Sunday, December 29, 2013

La Joie de Vivre 1:9 -- True or False? 2013.

Robert Oscar López

In this, the last Joie de Vivre before we embark on 2014, I address some of the things that are said about me and my allies.

The Editor
I have lots of intellectual stuff I'm working on, but let's relax. It's the holidays.

I am going to break two of my own sacred rules right now. One rule, which I decreed a year ago, was never to to do end-of-year posts. They can be trite and annoying. Anyway the events summarized are still fairly fresh in our memory, so the first reaction is often, "what else is new?"

The second rule is that I don't respond to Snarky Gay Bloggers. There are so many of them. They say so many things that are untrue.  For the most part they are uneducated savages who know very little beyond what they find on the first two pages of a Google search. And generally they have no lives aside from revisiting the high school emotional manipulations that left them wounded, only this time, with them in the position of the Mean Girls, shielded by their pseudonyms and Internet anonymity. I don't respond to them typically, because I honestly don't have time. I teach a full load as a professor and spend a lot of my writing time collating information about children's rights. If you start trying to correct every little thing stated by Snarky Gay Bloggers, you won't change them, but rather, you will become upset and unable to focus on the things in your life that matter. Like protecting children.

But I am going to break this rule for La Joie de Vivre today, because it's become clear that some things have been repeated widely on the Internet, which are blatantly untrue, and I need to correct them. Some of the nasty things people say are actually true, and since I am a sinner like anyone else, I am happy to admit these things.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #1: Robert Oscar Lopez is part of the National Organization for Marriage. FALSE.

I have no idea how this started. I know that Karen Ocamb, a blogger at Frontiers LA, posted a column with my picture attached (I don't know where she got that pic), and then that column got reposted on Bilerico. The piece by Karen Ocamb identified Public Discourse as a journal published by NOM, which it isn't. It is published by Witherspoon Institute, not NOM.

[I should note here that I like and respect Karen, and she made a good-faith effort to give me equal time, making her unique in the gay blogging world. I simply don't like the other blogger I suspect she's friends with.]

I have never met anybody at NOM, other than Brian Brown, whom I met for about five minutes. I met Maggie Gallagher once for about thirty minutes, but that was long after she left NOM. I have never done any work for NOM, nor have I received money from NOM. NOM organized a March for Marriage on March 26, 2013, which I chose not to attend, nor to speak at. Look for footage of me speaking at that rally -- you won't find it. I wasn't even in DC for it.

I've never written anything for NOM. There are three tiers of publication in which I tend to write a lot of commentary about family issues: Public Discourse, American Thinker, and English Manif. To get a sense of proportionality, please note how much I've written for each of these, and where their political connections point.

Public Discourse, as I just noted, isn't connected to NOM except through very secondary acquaintances. I've only written eight articles for Public Discourse.

American Thinker is run by people who have absolutely nothing to do with NOM at all, and I've been writing for them since 2009. The top editor is Thomas Lifson, who lives in Northern California. Counting articles and blog posts together, I've written over sixty items for American Thinker, many of which do not deal with homosexual marriage.

English Manif is a blog I edit, and publish in tandem with about 22 correspondents all over the world. None of us has any connection to NOM whatsoever; in fact people overseas do not generally know what NOM is. EM is run as a free, open-source site hosted by blogspot. To maintain my independence I have not tried to place ads on the site. I have written over 800 items for English Manif.

Does this make me a "NOM columnist?" Absolutely not. I've never written a single thing for NOM. Quite frankly I'm openly bisexual and write kinky novels, which wouldn't endear me to them. So Snarky Gay Bloggers, can you get this through your thick skulls? Will you drop this lie that I am part of NOM?

Snarky Gay Bloggers filed public records requests with my employer, Cal State Northridge, to demand all my emails that would reveal any connection between me and those groups, from 2009 until 2012. They received a stack of my emails, and no evidence of any connection between me and NOM, plus they saw that my only connection came to Public Discourse late in 2012, and consisted of my response to some people at PD suggesting I write an essay. That's all, folks! Everything else about me being a NOM spokeman, the "go-to guy" for NOM, or a plant for NOM, is paranoid dishonesty on the part of Snarky Gay Bloggers. Because they lie.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #2: Robert Oscar Lopez was involved with the Mark Regnerus study into new family structures. FALSE.

This is a deliberate misconception furthered by the Human Rights Campaign which, for some reason, lists me as one of the individuals involved with what they call "the Regnerus fallout."   

I had nothing to do with Mark Regnerus's study into parenting structures, except that I defended him against vicious persecution by ligbitists in 2012. I didn't meet Regnerus until well after the study was published. And I was not shy about saying he was a nice person who actually wanted to hear about my experience, instead of shutting me down. Yes, I was raised by a lesbian, and yes, I had some reasons to feel that Regnerus's findings were helpful in counterbalancing the bogus "consensus" on same-sex parenting that pre-existed the 2012 study.  

But the Regnerus study was a massive, well-funded, multi-year project, much of which was carried out while I was on active duty with the military! Yes, for most of 2010, I was not even in contact with any civilians except for my wife. I was on post and all my mail was being read by cadre. 

Let's say I hadn't been on active duty for a big chunk of 2010. It still wouldn't matter. We know from the extensive investigation into Regnerus's work that he did not rig the respondents or handpick his samples; but even if he did go looking for people to serve as respondents, I was one year older than the high range of his sample!

In a few quarters it has been hinted that my entire story about being raised by lesbians was blown up or manufactured on cue, to meet the needs of the 2012 election cycle. Unfortunately for the Snarky Gay Blogspiracy Theorists, I also published an obscure piece in American Thinker, entitled "the Bad Faith of Michele Bachmann's Gay Rights Inquisitors." Though subtly, in that piece I essentially came forward with an admission that I'd been raised by two women and had extensive experiences in LGBT culture, on August 17, 2011, before I even knew anything about Regnerus or the Witherspoon. So if you want to say that I was somehow fabricated or cut from whole cloth, sorry -- the record refutes you!

Moreover, for quite a while I have been stating that I do not see social-science research as the correct way to address the ethics of family structures. When I testified in Minnesota before the state senate (not the house, the senate) -- and you can go roll tape if you want to -- I advised people to take a humanities-based and global approach to children's rights. This is not what Mark Regnerus does. Do you understand? I think Mark is a great guy and we're friends. But we don't agree here. He launched a family institute in Texas and I am not on the board, because I want to steer toward international human rights. Different approaches, different worldviews -- it's all good; we aren't in conflict, but you can't go saying that I am a party or somehow involved in Mark's study. If HRC had an ounce of honesty, they'd scratch my name off the "Regnerus fallout" list.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #3: Robert Oscar Lopez is "anti-equality." FALSE

I have no idea what ThinkProgress even means when they use the label "anti-equality." I think this means that because I support civil unions for gay couples but do not think gay marriage is a good idea in light of children's rights, I oppose "equality." By such reasoning, people who think those who hold PhDs should teach college courses and those who hold law degrees should practice law are also "anti-equality" ...  But let me not try cleverness here; we're dealing with marginally literate propagandists who have stripped away all complexity from their thought process in order to make it easier to libel others and still sleep at night.

The simple version, for those of you Snarky Gay Bloggers who are skimming through this in search of hate quotes and anxious to get back on Adam4Adam: I support equality of children's rights. Every child has a right to be afforded the best chance possible of living with a mom and dad. If some misfortune deprives a child of a mom or dad, I believe children have the right to know that the people raising them didn't cause the deprivation to satisfy their adult whims. That's equality for children.

I have always supported civil unions.

As for same-sex marriage, I ask the reader to roll tape once again -- this time, go to the statements I provided before the Minnesota legislature in March 2013. I asked lawmakers to "slow down," when I spoke in front of the state house, and when I spoke in front of the Senate, I told lawmakers that maybe same-sex marriage could work later on, but they had to do "due diligence" in order to safeguard children's rights. I even admitted that for many years I supported same-sex marriage but only changed my mind because of same-sex parenting. That's not rabid "anti-equality" hysteria. It's a reasonable request that the equality of children's rights be given full attention before society rushes into a hasty decision with far-reaching consequences. And believe it or not, it's all on tape, and has been for 9 months.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #4: Robert Oscar Lopez said that same-sex parenting was a "crime against humanity." MOSTLY FALSE.

This quote was attributed to me in OnTopMag and turned up in a few other places.

I believe that human trafficking is a crime against humanity, as is the buying and selling of children or their heritage. That's not just me, that's a long tradition in international law. The fact is that some of same-sex parenting depends upon artificial reproduction technology or commercialized adoption to meet the needs of gay and lesbian aspiring parents.

My use of human rights language is controversial and will rub some the wrong way. I accept that. I consider sperm banking for lesbians and gestational surrogacy for gay men crimes against humanity. I consider child trafficking, child slavery, and the treatment of children as commodities crimes against humanity. My reason for using the term is that all these scenarios imply an exchange of money for ownership of a human being, reducing the human being to chattel or livestock, and that revives the evils of slavery, eugenics, and cultural genocide. I have never applied the term "crime against humanity" to all same-sex parenting situations -- see here, one of many articles in which I explain that sometimes same-sex parenting is understandable.

The fact that OnTopMag sees my use of "crime against humanity" as a slam against all same-sex parenting reflects, not my invidious denunciation, but rather, the fact that same-sex parenting advocates cannot draw a clear ethical line between same-sex parenting that's done strictly for the child's best interest (in which case it's exceedingly rare) and same-sex parenting that's done to meet LGBT market demand. If you criticize the latter, they assume you must be criticizing all of it. So it's the same-sex parenting advocates who conflate slavers with moms who come out as lesbian after they're widowed.

Again, roll tape. Go to the eight-minute speech I gave before the Minnesota senate, in which I said, there were cases where same-sex parenting might be the best idea.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #5: Robert Oscar Lopez wasn't really raised by a lesbian couple because his mom and her lover didn't live in the same house. IRRELEVANT.

My mother, as I have stated many times -- (for instance, see the speech I gave in Paris on March 24, 2013) -- did the best thing in raising me, given her situation. She was in a lifelong coupling with another woman, but she did not move her lover and her lover's children into our home. I praise that choice because it made my growing up easier, in a lot of ways, than other children growing up in such homes now.

My mom and her partner did move in together when I was a late teen. They did spend weekends together in an RV park. I was closer to my mom's partner than I was to my dad or, at times, even to my mom. When my mom died, her will, dated ten years earlier, named her lesbian lover as the executor of the estate and beneficiary. When my mom convalesced, her lesbian lover was the one who made the most important decisions, not my dad. They were together, and we were a family.

And if you want to start saying who's really a gay family and who's not, then you're beneath the dignity even of a Snarky Gay Blogger.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #6: Robert Oscar Lopez's mother was an alcoholic. FALSE.

This turned up on weird kiosks when I tried to log into my own blogspot account. A warning notice came up saying, "Bobby Lopez doesn't talk about his alcoholic mother anymore." This is a vile falsehood. Not true. There is also this psychotic stalker who claims to be a "straight grandmother" who goes around sending emails to my friends, that they shouldn't talk to me, because my mom was an alcoholic. I'm pretty sure that person's a gay man with a serious mental problem pretending to be somebody else. At any rate, it's totally out of line and most importantly, not true. 

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #7: Robert Oscar Lopez wrote Johnson Park, which is a "terrible book." TRUE!

This review was posted on TowleRoad. No contest there. If you say it's terrible, it's terrible. I thank you for your review.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #8: Robert Oscar Lopez is "anti-gay." AT THIS POINT, WHO CARES?

Do I even need to address this? Pantywaists from haunts such as the New Civil Rights Movement and even Huffington Post have attached "anti-gay" as a title to my name, kind of like "Hector, tamer of horses," and "Austin Powers, international man of mystery." "Robert Oscar Lopez, anti-gay." I kind of like the title.

I guess you have to believe that everything gay people do is beyond critique (so when your violent gay boyfriend beats you up, nobody ought to help you, I suppose) and everything that rich election bundlers who happen to be gay ask for, should be given to them, or else you're anti-gay. You also have to express no objections to middle-aged men going to websites designed specifically to allow them access to boys half their age, some not even legal or barely legal. You also have to be okay with rich gay men flying to Cancún to suntan while poor brown women gestate their babies for cash. Or else you're anti-gay. Sign me up.

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #9: Robert Oscar Lopez is fat and ugly. TRUE!

I plead guilty. So glad this means gay men won't even know I'm here. I can keep on writing unmolested, invisible!

Snarky Gay Bloggerism #10: Robert Oscar Lopez is an ex-gay. FALSE.

I give up. Recently, I read a piece in ThinkProgress about Tom Daley's coming out, and the author was noting how bisexuals aren't given a space in the discourse. I was rooting for the author, saying aloud, "yay! I'm so glad they are finally dealing with the B in LGBT." And then a few paragraphs down the author noted that Doug Mainwaring and I were touted by conservatives as "gays against gay marriage." No mention of the fact that I was bisexual and ThinkProgress had actually rejected the labeling in an article last July saying that I was really an ex-gay regardless of how I labeled myself. In an article about how bisexuals aren't given a space, I, a bisexual, was given no space in the discourse.

I've published about 10,000 times the fact that I identify as bisexual and I won't explain it anymore. If you are determined to apply the ex-gay label to me, that's about you, not about me.

Part of the problem is that publications such as ThinkProgress and most gay blogs have become so overdetermined by the gay marriage debate that they cannot hear anything said by queer men who don't agree with them on that issue. That's a shame. But whatever. It's their fault for being dense.