One of the most prominent anti-gay groups currently working to defeat proposed marriage equality legislation in the state of Washington is the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW). Led by Joseph Backholm, FPIW has played a central role in organizing anti-gay efforts in the state over the past several years, including opposing efforts in 2009 to expand domestic partnerships to include same-sex couples.
Last week, Backholm testified before a Washington Senate sub-committee, urging senators to put the issue of marriage equality to a referendum and have voters to decide if “moms and dads do matter.”
Although FPIW presents itself as a typical “pro-family” organization, the group openly promotes anti-gay propaganda has ties to some of the country’s most notorious anti-gay hate groups.
On its website, FPIW offers visitors a number of “Marriage Legislation Resources” explaining “why you should care” about the threat posed by marriage equality. The page links to a number of documents containing typical anti-equality talking points, including a list of classic horror stories about gay marriage and religious liberty.
Also included in the “Resources” page is an article by George Dent – Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University – titled “No Difference?: An Analysis Of Same-Sex Parenting.” The article contains a number of anti-gay smears, including the myth that homosexuals molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals:
The claim that living with a same-sex couple does not affect a child’s sexuality is implausible. “It would be surprising indeed if . . . children’s own sexual identities were unaffected by the sexual identities of their parents.” Even young children may sense, or be told by others, that their guardians are unusual–queer–thereby initiating their sexualization at an unusually early age.There is evidence that children raised by homosexuals are more likely to engage in homosexuality and to feel confused about their sexual identity. […]
Further, “gay men tend to be even more preoccupied than most straight women with their bodies, physical attractiveness, attire, adornment and self-presentation.” They may choose to marry only when they no longer feel attractive enough for the promiscuity of the homosexual “meat market.” […]
Due in part to promiscuity, homosexuals have high rates of disease. Gay men became more cautious about sex after the onset of AIDs, but infection rates soon rebounded to their former levels.Gay men also suffer disproportionately from many other diseases. The tendency of male homosexual acts to spread disease may help explain the revulsion many people feel about them. Lesbians also suffer high rates of certain diseases and drug abuse. Homosexuals also have higher rates of suicide, mental illness, and drug and substance abuse. Although many homosexuals brag about the absence of gender discrimination in their relationships, those relationships are often abusive. […]
A child whose mother lives with a man other than his biological father is more likely to be abused by that man than a child living with his biological father is likely to be abused by him. Every child raised by a gay male couple has at least one unrelated male adult in the home. There is no reason to think that such a child will fare better than a child living with an unrelated heterosexual male.The high rates of child sex abuse among homosexuals and bisexuals are also a cause for concern. At the least, given the uncertain effects of homosexual parenting, the children raised by homosexual couples are being treated as guinea pigs, which is troubling. (Emphasis added, citations removed for clarity.)
Unsurprisingly, FPIW’s website also guides readers to the websites of a number of anti-gay hate groups – many of which promote similar anti-gay propaganda – including the Family Research Council and American Family Association.
FPIW has already pledged to launch a campaign for a referendum to repeal the marriage equality law if it passes. If FPIW follows through, voters should be aware of the kind of extreme, fringe anti-LGBT animus that motivates the groups “protect marriage” rhetoric.