ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture

The following was provided by email from the Christian Wire Service through Mission: America and is reprinted verbatim with permission.

Now the turth is known.

Tom Carder
CAP Ministry

Bias Information on Gay-Teen Suicide Keeps Truth from Youth:
FOX Network's O'Reilly Factor Guest Perpetuates Problem

To: National Desk

Contact: Dr. Warren Throckmorton, (724) 458-3787, (724) 967-5644 cell,

News Advisory for Dec. 27 /Christian Wire Service/ On the December 23, 2004 Fox News Show The O'Reilly Factor, Human Rights Campaign Political Director, Winnie Stachelberg in a discussion with guest host Tony Snow made misleading statements concerning youth suicide. The segment concerned a Texas student who was expelled from a Christian school for running a gay oriented website. The man knew the site was against school policy but refused to comply.

Ms. Stachelberg told Mr. Snow that "gay teens are six times more likely to consider and contemplate suicide than their straight teen peers and three times as likely to be the victim of suicide." These claims, first made in a 1989 government report are more urban legend than fact. The estimates made by Paul Gibson were sheer speculation with no research support. In fact, empirical research by Cornell University professor Ritch Savin-Williams found no differences in suicide attempts based on sexual attractions. Such bogus statistics are often used to silence those who object to homosexuality on religious or philosophical grounds. The apparent objective was to promote respect for gays and lesbians which is admirable. However, it seems counter productive to knowingly distort facts in order to disrespect other people for their beliefs.

During the segment, Ms. Stachelberg also misrepresented the website that led to the student's dismissal. The website, [deleleted], clearly is a way for adolescents who identify as gay to find each other. The website links to nearly nude pictures of website participants and contains personal contact information. Ms. Stachelberg characterized the site as a way for students to "foster discussion and debate and create a climate where students who are struggling with so many issues actually have an opportunity to connect with like-minded students around the state."

"The misleading information presented by Ms. Stachelberg was a thinly veiled attack on those who object to homosexuality on religious grounds," said Dr. Throckmorton.


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