Dr. Judith Stacey of NYU, Third Social Scientist in One Month to Call for an End to James Dobson’s Purposeful Misuse of Scientific Research

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This Monday, Dr. Judith Stacey, professor of sociology at New York University and a prominent researcher on children raised by same-sex couples, will join the growing chorus of psychologists and social scientists denouncing Focus on the Family’s twisting of their research to prop up unscientific claims about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Stacey will speak out at the kick-off to the Soulforce 1,000 Watt March, Vigil and Concert on the steps of the State Capitol building in Denver, CO.

PRESS CONFERENCE at Denver State Capitol Building

When:    Monday, July 17, 2006

Time:     10 AM, MDT

What:     Kick-off of Soulforce 1000 Watt March, a 65-mile relay march to Focus on the

    Family headquarters

Who:     Dr. Judith Stacey, professor of sociology, New York University

             Jeff Lutes, LPC, executive director of Soulforce, family therapist and parent

             Families beginning the 1000 Watt March to Focus on the Family headquarters

Where: West steps of the Colorado state capitol building, facing Broadway, 14th Avenue and Broadway, Denver, CO

Why:    Focus on the Family, headed by political power broker James Dobson, has consistently misrepresented the research of legitimate social scientists to support its anti-gay political agenda. Among the most harmful misrepresentations, which have been quoted in recent debates on same-sex marriage at federal and state levels, is the false claim that social scientists “agree” that children fare better in households headed by heterosexual couples.    

This Monday, Dr. Judith Stacey, professor of sociology at New York University and a prominent researcher on children raised by same-sex couples, will join the growing chorus of psychologists and social scientists denouncing Focus on the Family’s twisting of their research to prop up unscientific claims about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Stacey will speak out at the kick-off to the Soulforce 1000 Watt March, Vigil and Concert on the steps of the State Capitol building in Denver, CO.

Stacey says, “I am deeply troubled by the ways in which Focus on the Family willfully misrepresents my research on lesbian and gay parenthood to support their ideological opposition to homosexuality. This politically motivated distortion of social science contributes to serious harm to lesbian and gay parents and their children.”

Stacey joins Dr. Robert Spitzer of Columbia University and Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc of the University of British Columbia in taking Dobson to task for his distortion of their work in support of a political agenda that seeks to deny civil rights to LGBT people.

Stacey’s comments will kick off a week-long justice action, as families headed by same-sex couples, LGBT individuals and their supporters participate in a 65-mile "relay" style march from the state capitol building in Denver to the headquarters of Focus on the Family. The purpose of the march is to help America connect the dots between the defamatory rhetoric that flows from Focus on the Family and the legislative assault on the civil liberties of LGBT people and their families.

The march will culminate on Saturday, July 22, when actor Chad Allen and Judy Shepard, executive director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation, will lead a final 2-mile march from Rampart Park in Colorado Springs to the headquarters of Focus on the Family. The marchers will encircle James Dobson's headquarters, joining hearts and hands in vigil as they peacefully call on him to cease his defamation of the LGBT community. Afterwards, Broadway star Billy Porter will protest in song outside Focus on the Family, with an electrifying jazz concert that celebrates the lives of all people and loving relationships that seek the American dream.

To find out more about the Soulforce 1000 Watt March, Vigil and Concert, please see: http://www.soulforce.org/1000wattmarch.

Consistent with the first step in the principles of nonviolence taught by Gandhi and King, Soulforce researched and documented false claims by Focus on the Family about LGBT people, couples and families. That research is compiled in a booklet, entitled "A False Focus on My Family" and a DVD, entitled, "Dear Dr. Dobson". This powerful and eye-opening booklet is available free online at http://www.soulforce.org/article/false-focus-family and the DVD is available free to press upon request.

Contact: Richard Lindsay, Interim Media Director

Cell: 646-258-7193

The goal of Soulforce is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.

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