A University of Utah professor who specializes in the study of affectional bonds and same-sex sexuality is accusing House Speaker John Boehner’s legal team of distorting her research.
Professor Lisa A. Diamond, whose work was cited by the legal team arguing on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives that the Defense of Marriage Act is constitutional, filed a declaration in federal court stating that the legal team “misconstrues and distorts my research findings, which do not support the propositions for which BLAG cites them.”
The legal team chosen by Boehner, headed by former Solicitor General Paul Clement, quoted Diamond as writing that there “is currently no scientific or popular consensus on the exact constellation of experiences that definitively ‘qualify’ an individual as lesbian, gay, or bisexual” as support for their claim that sexual orientation isn’t immutable.
“That is incorrect,” writes Diamond. “My quoted statement concerns the scientific and popular debates over the defining characteristics of LGBT individuals and it says nothing whatsoever about the immutability of sexual orientation itself.”
Diamond also takes issue with Clement’s team citing a quote from one of her articles which states that 50 percent of respondents “had changed their identity label more than once since first relinquishing their heterosexual identity.”
Writes Diamond: “This quoted statement refers to sexual identity labels (i.e., how individuals describe and interpret their sexuality), and not to sexual orientation.” She writes that neither that article nor her other published work support their claim that many people who experience sexual attraction to members of the same sex later cease to experience that sexual attraction.
“I am providing these clarifications of my work on a scientific basis, and I have no other interest or involvement in this case,” Diamond wrote.
Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.