The anti-gay parenting “study” produced by Mark Regnerus (image) of the University of Texas at Austin was created to influence the Supreme Court against supporting same-sex marriage, a report by the American Independent states. This confirms all the reports The New Civil Rights Movement has published on the Regnerus study, and reports by many other media outlets.
The Regnerus study claimed to find that adult children raised by same-sex couples fare far wore than their peers raised by intact heterosexually-married parents, but in fact studied few adult children raised by same-sex couples. The Regnerus study called these parents gay dads and lesbian moms, but in the vast majority of cases the children were not raised by same-sex couples, and the only “proof” of a perent’s sexuality the study required was asking a question if a respondent ever even thought one or both of their biological parents had ever had a same-sex relationship.
“The conservative funders who bankrolled a flawed and widely cited academic study that’s critical of gay marriage choreographed its release in time to influence major decisions of the Supreme Court,’ documents show,” Sofia Resnick at the American Independent reports in a Huffington Post article published last night, (which is now also available here):
The documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement.
The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
James Wright, editor of Social Science Research, which published the study’s findings last summer, said he was not aware of the funders’ intentions to use his academic journal to sway the Supreme Court.
Wright may have been unaware, but as The New Civil Rights Movement’s Scott Rose extensively reported, Wright’s actions enabled the study’s quick publication amid irregular circumstances and conflicts of interest that should have raised red flags.
Rose in September of last year reported:
According to Dr. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute, the mere fact that peer reviewers had conflicts of interest means that the Regnerus study did not have valid peer review. Gates is seconded in that opinion by Vanderbilt University Sociologist Tony N. Brown, Editor of the American Sociological Association’s American Sociological Review, who has said: “journal editors should always seek knowledgeable reviewers who do not have any conflict of interest regarding the submitted author or the study’s funder.” (Bolding added).
Gates further says: “We need to get answered the question about why the Regnerus study was published in a rush, with no valid peer review. Other issues surrounding the Regnerus and Marks studies may be interesting, but the core question relates to the fact that the study was published in a suspicious rush without valid peer review. What caused Social Science Research‘s editor-in-chief James Wright to publish this study in a rush, without valid peer review? We need that question answered.”
Resnick’s extensive article adds:
A letter Tellez wrote to the Bradley Foundation’s Vice President for Programs Dan Schmidt shows that Teller not only anticipated what the study would find, but also intended to use it to sway policy.
“As you know, the future of the institution of marriage at this moment is very uncertain,” Tellez wrote in the letter, dated April 5, 2011. “It is 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. That is what the NFSS is designed to do. Our first goal is to seek the truth, whatever that may turn out to be. Nevertheless, we are confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study as long as it is done honestly and well.”
As Tellez noted in the letter, the Bradley Foundation had already contributed to the planning stage of the New Family Structures Study through a 2010 grant given to Witherspoon for a project on marriage and sexual ethics. In his letter, Tellez asked the foundation for $200,000 more to go toward the New Family Structures research. In his request he noted the urgency of getting the study published – before the data had even been collected.
“The [University of Texas at Austin’s Population Research] Center has requested that The Witherspoon Institute work with it in raising the necessary funds, and given the importance of the project, the Institute has committed to doing so, with Dr. Mark Regnerus’ assistance,” Tellez wrote, “We are quite sure that if we do not intervene, the project will not be funded in a timely fashion. And this is a project where time is of the essence.”
Tellez went on to explain that the crux of the New Family Structures Study – whether kids raised by gay parents fare as well as those raised by straight parents – “is the question that must now be answered – in a scientifically serious way – by those who are in favor of traditional marriage.”
The complete report is now available here.
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