N.C. State Senator James Forrester recently told Mike Signorile that he had learned from the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, that homosexuals die 20 years earlier than their heterosexual counterparts.
Forrester’s claim was part of a long series of lies he has told about gay people and their health. His wife Mary Frances, who is involved with various anti-gay political groups, has said that the average gay or lesbian person only lives to be 39.
Signorile in the interview asks Forrester where he got his information. “I think I got it from the Center for Disease Control out of Atlanta,” Forrester said. Signorile retorted that he has seen the statistics and knows Forrester’s claim was false. Forrester then attempted to evade the detection of his outright lie by recommending that Signorile read books by Frank Turek, who is not a medical professional. He said that Turek had written a “real nice book” that “goes into some facts on that.” He added “I think these are some of the facts.” Signorile maintained the challenge, and Forrester again appealed to the authority of the Center for Disease Control. He asserted “I got the information from the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta.”
This reporter has now contacted the Center for Disease Control, Atlanta. A CDC staff member called me to verify that she correctly understands all of the questions I posed. Notably, the CDC has no single statistic indicating that all gay people die 20 years earlier than their heterosexual counterparts. That is to say, Dr. James Forrester could not possibly have obtained from the CDC Atlanta information stating that all gay people die 20 years prematurely. A later post will report on the CDC’s responses to my questions.
Forrester as a doctor knows where to find correct health care information and statistics. That he has repeatedly over time in anti-gay political contexts told documentable untruths about gay people creates the impression that he is lying about LGBTers with malice aforethought. In considering how to vote on Forrester’s proposed anti-equality constitutional amendment, all North Carolina voters of good conscience must ask themselves whether there is any integrity in supporting an anti-minority amendment proposed by a Senator who exhibits malice against the minority.