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Opinion: How Anti-Gay Regnerus ‘Study’ Was Corrupted By NOM From Beginning To End

by Scott Rose on June 13, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,Marriage,Opinion,Religion,Scott Rose

Mark Regnerus‘s recently-released, anti-gay, Republican political propaganda was a trap set by the malicious anti-gay bigots at the National Organization for Marriage.

Where NOM intended to trap people, and, so far, has largely succeeded in trapping people, is in getting them to blah-blah-blah about the details of Regnerus’s junk findings, instead of talking very pointedly about the genesis of the junk.

If you have not yet read an insightful debunking of Regnerus’s garbage, you could go here.

My object, though, is to expose Regnerus’s “study” as a total fraud and a hateful election year political stunt.

NOM’s mastermind Robert George, as happens, also is the mastermind of Regnerus’s anti-gay political propaganda masquerading unjustifiably as “social science.”

Robert George’s virulent, medieval anti-gay biases are already very well known. George is an author of the gay-bashing Manhattan Declaration, which essentially is an anti-Obama election document. George also is an author of the gay-bashing NOM pledge, signed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

For his service towards the Republican goal of evicting the LGBT-friendly President Obama from the White House, Robert George was rewarded by House Speaker John Boehner, who appointed him to the egregiously misnamed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The bitter irony should be lost on nobody that in the United States, Robert George is working tirelessly to deprive clergy who wish to marry same-sex couples of their religious freedom right to do so.

Now, here is how we know that Regnerus’s junk study is corrupted by NOM from beginning to end:

1) The study was funded in part by The Witherspoon Institute, where NOM’s Robert George is a Senior Fellow;
2)  The study was further funded by The Bradley Foundation, where NOM’s Robert George is a Board member:

In other words, NOM’s Robert George, the most malevolent and determined of all American political gay bashers, arranged for the funding of Regnerus’s study. Reportedly, Robert George got Mark Regnerus three-quarters of a million dollars to do the study. You read that right: three-quarters of  a million dollars. Now ask yourselves; who picked Regnerus to do the deed? If Robert George got the funding for this study, do you think that Robert George subsequently had no say in who would carry the study out — not to mention — how they would carry it out?

This study was not funded and otherwise arranged for out of pure scientific curiosity. NOM’s Robert George had specific, ill-intentioned anti-gay political goals in funding the study and controlling how the study was carried out and promoted to the public. This is not science, this is not scholarship; this is anti-minority political hate propaganda.

It must be noted that on his Trinity Christian College bio, Mark Regnerus, an Evangelical, says that he thinks his “Christian” faith should inform his research and every other aspect of his work.

Regnerus’s junk study was announced with great fanfare, and an accompanying, anti-gay families editorial, in the LDS Church’s Deseret News. The Deseret News attempts to lend unwarranted respectability to Regnerus’s corrupt junk study, by saying that the study was published in a journal, Social Science Research. (More on this topic later).

READ: NOM Founder And Mormon Church Tied To First Report Of New Anti-Gay Parenting Paper

Nowhere does the Deseret News mention that the study was funded under the direction of NOM’s Robert George.

Nor do Deseret News reports — and anti-gay-leaning editorials — about Regnerus’s junk propaganda even bother to mention that NOM’s Robert George is on The Deseret News’s Editorial Board. Having arranged funding for the study, and having had a say in directing the political aims of the study, NOM’s Robert George also was able to dictate his NOM blog’s and Deseret News’s editorializing about the study.

In all the many ways and places — including the NOM blog — that the anti-gay NOMzi Republicans have been promoting Regnerus’s junk study —  for which, it cannot be said often enough — NOM’s Robert George arranged the funding — no NOMzi ever mentions that NOM’s Robert George arranged the funding.

What else have the gay-bashing NOMzis rolled out for this hate-filled propaganda blitz?

And in a related question, who went running to venues like ABC with the news of this study? Networks do not pick up on fake social science out of the blue. Who, connected with NOM’s Robert George and with Regnerus, brought the study to the networks’ attentions? Was it NOM’s public relations firm? Or was it Regnerus’s publicists? You have to bear in mind that most studies heretofore done on the subject showed that children raised by same-sex parents do well overall. The vicious gay-bashing NOMzis hated that, and wanted to do something about it. Now, without so much as even eating a dinner with a gay couple and their children, the NOMzis have paid an extravagant sum in order to carry out an attack against all gay parents as a class.

In addition to paying for Regnerus’s study, had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry out the study, and arranging for the study to be heavily promoted through venues over which NOM’s Robert George has editorial control, anti-gay bigots simultaneously coordinated with Dr. Loren Marks, who is alleging, basically, that all previously-reported positive measures of same-sex parents are false.

Why is this Dr. Marks not to be trusted, ever, on matters involving gay human beings?

Marks holds undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Brigham Young University, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The BYU “Honor Code” prohibits all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings (while there is no such restriction against expressing heterosexual feelings). Additionally, BYU has this as official policy: No one may advocate homosexuality or promote homosexual relations as being morally acceptable.

Marks previously was lined up by NOM’s anti-gay thugs to testify, essentially against gay parents, in a Proposition 8 related case, even though he had no experience studying or working with same-sex parents. A transcript of Marks’s deposition in the case shows that under questioning, he admitted that he had cherry-picked information convenient to his anti-gay arguments out of the studies he relied on, that he neither read those studies in their entirety, nor knew anything whatsoever about same-sex parents, and that his presumptions were based on his theologically-fueled prejudice against gay people. The witness stand was a lonely place for Marks to tell his anti-gay lies; in the matter of this study, he is not at all under oath, nor is Regnerus, or NOM’s Robert George.

In sum, it is no mere coincidence that Marks’s and Regnerus’s anti-gay political propaganda is appearing at the same time and is being very aggressively promoted by the same sleazy cast of gay-bashing theocratic characters.

Marks’s sleazebag political slap at gay parents appeared in the same online “journal,” as Regnerus’s junk, “Social Science Research.”

Why nobody else has asked whether the Regnerus and Marks studies were peer reviewed, and if so, who those peers might have been, I do not know. According to the site’s “Peer Review Policy,” the editors “welcome suggestions for referees from the author(s).” “Referees” would be those who review the papers for scientific soundness and integrity prior to publication. Who were the “referees” for the Regnerus and Marks junk studies? Did the editors allow Regnerus and Marks to recommend their own referees? Were palms greased?

I sent Social Science Research head editor James Wright an e-mail, asking what vetting methods he used towards being certain that Regnerus was behaving ethically in carrying out and submitting his study to the publication. The financing of the study combined with the known, nasty political motives of the NOMzi who arranged the financing — in an election year — should disqualify the junk from any serious consideration. Nowhere does Social Science Research report that NOM’s Robert George 1) arranged for the funding of Regnerus’s study; or that he 2) had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry out the study, apparently towards fulfillment of; 3) a specific, gay-bashing political goal. How — How? – was this project at all ethical?

In an e-mail, Wright neglected to say whether Regnerus and Marks were permitted to select the evaluators of their own studies. Wright also did not say just who evaluated the studies prior to publication. It appears entirely possible that the Regnerus and the Marks studies were reviewed by persons who share their theologically-motivated anti-gay biases. So far, Wright is not providing this crucial information; who reviewed those two studies? Wright has been involved in books seemingly promoting, and studies of so-called “Covenant Marriage.” Here is a typical sentence from his writings: “[T]his first analysis shows that (1) the beneficial effects of covenant marriage are tied largely to religiosity, and specifically the wife’s religiosity.” One political supporter of “Covenant Marriage” is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group. The SPLC classifies groups as hate groups when they engage in patterns of deliberate lie-telling against a minority. In this paper, Wright and his co-authors used the phrase “the threat of gay marriage as a potentially destructive influence on the institution of marriage.” In that paper, Wright and his co-authors refer to efforts to “strengthen heterosexual marriage” as though same-sex couples’ marrying did anything to weaken “heterosexual marriage.” They also write about the “promotion of heterosexual marriage” when what they mean evidently is political opposition to same-sex marriage rights.

Something certainly smells funny, that Wright simultaneously published two anti-gay attack studies carried out by anti-gay theocrats, for election year use by the anti-gay political monsters of NOM.

Regnerus teaches at the University of Texas, Austin. I asked a spokesperson for Randy Diehl, Dean of the UT College of Liberal Arts, if he honestly believes that Regnerus’s study was carried out with academic integrity. I explained how the study was funded, and what NOM’s Robert George’s political intentions are against gay people. Dean Diehl gave a highly disigenuous, CYA response through his spokesperson. He did not at all acknowledge that NOM’s Robert George had funded Regnerus’s junk study, with pre-set anti-gay political aims. But he did blah-blah-blah at me about the need for different points of view to be explored.

That is a total cop out, and an abdication of Dean Diehl’s duty to uphold academic integrity. A university should not be a lies and propaganda factory, where scientific method can be flushed down the toilet to fulfill the demands of deep-pocketed gay-bashing monsters. The University of Texas, Austin handbook has a great deal to say about the topic of “Academic Dishonesty.” The relevant sections all specify that not all forms of disallowed academic dishonesty are described in the handbook. But there is one striking phrase that without question applies to the Regnerus NOM-funded junk study.  The school forbids “providing false or misleading information in an effort to injure another academically or financially.”

The NOMzis are absolute world champions in pumping out misinformation – (and, now, this “study,” and Regnerus’s and NOM’s uses of it contain heaping servings of misinformation) – in deliberate attempts to do injury to other people they do not even know. One NOMzi goal, we must now remember, is to get annulled by force the marriages of every last currently-married same-sex American couple. Robert George finds no success, attempting to prove in a court that marriage equality does him or anybody else a personal damage, and increasingly, Republican as well as Democratic judicial appointees are ruling against anti-gay discriminatory laws, so George and his bigot thugs have to resort to dishonest hate speech propaganda campaigns to try to motivate the electorate against a minority.

NOM and Robert George have widely announced goals of strengthening the institutionalized financial disadvantaging of LGBT Americans. NOM and George are opposed to such measures as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would help to protect LGBTers’ rights to freedom from workplace discrimination. The Regnerus junk study and the deeply dishonest manner in which the evangelical Regnerus presented it to the public manifestly violates everything in the spirit and letter of the UTA description of “Academic Integrity.

In this context, it must not go ignored that I have long deplored the Trustees of Princeton University, including Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman for looking the other way when Professor Robert George, who brings a lot of right wing money to the school’s vicinity, violates Princeton’s “Rules, Rights and Responsibilities” by publishing anti-gay lies as quack scholarship with the Princeton name attached to the lies.

It is hardly a surprise that NOM’s Robert George did not hesitate to exert a corrupting political anti-gay influence on an academic in a different university.

The words in Regnerus’s junk study — and in Marks’s equal heap of anti-gay junk — should not be dignified by repeating them in order to rebut them.

That NOM’s Robert George funded the Regnerus anti-gay political propaganda, had control over picking the evangelical Regnerus to carry it out, and used venues over which he had editorial control to push the study, without ever disclosing that he had arranged for its funding, is the only thing one really needs to know.

The whole episode is shameful, and yet — surprise to end all surprises — NOM’s Robert George, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown and Thomas Peters know no shame.

An e-mail was sent to Mark Regnerus, asking if he is acknowledging how his study got funded through NOM’s Robert George to the tune of three-quarters of a million dollars — a windfall for domestic, non-foreign social sciences — and if he is acknowledging George’s long-established, virulent anti-gay bias. As of publication, Regnerus had not given me the courtesy of a reply. Some “scientist” Regnerus is.

Do not bother looking for any integrity in NOM or in Regnerus; they have none.

New York City– based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT– interest by– line has appeared on Advocate .com, PoliticusUSA .com, The New York Blade, Queerty .com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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Str8Grandmother June 13, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Everyone NEEDS to understand that Dr. Regenerus did NOT study families with mommy+ mommy or daddy+daddy. In fact he only found out of his whole sampling, TWO straight up lesbian women who raised children and in an e-mail to me he says these children turned out GREAT! And he found no daddy+daddy.

Dr. Regenerus's Respondents were raised in a MIXED ORIENTATION MARRIAGE (MOM), or a MIXED ORIENTATION SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. A MOM is where one spouse is gay and one spouse is straight. That is who responded to this survey people who had parents in a MOM. Regnerus confirms that he found only 2 Respondents who were raised in a straight up lesbian or straight up gay home. Here is part of his e-mail to me which he asked me to post.

[snip]"By the way, one of the key methodological criticisms circulating is that–basically–in a population-based sample, I haven’t really evaluated how the adult children of stably-intact coupled self-identified lesbians have fared. Right? Right. And I’m telling you that it cannot be feasibly accomplished. It is a methodological (practical) impossibility at present, for reasons I describe: they really didn’t exist in numbers that could be amply obtained *randomly*. It may well be a flaw–limitation, I think–but it is unavoidable. We maxxed Knowledge Networks’ ability, and no firm is positioned to do better. It would have cost untold millions of dollars, and still may not generate the number of cases needed for statistical analyses.[end snip] You can read the full e-mail exchange here-

We know that only 1/3 of Mixed Orientation Marriages attempt to stay together after disclosure and of that 1/3, only half manage to stay together for 3 years or more (and it goes really down hill after 7 years).

FWIW I agree with Dr. Regnerus Mixed Orientation Marriages (or Mixed Orientation Sexual Relationships) that produce children are VERY BAD for the children. And that is what his study proves. It does not attempt and does NOT assess the outcomes of children raised by 2 loving moms or 2 loving dads. It.Does.Not.

This pic by Rob Tisnai depicts this research perfectly. I know he will let you re-post it.

Robroberts2009 June 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm

NOMS lying and duplicity will and are catching up with them. The recent finding that NOM seeks to create a race war and drive a wedge between gays and blacks has horribly backfired on NOM. Witness the NAACPs recent endorsement of same sex marraige. NOM has succeeded in making blacks and gays unstoppable allies.

Scott_Rose June 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Anti-Semitism Also Part Of NOM’s Hateful Wedge Strategies

Scott_Rose August 5, 2012 at 1:46 am

Hello: Please consider signing and sharing this petition. The petition demands that the Editorial Board of the journal Social Science Research retract the notorious, invalid, defamatory, anti-gay Regnerus gay-parenting “study.” According to the journal’s own Peer Review Policy, it takes MONTHS for the editor to locate experts to carry out peer review of submissions on esoteric topics like gay parenting. But, SSR’s editor James Wright did NOT get topic experts, the BIGOTS he had do the peer review had CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, and Regnerus’s submission was accepted for publication in only 5 ½ weeks, LESS TIME than the journal usually spends just to LOCATE expert peer reviewers. Be sure to read the full petition text inside the petition at this link:

ucfollies June 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

This blog by Scott Rose offers important information about the source of funds for Mark Regnerus' study. Just as drug studies now have to state who financed them, social science studies should be more transparent about their financial source. However, the article is spoiled by the tone and name calling used by the author. The piece would have gained in impact had it been written in clear prose without words like "lying" "shameful" "junk study". Scott Rose should know by now that if he supplies the facts, we (the readers) will supply the outrage on our own.

Scott_Rose August 5, 2012 at 1:48 am

When it is verified that people are lying, it is accurate to report that they are lying. Regnerus's study is junk. It is also shameful. His funders have long, documented histories of knowingly distorting the scientific record to demonize gay people in political contexts.

TomTallis June 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm

One correction. Regnerus is a recent convert to Roman Catholocism which adds to the connection with Robert George.

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