Russia's parliament invited an American anti-gay psychologist whose work has been widely discredited to give expert testimony where he suggested that a third of LGBTs support pedophilia, according to a participant in the meeting.
Family Research Institute founder Paul Cameron, who has been censured by the American Psychological Association and the American Sociological Association for distorting statistics in efforts to block LGBT rights, spoke at a Duma roundtable on "family values," according to tweets from lawmaker Alexander Sidyakin.
"Duma roundtable about protecting traditional family values. Family Research Institute (USA) founder Paul Cameron came."
"He cited statistics of a survey of homosexualists: 27% engage in sex with children from 15 to 18, 15% with children under 15; 32% think such sex is OK"
"Such interesting statistics. The question is, should we give children away to be adopted by single-sex families? For me the answer's obvious. Comrade Cameron..."
"...is even harsher. He says we should ban those who openly promote their homosexual orientation from teaching children in schools. A hawk."
Cameron has made a career out of publishing statistics that seek to bolster the argument that homosexuality is harmful to society and leads to suicide, drug addiction, and depression, which the civil rights organization the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as "hate literature masquerading as legitimate science."
Cameron holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Colorado, but he lost scientific credibility in the early 1980s, when he was expelled from the American Psychological Association. He then began presenting himself as a sociologist, which led to the censure of the American Sociological Association in 1985.
At issue is not just that he disagrees with mainstream scientific positions on whether homosexuality is immutable or a mental illness, but the way he allegedly manipulates statistics to bolster anti-gay arguments.
In its resolution censuring Cameron in 1985, the American Sociological Association stated that Cameron "has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism," using "distorted interpretation of this research" to campaign "for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men."
Cameron's appearance comes on the heels of a meeting of the 2014 planning committee of the World Congress of Families conference scheduled for Moscow. The Oct 15-16 meeting brought together well-known social conservatives from the United States—including Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, and Scott Lively—and Russian anti-LGBT activists such as Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, Vladimir Yakunin of the St. Andrew the First-Called Foundation, and Natalia Yakunina of the Sanctity of Motherhood Program. There were also activists present from several other countries, including Venezuela, Serbia, and France.
Sidyakin is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and is the author of a law that imposes stiff penalties on NGOs who receive money from abroad and do not register as "foreign agents."
Based on his tweets, the roundtable seemed to be intensifying the drumbeat in favor of laws targeting gay and lesbian parents. A pending proposal to away their children was recently withdrawn by its sponsor, Deputy Alexei Zhuravlyov, but he has promised to re-introduce it after some tweaks are made to its wording. Russia has already banned citizens of countries that have approved same-sex marriage from adopting Russian children.
Sidyakin tweeted that Cameron's statistics should silence critics of the law criminalizing "promoting non-traditional sexual relations to minors":
"And there's such moaning here about making promoting homosexuality to minors a misdemeanor."
He also bragged to a Russian journalist via Twitter that there was no need to include experts who disagree with Cameron's findings:
"Exactly! We didn't even invite a second point of view"
Max Seddon is a correspondent for BuzzFeed World based in Berlin. He has reported from Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and across the ex-Soviet Union and Europe. His secure PGP fingerprint is 6642 80FB 4059 E3F7 BEBE 94A5 242A E424 92E0 7B71
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J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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