Saturday, February 6, 2016

If you haven't listened to this debate that aired on Premier in the UK, make sure to give it a listen!

Justin Brierley, host of Unbelievable, had me on his show while I was in London. Apparently none of the LGBT groups in Britain was willing to debate me, so Brierley had to pit me against not one but two obscure opponents: a snarky teenager quoting from the GLAAD profile on me, and a British graduate student living in Missouri.

I did my best but I think the important thing here is to show up to these events even if you can never hit a home run. Showing up is 80% of the battle.

Also, while I was in London I had the opportunity to interview Dan Moody, an emerging scholar on the topic of transgender politics:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm so grateful for the interview that ran in Stream

It was a pleasure speaking to Stephen Herreid, which led to the publication of this interview about what to do when children of Christian parents come out as gay.

CogWatch 22 -- What happened with the Anglican Communion and Sexual Ethics?

I was in London just as the news broke about the Anglican Communion's suspension of the Episcopal Church over the issue of homosexuality. The interview below, with Alan Craig, was not about that particular decision by the Communion but it covered the background issues about why the Anglican Communion struggled with its own theology, and why the rise of Anglican churches in the former British colonies like Nigeria have played such an important role.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Three-Parent Embryos -- a Boon for Gay Parenting, or a Dangerous Medical Experiment?

During my recent trip to the UK, I had the honor of sitting down with Philippa Taylor of the Christian Medical Fellowship. She is a leading expert on the risks of three-parent embryos, which have been billed somewhat recklessly in the press as a gateway to providing gay couples with children related to both same-sex parents and then a third party who can be eliminated from the birth certificate. A must-listen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Important Article on the Work We've Done on Divorce

Divorce, as many English Manif readers know, is often lost in the discussion of children's rights. The ICRI held its 2nd annual conference in Paris last October, looking specifically on divorce. Here's great coverage from Carlos Flores, a Santa Barbara student who attended:

Friday, January 15, 2016

CogWatch 20: Austin Ruse joins the team for a talk on trolls, fighting for family, and worldwide social movements

This was a very fun podcast to record: Austin Ruse, president of C-FAM and infamous fighter for Catholic social causes, joined me and BN Klein for an entertaining discussion.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Moira Greyland, daughter of "Mists of Avalon" author, and Millie Fontana, Australian youth, on talking about life with gay parents

Moira and Millie are two women who took the brave step of speaking publicly about growing up with gay parents, running the full gamut from love to suffering. In this interview they share their experiences with the media and the public as a result of their forays into controversy. A great show.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Me under the Bush Administration, versus the Obama Administration

For 2016, I want to find some renewal. Many of the big debates that placed me in the center of irresolvable and incendiary arguments have passed. New debates call for my attention, but I hope they will not be as black-and-white and divisive as what's taken place during Barack Obama's presidency.

While everyone in America gets excited about presidential elections, I think I have a heightened enthusiasm about putting Obama's administration behind me because I felt in a profoundly direct and personal way the difference between having Bush as president, versus having Obama. I opposed both men and took part in protests against both (I marched against invading Iraq exactly ten years before I marched against the global destruction of traditional marriage.)

But opposing Bush was something entirely different from Obama, which leads me to recall in visceral terms how much worse Obama was. When Bush did things I was against, they were still fairly remote from me personally. His foreign policy was the biggest source of contention, yet this fell primarily on the shoulders of people in the volunteer military. You had a choice, when you were not on active duty, to set aside the stresses of military life and focus on everything else outside the service: your family, your church, your civilian job, your hobbies. I had a life under Bush, which Washington politics didn't intrude in. I taught my classes, related well with my students, published my articles (I wrote for left-wing journals then), and did a lot of athletic activities. My first child was born when Bush was president, and during the weeks before and after my daughter's birth, I forgot that politics even existed. There was news of bombing in the Middle East but on the domestic front, political tension wasn't something people discussed in everyday life.

Perhaps one could criticize the attitude I've just presented as apathetic, isolationist, even selfish. I would counter that I had a deep social commitment to my values, but the president and his ministers did not follow a policy of winning major political battles by prompting their citizen supporters to win over relatives and friends at the dinner table.

That's how things changed when Obama became president. He was fundamentally different from Bush. Bush projected our domestic agenda onto foreign lands and got us into a quagmire--bad enough. But Obama projected agendas onto the homeland and turned personal relationships into a battlefield that felt, at all times, like a foreign war. It was "foreign" because time spent with family and friends was often wasted on arguing about political issues that had nothing to do with why we were friends and family. ObamaCare, gay marriage, and gun control became issues that suddenly everyone who supported Obama felt they had to talk about all the time. I never lost any family relationships or friendships under Bush when we argued about what to do in Iraq. In Obama's era, I became a stateless pariah because I believed children had a right to a mother and father, and I was earnest about stating that this made gay parenting, as well as gay marriage, a simple non-starter.

When Bush left office, I was on loving terms with all my siblings and step-siblings, in contact with my old mentors and former mentees, still well connected with old friends in the gay community, and on good terms with people I'd gone to college and grad school with. At the time I was working at Cal State Northridge and had cordial relationships with the two gay men in my department; one, in fact, took me out to lunch several times.

One issue--gay marriage alone--devastated my social world. On the day Obama leaves office, I can only look back at an emotional wreckage. I have no contact with most of siblings and step-siblings. I have no contact with any former students I mentored. None of my professors from the past respond to emails. Only two Yale classmates are in touch with me and no graduate-school colleagues are. With the exception of one friend, the hundreds of gay acquaintances I used to know have vanished from my life forever.

On the day my son was born, my blood pressure was dangerously high and the hospital had to give me drugs to lower it so I could help my wife through the delivery. I spent hours in the hospital responding to questions about accusations that I was "anti-gay" because of a letter sent by the Human Rights Campaign to 1.5 million people naming me as a top enemy of gay rights. The letter went out approximately twelve hours before my wife went into labor. The day my wife went into labor, angry feminists and supporters of gay marriage took over one of my classes and screamed at me for fifty minutes. Four hours after my son was born, I had to rush over to my university campus to meet with police about hate mail and voice mail I'd received calling me a "shitbag" and telling me I needed to watch what I say about gays.

There was nothing that one could ever enjoy under Obama's presidency, that couldn't be ruined by politics.

That is the difference between Bush and Obama. Obama is a fundamentally different man with a different way of getting things done. He told his supporters, when it came to the stimulus and ObamaCare, to have conversations over dinner with family members to win them over. The famous photo of the pajama boy with hot chocolate talking to his parents about ObamaCare during the holidays seemed to stand in for the way Obama pressed on with all his signature issues. While the idea of winning people over through intimacy sounds sweet and sentimental, like so many colossally bad liberal ideas, it is emotionally devastating. When Obama was president, holiday dinners with family became endlessly tense, every conversation drifting into politics. The Obama supporters always made everything personal: "If you don't support gay marriage you don't love my gay child," "If you oppose ObamaCare you want me to die of the difficult disease I am struggling with," and "If you support Romney's immigration plan you must hate my Mexican girlfriend."

And suddenly under Obama every family had someone declare themselves trans, come out as gay, or dye their hair an ugly shade of blue -- or all three, in some cases.

This is where things changed fundamentally from Bush to Obama, and I fear sincerely that the damage is irreparable. It was Obama who said to go to Thanksgiving dinner and "get up in their faces" over politics. It was Obama's team who asked people to forward emails from family members that might contain misleading statements about ObamaCare. It was with Obama's blessings and protection that the gay movement spurred homosexuals across the country to cast ultimatums before their relatives: "Bless my gay relationship, bless my sperm-banking plans for a family, support me, or you will never see me or my children, your relatives, again." It was that harsh.

University life collapsed under Obama. He came into office with a fairly well established academia doing its job with some competence, perhaps unfairly biased toward liberalism, but still a place where people could have decent debates about important topics. Obsessed with a mythical campus rape crisis and still imbued with the radical identity politics of his youthful training, Obama turned the Office of Civil Rights into Big Brother. The memos sent by Obama's ministers to colleges, called the "Dear Colleague" letters, made litigation rather than lecturing the biggest priority of universities. A wave of complaints about everything from commencement speakers to "hostile learning environments" rolled over campuses, and the due process was gutted in favor of all-powerful autocrats called "Title IX investigators" who were allowed to operate Star Chambers in which they were the advocate, prosecutor, and judge, and could never be challenged. I found myself, by 2014, under the boot of the new Title IX Investigatrix, an archetype to go down in American history as a figure en par with Inquisitors, interrogated over crimes without knowing what I was accused of, disallowed to see the complaints against me or transcripts of interviews conducted about me, charged with thoughtcrimes of being "anti-gay" based on supposition and inference and guilt by association.

It was inevitable that under this ever-more-intrusive Obama regime, individuals like me found themselves increasingly atomized and dependent on Facebook and social media for any kind of social support--which made the situation worse, because under Obama all those social media sites became just as weaponized. When Bush was president, I lectured warmly to students, met with them often in office hours, gave them advice and nominated them for awards. Under Obama, one could risk nothing, knowing the Office of Civil Rights might at any moment dispatch the Title IX Investigatrix to comb over every record in search of clues that something sexist, racist, or homophobic happened, whether or not my intent or conduct had anything to do with its happening.

I was honorably discharged from the US Army Reserves in 2012. Under Bush, people in the military had a fair amount of camaraderie with one another. Everyone always bitches about things that officers mishandle in the US Army, but there was a sense of everyone being together for a greater cause. Under Obama, political arguments about women in combat and gays openly declaring their sexuality within their units were the beginning of a wave of changes, all of which made everything feel scattered and fractured. Multicultural awareness programs made warriors self-conscious and nervous about race, about offending Muslims, about comrades' sexuality, about good-hearted ribaldry possibly crossing the line into sexual harassment. Like the classroom, the dinner table, and everywhere else, the barracks became a place of suspicion and nervousness, a place where nobody could trust anybody else.

Bush ran up a huge deficit and got us into wars that were conducted irresponsibly. The costs to his mistakes were substantial.

Obama destroyed my country's character. His policies and tactics devastated my family, poisoned friendships, wrecked the field of education, gutted the military, and cast a pall of social malaise over every aspect of our lives. I was critical of Bush but he was, honestly, not a part of my life. Obama was like a spectre haunting every social interaction until finally, there was nothing left of personal life. There was just politics, and nothing very smart in it, all the time.

Obama was a complete disaster. I want the next president to investigate the corruption and crony nepotism, as well as the vicious defamation campaigns, that went on under his presidency. But more importantly, I want a president who can close this horrible book, end this nightmare. I want a life again. I want students rather than hyper-sensitive crybullies. I want families to forget debates about sexism, immigration, gun control, and gay marriage, and just eat their turkey over Thanksgiving. I want to go to church again and not be looking over my shoulder hoping nobody's spying on us.

I want my America back. I don't care if someone can "make America great again," as Trump says. That would be fantastic but the simpler task of just shelving permanently what America became under Obama, and giving us an America we can live in, would mean the world to me.

Needless to say, there is no way in Hell I will vote for Hillary.

Before Obama, I was a trim, well-adjusted, young father with a lovely wife and a promising future. I was the second fastest runner in my company and could do 72 situps for the AFT. I enjoyed going to work and smiled when dealing with my students. I looked forward to delivering lectures and read books that I enjoyed.

From the day Obama took office until now, I have lost 90% of my friends, seen my taxes go up, watched my health premiums go up, watched my household income drop by about 40% (my wife lost her job), and saw the size of our living space shrink. I am 60 pounds heavier and contend with low morale vis-à-vis my job, my students, my co-workers, and my profession. Sometimes I fear I hate my country.

Luckily, I still have a beautiful and loving wife and now I am a seasoned father of two incredibly wonderful children. For these three people I love, I go on and keep fighting, hoping that the Age of Obama will fade like mist and we will go back to being America again. Here's to hoping.

Monday, January 4, 2016


by guest writer B.N. Klein

Joe Jervis, owner of JoeMyGod website, may face a defamation claim. Below is something that Mr. Jervis published on his blog yesterday:

I, B. N.  Klein, have never delivered a speech at any gathering that could be remotely tied to a "hate group.” I have made no public speeches about marriage. I have never even attended a gathering that could be considered a “Hate Group.”

Robert Oscar Lopez has delivered speeches to groups such as Utah For Marriage, La Manif pour Tous, or Catholic University, but these are not hate groups by any stretch of the imagination.

Doug Mainwaring has delivered speeches for National Organization for Marriage. If Jervis is still relying on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of NOM as a “hate group,” perhaps larger legal action has to take place to make SPLC liable for defamatory use of their misleading categorizations of people.

Mr. Jervis has committed defamation with an intent to harm the reputations of three people. This is actionable under New York law, where elements of a defamation claim are:

      1           a false statement;
      2          published to a third party without privilege or authorization;
      3          with fault amounting to at least negligence;
      4          that caused special harm or defamation per se.
See Dillon v. City of New York, 261 A.D.2d 34, 38 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept. 1999). These elements of a defamation claim in New York are similar to the elements discussed in the general Defamation Law section […] :

Mr. Jervis points to what COGs know and what people should find very troubling. LGBT organizations have people paid to lie and worse attack the children of LGBTs in order to silence them. The truth of what it is like growing up in LGBT homes must never be known by the public—they just want the whole “love is love” and pity-trawling to reign supreme.

This is an example of the fact that LGBT activists think they own people for the rest of their lives. People should ask themselves what other group has paid people to harass and lie and threaten the children they raised. This should terrify the average citizen. The LGBT political machine will do anything to silence and that includes 100’s of threats of violence—which Mr Scott Rose is known for and the publishing of children's private information. This is in order to put people’s children in danger. They have harassed and contacted us at work and at home as another means to intimidate.

The truth is so vile that it is a better move to incite hate and violence against COGs and members of their families to keep us quiet rather than let COGs be heard.

Mr. Jervis needs to issue both a correction and an apology, or he must provide proof that I appeared at a “Hate Group” rally. He must also explain which group he considers a “hate group,” among the groups before which Robert Oscar Lopez has delivered comments. Remember that, contrary to the Human Rights Campaign’s defamatory “Export of Hate” report from 2014, Lopez never spoke at NOM events, World Congress of Family Events, or events of any other group listed by the SPLC as a “hate group.”

When Robert Oscar Lopez and I talk about organized defamation campaigns, this is precisely what we mean. LGBT activists such as Joe Jervis mix half-truths with falsehoods, exaggerate claims, and cherry-pick out-of-context quotes to mischaracterize people. The roster of Robert Oscar Lopez’s quotes on GLAAD’s “Commentator Accountability Project,” quoted ad nauseam by gay activists, is almost entirely comprised of outdated, often deleted quotes taken out of context, which reflect neither the larger context of the longer posts from which they were clipped, or the broader directions of Lopez’s work. Lopez’s many videos are passed over by GLAAD for social-media posts and deleted blog entries, often written in response to inflammatory messages sent to, or statements made about, Lopez by others.

The harms by activists like Joe to people’s careers are well documented. In 2016, people should start fighting back against such smears, because it isn’t only snarky—it’s criminal.

 -------B.N. KLEIN

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year's Resolution: End Gay Snark in 2016!

This is a podcast you won't want to miss! Doug Mainwaring, a top leader in the Tea Party movement, joins BN Klein and Robert Oscar Lopez to talk about the problem of gay snark.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Feminist Case against Surrogacy: Kathy Sloan, Michelle Shocked et al.

For the 17th podcast for CogWatch, BN Klein and I interviewed Kathy Sloan, former board member of NOW, in depth, and also took a call from Michelle Shocked, about surrogacy. Recently Mexico's Tabasco province ended all surrogacy by gay and foreign couples for pay, in effect shutting down the booming fertility tourism and child trafficking business centered close to Cancun. Not long after that, the EU Parliament condemned surrogacy. The doors are closing on the surrogacy business in many parts of the world. and the documented link between surrogacy and gay marriage played a role in spurring the blockage of gay marriage in Slovenia and Romania recently, as well as the decision by Austria's Supreme Court and Germany's ruling political party to block the advance of gay marriage in those countries. In Greece, gay civil unions became legalized but gay adoption has been effectively blocked.

Meanwhile, back home in the US, New York State is under tremendous pressure to legalize gestational surrogacy. Though Mario Cuomo signed the 1992 law making surrogacy illegal, equivalent to human trafficking or a slave trade, his son is now governor and the darling of the LGBT movement. See these articles for more details:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The podcast you can't miss -- What Rosie O'Donnell revealed about gay parenting and gay adoption

I guarantee you -- this is a podcast you do NOT want to miss. The case of Rosie O'Donnell's friction with her adopted daughter Chelsea provides the perfect case study to demonstrate everything that BN Klein, Dawn Stefanowicz and I warned about, when we pleaded with the Supreme Court not to force the whole country to legalize gay marriage.

Gay adoption is not like straight adoption, as Dawn, BN, and I talk about in this podcast. And this is why gay marriage was a colossally bad idea. Gay marriage forces false equations, false equivalencies. That's fine if it just means two consenting adults enter into a false equivalency that makes them happy. The problem is that a new generation of kids will have to suffer the chaotic consequences of living the "lie" of same-sex parenting forced on them by emboldened gay adults. Listen to the whole podcast and share as broadly as you can. While it is tragic to see what happened, Rosie O'Donnell's fame and name recognition may make this case a clearer vehicle to communicate the problems with family "equality" to people who haven't been following the debate.

I was honored by Abiding Truth Ministries

Didn't make the Top Ten but I am delighted to make the top thirty:

"Robert Oscar Lopez for his many articles, his brave stand, his amicus brief in the Obergefell case, and his book “Jephthah’s Daughters.”"


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

This is such an important and awesome commentary on online anonymity

Monday, December 14, 2015

Interview with Dr. Miriam Grossman, esteemed psychiatrist, on the truth of same-sex parenting

This is a podcast you probably don't want to miss! Reacting to Jephthah's Daughters, Dr. Miriam Grossman talks about the ways the psychiatric field failed children in its rush to be politically correct.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Announcement: Release of a [Redacted] Letter from 8 COGs to the Chancellor of Cal State University

Read this -- and be surprised!

In August 2015, eight daughters of LGBT parents sent a letter to the chancellor of CSU, even before the details of the Reagan Library investigation were known to the public. As early as August 2015, COGs had documented a pattern of extreme LGBT activist groups targeting COGs to silence them, and tampering with research. The effect of this tampering was of course evident in the conspicuous lack of coverage earlier, when six COGs delivered their amicus briefs to the Supreme Court.

As this letter reveals these COGs sought to warn the Chancellor that the effect of academic suppression and scholarship under duress would likely be very harmful to people raised by same-sex couples. It turns out the letter was prophetic. Now, in the wake of all we discovered about systematic collusion between academics and activist trolls seeking to suppress academic research and intimidate dissident COGs, it is clear that the failure by academic authorities like the Chancellor to act sooner and protect academic integrity in gay parenting research backfired tremendously.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lessons Learned from McCarthyism apologist Claire Potter of the New School

This Woman Shames and Abuses Sexual Assault Victims
[To get full context about this post, see this link. In the comments' section there are multiple comments from someone going by the name Tenured Radical.]

Claire Potter is a fellow Yale grad who ran a blog for the Chronicle of Higher Education for a while. It was called Tenured Radical. Some of her favorite themes were pop culture generally, politics, educational policy, and in particular, sexual assault.

She used to teach history at Wesleyan University in Connecticut but recently switched jobs to the New School for Public Engagement in Manhattan. I have never met her personally. Since I am politically conservative, I do not interact much with liberal editorialists. To broaden myself, for several years, I was a fairly devoted follower of Tenured Radical. This was the only left-wing blog I followed because I honestly enjoyed the challenge of interacting with views quite different from my own.

Many of Claire Potter's posts were entertaining and sometimes smart. I engaged them in good faith. She was often heated and hostile toward conservatives, but in the spirit of engagement, I still gave her posts a full hearing and posted my reactions to her musings. I would leave one comment and then leave the discussion thread, since I generally avoid getting into back-and-forth in forums. Much of my interaction with her was cordial. One of her guest writers, Judith Brown of Wesleyan University, even responded to the comment I left about possible new directions in trades education by emailing me and exchanging various thoughts on how best to prepare students for life after a liberal arts education. Other than this friendly and very brief contact with Judith Brown, which had absolutely nothing to do with Claire Potter, gay issues, or sexual assault, I had no contact with Tenured Radical people outside the forum itself. I never initiated any contact with Claire Potter or said I ever wanted to contact her. I never sought to have anyone I know contact her or anyone who knew her. I never said I was going to have anyone I knew contact her or anyone who knew her.

It was a huge surprise on November 25, 2015, when Claire Potter, using her avatar Tenured Radical, went into the comments section under the Inside Higher Ed article about my difficulties at Cal State Northridge. She posted a comment outing herself as one of the trolls--and it seems, even, a main and leading troll--who sought to poison my workplace against me.

Unbeknownst to me, Claire Potter called people at my University to tell them she feared for her "physical safety" because of my presence in the comments section on her public blog hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education and billed as a place to exchange opinions. According to her she got the top lawyers in the CSU involved. She also claims publicly now that she received information from Northridge suggesting that I had a pattern of making people (I presume she means women and gays) feel unsafe. I can't imagine Northridge officials volunteering information to her about these supposed other similar complaints, so it looks most probable that she went fishing for gossip about me.

I feel seriously violated and betrayed, especially because of what she based her supposed fear for her safety on. Mind you, I live in Los Angeles and she lives in New York City and we have no common friends or acquaintances. We work in different fields and belong to completely different political camps. There is virtually zero chance that we will ever cross paths. She is far more famous than I am. That she would look up my workplace and spend time talking to "authorities" overseeing me is shocking. That she would disclose to them my history as a sexual assault survivor and imply that I might be violent and dangerous because of my having survived sexual assault, is utterly beyond the pale, especially for someone who has established herself as a leading spokeswoman about sexual assault and Title IX.

I do not think the academy can sink any lower than Claire Potter has sunk. But... the good news is, we now have a clear lead on the subterranean and sleazy trolling network that we suspected all along was behind the putsches against me, John McAdams, and Carol Swain. It actually helps us tremendously to have one name that we can connect to all the backchannel manipulation, since so many of the trolls who engage in these character assassinations do so behind fake names and avatars. (Potter appears to be specializing now in gamer culture and social media, so she may know or might be some of these fake Internet phantoms like Pink Agendist; it will be hard to know without more investigation.)

As Mark Bauerlein and I had both indicated in our answers to interviewer Colleen Flaherty, as reported in Inside Higher Ed, there were too many signs of outside influence to doubt that off-campus groups had played a role in whipping hysteria against me and inspiring students to defraud the discrimination complaint system in order to try getting me dismissed.

The simplest explanation is of course the most likely one: Someone who knew the process of campus discipline, knew something about me and where I might be vulnerable, and had experience with Title IX complaints, was coaching the students in the hopes of filing a dramatic charge against me, boldly enough to override my tenure.

Some clarification finally came with the disposition letter on October 16, 2015: In that document, for instance, the fact that Complainant A met repeatedly and at length with one administrator who had no role in the proper chain of command laid out by the Faculty Guide. That administrator had multiple conflicts with me in the wake of off-campus trolls pressuring her to punish me for my off-campus work on children's rights.

But still, there were unanswered questions. More light was shed on the bizarre Reagan Library affair when Claire Potter outed herself as one of the trolls who contacted Northridge to complain about me. According to Potter's comment under the Inside Higher Ed article, she considers me "deeply disturbed" to the point that FIRE should be "wary" of assisting in my academic freedom matter. She claims that I visited her blog, Tenured Radical, "repetitively" and left "unprovoked" comments. She mischaracterizes my stance on gay parenting by saying that I based my whole stance on children's rights on my experience as a teenager being sexually exploited by older gay men. Anyone who knows my work at all knows that I ground my argument about children's rights in a broad swath of humanities-based and social-science research, including interviews with dozens of other COGs. Nobody who's ever read Jephthah's Daughters or even perused a few of my online essays would think to say I base everything on my own bitterness over what happened to me as a teen.

Some of my fellow COGs and I went back and scrolled through old Tenured Radical forums. We found that Potter was in substantial contact with Steven Salaita and many people involved in the boycott-Israel movement. Northridge has one of the most energized cohorts of pro-boycott people. We also saw that Potter had engaged with Jeremy Hooper, Straight Grandmother, and Scott Rose, all of whom have a well-documented history of emailing associates or family members of their "targets."

The gay community was built on blackmail. That's something that I learned very early on, growing up the way I did. When there was a stigma to gayness, blackmail was the currency of the whole gay economy. To get sex, you had to enter a network of other gays, in the process exposing yourself as gay to other people who might use that information against you. Within gay milieus, interpersonal conflicts are often contoured by blackmail: do something I want you to do or I will reveal your secrets in places where it will do you damage. Gay people do this to people they love just as much as they do this to people they hate. It is second nature in LGBT circles. Claire Potter is a product of her social set. So are the trolls who congregate in her comments section.

It seems that the Reagan Library affair will not be settled for a long time because there is so much more investigation to be carried out. At least now we have one name of someone in the academy who conspired to harm me professionally over a political disagreement. She did it in the classically gay style of blackmail, shaming, and gossip. She's connected to others who have a history of doing the same. We will keep looking for more clues. I think the story that emerges as we find out more will be epic. Epically shocking.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More coverage about persecuted professors.  This one from Accuracy in Academia.

America’s universities used to care about critical thinking. Now they’re just critical — toward conservative thinking. Last week, we talked about Carol Swain, the African-American professor under fire for suggesting that radical Islam was a threat to security. (A theory the French would now certainly support.) Turns out, she isn’t the only one making waves on college campuses.

Read the rest here

Video about COGS in Colombia

Very interesting:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Full interview (via email) I did with Inside Higher Ed

Dear Readers,

Today Inside Higher Ed ran a story about my academic freedom case as the lead story.

It was a very good article and the author Colleen Flaherty, did an excellent job. I do take issue with her characterization of Mark Regnerus as "discredited" and with her decision to include an extended quote from a deleted blog post from two years ago, which does not reflect the overwhelming focus of the work I do. But within the political limits of Inside Higher Ed, I think Ms. Flaherty did very well. It would have been unthinkable for her not to put some distance between the publication and the opposing view on gay adoption.

For people who want full context, here was the full transcript of my interview with Ms. Flaherty:

On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, Colleen Flaherty wrote:
Hi Robert, 
Thanks for getting back to me... Sorry I was tied up before. I'm wondering if I might be able to send you a couple questions now for background and we can follow up via phone tomorrow -- how does that sound? 
First, can you tell me when and where you've opposed adoption by gay parents, and why? 
I have opposed adoption by gay parents in various conservative publications, in speeches in multiple countries, and in briefs submitted to various federal courts. It is an issue that's extremely important to me, because I still hold dear the "child-centered" philosophy that I first picked up when I was working with Nickelodeon in the 1990s. As a bisexual person myself, I think LGBTs have great dignity and the community has contributed so much to culture and intellectual life. The problem is that practically speaking, from the child's point of view, gay parenting -- not just the home life but the larger culture -- imposes a lot of sacrifices that really go beyond what we should force on a child for the sake of an adult agenda. I've compiled the narratives of well over 100 children of gays (COGs) and overwhelmingly they didn't like being brought to gay pride parades or the poster children for their guardians' cause. Overwhelmingly they found one of the people in the gay couple a strange or difficult presence in their lives; usually they wanted a close relationship with a biological parent who was gay and then found themselves forced into an uncomfortable and sometimes hurtful relationship with that parent's gay lover, whom they usually don't see as a parent. While homophobia against their guardians affected them they found the deeper problems with the way the gay community treats its children much graver. You're the community's property and people want to control everything you say, all the way up until you're a senior citizen. Everyone including COGs has a mother and father somewhere (even if one's in the grave), but somehow COGs are not allowed to feel longing or loss about the parent that's missing, even though peers who have divorced, unmarried, or adoptive parents are given free reign to voice their sense of angst about disruptions in their lineage. Finally, after meeting so many other COGs and hearing real, sick stories of abuse that they were told to keep quiet about, for the sake of "the community," I just hit a breaking point in 2012. I felt this was not something to be pushing on people, and if there are gay parents with children, it's not fair to legally impose their gay lovers on their children and expect love and obedience from them. It goes against the very essence of the gay marriage movement, the idea that "dignity" is a real good and human right, and the idea that government should respect relationships as they exist -- the relationship between every human being and his/her mother and father is fundamental and has to be respected.
Next, what kinds of specific retaliation/backlash have you faced for this, outside of CSUN? How and when did you come to feel threatened by the HRC and/or other groups?
Oh my God, this would take so long to catalog. I've been tear gassed, targeted with vandalism, threatened, defamed, publicly humiliated and shamed, blacklisted from conferences, heckled, mobbed, and forced to cancel appearances. I've lost so much money because it's costly to deal with the frivolous complaints and accusations, then my personal relationships have been destroyed by activists threatening relatives, old friends, peers, and professional associates if they are seen being friendly with me. The moment I published "Growing Up with Two Moms" on August 6, 2012, Jeremy Hooper, a blogger who was working with GLAAD issued a fatwa of sorts, stalking everything I write and clipping quotations out of context, then sending these lists of distorted quotes to anywhere I was going to appear. It has never let up. In July 2013, GLAAD officially placed me on their Commentator Accountability Project list, which made it impossible for me to make appearances anywhere in the US or Canada. So I went overseas and used my languages, but this lead HRC to label me the #2 enemy of LGBT rights in its international "Exporters of Hate" report in September 2014. A lot of my writing about children's rights drew from critical race theory and my expertise in the history of slavery, which was like the gift that kept on giving: Jeremy Hooper would send a note about "you do realize he compared gay parents to slave owners" everywhere, and this made conservatives very skittish about working with me. It got worse when Paul Singer made a big public deal about funding HRC's international efforts, which had placed me as their #2 target -- Singer is a powerful Republican and his money flows through all the major right-wing think tanks, so this was an intellectual death sentence for me. It's been Hell. 
How does CSUN come into play? What kind of action has it taken against you, and why? What was the optional assignment you offered students, and what are the details on the student who claimed you retaliated against her for different views?
CSUN has been pressured since 2012 to get rid of me. I was copied on many of the early emails from activists like Scott Rosenzweig. Later I would hear whispers that emails were still being blasted to faculty and staff, but the activists stopped copying me so I would have no idea what everyone was saying about me. I was already cornered before this began, because I challenged what I considered very racist things going on at CSUN in 2010, 2011, and early 2012, so it was very easy for white leftists on campus to form a super-alliance with pro-gay people of color. I became the ultimate pariah. For a while, the provost Harry Hellenbrand protected me; he is an old-school Jewish liberal who just defended academic freedom whether it was anti-Zionist David Klein or me. I was confident that the students weren't being recruited to sabotage me. That all changed when HRC issued the Export of Hate report, because emails started coming from gay alumni and it worried me that gay students were getting copied on a lot of these emails. Weird things started in the fall of 2014, such as, for instance: People who weren't in my classes would show up and sit down and refuse to leave. At this point, the new provost (Harry Hellenbrand left his position) is Yi Li, and this was, from what I understand, his first major faculty controversy, so he seems to be engineering his own process of dealing with things. He rubber-stamped the findings of the Equity and Diversity office and wouldn't give me an opportunity to rebut any of the office's claims against me, including new charges that were changed or introduced at the end of the year-long investigation, which I never knew about and obviously never responded to, prior to the issuance Li's "disposition" against me on October 16, 2015. According to the faculty personnel handbook, since he found me "guilty" of "retaliation," which is very serious under Title IX, he has to impose one of three disciplinary actions: suspension without pay, demotion, or dismissal. Susan Hua, the Title IX Coordinator, told me on June 4, 2015, point-blank that they were looking at dismissal because of what they considered the seriousness of the charges. However, it's been more than a month and the provost has refused to meet with me and won't state what discipline he plans to pursue against me. In his latest message he says I will be permitted to "respond" to the disciplinary action--ostensibly, before the review board--when that is decided, but he refuses to meet with me, won't look at my rebuttal against the findings of the Title IX Coordinator, and will not tell me when he will make the decision about sanctions. So its been over 410 days and I am living in a constant limbo, knowing that some huge administrative battle is going to take place, I just don't know what it is. The planned strike complicates matters.
In terms of "why," here is the situation in a nutshell: In all four of my fall 2014 classes, I gave students an option to fulfill the 20% of my course grade that I usually call "thematic engagement," where I try to get them to connect the coursework to issues they will face in their contemporary experiences. They could do 10 responses to readings, which is the standard work I assign in all my classes. Then, because I had organized a conference off-campus at the Reagan Library, they had another option to attend a conference on modern-day challenges to children's rights and women's rights -- sperm-banking, surrogacy commerce, divorce, and adoption. If they chose to go to the Reagan Library they had to attend the full six hours and had to create a professional exhibit on the depiction of children's rights or family in the course readings. 
When I come up with this idea, I thought maybe 40 students at most would agree to go to the Reagan. I was stuck when 75% of my students wanted to go to the Reagan. I couldn't let some go and not others, so I went back to the funders and asked for extra money to expand the event into an adjoining room and pay for more of the meals and insurance. Everyone who wanted a seat at the Reagan and requested one, I gave to them. On October 3, 2014, the day seemed to me to go well; the four presentations were very good and the 80+ exhibits on literature were highly professional. But other things were happening behind the scenes. The main complainant, (Complainant A), came to the event and pressured presenter Alana Newman in Q&A to delve into a topic she didn't come to address -- namely, whether gay men should be forced to have sex with women if they want to have children. The exchange lasted for about 4-5 minutes, with Alana trying to get out of what felt like a trap. Complainant A went back to campus claiming that the entire event was anti-gay, and eight months later, went to the Title IX officer and showed her two brochures, one that did circulate about the Sexual Revolution generally, and one about gay marriage which was at most stacked on a side table, but never circulated.
After a dozen interviews and over a year of investigation, including intervention by FIRE in a 27-page letter, on October 16, 2015, the provost finally announced that I was not guilty of discrimination for holding the event because (1) the students were not, as alleged, "coerced" to go, (2) I had not, as alleged, deceived anybody about the content of the conference, and (3) there was no evidence that any anti-gay animus had interfered with anybody's access to university programs and activities. But at the same time, the provost claimed that my responses during the investigation were "vague, inconsistent, and contradictory," so he threw out my position as not credible, thereby giving all the credibility to Complainant A, who claimed I had threatened not to nominate her for an award. Based on the latter claim and on new witness testimony I was never told about, the provost said I was guilty of retaliation. 
What's the current status of your case at CSUN? Are you teaching currently, and was there some kind of resolution, or have they moved to fire you? 
My status is unclear. I am the only person in recent memory, according to administrators who told me so, who has faced disciplinary sanction at CSUN, and they don't really know how to handle this. I am still teaching, even as the case has broken in the press and the campus paper even published an editorial about the case in the CSUN Sundial. It is clear from what Susan Hua, the Title IX officer told me, that they wish to fire me but this will happen through progressive discipline, most likely, meaning that future investigations (which they promised to undertake in the disposition letter, explicitly) will be necessary to get me to dismissal. As I have stated, the disposition is overwhelmingly false and based on multiple violations of due process; additionally, my counsel has written refuting the legal basis for the retaliation claim since I took no adverse action against the student and she was ineligible to receive any awards anyway. 
Last, what does your case demonstrate about about academic freedom? As you know, often times liberal professors claim violations of free speech/academic freedom and gain sympathy, but that is not always the reaction for professors with more conservative views... 
Well, I think this puts to rest the notion that safe spaces, trigger warnings, or other supposed diversity measures are compatible with academic freedom. It's clear that academic freedom will not survive the current student movements across the country if the protestors get what they want. In my case, I was meticulous about making my classroom a safe space -- I didn't introduce gay issues into the conference, I didn't make the students attend the conference, and I clearly explained to them what the conference was about in case it was going to upset them. It didn't matter, because ultimately the students, or whoever coached them, wanted to punish me for opposing gay adoption in my off-campus scholarly life. There is no way, with so much organized trolling, for the calls for "safe space" to allow for dissenters from orthodox positions on things like same-sex parenting, even coming from someone like me who and a gay parent.

I think liberal scholars -- and here I don't feel bad naming Claire Potter, whose blog I followed for a long time -- have created their own snare. For too long they never confronted the enigma: How do you protect academic freedom and still ban what you consider "hate speech"? They rallied behind William Cronon when his emails were published, but then said nothing when my emails were published. [...] but will certainly not rally behind me as I am driven out of my job and the academy for giving my working-class students a fully-paid chance to attend and display research at the Ronald Reagan Library. At the heart of this is the sad irony that I am most attacked for my views, which come really from the lesbian and racially conscious left in which I was raised-- the defense of women against moves to remove their children or exploit their eggs and wombs, the rights of children not to be commodified and severed from their heritage as it happened under slavery and earlier adoption abuses. The fact that wealthy Republicans who see a profit motive in advancing gay adoption use gay rights as a way to incite left-wing people against me speaks volumes. In the end, this movement will consume the left even worse than it consumed the right. I will not rejoice, though a part of me just wants people to see the irony in how the left engineered the end to its own academic and political freedom.

Thank you so much for any/all clarity/initial background you might be able to provide here, 

No problem