Monday, April 15, 2013

C-FAM's Austin Ruse feeds the right wing Catholic echo chamber on Regnerus

Austin Ruse
Austin Ruse is president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM). His wife, Cathleen Cleaver, works for the hate group, Family Research Council. Ruse is a Knight in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Knight in the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and is a founding member of the Diplomatic Society of St. Gabriel. You get the picture.

Ruse sends out a "Friday Fax" which has evolved into a Friday email. Last Friday's missive is titled Social Science Study Still Spooking Gay Advocates. LifesiteNews has regurgitated their version as Media still lying about Mark Regnerus' report; NOM's version (in their weekly propaganda) is preceded by How Truth is Suppressed. I am sure that there are other transmitters as well. Ruse begins:
Homosexual advocates seem obsessed by a social science study that goes against them. They say the research is unimportant but can’t stop talking about it.
If LGBT activists seem obsessed with the Regnerus study; If it seems that we cannot stop "talking about it," that is because the findings of the study are repeatedly misrepresented by people like Ruse who don't like gay people very much.  Simply stated (with a little help from Regnerus's professional organization, the ASA, in their amicus brief):
The Regnerus Study Offers No Basis for Conclusions About Same-Sex Parents

First, the Regnerus study does not specifically examine children born or adopted into same-sex parent families, but instead examines children who, from the time they were born until they were 18 or moved out, had a parent who at any time had “a same-sex romantic relationship.” Regnerus 2012a at 752. As Regnerus noted, the majority of the individuals characterized by him as children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” were the offspring of failed opposite- sex unions whose parent subsequently had a same-sex relationship. Id. In other words, Regnerus did not study or analyze the children of two same-sex parents.

Second, when the Regnerus study compared the children of parents who at one point had a “same-sex romantic relationship,” most of whom had experienced a family dissolution or single motherhood, to children raised by two biological, married opposite-sex parents, the study stripped away all divorced, single, and stepparent families from the opposite-sex group, leaving only stable, married, opposite-sex families as the comparison.

... as long as an adult child believed that he or she had had a parent who had a relationship with someone of the same sex, then he or she was counted by Regnerus as having been “raised by” a parent in a same-sex relationship.
On June 10, 2012, the Washington Times misrepresented the findings (with a little help from Regnerus):
Using a new, “gold standard” data set of nearly 3,000 randomly selected American young adults, Mr. Regnerus looked at their lives on 40 measures of social, emotional and relationship outcomes.

He found that, when compared with adults raised in married, mother-father families, adults raised by lesbian mothers had negative outcomes in 24 of 40 categories, while adults raised by gay fathers had negative outcomes in 19 categories.

Findings such as these do not support claims that there are “no differences” between gay parenting and heterosexual, married parents, said Mr. Regnerus, who helped develop the New Family Structures Study at the university.
For their part, National Organization for Marriage provided a handy chart on June 11:


There was nothing in the Regnerus study that allowed NOM to compare "Two Moms." Yet, this false narrative was repeated by NOM over and over and over again. By September of 2012, Regnerus was a victim of liberal elites. On September 10, according to Jim Daly, head of Focus on the Family:
Professor Regnerus wasn’t being attacked because his research lacked academic rigor – in fact, his peer-reviewed study was by far the largest, most statistically valid study on the topic to be done. He was being attacked because his scientific findings didn’t square with the liberal perspective. When it comes to this topic of homosexual parenting, numerous other studies have been published that utilized all kinds of sloppy techniques, all intended to generate a desired outcome – that children do just fine in homosexual households. None of the professors who have conducted those studies have been subjected to similar investigations, even though their bias is obvious and their work deeply flawed.
I am only surprised that Daly didn't use the phrase "gold standard" which seems to have been in the Witherspoon Institute press release.  In October Ed Meese claimed that Regnerus was a victim of "liberal intolerance."

Conjecturally, Opus Dei, via Witherspoon, financed and helped to design this study. Their intent was to prove that gays are unsuitable parents and to influence the US Supreme Court. Witherspoon pretended that the results were as intended rather than what was actually determined. For his part, Regnerus dishonestly repeated the talking points that he knew were incorrect. Just this month, Bill Keller of the New York Times wrote:
Regnerus, when I talked to him, conceded that his study compared apples and oranges, because “I didn’t have oranges.” He was unable to articulate what bearing his study had on gay marriage except that it “paints the reality of people’s lives as fairly complicated.”
That about sums it up. Regnerus, himself, concedes that his study group did not have the intended constituency. I don't know when Keller spoke with Regnerus but I gather it was recently.

What makes this all the more remarkable is that none of this has anything to do with marriage equality. That was clearly the intended purpose. Gay men and women adopt children without parents. Some lesbians might use artificial insemination. However, there is no way to correlate an increase in artificial insemination to marriage. Furthermore, single women and married couples choose to have children through the same method which denies the child a biological father.

Therefore, Mr. Ruse, there are two simple ways to get gays to stop talking about Regnerus.
  1. Shut up or;
  2. Represent the findings correctly.

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