Riddle me this. What do you do when your defense of an archaic law is revealed as faulty and containing junk science?
Well if you are House of Representative Speaker John Boehner, you increase the dollar amount of this defense. From Think Progress:
Earlier this year, Speaker John Boehner’s (R) office announced that American taxpayers would pay former Bush Solicitor General Paul Clement to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act — at a cost of $520 per hour of legal work. Clement’s original contract, however, included a $500,000 cap on the amount Clement could charge the United States to help protect discrimination. Less than six months later, Clement appears to have blown through that cap, and the House GOP now anticipates that he will take another $1 million from the American people:
The [House of Representatives] agrees to pay [Clement's law firm] for all services to be rendered pursuant to this Agreement a sum not to exceed $750,000.00. It is further understood and agreed that, effective October 1, 2011, the aforementioned $750,000 cap may be raised from time to time up to, but not exceeding, $1.5 million, upon written notice of the [House] to the [firm].
Clement is one of the nation’s top litigators, so Boehner has certainly not spared any expense in ensuring that unconstitutional discrimination against gay couples receives the best legal team available. The same cannot be said, however, for programs that actually benefit the American people. At the same time that the House GOP is writing enormous checks to keep anti-gay discrimination alive, they are pushing sharp cuts to education, job training and health care.
And what exactly is Boehner getting for this defense? Let’s spotlight the highlights – or rather lowlights – of Clement’s DOMA defense thus far:
1. Clement tried to sneak in the testimony of former NOM chair Maggie Gallagher in a way which would have kept her from being cross-examined.
2. A professor cited by Clement in a brief defending DOMA, Lisa Diamond, complained that her work was being distorted.
3. Clement is also citing – in a second hand fashion – junk science from discredited researchers. In his defense of DOMA, Clement cites the work of Case Western Reserve University law professor George W. Dent, Jr.
But Dent’s work – which Clement uses - cited both Paul Cameron and George Rekers, two discredited researchers. Cameron has been censured or rebuked by several organizations for his bad methodology in his studies. He has published work which claimed, among other nauseating false things, that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums. (Editor’s note- the piece Cameron cited to make this claim – The Straight Dope – actually said that this claim was not true. Cameron dishonestly “flipped the script” to make it seem that The Straight Dope was affirming this claim.)
Rekers lost a lot of credibility for last year’s scandal when he was caught coming from a European vacation with a “rentboy.”
Also, Dent cited the work of Walter Schumm’s study Children of Homosexuals More Apt To Be Homosexuals? A Reply to Morrison and to Cameron Based on an Examination of Multiple Sources of Data.
Schumm’s study was criticized for using the same false methodology as Cameron’s work. i.e. citing sources “from general-audience books about LGBT parenting and families, most of which are available on Amazon.com”
Furthermore, Dent cited a book called Straight & Narrow by Thomas E. Schmidt to make criticisms about gay health. However, Schmidt is not a credible researcher in the field of gay health. He is a professor of New Testament Greek at Westmont College in Santa Barbara and according to Rev. Mel White of the group Soulforce, Schmidt cited Cameron’s discredited studies many times in Straight & Narrow (5th letter to Jerry Falwell.)
And last, but not least, Dent cited the work of the American College of Pediatricians. The American College of Pediatricians is not a credible organization, but an organization created to give credibility to junk science about the gay community. Last year, over 14,000 school district superintendents in the country were sent a letter by ACP inviting them to peruse and use information from a new site, Facts About Youth. The site claimed to present “facts” supposedly not tainted by “political correctness.” Of course these were not facts, but ugly distortions about the gay community, including:
Some gay men sexualize human waste, including the medically dangerous practice of coprophilia, which means sexual contact with highly infectious fecal wastes
Taking all of this into account, it is no wonder that the site Equality Matters raised speculation that Boehner’s defense of DOMA may go the route of the Prop 8 case. That anti-gay law was overturned.
But I have a question for my fellow Americans – gay and straight. How does it feel to have over $1 million of your tax dollars wasted to prop up the work of a man who claims that gays stuff gerbils up their rectums?
If you feel like you’re getting screwed, it ain’t the gerbils who’s doing it.