This post has been rather popular. In fact it's my most popular post of all time, and I was touched by the genuine interest and excitement around the investigation. A recent spike in visits to the post (over 2,000 in one day last week, my thanks to @glinner) caused me to wonder if the masterminds between this cunning deception might have targeted other groups unpopular with American Republicans to create the impression of diverse support.
So I checked.
I looked for accounts recommended by @ProLifeAtheists. I focused on groups considered minorities who had a similar narrow focus on opposition to access to abortion, eschewing mention of their own group's interests, and having at least 20% shared followers with @ProLifeAtheists. With that I found Alive! Gay Pro-Life:
The Twitter StatsAs is my wont I ran a word cloud of their followers' Twitter biographies. Click for big. This gave me pause for thought - obviously both 'gay' and 'LGBT' are present. True, they are dwarfed by 'conservative', but should I rush to assumption? I don't describe myself as straight in my Twitter biography and there's nothing incongruous in considering oneself better described by ones political than sexual orientation. Arguing that Catholics are by necessity straight would also be flawed. Ditto conservative or Christian. Father, mother, husband and wife - to an extent these words are considered incongruous by some when discussing the LGBTQ community. They shouldn't be.
To check, I examined every follower, and pulled a list of every account they follow. I used this to build a matrix which showed me which accounts were most popular with the followers of Alive! Gay Pro Life:
Pontifex, the Pope's English account, comes above all others. He has described those who do not share my exclusive fetish for the opposite sex as "objectively disordered" and having a "strong tendency ordered towards an inherent moral evil".
Paul Ryan repeats his election trick of coming second, despite campaigning tirelessly against marriage equality, adoption rights, and military career options for the LGBTQ community.
Mitt Romney trails Ryan considerably, both in homophobia and ranking, managing only to oppose marriage equality and unduly inconvenience children raised by same sex couples.
Michelle Malkin follows, her energies devoted to countering marriage equality.
The gender balance is further improved by the addition of Alveda King, who opines that "Homosexuality cannot be elevated to the civil rights issue. The civil rights movement was born from the Bible. God hates homosexuality".
Ann Coulter is perhaps included because she feels that "marriage is not a civil right [for the LGBTQ community]", or that she can "talk gays out of gay marriage", or perhaps because she opposes sex education that may teach children about the "homosexual lifestyle". She makes my job easier by issuing all quotes at a talk to gay conservatives.
Pomp And CircumstanceA closer look raised suspicions further. Pro Life Atheists started tweeting on the 8th of June.
chunk theme. This was not the default theme for new blogs last year, nor is it unduly popular. (It ranks 56th among bloggers.) You can compare the font, layout and colour themes of http://alivegpn.wordpress.com/ and http://prolifeatheists.wordpress.com/ for yourself. Or I could put screenshots side by side. 'Pro Life Atheists' on top, 'Alive! Gay Pro Life' below:
I accept that this is just circumstantial evidence, but I do feel it helps build a cumulative case.
Let's Talk About Sexual IdentityLast month I raised an eyebrow at how almost every 'pro life' group in Ireland felt comfortable working with Human Life International (Ireland), a group which opposes the vaccination of children. They also endorse the harmful and damaging pseudoscience of gay conversion 'therapy', a stance shared with EWTN who coordinated the video in question. As @AliveGPN earn an occasional retweet from prominent Irish opponents to abortion access I was moderately familiar with the group, so I asked if they were willing to condemn the association:
To reiterate what I feel to be the salient points of my case, many of the accounts most popular with followers of @AliveGPN seem homophobic. AliveGPN themselves are unwilling to condemn gay conversion therapy, antivax nonsense, or working with groups that promote such foolishness. They were set up around the same time as @ProLifeAtheists (widely regarded as an AstroTurf account) and use the same blogging platform and theme. Being gay and being against access to abortion is not contradictory, and @AliveGPN does seem to have some genuine followers, but based on evidence gathered thus far it's hard to view it as an account operated in good faith.
How useful is this analysis of an ostensibly gay group by a straight guy? I think I've added some value, but I see that Ireland's premier cranky bisexualist queermo has also written on the subject. I urge you to go read.