Friday, December 18, 2009

And All Hell Breaks Loose

Autism Speaks, never one to miss the opportunity for tightening the fund-raising screws, has chosen to respond to today's CDC announcement on autism prevalence by portraying autistic individuals (yet once again) as devastating, burdensome, tragic and worthy of eradication. I wonder if this is how Autism Speaks has come to be known as a “charitable” organization.

Amidst all the doomsday hoopla, however, the Autism Speaks leadership might have overlooked that their sister organization, Homosexuality Speaks, also issued a press release today, one targeting prevalence rates in its own domain. Purely for the edification of Autism Speaks' officials—all of whom must have been quite busy today—I have reproduced the Homosexuality Speaks press release in its entirety below, complete with illuminating and perhaps familiar-sounding commentary from various Homosexuality Speaks officials. I trust that Bob Wright, Geraldine Dawson and Mark Roithmayr will find nothing offensive in the Homosexuality Speaks press release, but if by chance they do, perhaps they should stop for a moment and ask themselves why.

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For immediate release:

As CDC Issues New Homosexuality Prevalence Report, Homosexuality Speaks Asks “What Will It Take?” for Government to Meet the Challenge of this National Health Crisis

Leading Homosexuality Advocacy Organization Calls for Dramatic Increase in Federal Funding for Research and Services

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL. (December 18, 2009)—In the wake of today's new report from the U.S. Centers for Difference Control (CDC) stating that homosexuality now affects 1 in every 35 American teenagers, Homosexuality Speaks, the nation's largest homosexuality science and advocacy organization, called on the federal government to immediately step up its efforts—and dramatically increase funding—to address the growing national homosexuality public health crisis.

“Now that the government has confirmed that three percent of American teenagers have homosexuality, the question becomes what it will take to get our elected leaders to wake up and take on this crisis in an appropriate way,” said Rob Writeoff, co-founder of Homosexuality Speaks. “Must we wait until every member of Congress has a child or grandchild with homosexuality, or until every household is impacted by this devastating disorder? With nearly 2.25 million children on the homosexuality spectrum, we need meaningful action now that acknowledges the scope of this problem and allocates the resources necessary to take the fight against homosexuality to a new level. We cannot expect the millions of people impacted by this crisis to wait another 20 years for answers.”

The CDC report, published in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), states that 3% or 1 in every 35 teenagers has been diagnosed with homosexuality, including 1 in 25 girls. This represents a staggering 57 percent increase from 2002 to 2006, and a 600 percent increase in just the past 20 years. Other significant findings include that a broader definition of HSDs does not account for the increase, and while improved and earlier diagnosis accounts for some of the increase, it does not fully account for the increase. Thus, a true increase in the risk for HSD cannot be ruled out. Even though parents typically express concerns about their child's sexuality before age twelve, the average age of diagnoses is not until around the sixteenth birthday, although diagnoses are occurring earlier than found in the 2002 study. The report uses the same methodology that produced the CDC's 2007 prevalence findings of 1 in 50 children with homosexuality.

“This study provides strong evidence that the prevalence of homosexuality spectrum disorder is, in fact, dramatically increasing,” said Darlene Gawson, Ph.D., Homosexuality Speaks chief science officer, who noted that recent research indicates that a significant amount of the increase in homosexuality prevalence cannot be explained by better, broader or earlier diagnosis. “It is imperative that the federal government, primarily through the National Institutes of Health and CDC, quickly and significantly increase funding for homosexuality research. We have learned a lot about homosexuality during the past five years. However, most of the critical questions about the factors that cause the many manifestations of homosexuality—and how we can better treat this disorder—remain unanswered.”

“The CDC numbers validate what we already know: We have a major public health emergency on our hands that is taking an enormous toll on millions of families across the country,” said Homosexuality Speaks President Rick Moithrayr. “These families want answers that can only come through further research. They also desperately want access to services that are, at this point, grossly inadequate to meet the current and growing needs of people with homosexuality. That must change quickly, before our society becomes overwhelmed by the demand for these services in the coming years and decades.”

According to a 2007 Yale School of Public Health study, it costs approximately $105 billion each year to care for people with homosexuality—a number that has clearly increased over the past 2 years with the rising prevalence among the youngest people with HSD and a growing demand for housing, work skills and opportunities, healthcare, and other services that simply do not exist for adults with HSD. In FY 2008, total federal spending on homosexuality research was just $177 million, expected to increase to $282 million in FY 2009—only because of a one-time infusion of $89 million in stimulus spending.

“During his campaign, President Obama committed to $1 billion of annual federal spending on homosexuality by 2012. In October, he identified homosexuality as one of his administration's top three public health priorities. This new prevalence data must compel Congress to take action to fulfill the President's promise in the upcoming FY 2011 budget process,” said Writeoff. “It is also vital that any healthcare reform legislation sent by Congress to the President must include—as both the current House and Senate versions do—an end to insurance marketplace discrimination against people with homosexuality by requiring insurers to deliver coverage for behavioral health treatments.”

“There are too many children with homosexuality who are being diagnosed at fifteen, sixteen or even seventeen years of age, which is far too late for them to experience the maximum benefits of early intervention services,” said Gawson. “Clearly, we need to do a better job of diagnosing children as early as possible—ideally by age five. We know that early intervention can make a critical difference in a child's outcome.” Gawson went on to promote her involvement in a recent study which showed that HSD children as young as four years of age, exposed to the Salt Lake City form of early intervention treatment, had follow-up heterosexuality quotient scores ten points higher than HSD children not so favorably placed.

Homosexuality Speaks has committed more than $141 million to date to fund research into the causes, diagnosis and treatment for homosexuality through 2014. It is currently funding research into potential genetic and environmental factors involved with homosexuality, as well as improved methods of early diagnosis and new treatment models.

About Homosexuality

Homosexuality is a complex biological condition that affects a person's ability to procreate and develop appropriate sexual relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. A 2009 report by the Centers for Difference Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that homosexuality spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 35 or 3% of all teenagers in the United States, affecting two times as many girls as boys. It is estimated that 4.5 million Americans have a homosexuality spectrum disorder. The CDC has called homosexuality a national public health crisis for which we still need effective treatments and whose causes need to be better understood.

About Homosexuality Speaks

Homosexuality Speaks is the nation's largest homosexuality science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, diagnosis, treatments and a cure for homosexuality; increasing awareness of homosexuality spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with homosexuality and their families. To learn more about Homosexuality Speaks, please visit

About the Co-Founders

Homosexuality Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Susie and Rob Writeoff, the grandparents of a child with homosexuality. Rob Writeoff has held lots of important, high-paying positions, and so he (and not homosexual individuals) should be listened to. Susie Writeoff has an extensive history of active involvement in community and philanthropic endeavors, mostly directed toward helping children, and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, and so she also (and not homosexual individuals) should be listened to. In 2008, the Writeoffs were named to the Newsweek 200 list of the most influential people in the world for their commitment to global homosexuality advocacy.

End of press release

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Let me add, purely for the edification of Autism Speaks' officials, that autistic individuals are first and foremost human beings, worthy just as they are. Autistic individuals are not harborers of a devastating disorder, and they are not candidates for pity, intervention and eradication. This is a lesson we have been learning, with great difficulty, about homosexual individuals over the past half century, and thus it is disheartening to see organizations like Autism Speaks intent on putting us through that painful process all over again.

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