Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mark Regnerus has a new "study"

Mark Regnerus
Mark Regnerus
According to Regnerus his new study (to be published in September) suggests that there is a correlation between what people’s religious affiliations forbid, with respect to sex and marriage, and their behavior. This raises some questions and warrants a revisit to Regnerus' prior bullshit research.

In 2012 Regnerus published his “New Family Structures” study which was funded by extreme conservative Catholic organizations (Regnerus is a Catholic convert). The groups that provided the grant claimed that Regnerus proved that gay parenting injured children. That conclusion was arrived at prior to the  study. The intent of these groups was to influence the Supreme Court. When Regnerus was vilified by the scientific community NOM claimed that he was the victim of evil homosexuals. Brian Brown, head of National Organization for Marriage even had the balls to make the claim to Dan Savage during their infamous dinner together.

For the sake of simplicity, if we put aside all of the peripheral issues and conflicts of interest, the study looked at adults who;
  1. Were raised by a heterosexual couple where one spouse cheated on the other with a same-sex paramour and;
  2. Knew that one of their parents was being unfaithful with their same-sex extra-marital affair. When they knew remains unknown.
In other words, Regnerus studied dysfunctional families and claimed that this had something to do with gay parenting. It's preposterous nonsense that pleased National Organization for Marriage and the bishops but was rejected elsewhere. They keep trotting out this thing at every opportunity to qualify marriage discrimination. In March of this year, Bernard Feldman, US judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, concluded:
The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.”
With respect to Regnerus' latest offering:
  • Given Regnerus' poor reputation in the professional community, who on earth would give him a grant?
  • Who would believe his findings?
  • Does anyone in the scientific or academic communities even care about how religious proscriptions affect sex and marriage?
  • Regnerus made his remarks to a conference of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. The focus of the conference was “how the gospel shapes our sexual identities, redeems sexual desire and sets free those who are held captive to sin’s bondage.”I think that we have a pretty good idea who they deem "captives." Why is he offering authoritative commentary that won't be published for another five months?
  • Is Regnerus even capable of doing research while remaining agnostic to the outcome.
I suspect that Regnerus is funded, yet again, by religious conservatives (possibly ERCL) to "prove" their relevance as they are increasingly marginalized. Once again, the "investigator" will probably work backwards and create a study methodology that insures a predetermined outcome.
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