Originally posted yesterday morning:
Let me open this by acknowledging that I’m a community member of Marriage Equality Rhode Island and the separate but associated action group Providence Equality Action Coalition (see Facebook page), who are acting as local organisers for Equality Across America. I am a longtime gay activist with a number of prior affiliations, including once moderating an LGBT discussion board when I was on the Board of Directors of Ocean State FreeNet.
Disclosure is an important part of public discourse, particularly in media and political spheres, where a person’s involvement and affiliations communicate important information about their role in subjects of discussion. While most ordinary citizens can’t be expected to fully understand this and act accordingly, in media and politics failure of disclosure is practically a crime.
In a letter in Saturday’s ProJo, one Dr. Michelle Cretella offers a mostly pointless remark in reference to the ongoing battle over gay marriage in Rhode Island. Her actual remarks demand little attention (just another reason, besides ProJo’s awful and unfriendly website, not to link it here), but her lack of disclosure does, as both she and ProJo failed to disclose that she’s on the Advisory Board for the National Organization for Marriage’s Rhode Island chapter (NOM-RI).
Readers might also care to know that Dr. Cretella is a pediatrician practicing in Hope Valley, and a member of not one, but two largely discredited professional organisations deeply opposed to same-sex marriage, gay parenting, and, to some extent, gays in general: NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (where she’s a member of their Ad Hoc Committee on Homosexuality and Scientific Research); and the American College of Pediatricians. (In fact, she’s on the Board.)
Associated with ex-gay and conversion groups Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality and Focus on the Family’s ‘Love Won Out,’ NARTH advocates therapy to help people overcome unwanted homosexuality — a position recently criticised by the American Psychological Association as possibly harmful to subjects’ mental health. The American College of Pediatricianss was set up in 2002 for those pediatricians who reject gay parenting as endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (60,000 members), and shares similar views to NARTH.
These groups feel strongly that gay parenting is unhealthy, and homosexuality in general probably is, too. It’s only natural that a pediatrician with these affiliations would oppose gay marriage, and that’s probably why Dr. Cretella has signed on with NOM-RI. But it’s still ultimately a personal position on her part, and it would be fair of her to alert readers to these affiliations.
For those curious, here’s the complete list of NOM-RI’s Advisory Board. (See note at bottom about sourcing.)
David Carlin, Ph.D.
– Former R.I. State Senator (’81-92) and once Senate Majority Leader. Author of Can a Catholic Be a Democrat?: How the Party I Loved Became the Enemy of my Religion, and The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America. Currently teaching at CCRI Newport.
– (Not sure who he is, and it’s a common name. Anyone know? A couple rumours I’ve picked up suggest that he’s either a business teacher at RIC or a business reporter in South County.)
Joseph Cavanaugh, Jr., Esq.
– R.I. native. Former hockey star and NHL Hall of Famer. Represented ProJo during Klaus von Bulow trial. Twice selected a Super Lawyer. Currently managing partner of Blish & Cavanaugh, Providence (who were a sponsor of NOM’s Marriage and Family Day). Firm currently represents ProJo in First Amendment cases. (ProJo thoughtfully did disclose this.)
– Longtime (30 years) USPS employee. Longtime Knights of Columbus member, achieving State Deputy (highest state-level office). Board of Directors for McGivney Foundation for Vocations, and Advisory Committee of Alzheimer’s Cure Foundation.
Rev. John C. Codega
– Pastor of Church of Christ the King (RCC) in Centreville, West Warwick; Chaplain of R.I. Men of St. Joseph (a men’s support group that he has likened to Promise Keepers).
Michelle Cretella, M.D.
– Pediatrician in Hope Valley. Member of NARTH and Board member of American College of Pediatricians. Outspoken critic of gay marriage and gay parenting; has written or co-written several pieces on these and related issues.
Daniel Harrop, M.D.
– Psychiatrist and president of R.I. Catholic Medical Society. Board of Ocean State Policy Research Institute (along with Sue Carcieri). Member of Knights of Columbus. Former chairman of R.I. Libertarians. Ran for Mayor of Providence as Republican (against Cicilline).
Ralph Miech, M.D., Ph.D.
– Associate Professor, Emeritus, Brown University School of Medicine Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology. Best known for supposedly discovering that Ru-486 is dangerous (though his conclusions are disputed). Has devoted his life to developing a form of conception that comports with Catholic morality.
Scott Spear, Esq.
– Partner in Blish & Cavanaugh (see above). Formerly agent for charitable Bess Eaton Foundation, before company sold out to Wendy’s. This is probably how Tim Hortons got draw into the sponsorship controversy over NOM’s Marriage and Family Day, as Tim Hortons in Rhode Island is in essence the successor to Bess Eaton. Also, the Downtown Providence branch of Tim Hortons is in the same building as NOM-RI head Christopher Plante’s law office, which serves as the contact address for NOM-RI. In The Good News Today, Plante credits the Marriage Day to Spear as his “brainchild.”
And last but certainly not least..
the Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of Providence (RCC)
– You already know him, presumably
This list is from information they provided on paper at last month’s Marriage and Family Day. It does not appear on their website (which is only one page). The only other place I’ve seen it is in the ProJo, who probably got it the same way. The bios come from my own research, and may contain errors. Corrections welcome.