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WHAT percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent.

But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions.

Using surveys, social networks, pornographic searches and dating sites, I recently studied evidence on the number of gay men. The data used in this analysis is available in highly aggregated form only and can be downloaded from publicly accessible sites. While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story.

At least 5 percent of American men, I estimate, are predominantly attracted to men, and millions of gay men still live, to some degree, in the closet. Gay men are half as likely as straight men to acknowledge their sexuality on social networks. More than one quarter of gay men hide their sexuality from anonymous surveys. The evidence also suggests that a large number of gay men are married to women.

There are three sources that can give us estimates of the openly gay population broken down by state: the census, which asks about same-sex households; Gallup, which has fairly large-sample surveys for every state; and Facebook, which asks members what gender they are interested in. While these data sources all measure different degrees of openness, one result is strikingly similar: All three suggest that the openly gay population is dramatically higher in more tolerant states, defined using an estimate by Nate Silver of support for same-sex marriage. On Facebook, for example, about 1 percent of men in Mississippi who list a gender preference say that they are interested in men; in California, more than 3 percent do.

Are there really so many fewer gay men living in less tolerant states? There is no evidence that gay men would be less likely to be born in these states. Have many of them moved to more tolerant areas? Some have, but Facebook data show that mobility can explain only a small fraction of the difference in the totally out population. I searched gay and straight men by state of birth and state of current residence. (This information is available only for a subset of Facebook users.) Some gay men do move out of less tolerant states, but this effect is small. I estimate that the openly gay population would be about 0.1 percentage points higher in the least tolerant states if everyone stayed in place.

The percent of male high school students who identify themselves as gay on Facebook is also much lower in less tolerant areas. Because high school students are less mobile than adults, this suggests that a gay exodus from these areas is not a large factor.

We can approach the question of whether intolerant areas actually have fewer gay men another way, too, by estimating the percent of searches for pornography that are looking for depictions of gay men. These would include searches for such terms as “gay porn” or “Rocket Tube,” a popular gay pornographic site. I used anonymous, aggregate data from Google. The advantage of this data source, of course, is that most men are making these searches in private. (Women search, too, but in much smaller numbers.)

While tolerant states have a slightly higher percentage of these searches, roughly 5 percent of pornographic searches are looking for depictions of gay men in all states. This again suggests that there are just about as many gay men in less tolerant states as there are anywhere else.

Since less tolerant states have similar percentages of gay men but far fewer openly gay men, there is a clear relationship between tolerance and openness. My preliminary research indicates that for every 20 percentage points of support for gay marriage about one-and-a-half times as many men from that state will identify openly as gay on Facebook.

In a perfectly tolerant world, my model estimates that about 5 percent of men in the United States would say they were interested in men. Note that this matches nicely with the evidence from pornographic search data.

These results suggest that the closet remains a major factor in American life. For comparison, about 3.6 percent of American men tell anonymous surveys they are attracted to men and a tenth of gay men say that they do not tell most of the important people in their lives. In states where the stigma against homosexuality remains strong, many more gay men are in the closet than are out.

How deep in the closet are these men? Obviously, it is possible for a gay man not to acknowledge his sexuality to Facebook or surveys but to still have healthy, open same-sex relationships.

But data from Match.com, one of the country’s largest dating sites, which has high rates of membership for both straight and gay men, reveals a similarly large number of missing gay men in less tolerant states. This suggests that these men are not only not telling Facebook they are gay but are also not looking for relationships online.

Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”

Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.

Craigslist lets us look at this from a different angle. I analyzed ads for males looking for “casual encounters.” The percentage of these ads that are seeking casual encounters with men tends to be larger in less tolerant states. Among the states with the highest percentages are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.

There is, in other words, a huge amount of secret suffering in the United States that can be directly attributed to intolerance of homosexuality.

SOMETIMES even I get tired of looking at aggregate data, so I asked a psychiatrist in Mississippi who specializes in helping closeted gay men if any of his patients might want to talk to me. One man contacted me. He told me he was a retired professor, in his 60s, married to the same woman for more than 40 years.

About 10 years ago, overwhelmed with stress, he saw the therapist and finally acknowledged his sexuality. He has always known he was attracted to men, he says, but thought that that was normal and something that men hid. Shortly after beginning therapy, he had his first, and only, gay sexual encounter, with a student of his in his late 20s, an experience he describes as “wonderful.”

He and his wife do not have sex. He says that he would feel guilty ever ending his marriage or openly dating a man. He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions.

The retired professor and his wife will go another night without romantic love, without sex. Despite enormous progress, the persistence of intolerance will cause millions of other Americans to do the same.

By Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Source New York Times

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a contributing opinion writer who recently received a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard.

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Anti-gay rights activist Linda Harvey says she removed her latest book Maybe He’s Not Gay: Another View on Homosexuality from Amazon.

Harvey told The Christian Post that she was responding to a “smear campaign.”

“I saw the rotten reviews, a smear campaign by those who had not read the book, and the publisher attempted to get Amazon to pull the ad hominem reviews, but they were not immediately responsive,” Harvey said.

“So, since the book is brand new and I didn’t want it to be harmed by this uninformed and vicious campaign stimulated by ‘gay’ bloggers, I decided to pull the page for now.”

“We have the option to re-post it, but hopefully by that time, the book will have been read by others who will be honest and sincere, and at any rate, fair in providing reviews,” Harvey added.

Several sites criticized Amazon for carrying the book. Back2Stonewall said it was “beyond disgusting” that Amazon would sell a “potentially dangerous book aimed at parents and LGBT youth and teens.”

Harvey, the founder of the Columbus, Ohio-based Mission America and a frequent contributor to the conservative website WND.com, is a vocal opponent of gay rights.

She has in the past declared President Barack Obama the “most racist president in U.S. history” for endorsing gay rights, labeled school anti-bullying programs as “selling gay behavior,” and said that a healthy society would discriminate against gays.

Still, she insisted that Maybe He’s Not Gay is not hateful.

“This book reflects concerns for all students, concerns about the damage homosexual behavior and activism is doing in young people’s lives and to our country,” Harvey said. “Anyone who reads the book with an open mind and a fair appraisal will not think it’s hateful, but exactly the opposite.”

 

Learn more about Linda Harvey’s view on homosexuality in this video:

 

 

Trestin Meacham has already lost 25 pounds after embarking on a fast with ‘no end in sight.’ The man, a devout Mormon, is pledging not to eat anything until Utah stops issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Another heterosexual with a false sense of sexual entitlement. Get used to it moron, homosexuality is a natural occurring phenomenon and homosexuals are tax payers and deserve equal rights under the law, that includes inheritance rights.

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You have to hand it to the right-wing noise machine.  They’re not exactly the brightest bulbs in the box.  To wit: Lead far-right Web site WorldNetDaily is now writing about growing speculation that conservative anti-gay Republican Illinois congressman Aaron Schock is gay.

Let’s just say that WorldNetDaily – one of the most-read, albeit crazy, right-wing Web sites out there – didn’t exactly do Schock any favors by repeating the allegations, and thus ensuring that the entire conservative echo chamber is now aware that there is some question in some quarters as to Schock’s sexual orientation.

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Posted via a mobile Android device.

A gay teacher at a Pennsylvania Catholic school said he was fired after he applied for a marriage license to wed his long-time partner.

Michael Griffin worked at the Holy Ghost Preparatory School for 12 years teaching French and Italian. He said that although administrators, including the principal, knew he was gay, he never had any major conflict with the Catholic administrators until Friday.

Griffin said he was fired on Friday after he had emailed administrators to tell them he was going to file for a marriage license and would be slightly late to work.

Student Sues University over LGBT Views

Griffin said the school administrators told him that the email sent on the school email server made his relationship public and therefore they had to fire him if he decided to go through with the marriage.

“He said… ‘if you go through with that I have no other choice but to fire you,'” Griffin said of the ultimatum issued by Holy Ghost Preparatory School President Father James McCloskey. “I was in shock, I had no forewarning.”

Griffin said McCloskey and other school administrators knew he was gay, but had never brought it up prior. Griffin and his partner had a civil union five years prior and he wears a wedding ring in school.

In a statement sent to ABC News from McCloskey and Holy Ghost Preparatory School, the school president said Griffin was fired for violating the terms of his contract by deciding to marry a partner of the same sex.

“Unfortunately, this decision contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment,” McCloskey said in the statement. “In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony. Regretfully, we informed Mr. Griffin that we have no choice but to terminate his contract effective immediately.”

Griffin said he has not decided whether he will discuss his termination with a lawyer, but was incredibly saddened by the administrators’ actions.

Catholic School Administrator Fired for Supporting Gay Marriage

Griffin, who also attended Holy Ghost Preparatory School and was raised Catholic, said he loved teaching at the school. Griffin said he has only heard positive messages from faculty and students.

“There’s so much in it that I agree with,” Griffin said. “We talk about brotherhood with all of these people. … I feel like my parents disowned me but my brothers still stand by me.”

Lan Yueliang, who now runs an online support group for wives of gay men in China (called tongqi), was one of the speakers who shared stories at the first annual Rainbow China Forum in Hong Kong last month. It was a rare gathering of over 200 gay rights advocates from across China.

Lan said that even though she was able to help her daughter get a divorce, many other tongqi – especially those living in rural areas – did not pursue divorce for fear of social stigma.

“The point is to stop shaming gay husbands,” she said. “Parents need to support their children instead of forcing them to marry. No one benefits from such an awful situation.”

In the past decade, gay-rights groups had started to proliferate in bigger mainland cities, whereas Macau’s first such group was only established this year. In relatively gay-friendly Taiwan, on the other hand, legislators are now reviewing a same-sex marriage bill.

The forum attracted nearly a 100 mainland participants, with some from small towns and rural areas, who said that it was important for Chinese parents and family members to get involved in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement.

Social pressures to conform are so strong that sexologist Liu Dalin estimates that 90 per cent of gay and lesbian mainlanders will get married.

A speaker from Guangxi , who calls herself Moli Mama, was a representative for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays China (PFLAG China). “My daughter told me she was a lesbian nine years ago,” she said. “I was so worried. I was afraid that she would be persecuted. I thought, how would I be able to help her? That’s why I started to help organise events around the country for parents of gay children.

“Last year, 10 other parents and I came to Hong Kong to march in the Pride Parade. I think it means a lot for the children to see their parents marching for them.”

This year, the Guangzhou-based group, which was founded in 2008, started to turn to more high-profile strategies to draw attention to gay rights.

In February, the group sent an open letter to the National People’s Congress to ask lawmakers to legalise gay marriage.

“Our children are unable to legally form a family with their beloved partners, because of their sexual orientation, which has caused a great deal of inconvenience for them … It is incredible that gay children can legally marry members of the opposite sex even though they don’t love them,” the letter said.

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The Christian owners of a hotel in Cornwall who banned a gay couple from staying have lost their final battle in the British courts to win legal support for their selective guest policy.

The supreme court unanimously dismissed an appeal by Peter and Hazelmary Bull that their right to express their religious beliefs had been breached.

The Bulls operate a policy at their hotel, stated on their online booking form, that double bedrooms are available only to “heterosexual married couples”.

The case was originally brought by Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, a gay couple, whose booking was refused in September 2008.

The supreme court judges said that although the Bulls’ rights under the European convention on human rights to manifest their religion were at issue it was justifiable and proportionate to limit them in order to protect the rights of others.

Delivering judgment, the deputy president of the supreme court, Lady Hale, said: “Sexual orientation is a core component of a person’s identity which requires fulfilment through relationships with others of the same orientation.”

Homosexuals, she added, “were long denied the possibility of fulfilling themselves through relationships with others … This was an affront to their dignity as human beings which our law has now (some would say belatedly) recognised.

“Homosexuals can enjoy the same freedom and the same relationships as any others. But we should not under-estimate the continuing legacy of those centuries of discrimination, persecution even, which is still going on in many parts of the world.”

There was no question of replacing legal oppression of one community with legal oppression of another, she maintained. “If Mr Preddy and Mr Hall ran a hotel which denied a double room to Mr and Mrs Bull, whether on the ground of their Christian beliefs or on the ground of their sexual orientation, they would find themselves in the same situation that Mr and Mrs Bull find themselves.”

After the ruling, Hazelmary Bull said: “We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the outcome. We are just ordinary Christians who believe in the importance of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Our B&B is not just our business, it’s our home. All we have ever tried to do is live according to our own values, under our own roof.

“These beliefs are not based on hostility to anyone – we certainly bear no ill will to Steven and Martyn. Our policy is based on our sincere beliefs about marriage.

“Britain ought to be a country of freedom and tolerance, but it seems religious beliefs must play second fiddle to the new orthodoxy of political correctness.

“We appealed to the supreme court to introduce a bit more balance when dealing with competing rights of sexual orientation and religious liberty. Somehow, we have got to find a way of allowing different beliefs to coexist in our society. But the judges have sidestepped that big issue, and reinforced the notion that gay rights must trump everything else.

“What does this mean for other people in Britain who believe in traditional marriage – not just Christians, but Muslims, Jews, people of all faiths and none?”

Mike Judge, a spokesman for the Christian Institute which supported the Bulls’ appeal, said: “What this case shows is that the powers of political correctness have reached all the way to the top of the judicial tree. So much so that even the supreme court dare not say anything against gay rights.

“Lady Hale effectively said gay rights are almost untouchable because of the rulings by European judges. This ruling is another slap in the face to Christians, and shows that the elite institutions are saturated with a liberal mindset which cares little about religious freedom.

“Parliament needs to reform the law to allow a more reasonable approach which balances competing rights. Otherwise, Christianity will become the belief that dare not speak its name.”

But Wendy Hewitt, deputy legal director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, welcomed the ruling. “The courts have been very clear throughout this long-running case that same-sex couples should not be subjected to discrimination when accessing services,” she said.

“This is what parliament intended when it approved the 2007 sexual orientation regulations and then passed the Equality Act 2010, well aware that gay men and lesbians have long suffered discrimination when seeking to stay away from home as a couple. Each of these parties has the same right to be protected against discrimination by the other.”

Phil Allen, employment partner at the law firm Weightmans, said: “Where characteristics protected by equality legislation conflict, employers, and ultimately courts, face a challenging balancing act. The judgment reinforces the message that no individual may insist on manifesting their religious beliefs, whether in a commercial or employment context, where the rights of others may be impacted.”

Source.

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Bernard Randall, the British gay man charged with homosexuality-related offences in a Ugandan court, glances up sceptically when I walk into his lawyer’s chambers. His Ugandan partner, Albert Cheptoyek, sits protectively in front of him, closer to the door, on a rickety wooden bench. Cheptoyek’s white shirt illuminates his dark sweaty skin, while Randall’s oversize dull-coloured clothes match his face, making him almost invisible.

And that perhaps may just be the effect he needs to get through the ordeal of having the content of a sex tape of him and his 30-year-old partner splashed over newspapers and across the media here. And not just any media, but the media of a country that has declared homosexuality to be an evil practice, a cancer imported from the west that must be stamped out no matter what the cost.

In 2009, Ugandan MPs proposed the death penalty for certain homosexual acts. The anti-homosexuality bill was shelved after international pressure, but it remains on parliament’s order paper and could be debated and passed at any time.

In Uganda the media routinely out gay people in an attempt to “protect” the moral fabric of society. In 2010 a tabloid called the Rolling Stone printed the names and addresses of people perceived to be gay and called on the public to hang them.

Randall, 65, says that he became a victim of such an outing after his computer was stolen, a video of him and his partner leaked and pictures from it published in a tabloid. He faces the possibility of two years in prison. His partner faces the more serious charge of carrying out acts of gross indecency that carries a seven-year prison sentence.

The charges are visibly weighing down on them. Randall’s eyes, fatigued and bloodshot, have big bags under them. He involuntarily sits on the edge of the seat, as far from me as possible, protecting himself subtly with his arms. He seems to age before my eyes.

Certainly it is easy to see that Cheptoyek, perhaps more familiar with Uganda’s anti-homosexuality outbursts, is his protector. He declares there will be no interview, even though I have an appointment.

“How do I know you are who you say you are? How do I know that you are not from NTV?” he says, referring to one of the TV stations that he feels covered their story unfairly.

Their eyes are pleading. Cheptoyek asks me firmly to leave them alone. And then out of nowhere, almost weeping, he says: “We have been through so much. Those people put my photos all over the place. We do not know what to do.”

They are lost. Life after this ordeal will be almost impossible. They know that the Ugandan public, an estimated 90% of whom support the anti-homosexuality bill, will not welcome them back. Like other outed Ugandans before them, they risk threats, evictions, even death. As a result, Cheptoyek and Randall will trust only foreign journalists. Their only hope lies in the west after the country they call home – in Randall’s case, chose to call home – has become hostile beyond their imagination.

Uganda has been called the worst nation in which to be gay. It was its anti-homosexuality bill that first brought its homophobic attitudes to the attention of the world, attracting powerful criticism from Europe and America, where it was dubbed barbaric and a violation of fundamental human rights. Britain and the US both threatened to cut aid to Uganda if it passed the bill. Uganda interpreted this reaction as evidence that the west was imposing a “gay agenda” on Africa.

Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president for the last 27 years, described homosexuality as a decadent culture from the west and a threat to African values and Christianity. He showed open support for the bill but later backed down in the face of widespread international pressure. However, his ministers have continued to preach anti-gay rhetoric, urging gays to leave the country.

But Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, thinks that the accusation that the west is promoting homosexuality is misguided. “People are exaggerating the influence of foreigners in the gay rights campaign in Uganda. The same people who fund other activities fund gay rights organisations. We do not have special donors,” he says. “When we started our campaigns in 2007, we did not have any foreign funders. It was a naive gamble rather than a foreign-aided campaign.”

In fact, the greatest foreign influence in the gay rights debate in Uganda comes from the western evangelical movement that is spreading radical ideas rejected in their own countries, Mugisha says. His organisation is suing evangelist Scott Lively in a US court for his involvement in what Mugisha calls persecution of gays and abuse of their fundamental rights.

Homosexuality is a common theme in churches in Uganda, with religious leaders castigating gay people at every opportunity. The country has held national prayers against homosexuality. In 2010 a pastor, Martin Ssempa, showed videos in his church of gay people having sex in a bid to convince his congregation of the dangers and to try to trigger disgust about gays.

Funded by evangelical movements from America, anti-gay churches have linked the high prevalence of HIV and Aids in the country to homosexuality. They have accused homosexuals of going to school and “recruiting” underage children.

Mugisha says evangelists have played on the psyche of many Ugandans. “They come here with their own agenda. It is like colonialism.”

But to the ordinary Ugandan the Randall trial is yet more proof that there are foreigners who come to Uganda with one mission – to spread homosexuality. Mugisha argues that the socio-legal regime that sanctions homophobia and the idea that homosexuality is foreign has made foreigners an easy target for extortionists.

“We have seen this before. Many people blackmail white men and even rich black people known to be gay. Randall is unfortunate that his story reached the public.”

Frederick Juuko, a Ugandan law professor and critic of foreign influence in Ugandan politics, agrees that homosexuality is a pawn for many in times of desperation, including government. He says Uganda is a failed state and that blaming foreigners for homosexuality is a handy distraction.

My encounter with Randall and Cheptoyek comes to a rapid end; it is soon time for them to make their daily trip to the police station – a condition of their bail.

“We have to go and deal with this,” Cheptoyek says. They drive off, stopping after a few metres to let a guard slither into the back seat, just in case.

Norman Lamb said the practice had “no place in modern society” but the Government was not planning to ban it, he explained in a Commons debate. He was speaking after Labour MP Sandra Osborne called a special debate in Westminster Hall in which she urged ministers to impose regulation on the psychotherapy sector.

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Norman Lamb