

    Thank goodness for Christian Political bigots like James Madison, George Washington, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton,  Elijah Craig, and Abraham Lincoln. 

     Real men stand, fight, and die for freedom of God, Country, Family/Children. Its called “self sacrifice” not “self autonomy 

  • 7
    robtish says:

    Antipas, you’d have had a lot more credibility if you…

    1.  Didn’t try to discount the impact of genetics on sexual orienation by citing a study that concluded genetic influences are likely more important than environmental influences
     

    2.  Understood the difference between the American College of Pediatrics (a tiny anti-gay fringe group that does NOT set board certification standards for US doctors) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (the main professional association of American pediatric physicians).

    3.  Had addressed Turek’s repeated use of “researchers” like Paul Cameron. A man who present a mix of honest and dishonest research is still dishonest.

    Feel free to post more if you like. But you’ll have to forgive people if they don’t give you much credibility after a start like this.

  • 8
    antipas knight says:

    You are correct on the American Acadamy of Peds vs. American College of Pediatrics – my misunderstanding. Thank you for the information.

    In regards to the Sweden Study, could you please point out the “Concluded genetic influences are likely more important than environmental influences” as you mentioned ?

    Many thanks

     

  • 9
    robtish says:

    Antipas, I pulled the genetic influences vs environmental influences info from the abstract, but it looks like I misread it.  It doesn’t say that genetic influences are stronger than environmental influences, but that genetic influences have a moderate impact.

     

  • 10
    antipas knight says:

    I looked through the study and didn’t see it…

    What I did find is this.
    “the present results support the notion that the individual-specific environment does indeed influence sexual preference.”
    Here is the link where it can be viewed.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3695686/Genetic-and-Environmental-Effects-on-Samesex-Sexual-Behavior-A-Population-Study-of-Twins-in-Sweden 

  • 11
    robtish says:

    Antipas, look at the end of the abstract (the article’s opening) where it speaks of “moderate, primarily genetic, familial effects.”

    In any case, I’ve never said I think that “not a choice” means “purely genetic.  As I’ve written before on this blog, “I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a lot like height:  We know there’s a genetic component, but environmental factors play a part, too, like hormones in the womb, and childhood diet and health.

    The study addresses this in the abstract, too, when it speaks of moderate to large social and biological environmental factors.

  • 12
    antipas knight says:

    May I suggest that certain mixtures or viewpoints/behaviors will always be a trainwreck ?
    Such as Jews and Arabs, Religion and Homosexuality ?

    They are at opposite ends of the telescope and will always be.  

  • 13
    antipas knight says:

    Btw, the hypothesis of “We know there’s a genetic component, but environmental factors play a part, too, like hormones in the womb, and childhood diet and health.“

    This is disproved by the Swedish Study – homogenous parents (race), same upbringing, Identical genetic. Not to mention, raised in a society that is sexually liberated society. 

    In addition, the Danish study of 2,000,000 (sexually liberated society) suggests that is due to external enviornment. Childhood family correlates of heterosexual and homosexual marriages: a national cohort study of two million Danes.

     

     

     

  • 14
    robtish says:

    Antipas, if you can’t read your own source and see that it speaks of factors that are socially and biologically environmental and factors that are genetic, then I don’t know how to convince you it says exactly that.  But I’ll make one last try:

    “Although wide confidence intervals suggest cautious interpretation, the results are consistent with moderate, primarily genetic, familial effects, and moderate to large effects of the nonshared environment (social and bio- logical) on same-sex sexual behavior”

  • 15
    antipas knight says:

    I understand where you are coming from – Allow me to point out the difference in the “genetic” confidence interval is due to

    “Our data indicated that genetic infuences on any lifetime same-sex partner and total number of same-sex partners were weaker in women than in men”

  • 16
    robtish says:

    I don’t get the point of your last post.  Saying that genetic factors are weaker in women than in men is still perfectly consistent with the authors’ statement that genetic and environmental factors (both social and biological) are at play, a statement that itself is perfectly consistent with “not a choice.”

  • 17
    antipas knight says:

    Lets explore the data:

    For women, 18–19% of same-sex sexual behaviors were explained by genetic factors and 64–66% by unique environmental factors. Shared environmental effects were weak at 16–17% 

    In men, the “suggested heritability estimates” of 35% – 39%  whereas unique environmental factors accounted for 61%  and 66%  respectively. No shared environmental effects were found among men.

    “Although the unique  environmental  variance  component also includes measurement error, the present results support the notion that  the individual-speci?c environment does indeed in?uence sexual preference.”
    What is obvioulsy common to both sets is the “individual-speci?c environment” that is 64% – 66% vs. “a suggested heritability estimates” of 35% – 39% in men and 18–19% in women In addition environmental effects were weak at 16–17% in women and 0% in men.
     

  • 18
    antipas knight says:

    They looked at 3 factors. Genetic,  Unique Environmental, Shared Environmental.

    -If it was genetic, the genetic factors would have a swept the board at a very very confidence interval in those that reported behavior due the “identical”  genetic matchup 

    -Environmental factors (which were the highest 64%-66%) was the hghest number and strongest corelation between both men and women

    -Shared environmental effects was the weakest (0% in men and 19% in women). This was not correlated due to no to low repsonders.

  • 19
    antipas knight says:

    Allow me to suggest that this leaves the following conclusions ( the following two points corresponds with the authors):

    The  unique factors (which were the highest 64%-66% in both men and women) – “the present results support the notion that the individual-specific environment does indeed influence sexual preference.
    -The use of gene influences were weaker in women than men (19% vs 35%-39%)

    One can draw there own conclusion, but this study shot down hypothesis of same sex gene. If the data would have presesented a strong correlation of same sex partners in the 90%-95% it would have supported it, but it didn’t.

    I hope that helps.

    United we stand – Divided we fall. 

  • 20
    robtish says:

    Antipas, you keep posting this info, but it in no way changes what I said in post 16.  

    By the way, I do hope you realize that this whole detour into genetics and environment and choice has absolutely nothing to do with the post above.

  • 21
    antipas knight says:

    Allow me to quote:

    “Respect, trust, ethics, science-based thinking — these are my company’s stated leadership attributes.  Turek is disrespectful, dishonest, unscientific”

    Please feel free to point out any unscientific studies or thinking.

  • 22
    robtish says:

    “Please feel free to point out any unscientific studies or thinking.”

    Google “Paul Cameron.” I mentioned him in the post.  I did it again in comment 7.  Google “Paul Cameron.” 

    That’s it for me on this thread.  Thanks (seriously) for the forceful but not malicious tone.  Feel free to keep posting on this thread or on others.

  • 23
    antipas knight says:

    Will do. Thanks for the info.
    Education, logic, common sense, manners, and mutual repsect go a long way

  • 24
    Christopher Mongeau says:

    This whole business of needing to find “scientific evidence” is a smoke screen, and underneath it is the assumption that gay is “caused” by something, ie, is not “natural” or normal. Human sexuality is normal, and it has different forms, hetero, homo, bi, etc. There is no more “cause” for homosexuality than there is for heterosexuality. Nor is it a choice any more than heterosexuality. It is part of the human condition. That is why they’ve never found the “cause” of heterosexuality. Not that they’ve gone looking for it, since they deem it normal. 

  • 25

    [...] Don’t pretend people are denounced merely for opposing same-sex marriage, when in fact they’re calling gays and lesbians immoral, depraved, America-hating creatures comparable to murderers and rapists, who reduce their ch…. [...]

  • 26

    [...] version, I hope Vogt’s not trying to deny it. Much of our opposition declares gay people to immoral, depraved, Hitler-enabling, America-hating purveyors of evil comparable to murderers and rapists, [...]

  • 27

    [...] version, I hope Vogt’s not trying to deny it. Much of our opposition declares gay people to immoral, depraved, Hitler-enabling, America-hating purveyors of evil comparable to murderers and rapists, [...]

  • 28

    […] on the job. I thought it was perfectly reasonable for Bank of America to tell viciously anti-gay Frank Turek, You can’t publish books and go on the radio maligning an entire segment of our workforce and […]

  • 29

    […] on the job. I thought it was perfectly reasonable for Bank of America to tell viciously anti-gay Frank Turek, You can’t publish books and go on the radio maligning an entire segment of our workforce and […]

  • 30

    […] on the job. I thought it was perfectly reasonable for Bank of America to tell viciously anti-gay Frank Turek, You can’t publish books and go on the radio maligning an entire segment of our workforce and […]

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>