Soulforce Releases Video of "Focus on the Facts" Campaign; Citizens Bring Roses and Reality Check to Dobson’s Headquarters

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: May 1, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Colorado Springs, CO) — Soulforce has posted video documenting an ongoing campaign called "Focus on the Facts," which asks Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to cease his misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on April 28, 2007, Christopher Hubble and Leigh Lyon of Denver, Colorado, were arrested and removed from Dr. James Dobson’s ministry headquarters in police custody. The two entered the campus after an earlier vigil during which participants silently prayed for Dr. Dobson’s wholeness and then read aloud numerous inflammatory and dehumanizing statements that Dobson and his associates have published over the years regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families.

During the first Focus on the Facts action on February 19, Soulforce was challenged to document Dr. Dobson’s and his colleagues’ negative bias toward LGBT people. Later, in an interview with Reuters, Dobson claimed that he has never made a hateful statement about lesbians and gays.

At the April 28 event, Soulforce members provided ample evidence to belie Dobson’s claims.

Video of the vigil and the recitation of the statements is available at: www.soulforce.org/article/1257

This is the second action in the Focus on the Facts campaign, which is modeled on Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaigns in South Africa and India. In the words of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi "believed in the efficacy of pitting the soul force of the Satyagraha against the brute force of the oppressor and in effect converting the oppressor to the right and moral point."


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

Focus on the Facts: April 28, 2007

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On April 28, 2007, Soulforce conducted a vigil during which participants silently prayed for Dr. Dobson’s wholeness and then read aloud numerous inflammatory and dehumanizing statements that Dr. Dobson and his associates have published over the years regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families. Afterwards Christopher Hubble and Leign Lyon of Denver, Colorado walked onto the campus of Focus on the Family and refused to leave until the organization’s founder, Dr. Dobson, takes a step toward reconciliation with LGBT communities by ceasing his misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents. The two were charged with trespassing, processed at a nearby facility, and released.

The "Focus on the Facts" campaign is coordinated by Soulforce, a national LGBT social justice organization founded on principles of nonviolence. For more than a decade, members and allies of Soulforce have confronted Focus on the Family’s anti-gay rhetoric and publicized its harmful impact on the lives of individuals, parents, and children.

"Focus on the Facts" video produced by Kate Burns.

Focus on the Facts Returns to Dobson’s Headquarters

Two Arrested Holding Dobson Accountable for Anti-gay Statements

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: April 28, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
Local Soulforce Contact: Christopher Hubble, Soulforce Colorado State Organizer
Cell: 720-226-8291
cahubble05@yahoo.com
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(Colorado Springs, CO) — At approximately 10:30 a.m. on April 28, 2007, Christopher Hubble and Leigh Lyon of Denver, Colo., were arrested and removed from Dr. James Dobson’s ministry headquarters in police custody. The couple entered the campus after an earlier vigil during which participants silently prayed for Dr. Dobson’s wholeness and then read aloud numerous inflammatory and dehumanizing statements that Dr. Dobson and his associates have published over the years regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their families. After entering the campus, and being confronted by ministry officials, Hubble and Lyon refused to leave until the organization’s founder, Dr. Dobson, takes a step toward reconciliation with LGBT communities by ceasing his misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents.

The two were charged with trespassing, processed at a nearby facility, and released.

"The goal of this direct action campaign of civil disobedience is not to embarrass or shame Dr. Dobson–but to open his heart," said Hubble. "I sincerely hope that this ‘nonviolent conversation’ will persuade him and his associates to finally end their partisan campaign of untruthful rhetoric which causes so much suffering for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."

On February 19, during the first Focus on the Facts action, Soulforce was challenged to document Dr. Dobson’s and his colleagues’ negative bias toward LGBT people. More recently, in a Reuters article, Dr. Dobson claimed that he has never made a hateful statement about lesbians and gays, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

Hubble and Lyon attempted to present Dr. Dobson with two dozen yellow roses and evidence of his anti-LGBT statements. The Soulforce booklet "A False Focus on My Family" and open DVD letter "Dear Dr. Dobson" comprise exhaustive documentation of Dr. Dobson’s and his associates’ hurtful and misleading statements about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

"As a mother, I am here to stand against the condemnation that Dr. Dobson and his colleagues heap on gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people and the parents that raise them–because it results in suicides and alienation from God. I want to see this end and I am here to say NO MORE! God loves us all," said Lyon.

Dr. Dobson and associates frequently attempt to discredit LGBT parenting with references to "more than 10,000 studies that have showed that children do best when they have a mom and a dad." According to the American Psychological Association (APA), such claims rely on "studies that simply do not address gay and lesbian parents and their children."Moreover, "no credible evidence shows that children raised by lesbian or gay parents differ in any important respects from those raised by heterosexual parents." In recent months, several social scientists — including Dr. Carol Gilligan of New York University and Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale — have publicly rebuked him for mischaracterizing their research conclusions.

Focus on the Facts is an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience modeled on Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaigns in South Africa and India. In the words of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi "believed in the efficacy of pitting the soul force of the Satyagraha against the brute force of the oppressor and in effect converting the oppressor to the right and moral point."

Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information, go to www.soulforce.org.

For more information about Dr. Dobson’s misrepresentation of social science research and other Soulforce resources, visit:

CO-SPONSORS INCLUDE:

LGBT Caucus of the Douglas County Democrats: supports the DC Dems and their candidates, and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) issues in Douglas County, Colorado; provides a forum in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and supporters may gather and discuss issues and advise the county Party on matters of interest to the LGBT community; promotes activities in support of the LGBT community in Douglas County and Colorado.

Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center: Proudly serving the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the Pikes Peak region since 1978. (www.ppglcc.org/)

Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in Colorado Springs: fully supports and sponsors Soulforce in its endeavors to fight for social justice and against all forms of oppression towards the LGBT community.

Just Spirit: A Center for People of all Faiths to Work for Justice…
Founded in 2006 and based in the conservative Christian stronghold of Colorado Springs, CO, Just Spirit is dedicated to fighting the overwhelming influence of the Religious Right and the onslaught of its ultraconservative agenda for the lives of all Americans.
(www.justspirit.org)

Dobson’s and Associates’ Quotes Read During April 28 Vigil

"The homosexual agenda is a beast…It wants our kids…" Focus on the Family Citizen Magazine, January 2003.

"Communities do not let prostitutes, pedophiles, voyeurs, adulterers, and those who sexually prefer animals to publicly celebrate their lifestyles, so why should homosexuals get such privileges?" James Dobson’s War On America, Gil Alexander-Moegerle, Prometheus Books, 1997.

"The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality, it’s holiness." Love Won Out Director, Mike Haley, in an interview for The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War, Dan Gilgoff.

"Saying there’s a constitutional guarantee for two homosexuals to marry is just a few steps away from saying there’s a constitutional guarantee to marry more than one person, or for relatives to marry, or even for people to marry their pets," Dr. James Dobson, Cybercast News Service, May 18, 2004.

"Solid, irrefutable evidence proves that there are lethal consequences to engaging in the defining features of male homosexuality — that is, promiscuity." Straight Answers, Exposing the Myths and Facts About Homosexuality, Focus on the Family’s "Love Won Out" series, p. 12.

"Lesbian relationships are equally unhealthy and just as life-threatening as gay male relationships." Straight Answers, Exposing the Myths and Facts About Homosexuality, Focus on the Family’s "Love Won Out" series, p. 21.

"Moms and dads, are you listening? This movement is the greatest threat to your children. It is a particular danger to your wide-eyed boys, who have no idea what demoralization is planned for them." Dr. James Dobson, Bringing Up Boys, "The Origins of Homosexuality," p.125.

"Just as the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 by the empire of Japan served to energize and mobilize the armed forces of the United States, it would appear that the vicious assault on marriage and the church in recent months has begun to reinvigorate people of faith. I see indications that the church is marshalling its forces and preparing to meet the challenge. Evil has a way of overreaching, and that appears to have happened regarding the blatant lawless attack on marriage and biblical morality," Marriage Under Fire: The State of our Union, Focus on the Family’s website.

"Any incident that happens to place a particular strain on the relationship between a child and parent of the same sex is potentially causative," The Truth Comes Out: The Roots and Causes of Male Homosexuality, Focus on the Family’s "Love Won Out Series," P. 10.

"They don’t just want marriage. They want to destroy marriage and the family as we know it." Focus on the Family, CitizenLink Q&A: The Homosexual Agenda, July 25, 2003.

"Traditional marriage between one man and one woman can not co-exist with homosexual marriage. It will destroy the family." The Battle for Marriage, television simulcast to over 700 churches, May 23, 2004.

"What do we know about this disorder? Well first, it is a disorder, despite the denials of the American Psychiatric Association." Dr. James Dobson, Bringing Up Boys, "The Origins of Homosexuality," P. 115.


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

Lesbian Couple Arrested for Peaceful Protest at Focus on the Family: Soulforce Campaign Asks Dobson to Take Steps Toward Reconciliation with LGBT Community

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: February 19, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Colorado Springs, CO) — At approximately 1:30 p.m. on February 19, 2007, Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Wash., were arrested and removed from Focus on the Family headquarters in police custody. The couple entered the building earlier in the day and refused to leave until the organization’s founder, James Dobson, takes a step toward reconciliation with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities by ceasing his misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents.

They have been charged with trespassing and have not yet been released.

"I am here today because I believed Dr. Dobson’s teachings for many years, and it almost led to my suicide. My healing came from my acceptance of myself and my acceptance that God loves me exactly as I am," said Sapp. Sapp and Berry have toured Focus on the Family twice before to dialogue with visitors and staff about LGBT individuals and families.

Dobson has consistently misrepresented LGBT families with misleading references to social science research. In recent months, several social scientists — including Dr. Carol Gilligan of New York University and Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale — have publicly rebuked him for mischaracterizing their research conclusions.

Dobson and other Focus spokespeople frequently discredit LGBT parenting with references to "more than 10,000 studies that have showed that children do best when they have a mom and a dad." According to the American Psychological Association (APA), such claims rely on "studies that simply do not address gay and lesbian parents and their children." Moreover, "no credible evidence shows that children raised by lesbian or gay parents differ in any important respects from those raised by heterosexual parents."

Berry and Sapp are the first participants in an ongoing campaign called "Focus on the Facts," which is modeled on Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaigns in South Africa and India. In the words of Nelson Mandela, Gandhi "rightly believed in the efficacy of pitting the soul force of the Satyagraha against the brute force of the oppressor and in effect converting the oppressor to the right and moral point."

"I am here to mirror Dr. Dobson’s human essence, so that the reflection will cause him to fully understand why it is important to begin telling a new and true story, one that empowers all of us," says Berry.

Berry and Sapp will speak to the media outside Focus on the Family headquarters when they are released later this afternoon.

The Focus on the Facts campaign is coordinated by Soulforce, a national LGBT social justice organization founded on principles of nonviolence. For more than a decade, members and allies of Soulforce have confronted Focus on the Family’s anti-gay rhetoric and publicized its harmful impact on the lives of individuals, parents, and children.


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

Focus on the Facts: Robynne Sapp and Dotti Berry

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On February 19, 2007, Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Washington were arrested and removed from Focus on the Family headquarters in police custody. The couple entered the building earlier in the day and refused to leave until the organization’s founder, James Dobson, takes a step toward reconciliation with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities by ceasing his misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents.

The "Focus on the Facts" campaign is coordinated by Soulforce, a national LGBT social justice organization founded on principles of nonviolence. For more than a decade, members and allies of Soulforce have confronted Focus on the Family’s anti-gay rhetoric and publicized its harmful impact on the lives of individuals, parents, and children.

Read Dotti and Robynne’s report.

"Focus on the Facts" video produced by Kate Burns.

Soulforce Launches Civil Disobedience Campaign at Focus on the Family Headquarters in Colorado Springs

Lesbian Couple Refuses to Leave Until Dobson Takes Steps Toward Reconciliation With LGBT Community

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ADVISORY: February 19, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Colorado Springs, CO) — Soulforce, a national civil rights and social justice organization, has launched an ongoing campaign called "Focus on the Facts," which aims to intervene in James Dobson and Focus on the Family’s representations of lesbian and gay families through an ongoing campaign of civil disobedience modeled on Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent social change.

What: Lesbian couple enters Focus on the Family headquarters to engage in dialogue and civil resistance: they seek an end to anti-gay propaganda.
When: Monday, February 19, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. MST
Where: Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO

 

At approximately 11:00 a.m., Dotti Berry and Robynne Sapp of Blaine, Wash., entered Focus on the Family headquarters to join a regularly scheduled tour. Once inside, the two women will attempt to speak with visitors and staff about the organization’s defamation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. They will not leave voluntarily until Focus on the Family (FotF) and James Dobson promise to cease their misleading statements about research on lesbian and gay parents. Arrests are possible.

Berry and Sapp, who have entered FotF twice before, are the first participants in the "Focus on the Facts" campaign.

Dobson and his staff at FotF have consistently misrepresented LGBT families as dangerous and undeserving of equal protection under the law. These dehumanizing portrayals are often bolstered by misleading references to social science research. In December 2006, two prominent researchers–Dr. Carol Gilligan and Dr. Kyle Pruett–publicly rebuked Dobson for mischaracterizing their research in his TIME Magazine editorial about Mary Cheney’s pregnancy.

For more information about James Dobson’s misrepresentation of social science research, visit: www.soulforce.org/article/899.


Focus on the Facts is a project of Soulforce, a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

Soulforce Posts Video of NYU Sociologist Who Claims Focus on the Family Distorted Research on LGBT Parents

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: February 12, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Austin, TX) — Today Soulforce posted a YouTube video of Dr. Judith Stacey, a Professor of Sociology at New York University (NYU), who claims that James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and other anti-equality groups have misrepresented her research on lesbian and gay parenting.

In her video statement, Stacey calls Focus on the Family’s use of her work "a complete distortion" and clarifies that "there is absolutely nothing in the article we wrote, nor in any of the research that has yet been published, that would warrant any form of discrimination against parents on the basis of sexual orientation." Her comments are excerpted from a 2005 Soulforce video titled Dear Dr. Dobson: An Open Video Letter to Focus on the Family.

In December 2006, Dobson authored a TIME Magazine editorial condemning Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, for their decision to have a child. Two of the social scientists Dobson cited in his opinion piece, Dr. Kyle Pruett of Yale and Dr. Carol Gilligan of NYU, have publicly contested Dobson’s use of their research to rationalize discrimination against lesbian and gay parents. In recent weeks, the organization Truth Wins Out has posted statements from Pruett and Gilligan on YouTube, and today Soulforce adds Dr. Stacey’s voice to the growing archive that documents Dobson and Focus on the Family’s misrepresentation of research.

"For many years James Dobson has manipulated the social science research to breed discrimination," says Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes. "He did so frequently and freely, knowing that the public and the media would not take the time to fact-check his false claims. But now, a growing number of fair-minded Americans are holding him accountable and demanding that he demonstrate the primary characteristic of true Christianity. That, of course, is honesty."

In 2001, Stacey and a colleague, Dr. Timothy Biblarz, authored an analysis of 21 studies of lesbian and gay families. In that article, Stacey and Biblarz noted preliminary evidence of some "modest and interesting" differences between children raised by heterosexual parents and children raised by lesbian and gay parents, but they affirmed that "parental sexual orientation has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on children’s mental health or adjustment."

In the video released today, Stacey expresses her dismay that the "article has been cited and posted on a host of very anti-gay-family sites. Dobson is one," she continues, "[and] there have been many others."


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

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Soulforce Letter to Time Magazine

Time
Attn: Howard Chua-Eoan, Managing Editor
1271 Avenue Of The Americas
New York, NY 10020

December 20, 2006

Dear Editors:

When Time published James Dobson’s "Two Mommies Is One Too Many" in the December 11th issue, Soulforce launched a petition asking the magazine to check Dobson’s facts and contextualize his statements about research on same-sex parents with evidence from credible social science. In the week since the petition was launched, we have gathered more than 3,600 signatures, which are enclosed with this letter.

Those of us at Soulforce were encouraged by the magazine’s decision to publish a response from Jennifer Chrisler of Family Pride on TIME.com, although we were disappointed that it was only featured on the home page for one day. We want to urge Time to continue to hold Dobson accountable for his erroneous statements by publishing a follow-up story or editorial in the print edition.

In a recent email campaign, Focus on the Family asserts that Time checked Dobson’s facts and gave its imprimatur to his assertions. At Soulforce we have a commitment to documenting Dobson’s misrepresentation of social science research, and we know that he often relies on narrowly defined claims that allow him to remain within the letter of the law even as he violates the spirit of truth.

For example, in "Two Mommies Is One Too Many," Dobson asserts that "more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father." We respectfully direct your attention to the specificity of Dobson’s language choice. Dobson does not claim that children do better with heterosexual parents rather than homosexual parents because the studies to which he refers simply do not address the sexual orientation of parents. The American Psychological Association, in its "Statement on the Mischaracterization of Parenting Research," calls this bluff:

Opponents of marriage rights for same-sex couples argue that children without both a mother and father have poorer physical and mental health, poorer academic achievement, greater likelihood of substance abuse, higher risk of suicide, and greater criminal propensity. The studies they cite, however, examined children of divorced parents and of single parents, and thus support the conclusion that – all else being equal – children fare better when raised by two parents than by one.

In other words, Dobson is making unwarranted extrapolations of the sort that undergraduates learn to avoid in even the most rudimentary research methods course. Such failures of logic and integrity should find no refuge in the nation’s most respected newsmagazine.

In the past week, two of the researchers that Dobson cited in the pages of Time, Carol Gilligan and Kyle Pruett, have spoken out about Dobson’s misuse of their research. Pruett objects that Dobson "cherry-picked" statements from his work and cautions that "this practice is condemned in real science, common though it may be in pseudo-science circles."

Pruett and Gilligan are only the latest social scientists to protest Dobson’s distortion of their research. In summer 2006, the Associated Press ran a story about Dr. Judith Stacey, Professor of Sociology at NYU, who claims that Dobson manipulated her research to support discrimination against LGBT families. These and other instances of Dobson’s misrepresentation of social science evidence are widely available, which makes it all the more troubling that Time has provided a forum for Dobson to violate once again the standards of scholarly and journalistic honesty.

When Dobson uses a trusted publication like Time to spread his half-truths and misinformation, it is a crisis for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Ultimately, statements such as Dobson’s are used to support the denial of civil rights and even to justify violence against LGBT people. Although it may be less obvious, we believe that Dobson’s column in Time is also a crisis for journalistic integrity. We hope that Time will join us in closing the credibility gap that occurs every time Dobson makes false statements and gambles that most readers will never see the counterpoints or corrections that are published, literally and figuratively, in the margins. We urge you to publish a follow-up column or article in the print edition of Time.

Sincerely,

Jeff Lutes
Executive Director, Soulforce

Soulforce Asks TIME Magazine to Check Dobson’s Facts About LGBT Families

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: December 13, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Austin, TX) — Soulforce has launched an online petition asking the editors of TIME magazine to check James Dobson’s facts about lesbian and gay parenting.

In this week’s TIME (12/18/06), James Dobson responds to the news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy by once again invoking "30 years of social-science evidence" to support his claim that children do best "when raised by their married mother and father."

In spite of Dobson’s reputation as a benevolent family therapist, his views on lesbian and gay parenting do not reflect the mainstream of American professional organizations concerned with researching and promoting children’s wellbeing. In a 2004 policy statement, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy reported "no evidence that same-sex couples or family units vary significantly from heterosexual couples or family units in terms of aspirations, hopes and goals, or in outcomes for children."

In response to Dobson’s editorial, Soulforce contacted Dr. Christopher R. Martell, President of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues. According to Dr. Martell:

Over and again the data show that a loving and safe home environment is important, not the gender of the parents. The mainstream research is so clear on this matter that the American Psychological Association’s resolution on Sexual Orientation, Parents, and Children, which was adopted by the APA Council of Representatives in July, 2004, states: "the APA supports the protection of parent-child relationships through the legalization of joint adoptions and second parent adoptions of children being reared by same-sex couples."

The American Psychological Association, one of the world’s largest mental health organizations, would not have supported the protection of legalized adoption by gay and lesbian parents if the data had suggested that children were at risk in such households.

TIME has a history of excellent coverage of LGBT issues. In recent years, the magazine has been nominated multiple times for GLAAD media awards. According to Soulforce Media Director Paige Schilt, "We applaud TIME’s past coverage. With this petition we are asking the editors to continue this tradition by checking Dobson’s facts on lesbian and gay parenthood."

Schilt continued, "Soulforce and other organizations have repeatedly documented Dobson’s misleading statements about the research on LGBT families. In the interest of journalistic integrity, publications such as TIME must contextualize his statements with evidence from credible, peer-reviewed research."

The online petition can be found at www.soulforce.org/petition/2


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.

Good News For Mary Cheney: Focus on the Family Is Wrong About LGBT Families

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SOULFORCE PRESS RELEASE: December 7, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771
paige@soulforce.org
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(Austin, TX) — In today’s New York Times, a story about Mary Cheney’s pregnancy included a statement from Focus on the Family spokesperson Carrie Gordon Earll, who questioned the expecting mother’s judgment: "Just because it’s possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father doesn’t mean it’s the best for the child."

In response, Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes issued the following statement: "We wish Mary Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, a future full of love and joy. We find it unconscionable that Focus on the Family has exploited their good news in order to once again ignore or distort the social science research on same-sex parent families."

Lutes, who is himself a family therapist and a father, continued, "Focus on the Family’s views do not reflect the mainstream of American professional organizations concerned with researching and promoting children’s wellbeing, nor do they reflect the consensus of credible, peer reviewed research."

In 2004, a policy statement from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy reported "no evidence that same-sex couples or family units vary significantly from heterosexual couples or family units in terms of aspirations, hopes and goals, or in outcomes for children." Many other organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have issued position statements in support of adoption rights and protections for same sex parents and their children.

In 2001, sociologists Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz published a comprehensive review of the social science research on lesbian and gay parenting in the American Sociological Review. In an interview, Dr. Stacey concluded that "there is not a single, respectable social scientist conducting and publishing research in this area today who claims that gay and lesbian parents harm children."

In a 2006 interview in the Wisconsin State Journal, Stacey commented on the most recent wave of research: "The kids are fine. There’s no evidence whatsoever that children of gay and lesbian parents have noticeably different outcomes on mental health."

In fact, Stacey commented, children of same-sex parents may turn out even better by some measures: "It’s not because of the sexuality but because of selection factors. It’s because these are wanted children…. When you’re looking at heterosexual parenting, you have a lot of accidental" pregnancies.


Soulforce is a national civil rights and social justice organization. Our vision is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to www.soulforce.org.