Exposing David Barton's phony quotes on our founders and Paul Cameron's phony statistics on gays are truly Sisyphusian tasks. This time the culprit is Rod Parsley who, in an article dated August 9, 2005, is reported as having said:
According to God's Word, the homosexual lifestyle is not only sinful, Parsley asserts, but also deadly. He points to the first chapter of Romans, for instance, in which scripture refers to women abandoning natural relations for unnatural ones and men committing "indecent acts with other men," resulting in their "receiving in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Rom. 1:27, NIV).
"Even if you take Romans 1 out of the picture," the author of Silent No More notes, "I'm against homosexual marriage and I'm against the homosexual lifestyle because the average life expectancy of a homosexual and lesbian in the United States is 42 and 45, versus 75 and 79. These people are fighting for a lifestyle that is robbing them of half of their life expectancy."
This of course, is a lie, and has been long debunked over and over again (just do a google on Paul Cameron).
I think one of the reasons why some seemingly reasonable people fell for the statistic around ten years ago is because there was a time -- before the newer medications -- when many gay men did die young of AIDS. However, that Cameron reports lesbians, whose sexual practices are not a very effective transmitter of AIDS (less effective than regular heterosexual coitus) have a life expectancy of "45" should have raised some red flags.
Though many good articles debunk Cameron, Walter Olson's is by far my favorite.
Against this, Cameron and his supporters argue that, according to their survey of obits, even if they don't have AIDS, homosexual males tend to die by their mid-40s (and lesbians by their late 40s). Some downright peculiar results followed from this inference. One is that -- contrary to the opinion of virtually everyone else in the world -- AIDS in fact hasn't reduced gay males' life expectancy by that much -- a few years, at most. Moreover, the obits also recorded lots of violent and accidental deaths. From this Cameron and company concluded not that newsworthy deaths tend to get into newspapers, but that gays must experience shockingly high rates of violent death. With a perfectly straight face they report, for example, that lesbians are at least 300 times more likely to die in car crashes than females of similar ages in general.