Tea Partier Suggests Class-Action Lawsuit Against Homosexuality

A former Baptist pastor has figured out the answer to ridding the world of those pesky gays once and for all: just sue ‘em.

Tea Party organizer Rick Scarborough and conservative activist Peter LaBarbera reportedly spoke last week about how to strengthen the Christian anti-gay movement (no, seriously). LaBarbera is the president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, an organization that seeks to counter the “homosexual activist agenda” and definitely doesn’t sound like a bunch of closeted gay men trying to make themselves feel better. Nope. Not at all.

Rick Scarborough

Their brilliant solution? A class-action lawsuit tantamount to those filed against tobacco companies, because apparently the two groups are guilty of equally heinous harms against society.

“Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than smoking leads to cancer. And yet the entire nation has rejected smoking, billions of dollars are put into a trust fund to help cancer victims and the tobacco industry was held accountable for that,” Scarborough said.

Obviously? Statistically? Scarborough won’t be happy to see what the Huffington Post wrote to contradict him:

The CDC reported in 2008 that “more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.”

Facts and figures be damned, LaBarbera clearly agreed with Scarborough’s sentiment and took the argument a step further, suggesting we stop “glamorizing” the “gay lifestyle” at all:

But LaBarbera agreed with Scarborough, Raw Story reported, and added, “We need to work on our conservative, alternate media and say, ‘look, don’t do the pro-gay thing, why don’t you rather step out and support these ex-gays?’ We should encourage Fox News to tell these stories … these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.”

Granted, Scarborough also finds it deeply offensive that we use the word “gay” to describe people with same-sex attractions, though his suggested vocabulary changes probably wouldn’t be very constructive:

Earlier this year, Scarborough expressed anti-gay sentiments, declaring the word “gay” an “abuse of the language” during a guest sermon in New Jersey.

“They’re not gay … that’s a twist into the words,” Scarborough argued. “It won’t be long until we’ll be calling pedophiles ‘happy people.’”

I so, so desperately wish this were The Onion, but it doesn’t appear to be. Who’s excited to testify on behalf of pissed-off gays everywhere?

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a recent college graduate working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • Castilliano

    Quote:
    I so, so desperately wish this were The Onion…

    OMG. That was exactly the reaction I had.
    Wow. Just wow.
    Keep up the fight, Camille.

  • God’s Starship

    If they’re “ex-gay” (stop laughing) that makes them heterosexuals now. Which means they have all their rights. So what the hell do they need my support for? These boys can just go live their lives in peace and pretend they’re not revolted by their partner’s lady bits on their own time.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Hmm, so what company would he sue for this lawsuit? He does not seem to understand that in order to have a class action suit you need many people to bring a large law suit against a company or companies. So what would he sue that he could claim causes homosexuality?

    • Thin-ice

      I think it’s fairly obvious that this lawsuit would be served on the Teletubbies.

    • smrnda

      You also have to kind of show that you incurred damages somehow through some kind of malicious action or negligence last I checked.

  • Matt Bowyer

    Every single time I think that the Tea Party can’t get any stupider, they do something to show that, yes, they can indeed get stupider.

    • UWIR

      So, this guy allegedly has ties to the Tea Party, so the entire Tea Party is responsible?

      • ShoeUnited

        If your religion harbors pedophiles, why do you keep giving the church money? Same line of thinking.

        • UWIR

          Seriously? So, not only is what this guy did a crime, but the Tea Party is conspiring to protect him from prosecution?

          • ShoeUnited

            If you indirectly support evil and are aware that you are supporting it indirectly, how is that significantly different than supporting it directly?

            You’re missing the forest from the trees.

      • Cincinatheist

        Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease Control verifies that Tea Partyism much more likely leads to homophobia.

      • Joe Walsh

        If you’ve joined the group that these jackasses created, then yes, it IS fair to say that they speak for you. If they don’t, then you need to contact media outlets and give interviews or opinion pieces stating that you reject their hateful, delusional, evil message.

        • UWIR

          1. They didn’t create the Tea Party.
          2. It’s not really a “group”, it’s a movement.
          3. The idea that everyone in a group is responsible for everything the founder of the groups does, even what they do after the group is founded, is absurd.

          • ShoeUnited

            “I’m not a member of the Klan because I hate black people, I just think white people need more representation. Don’t blame me for the lynchings, I just think we need to keep the white race pure!”

          • Matt D

            Stop the dancing around the etiquette bush and tell us where you stand on this issue.

            Tell us whether you disagree or agree with the way this person represents the Tea Party, because so far, all I see is you complaining about how he makes YOU look.

            • UWIR

              “Stop the dancing around the etiquette bush and tell us where you stand on this issue.”
              On what issue? Whether homosexuality should be sued? Do I seriously need to say that? I can’t dispute someone’s argument without having to include disclaimers of ridiculously obvious things? I disagree with the idea of suing homosexuality. I also don’t think that Obama is conspiring with lizardmen to destroy America. Any other ridiculous position you insist on me denouncing?

              “Tell us whether you disagree or agree with the way this person represents the Tea Party”
              That question assumes facts in dispute, to wit, that he represents the Tea Party. Begging the question like that is a dishonest tactic.

              “all I see is you complaining about how he makes YOU look.”

              Huh? When have I said anything about him reflecting on me? Is the only reason that you can think of that I would object to Tea Partiers being unfairly maligned that I myself am a Tea Partier? You can’t imagine someone defending the general principle of fairness, rather than engaging in rhetoric with the sole concern of one’s own self-interest?

              • Matt D

                Thanks for the feedback.

          • Joe Walsh

            Firstly, humans are the most absurd of all animals.

            Secondly, how on earth is a movement that has rallied around a rather narrow set of ideals not a group? aye, some are there for the touted Fiscal Conservatism while some are, like the choads Scarborough and LeBarbera, Blatant Christian Dominionists and, like my own mother, White Supremacists (she just doesn’t want the minorities Whites have oppressed to oppress Whitey). The Tea Party is indeed, a Group AND a Movement. I would rather them GTFO of the Republican Party. It would be better for the GOP, America and the World. Hell, according to wikipedia, ” The decentralized character of the Tea Party, with its lack of formal
            structure or hierarchy, allows each autonomous group to set its own
            priorities and goals.” I am not against calling it a Political Terrorist Organization.

            Thirdly, I’ll give ya that.
            Fourthly, it seems that at least one tea party group HAS come out and condemned Scarborough. http://www.towleroad.com/2013/10/tea-party-fractures-further-as-teaparty365-disavows-rick-scarborough.html
            A feat that you UWIR have, to the best of my knowledge, not been able to match.

            As I said:if the leadership does not speak for you, then you must speak out against them OR IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT THEY SPEAK FOR YOU.

            • UWIR

              Are “feminists” a group? Is everyone who identifies as a feminist responsible for everything a prominent feminist says? There’s a blog here at Patheos titled “Love, Joy, Feminism”, and to my knowledge, not once has there appeared on that blog a denunciation of the claim that all heterosexual intercourse is rape. Is it safe to assume that its author agrees with that position?

      • http://iamchristianiamanatheist.blogspot.kr/ Christian Kemp

        Is this not the same argument used for Hitler not been a christian? He is not a real tea party member.

        • UWIR

          “Is this not the same argument used for Hitler not been a christian?”
          No. It is not.

          • http://iamchristianiamanatheist.blogspot.kr/ Christian Kemp

            So this guy is not part of the tea party movement/party?

      • Baby_Raptor

        That’s how it works every time a Liberal says something, so why not apply the same standard to the GoTea?

        • UWIR

          I personally have aspirations of living up to an ethical standard superior to that of Republican extremists. It’s a bit sad that you apparently do not. “They do it too” is a rather childish excuse that constitutes a complete forfeiture of the moral high ground. If you oppose condemning an entire political bloc on the basis of what one member has said when the bloc in question is liberals, then it’s rather hypocritical to not do so when the bloc is conservatives. As I strive to not be hypocritical, I speak up when I see something that I do not agree with, even when it is supporting my side.

          • Baby_Raptor

            You are a terrible judge of character if you think one sarcastic comment puts me on the same moral level as the TeaBaggers.

      • Sven2547

        What about this clown’s evangelical, anti-gay agenda is at odds with the Tea Party?

      • ElRay

        Scarborough is a founder and a current leader of the Tea Party (U.S. political movement, not Canadian band). 82% of Tea Party members are in favor of continuing, if not strengthening, the legal enforcement of mythology-based, anti-LGBT bigotry. So yes, anybody who chooses to be a member of the Tea Party is just as guilty.

        It really helps to know the organization you claim to be part of, before you defend their bigotry and hare-brained, counter-productive, hypocritical, mythologically-based nonsense.

        • UWIR

          “Scarborough is a founder and a current leader of the Tea Party (U.S. political movement, not Canadian band). 82% of Tea Party members are in favor of continuing, if not strengthening, the legal enforcement of mythology-based, anti-LGBT bigotry.”
          That’s a lot of claims, but no citations.

          “It really helps to know the organization you claim to be part of”
          Is that “you” as in me, or the general “you”?

      • monyNH

        There’s no “allegedly” about it. Even though Tea Party Nation is currently referring to Scarborough as a “faux Tea Party leader”, he sits on the steering committee (along with Tom DeLay) of Tea Party Unity. If Tea Party groups had any problem with this guy prior to his fuck-witted idea of suing gayness, they have a funny way of showing it–he’s spoken at several Tea Party events over the last 4 years.

        And while it may be unfair to tarnish a group of self-affiliated individuals, people do need to be careful to what star they hitch their wagon. If you think there aren’t powerful men and women acting on the behalf of average-Joe, self-described Tea Party “members” in ways far outside the generally accepted scope of that “movement”, then you’re mistaken. (BTW, my quotation marks aren’t intended as snarky; they’re meant to convey exactly what you said about the TP as largely disorganized.)

      • baal

        I’m sort of waiting for the Tea Party to say anything responsible. All I see over and over again are 1. positions convenient for an ‘energy’ company that happens to be own by the Koch Bros. 2. libertarian fantasy 3. racist bullshit. After a while, yes the entire Tea Party is dismissible. We’ve had several years of data now and it’s all of a kind.

        Whenever the astroturf gets well understood, it just changes it name, dresses up a new ‘grass roots’ movement and does it all over again.

      • diogeneslamp0

        “Allegedly has ties to.”. Somebody got an A in Right Wing Obfuscation 101: Theory of Sophistry w/ Applications.

        • UWIR

          Not accepting everything one reads on the internet without question is a Right Wing attribute? I guess we’ve gone from maligning the Tea Party to maligning liberals. It’s a bit odd that wmdkitty upvoted a post that implicitly asserts that liberals don’t bother distinguishing between allegations and established facts.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            You’re a fucking idiot. Shut up.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            It’s a bit odd that wmdkitty upvoted a post

            Careful, your obsession slip is showing.

      • Tainda

        Yes

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        None of them will say a word about lies and racism running rampant through their midst. It took eighteen months of nonstop, public shaming for some of their leadership to issue one statement saying they don’t support racism in their ranks. That was several years ago, and, since then, they’ve been silent and nothing has changed. They’ve all made their own corporate-sponsored bed. Even Catholics will criticize the RCC and get themselves excommunicated trying to fix it.

        • GCT

          Racism…tea party…UWIR…I sense a theme.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            I will not go that far. Tea Partiers enable racists, much as most Catholics enable… well, you know. But there are subtleties at play. There are decent people who consider themselves TP’rs or Catholics who aren’t familiar with the negative actions of those groups. We get Catholic apologists here who seem to be honestly unaware that Ratzinger had a direct hand in coverups before he became Pope. SHOULD they be familiar? Oh hell, yes. But ignorance is not synonymous with racism.

            However, they can and should be held accountable for the enabling. It’s been more than long enough. Since anyone can call themselves a Tea Party member, “cleaning house” is not an option. But one can at least acknowledge that the vermin have taken over. Without that, nothing can be corrected.

            It’s entirely possible that this contradicts opinions that I’ve stated in the past. If so, well, that’s because it’s more complicated than we usually treat it as being, and in my better moments I try to remember that.

            • GCT

              Oh, make no mistake, I agree with you. I was just remarking that a known racist is coming to the defense of a group that has a lot of racism in its midst.

              • C.L. Honeycutt

                Known racist? I’m not familiar with anything suggesting that.

                • GCT

                  UWIR’s racism has gotten him banned from at least one Patheos blog (LJF). (Well to be fair, it was his racism coupled with his being a complete asshole about it.) And, just recently he was arguing with you about whether IQ tests were biased so that he could claim that there’s nothing wrong with AdvancedAtheist’s assertion that Hispanics score lower on IQ tests and therefore immigration hurts America. He took great pains to point out that he disagreed with AA, but only in regards to the economic question.

                  He’s also got other bigotries going on, like misogynism. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that his intent here wasn’t just to point out a logical mistake, but is to defend homophobia and the tea party, although I can’t be sure that’s the case. Given his posting history, his credibility is shot with me and I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I never received a followup on the IQ thing, and never saw most of the remainder of that thread, but now that your use of the word “arguing” makes me curious enough me to go back and search manually:

                  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/10/14/the-cause-of-the-republican-shutdown-melanocytes/#comment-1093808485

                  Now it’s clearer why he went off a little while later. He had a grudge whose bottom needed rubbing with Vaseline.

  • observer

    Know what I say to to this? Do it.
    I’d love to see how far they can fall.

    • Felix

      And hopefully lose a lot of money trying, over and over.

  • UWIR

    Obviously? Statistically? Scarborough won’t be happy to see what the Huffington Post wrote to contradict him:

    The CDC reported in 2008 that “more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.”

    Regardless of whether what he said is true, what HP wrote is completely irrelevant, which you would have noticed had you bothered actually reading critically, rather than writing a blog post that consists of little more than mindlessly repeating what HP already said. Do you consider this journalism? Posting a link to an article, and then regurgitating the points made by the article without anything substantive to add?

    • Brian

      Yes, statistics from a source that completely counter someone’s claim from that SAME SOURCE is always irrelevant…. /s

      • UWIR

        Except that it does not counter their claim. Which was exactly my point. Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

        • Jeff

          I’m sorry, I would really like to at least understand the point you are making, but how does the actual CDC data NOT counter their claim when it proves their claim false?

          • FTP_LTR

            Bizarrely I agree with UWIR here.

            The original claim was about the strength of the link between “teh gay and HIV” compared with the link between “tobacco and cancer”, not whether HIV or cancer are bigger killers.

            HP’s rebuttal was about “Cancer kills more people than HIV” – which does not contradict the original claim.

            Claim: “New York is closer to Washington than Toronto is to Tokyo.”

            Rebuttal: “Yeah, but Tokyo has more noodle bars so you’re wrong”

            • FTP_LTR

              Addendum: regardless of whether the claim about CDC findings is true, which is a whole nother question

            • invivoMark

              Since neither you nor UWIR wants to actually do your homework, and would rather just shit on the rug and complain to the rest of us about the smell, I went ahead and looked things up.

              Unsurprisingly, you’re wrong.

              CDC tells us that about 43.8 million Americans smoke. Every year, cigarettes account for about 440,000 deaths (which includes about 85% of lung cancers). That’s about 1% of all smokers dying every year as a direct result of smoking. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/)

              Homosexuals and bisexuals, according to Wikipedia, account for about 3.5% of the US population, or about 11 million people. Wikipedia also tells us that every year there are about 50,000 new cases of HIV infection every year. Even if we assume that every single case of HIV infection is due to homosexual contact (a preposterous assumption, as even you and UWIR must admit), that means about 0.4% of the gay population contracts HIV every year. In reality, it’s closer to half of that, since only about half of new HIV cases are due to homosexual contact. (Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV/AIDS_in_the_United_States)

              And recall that we’re comparing death rates from smoking with HIV infection rates from sexual contact. That comparison is totally invalid, as HIV is a very manageable disease these days for many people thanks to modern medicine. On the other hand, there’s a plethora of chronic diseases one can get from smoking that won’t result in a death statistic.

              Nope, Scarborough’s argument is just wrong any way you look at it.

              • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                What do you know? A homophobe got his facts wrong. Surprise surprise.

              • keddaw

                “Nope, Scarborough’s argument is just wrong any way you look at it.”

                No-one is disputing that, all people are saying is that the HuffPo quote above does not disprove Scarborough without going to the trouble of finding the details you looked up.

                It is not beyond the HuffPo to do the research you did and put it in a reasonable format rather than the unrelated facts they quoted.

                “we’re comparing death rates”

                No, we’re comparing infection rates of AIDS among homosexuals with cancer rates among smokers. Not that it matters, but it helps if you go to all the bother of doing that research to at least know what the claim you’re disproving is. Scarborough didn’t mention deaths, the HuffPo did, another reason why their choice of facts is so stupid. It’s not like it’s difficult to disprove Scarborough, but the HuffPo makes it seem so (not unlike the HuffPo to not have a proper sub-editor…) and people on here think pointing that out means we are in any way supporting Scarborough and that’s simply not true. Atheists should be used to spotting bad arguments and the HuffPo makes a terrible one here (as quoted here, the whole piece may be better).

                • invivoMark

                  Like I said of the other two posters, you’re just here to shit on the rug and complain about the smell.

                  If you think you actually have a relevant point to make, I’m all ears. What you’re doing now is effectively defending homophobia.

                • keddaw

                  Ok, slowly, for the hard of thinking:

                  Scarborough says homosexuality causes AIDS. He’s stupidly wrong, but let’s give his argument at least a little charity as it’s still terrible even at its best. The argument that homosexual sex has a correlation with contraction of AIDS is undeniable, or any sex, or blood transfusions, but let’s stick to sex. He then goes on to say smoking correlates with cancer, and this is true. He further claims, and this is the point that is disputed (and shown to be wrong by your research), that smoking and cancer are less closely correlated than homosexual sex and homosexuals contracting AIDS.

                  Are we in agreement up to here?

                  HuffPo then sticks its ignorant oar in the water and says more people die of smoking related cancer than of a whole bunch of shit including AIDS.

                  Scarborough didn’t mention death so the comparison is stupid on that level. Scarborough also didn’t mention anything about absolute number but about ratios so the HuffPo fucked up here too.

                  So, in conclusion, Scarborough is an ignorant bigot who is unsurprisingly wrong on the facts, but equally unsurprisingly the HuffPo is a poorly researched and edited piece of shit which can’t even disprove someone as stupid and ignorant and clearly wrong as Scarborough. HuffPo doesn’t understand logic, maths or statistics. And it pains me to see a maths teacher like our esteemed host allow this kind of innumeracy to pass uncommented and uncriticised just because he likes the conclusion, I assume – not that the conclusion is hard to prove using relevant facts as you proved.

                • keddaw

                  And I’m not here to shit on the rug but to hold people to a higher standard of rationality, stats and argument. Scarborough is wrong, but the HuffPo doesn’t in any way prove that. The fact Idiots on here think it does is an affront to logic and reason. And I believe it is for the worst of all possible reasons, they like the conclusion and detest the person making the original fallacious claim.

                • invivoMark

                  You’re here to be a pedant. Nobody likes a pedant. Now kindly find someone else to harass.

                • UWIR

                  No, keddaw is here to defend rational thought. You are so steeped in irrational thinking that any attempt to explain rationality to you is interpreted as “pedantry”. And it’s just plain silly to come into a thread, make some arguments, and then call it “harassment” when someone responds. If you can’t handle people disagreeing with you, then don’t post.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  “If you can’t handle people disagreeing with you, then don’t post.”

                  Might want to take your own advice, there.

                • keddaw

                  FA crowd: Hey everyone, a dumb right winger said something stupid based on his bronze age book of magic, let’s all do a big circle jerk and laugh at his terrible logic and lack of facts.

                  UWIR: Excuse me, but the logic in the post is invalid.

                  FA crowd: Shut up you’re defending homophobia.

                  UWIR: All I’m saying is that the argument as laid out is not a valid one.

                  FA crowd: wrong. wrong. wrong.

                  UWIR: How am I wrong? Here are the facts laid out.

                  FA crowd: Downvote. Downvote. Pedant.

                  When you’re all finished patting each other on the back and are ready to have an adult conversation about how arguments should be laid out logically maybe you’ll cease to be as stupid as PZ’s crowd. Until then you’re getting called out on your bullshit just as much as Scarborough.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You’ve obviously never actually bothered to check out Pharyngula.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  *raises hand* I have. They’re very smart, witty people whom I enjoyed reading, but when they don’t have a “real” target for their daily dose of railing, they will make up things*. That’s why I stopped bothering with the comments section after a couple of years, and just stuck to PZ’s writings. Then I saw him describe how they were attacking a commenter, went back and read and reread the thread, and I was done with them all. Not because they were making things up about someone, again, but because PZ couldn’t bring himself to say that they were making things up even when talking about them doing it.

                  In hindsight, his being silent on it would have been just as bad, but it would have left me in ignorance, still reading his work and not realizing that the blog is effectively moderated by the in-crowd.

                  Keddaw’s description does not apply to them often, but they do most certainly engage in group libel if it’s a slow enough news day.

                  *This is exactly why I stopped watching Oberman** and Maddow. I loved them both, but then I watched a show in which Maddow had to pretend something trivial (even by the standards of political punditry) was a huge deal in order to fill time. She was clearly uncomfortable doing it, and I realized that even the best of the best have to twist things to fit the premise of the show, or else lose viewers. So I was done with them all.

                  **Apparently I can’t spell “Olbermann”.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Please reexamine UWIR’s first post above and compare it to your description of it. It’d be closer to, “You are a disgrace to what I think you do here and a mindless drone and [subscript]the comparison is inapt[/subscript].”

                  For the record, I think he’s a pedant (actually, that’s established, not opinion) who plays gotcha games on other commenters over precise word definitions in order to win a personal status contest. That doesn’t change whether he’s right. He is right in this case, but he didn’t bother to explain what his criticism was, so all anyone saw was a blatant personal attack off the bat.

                • keddaw

                  Agreed, but tone does not a bad argument make. And there is a fundamental difference between being pedantic or playing word games with commenters and pointing out a major flaw at the centre of the logic of the main piece.

                  Also, there is no link to the HuffPo piece, I may have been unfairly maligning them when it is a fault of the author…
                  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/18/rick-scarborough-lawsuit-homosexuality_n_4124195.html

                  OK, found and read it. The HuffPo doesn’t directly say the CDC figures contradict the claims of Scarborough (but having them juxtaposed strongly implies it), the author of this article puts it in here apparently without thinking, or thinking logically.

                  UWIR may have been aggressive and combative in their original statement, but the responses were pathetic and very much evocative of a kind of pack mentality that, as you noted, PZ’s commenters are infamous for. I thought we had a better class of reader here, apparently not.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  NO-ONE IS CLAIMING THAT HUFFPO IS ACCURATE OR “PROVES” ANYTHING.

                • keddaw

                  Let’s start with the author of the piece:

                  “Scarborough won’t be happy to see what the Huffington Post wrote to contradict him”
                  It doesn’t contradict him. i.e. Doesn’t disprove his claim.

                  Now for the comments:

                  Brian: “…statistics from a source that completely counter someone’s claim from that SAME SOURCE is always irrelevant…. /s”

                  Jeff: “but how does the actual CDC data NOT counter their claim when it proves their claim false?”

                  I won’t hold my breath waiting for an apology, much like I won’t wait for the author to either edit or update the piece to reflect the fact she was mistaken in her writing.

                  PS. I think you may have left caps lock on.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  And those quotes aren’t saying anything remotely close to “HuffPo is an accurate source”, only that the CDC data was accurate.

                • keddaw

                  Who the fuck ever claimed they said anything about HuffPo being a source? The point, since you’re incapable of working it out, is that the CDC data referenced in the article has fuck all to do with Scarborough’s claim. Some people, the ones I quoted, seem to think it does.

                  So, in future, have a clue what the fuck you are talking about before engaging caps lock.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  You and UWIR were, at the least, ASSuming that people were using HP as a “legit source”, which… surprise… no-one was actually doing.

                  So, instead of getting upset at the people calling out your crap, try reading what people are REALLY saying.

                • FTP_LTR

                  The original article said:

                  “Scarborough won’t be happy to see what the Huffington Post wrote to contradict him”

                  which to me, suggested some kind of legitimacy in HP as a source. (If HP is not a source that has some slight legitimacy, why would Scarborough give a flying donut what HP wrote? Unless there’s some connection between Scarborough’s viewpoint and HP’s usual slant – I don’t read HP, so might be missing something)

                  Like keddaw above, I’m not here to do anything to anybody’s rug, but feel that we need to hold ourselves to better standards than the theist arguments, and avoid twisting semi-related statistics to fit the positions we want to defend.

                  I never suggested that there’s any truth in “homosexuality causes HIV”. I did say that saying “cancer kills more people” is not a relevant rebuttal – no matter what the statistics say.

                  I’m not defending homophobia in any way – what I am doing is opposing “our side” using bad arguments to undermine our own position.

                • keddaw

                  I don’t know which part of “Scarborough won’t be happy to see what the Huffington Post wrote to contradict him” you’re failing to comprehend.

                  The CDC data is the source. This blog post claims the CDC data in the HuffPo article contradicts Scarborough’s claim. It doesn’t. Some people wrongly seem to think it does. That’s all that has been said.

                • keddaw

                  In what possible world does pointing out that an invalid argument against homophobia is invalid constitute defending homophobia? This is the kind of bad logic that started the whole conversation in the first place.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Oh for fuck’s sake, no, they are NOT defending homophobia. They’re pointing out that PuffHo has rubbish writers and editors and can’t make a valid comparison. Everyone here knows that Scarborough is wrong. The issue that UWIR and Keddaw are describing is that PuffHo isn’t actually managing to counter his claim, because they are using absolute numbers rather than percentages. HuffPo being on the right side doesn’t automatically make them competent.

              • UWIR

                “Since neither you nor UWIR wants to actually do your homework, and would rather just shit on the rug and complain to the rest of us about the smell, I went ahead and looked things up.

                Unsurprisingly, you’re wrong.”

                What, precisely, am I wrong about? Please base your answer on what I’ve actually said, rather than your wild inferences that you have drawn from what I have said.

              • FTP_LTR

                Here’s the big misunderstanding: “And recall that we’re comparing death rates from smoking with HIV infection rates from sexual contact. ”

                No, no we’re not. Death rates were never part of the original point.

                The original point was whether “homosexual contact leads to HIV” was more proven than “smoking leads to cancer”.

                A rebuttal of “cancer kills more people” is not part of the point.

                My only point of agreement with UWIR was that the rebuttal was wrong. The original assertion was clearly preposterous (“the gay leads to HIV”), but side-stepping the point and moving into death rates is at best a misunderstanding, and at worst, a diversion.

                We should be better than that.

          • UWIR

            If you were really interested in understanding the point that I am making, then you wouldn’t be asking questions that assume the issue in dispute. “How can you be right, given that you’re wrong?” is not an effort to understand the other person’s point.

            • RowanVT

              This right here is a truly fabulous bit of obfuscation and misdirection. It is, in fact, a masterpiece.

    • NewDawn2006

      “Regardless of whether what he said is true”…

      That right there? That is a problem. Truth should not be disregarded, especially since these falsehoods are being spread in an attempt to keep an entire group of people from having equal rights.

      • UWIR

        No, people like you are the problem. Bad arguments are bad arguments. The issue of whether the position they are presented in support of are true should be disregarded when evaluating the argument. Accepting bad arguments simply because you like the position they support is not conducive to legitimate discussion.

        • keddaw

          UWIR is 100% correct here.

          The HuffPo states that tobacco related deaths are greater in number than X, Y and Z combined.

          Scarborough claims that being gay is more likely to lead to AIDS than smoking is to cancer.

          Without relevant numbers of smokers and gays the two are completely unrelated claims (had written facts, but only one of the above is a fact…)

          i.e. HuffPo states X > Y, Scarborough claims percentage of A with B is greater than the percentage of C with D. Apples and oranges.

          NewDawn2006, there are different levels of wrong. Had Scarborough said homosexuality is more likely to lead to cancer than smoking then you can dismiss his argument without resorting to numbers* because he’s a different kind of wrong than saying (practising?) homosexuals contract AIDS at a greater rate than smokers contract cancer. Both may be factually incorrect but the latter requires the numbers to show it.

          ShoeUnited (below): look at percentage of AIDS within the homosexuality community (ideally only sexually transmitted AIDS), then look at smokers and look at percentage of cancer within that group (ideally only smoking related) – and compare. Quite simple really.

          *Within reason, after all numbers are what *should* lead us to investigate most correlations in the first place.

          EDIT: Cowards downvoting without saying why they think I’m wrong. Scarborough is almost definitely wrong, but the HuffPo quote does not in any way show that without extra information being provided. Anyone who thinks that it does is innumerate.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            UWIR is correct that the two statements aren’t directly comparable. I don’t see why people would have a hard time with that when it’s explained. The problem is that he led off by being asinine in his criticisms and misrepresenting the author in order to further criticize her without bothering to explain what the criticism was.. That pretty well set the tone.

            Some will counter by pointing out that when it was explained, people should have pulled back and approached it more rationally. That’s true, however, if it was that easy, why didn’t he do it to begin with, when there was still zero emotion attached to the argument?

            • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

              And he’s being a real ass about it, too.

        • NewDawn2006

          Of course bad arguments are bad arguments. The fact that Scarborough is making an argument using lies makes his argument invalid.

          • UWIR

            Yes, but the point that apparently the vast majority of people here do not understand is the mere fact that an argument is invalid, does not mean that all opposing arguments are valid. An invalid argument is an invalid argument, even if its conclusion is valid. The HP argument comes to a correct conclusion, but does so in an invalid manner.

            • NewDawn2006

              So what is the problem with the HP argument?

    • ShoeUnited

      More importantly, where are the statistics to back up the claim that homosexuality leads to higher HIV rates than tobacco smoking leads to cancer? And how would you even be able to judge that let alone compare?

    • monyNH

      We get your point that the data points between the two claims do not entirely add up. But you’re in danger of sounding very much as though you believe Camille’s quoting the HuffPost article is AS EGREGIOUS AS Scarborough making shit up in order to discredit an entire subset of the human race. Unless you really think that, which I hope you do not.

      You’re also sounding a little bit like a dick. This is a blog; none of us is stupid enough to take it as “journalism”. We’re smart enough to source the original article since, unlike our pal Scarborough, Camille has cited and linked to it.

      And actually, the HuffPost/CDC numbers do apply if you skip to the second point by Scarborough (as quoted above), pertaining to the lowered status of smoking and vast amounts of money spent to help cancer victims. It is a valid point against that claim to cite CDC data showing the many, many times more victims of smoking compared to AIDS.

      • UWIR

        “But you’re in danger of sounding very much as though you believe Camille’s quoting the HuffPost article is AS EGREGIOUS AS Scarborough making shit up in order to discredit an entire subset of the human race. ”

        I’ve already given up on Christian fundamentalists being rational. The idea that the atheist community might respect rationality is something that I’m having more trouble giving up.

        “This is a blog; none of us is stupid enough to take it as “journalism”.”

        There is currently an image on this page advertising Xfinity Triple Play. Someone paid money to have that on this page because they believed that exposing people to the idea that they should order Xfinity will increase the number of people doing so. Everything that people see influences them to some extent or another. People do treat blogs as reliable sources of information. And there is a lot of stupidity being displayed here.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      You are also missing the context of the argument. We made the tobacco companies pay, not because of a specific rate at which smokers got cancer, but because of the overall cost of treating smoking-related problems. The CDC data shows the differences in the magnitude of the problems.

    • CamilleBeredjick

      Hey there, UWIR, thanks for all the engaging comments! Nope, I don’t consider this journalism – and I never said it was. I consider this blogging, where I look at what other sources are saying, add my own quips here and there, and leave it up to everyone else to fill in the blanks. Plenty of people here have brought up points that I didn’t think to mention, and that’s a-ok. We’re all mostly responding to one another rather than to the original articles – which is why we read news via sites like Friendly Atheist in the first place, even if it’s not “journalism.” Sure, there’s some overlap in content, but the conversation unfolding here is vastly different from the one in the HuffPost’s comments section because this blog’s readership is different from theirs. And isn’t that the idea? :)

      • Brian Westley

        UWIR was pointing out that one of the points you DID bring up was incorrect. The excerpt from what the Huffington Post wrote does not contradict Scarborough’s claims.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      You’re right. I also noticed that the two statements aren’t comparing the same data (false data in the first case, but still.)

      That said…

      “Wow, you sure did take a whole lot of words to not [bother to explain what your criticism is]. Do you not understand how arrogant and rude your response is?”

      Look familiar?

  • Chris B

    Even if the CDC had actually said that being gay is more likely to lead to AIDS than smoking is to cause cancer*, that argument would still be irrelevant. Tobacco companies knowingly and willfully concealed information about the health risks of smoking, while promoting it through well orchestrated, multi-billion dollar marketing campaigns. I have yet to see or hear an advertisement encouraging me to become gay, or a business profiting from getting people to become gay, while simultaneously hiding information about it’s health risks**.

    So, not only does his argument not have any legs to stand on, but even if it did, it’s still wrong. 0 for 2. Too bad there’s no “say three obviously wrong things and you lose your soapbox” rule.

    * A quick search unsurprisingly suggests the CDC never said this. All results I got pointed to stories exactly like this one and one weird site that I refused to click on because it sounded like more of the same kind of tripe.
    ** Yeah, I know; there aren’t any health risks associated with homosexual sex that aren’t also associated with heterosexual sex.

  • rtanen

    Ooh! Are we suing abstract ideas and states now? I’d like to sue theism, sadness, and confirmation bias! Anyone want to join me?

    • jdm8

      I don’t think that should be a surprise, given that we’ve (as a country, civilization, etc) had many decades-long quixotic “wars” on tactics, diseases and substances.

    • FTP_LTR

      I’ll join you. And I’d like to sue frivolous lawsuits.

    • storm

      I want to sue bad movies and video games. They waste too much of my time.

      • Alan E.

        As terrible a movie that Sharknado was, I still got quite a bit of enjoyment out if it. I wouldn’t say that bad movies are a waste of time, but a unique perspective on culturally relevant ideas and behaviors. Reality TV on the other hand is a waste of time. THEY should be sued.

        • Tainda

          Or you’re like me and actually LIKE bad movies. I especially love bad horror

    • Sideshow_Billybob

      I’d like to sue cognitive dissonance

    • TiltedHorizon

      Sorry, I’m already suing “Morbid Stupidity”.

    • kashicat

      I want to sue the preference of the colour green instead of blue!

    • Tainda

      I want to sue on behalf of tea

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      I want to sue time. After all it is the leading cause of stuff.

    • Fentwin

      I wish to sue the day known as Sunday.

    • Amor DeCosmos

      I am suing money – it’s the root of all evil, so it obviously leads to gayness.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        What will you be paid in if you win?

        • Russell C Lewis

          Well said. :-)

    • Katarn

      I’m going to sue the letter ‘Q’ for not always being followed by the letter ‘U’. And I’m also suing the letter ‘U’ for not always following the letter ‘Q’ and for being present in some British English words but not present in the same American English words. Make up your mind ‘U’! Is it color or colour? flavor or flavour? and how come your didn’t bring ‘Q’ with you?

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I then think I am going to file a class action law suite against god and the devil. Oh wait, you can’t

  • Baby_Raptor

    Well, why not? the Religious Right has lying down to an art already. Have at it. Pull a bunch of closeted fakers on TV and talk about how straight they supposedly are. When they wind up “relapsing” we’ll blow their cover.

  • indorri

    I would love for them to try this.

    And then have the judge presiding over them not only throw them out on their asses, but fine them for wasting the courts’ time and allow a countersuit for malicious prosecution to be dropped on their onerous asses.

  • Robster

    If there’s a heaven, it must be a big comedy venue packed with deceased people severely afflicted with fundamental religion during their time on this mortal coil. This twit couldn’t sound any sillier if he tried. Why aren’t he and his ilk terminally embarrassed by their obviously self inflicted mental compromise? Perhaps this man is even more stupid than he appears.

    • Alierias

      If there is a heaven, and it’s packed full of these people, I’d say that was hell…

    • UWIR

      “their time on this mortal coil”
      I’m curious as to what you think that means.

  • http://iamchristianiamanatheist.blogspot.kr/ Christian Kemp

    “Obviously, statistically now even the Centers for Disease
    Control verifies that homosexuality much more likely leads to AIDS than
    smoking leads to cancer.” Says he who does not know that lesbians have the lowest rate of HIV among any sexual orientation group. What an idiot.

    • Njen

      Lesbians don’t count because they do their thing for him, but gay dudes are icky.

      (internet alert: bad humour)

  • invivoMark

    In my mind, the ex-gays (alternatively spelled X-gays) are a team of homosexual heroes with mutant superpowers. Nothing anybody says can convince me that this isn’t true.

    • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I think I found one of them.

      • Alierias

        THAT is awesome! Gold Star goes to Kevin_Of_Bangor !!! <3

      • Nikita

        You sir, win the internet today.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      While I like the term “X-Gays”, the X-Men were for decades a statement on homophobia. The X-Gays would have to be like former mutants who gave up their powers, got bitter, and turned themselves into very bland cyborgs or something.

      They could train in the Danger Closet.

  • Rain

    We should encourage Fox News to tell these stories … these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.”

    Yeah I’m sure Fox News won’t think you’re a wonderful idiot when you encourage them to do the wonderful stories.

  • JessicaSideways

    *I* will champion the case against these religious nutjobs.

  • Andrew EC

    I would think service of process might be an issue with this lawsuit.

  • Alan E.

    I’d be more interested in seeing Porno Pete be cross examined.

  • baal

    Who are they going to put up as defendants? Also, I don’t see the courts letting this one happen. The TP-loonies named above may very well have to ‘pay the gays’ for even bringing this suit. If they bring it at all.

  • SeekerLancer

    I have no problem watching these people waste all of their time and money on an absurd, already lost battle.

  • Sneezeguard

    As a heterosexual man, it pains me to say it but we need to sue heterosexuality for all the horrors it has created.
    FACT: Heterosexuality has given birth to all dictators, mass murders, and WORSE all Homosexuals.
    FACT: 99% of all Death in the history of the world can originally be traced back to a heterosexual act.
    FACT: Is it a coincidence that the only pure spirit ever to be born (Hint: It’s Jesus) both never had Heterosexual sex and was not created by it? (Hint: It isn’t.)
    FACT: Against our will, all of us are involved in one heterosexual act FAR before our age of concent. What you call ‘Procreation’ I call ‘Fetus Rape’. After all, if I’m a person at conception, that means I’m a part of that sex act.

    It’s time for us to stand up, take a stand against Heterosexuality, and for me to get a big fat paycheck from whoever would pay out for this… I’m thinking the government?

    • Stev84

      Heterosexuality has a 100% death rate!

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        “Life is a sexually transmitted disease and the mortality rate is one hundred percent.”

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          I feel so dumb that I learned that quote from a comic book and not from R.D. Laing’s writings.

    • islandbrewer

      Stalin was a heterosexual, you know. Pol Pot, too.

  • someonewhocares

    sue obese people too.

  • someonewhocares

    you sue me and I’ll sue you. Lets Sue people named Sue

  • newavocation

    I’d really like to know how much money these sideshows bring in. They must have a business model and know what works and what doesn’t by now.

  • Randall Slonaker

    Typical. The Tea Party, self-appointed guardians of freedom,who claim to be against big-government interference in our everyday lives are the ones trying to use the court system to harass gays. These people are bamboozled into opposing any regulations which would cost big business money, and would help citizens, but are all in favor of draconian, invasive regulations when it comes to consenting adults whom they disagree with.
    I’ve found that most of those who rant and rave most about freedom and liberty are usually the most authoritarian.

  • Matt D

    Great, I’m looking forward to that episode of “Judge Judy”.

  • Lori F

    Sue homosexuals? What do they expect to get from the lawsuit?

  • Randy Fav

    Can I sue my waist line? It’s been pissing me off lately and I need it to stop!

  • Ogre Magi

    I utterly despise christians

  • Russell C Lewis

    He’s going to have one heck of a time finding Gay Corporate Headquarters.
    Please, no Vatican jokes here.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    *snerk*