John M. Becker

Mark Regnerus Watch: Utah, Michigan

Filed By John M. Becker | February 12, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: amendment, constitutional amendment, gay marriage, gay parenting, junk science, lawsuit, LGBT parents, Mark Regnerus, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, Michigan, same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting, UCF, Utah

mark_regnerus.jpgUniversity of Texas researcher Mark Regnerus, the ideologically compromised author of an infamous and widely-discredited "study" that falsely claims to show that children of same-sex couples do worse than those of opposite-sex couples, is still peddling his junk science in courtrooms across the country.

The latest place he's turning up is in Utah, where Regnerus and a handful of other self-styled "experts" filed a brief asking the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to side with anti-gay Republican Governor Gary Herbert and uphold the state's constitutional marriage discrimination amendment. Unsurprisingly, the brief leans heavily on Regnerus's scientifically bankrupt "research."

Joe Jervis breaks down the background of two of the other "experts":

Another familiar name on the Utah brief is Professor Douglas Allen, of Canada's Simon Fraser University. Allen sits on the board of directors of NOM's former hate-satellite, the Ruth Institute. Allen is a supporter of Regnerus and claims to have analyzed a 2000 census and come to the conclusion that "children being raised by same-sex couples are 35% less likely to make normal progress through school."

Also signing the brief is Professor Joseph Price from Utah's Brigham Young University. Last year Price and four other (presumably Mormon) members of the Brigham Young social sciences faculty filed an anti-gay SCOTUS brief against the overturn of DOMA. Their brief denounced the APA's position that gay people make fine parents. From the brief: "Boys who do not regularly experience the love, discipline, and modeling of a good father are more likely to engage in what is called 'compensatory masculinity' where they reject and denigrate all that is feminine and instead seek to prove their masculinity by engaging in domineering and violent behavior." In other words, lesbian parents produce violent boys.

Regnerus has also turned up in Michigan, where the state is trying to bring him to court this month as an "expert witness" as it defends its own marriage discrimination amendment. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed a motion last week asking Judge Bernard A. Friedman to bar Regnerus from testifying, arguing that:

"Regnerus's report, opinion, and expected testimony... are unreliable... In order to be reliable, an expert's conclusions must be based on the expert's knowledge or experience in his or her discipline, rather than on substantive belief or unsupported speculation...

"Regnerus's testimony is unreliable because (A) he fails to consider "other possible causes" for his results, (B) his NFSS report is not generally accepted by the social science community, and (C) his testimony was prepared for instrumental purposes. Each of these flaws is a 'red flag' that 'caution[s] against certifying an expert

In related news, the University of Central Florida is still stonewalling in my public records lawsuit seeking documents related to the peer review and publication of Regnerus's New Family Structures Study.

Copies of Regnerus's Utah brief and the Michigan motion to disqualify him as an "expert witness" are after the jump.

Regnerus Brief

13-4178 Amicus Brief of Regnerus, et al. by Equality Case Files

Michigan Motion to Exclude Testimony of Mark Regnerus

2:12-cv-10285 #116 by Equality Case Files

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