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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