Russia’s idea of an “expert” on homosexuality? Paul Cameron, the discredited antigay psychologist who conflates homosexuality with pedophilia, testified before Russia’s Parliament as an invited expert earlier this month, BuzzFeed reports.
And he was continuing to preach the same line, according to tweets from Alexander Sidyakin, a member of Parliament who is closely aligned with President Vladimir Putin.
“He cited statistics of a survey of homosexualists: 27% engage in sex with children from 15 to 18, 15% with children under 15; 32% think such sex is OK,” Sidyakin tweeted, according to a BuzzFeed translation. To Sidyakin, this bolstered the case for restricting parental rights of LGBT people. He also noted that Cameron went further: “He says we should ban those who openly promote their homosexual orientation from teaching children in schools.” Legislators did not invite anyone to present an opposing view, Sidyakin said.
Cameron’s research has been discredited by leading mental health and civil rights organizations. He was expelled from the American Psychological Association in 1983 for ethics violations and was censured by the American Sociological Association in 1985 because, the group said, he “has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism,” and “repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.” The Family Research Institute, founded by Cameron, has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which calls the institute a “one-man statistical chop shop” that “churns out hate literature masquerading as legitimate science.”
This summer Russia adopted a national law prohibiting “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” actually banning any positive discussion of LGBT issues or identities, in any venue accessible to minors. Several municipalities already had such laws. The nation also bars gay and lesbian people in any country from adopting Russian orphans and prevents single people from nations that embrace marriage equality from adopting any of Russia’s estimated 600,000 children without legal guardians. A conservative lawmaker from the ruling party recently proposed a bill that would declare homosexuality equivalent to alcoholism, child abuse, and drug use, thereby providing cause for the state to forcibly remove children from their gay and lesbian parents. The lawmaker temporarily pulled the bill earlier this month, saying he intends to reintroduce it after some revisions.