Gay Rights Group: Dobson Manipulated Data

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By STEVEN K. PAULSON
The Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2006; 10:42 PM

DENVER -- Members of a group supporting parental rights for gays and lesbians accused Focus on the Family founder James Dobson of manipulating research data to say gays and lesbians are not good parents, and began a 65-mile march Monday to confront him at his Colorado Springs headquarters.

A Focus on the Family official denied the allegation.

Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes said Dobson's statements have brought rejection and ridicule on gay and lesbian parents, and the group wants him to stop.

"That misinformation has real tragic results. It makes living for families like ours much more difficult. We are rejected sometimes by loved ones, we are shunned by churches and we are discriminated against in every state in this country," Lutes said at a rally before the march.

Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University, said her work was manipulated in an attempt to show gays and lesbians do not make good parents.

"This is a direct misrepresentation of the research," she said.

Focus on the Family spokesman Glenn Stanton cited other research _ including an article co-authored by Mary Parke, a policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy, that shows that children need a mother and a father, regardless of the parents' sexual orientation.

"We haven't said anything about sexual orientation," he said.

Another spokesman, Gary Schneeberger, said Focus on the Family declined to meet privately with members of Virginia-based Soulforce last year but offered to hold a public debate, which Soulforce refused.

"This is a public issue. We should have a public debate," he said.

___

On the Net:

Judith Stacey's report: http://sociology.fas.nyu.edu/docs/IO/319/asr.pdf

Mary Parke's report: http://www.clasp.org/publications/beyond_marr.pdf


© 2006 The Associated Press

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