Mark Regnerus, the author of a flawed parenting paper that attempts to claim that gay and lesbian parents not only aren’t as good as straight parents, but outright claims that gay and lesbian parents make bad parents, has drawn the criticism of not only progressives, but conservatives as well. But some conservatives — along with many liberals or progressives — find the Regnerus “study” actually proves the need for marriage to be extended to same-sex couples.
The Regnerus study, bankrolled by private conservative think tanks to the tune of almost $800,000, sets out to show the differences between the adult children of straight, married, heterosexual couples, and those of their peers raised by unmarried, same-sex (yes, homosexual) couples. But what it actually does is compare adult children of married heterosexual couples to adult children who think at some point in their childhood one of their parents had some sort of a same-sex relationship. (Frankly, since Regnerus offered any of his 3000 or so subjects noÂ definitions of what a same-sex relationship is, a blow job in the back of a VW Microbus could have qualified.)
And what it really finds is that (1) children who grew up over the past 40 years in broken homes have a harder time than children who grew up in intact homes, and therefore, (2) children need stability.
To be clear, as LiveScience writer Stephanie Pappas, writing at the Huffington Post notes:
Only two of the 1.7 percent of respondents who reported a parental same-sex relationship reported living with that couple as parents for their entire childhood, meaning that the study has little to say about gay couples who deliberately chose to parent children through donor insemination, surrogacy or other means.
Fortunately, of course, lovers of science, regardless of political perspective, have attacked the Regnerus study for its flawed methodology and brazen attempt to throw anti-gay ideology into the scientific community.
Here’s a sampling of conservatives — often cited by the anti-gay radical right — who say the Mark Regnerus paper is or may be evidence for the need for same-sex marriage. One of them is the paper’s author, Mark Regnerus, himself.
ROSS DOUTHAT: NEW YORK TIMES
Because it focuses on adult outcomes, Regnerusâ€™s study is necessarily a look backward. No matter where they lived or how they were treated by their peers, many of his subjects came of age when homosexuality was still marginalized and despised and gay marriage barely on the radar screen. The majority were born to male-female couples in which one partner later came out as gay (adding an extra layer of complexity and heartbreak), rather than being planned via adoption, sperm donation or in vitro fertilization. Almost none were raised in a single same-sex household for their entire childhood. Today the models of gay parenting have presumably shifted, the stability of gay households has presumably increased, and the outcomes for children may be shifting as well.
For the purposes of the gay marriage debate, then, any past disadvantages associated with being raised in same-sex households could easily be cited as evidence for why gay couples need full marriage rights now â€“ the better to guarantee their children, existing or potential, the stability and continuity the institution provides.
CHARLES C. W. COOKE: NATIONAL REVIEW
Moreover, given that the study is a snapshot of a time period that predated legalization of gay marriage (in some states), one might speculate that social stigma played a role in Regnerusâ€™s data, and that such stigma will have a smaller effect in future surveys. Indeed, one should concede that people could legitimately employ Regnerusâ€™s study to justify gay marriage on the grounds that societal disapproval of unmarried gay parents leads to the very instability that causes their children to experience negative outcomes: Marriage between gay partners will enhance the familyâ€™s stability and therefore be good for the children. I consider this to be a step too far â€” the high rate of divorce among gays does not suggest that same-sex households will soon be a model of stability â€” but it is worth consideration.
WILLIAM SALETAN: SLATE
What the study shows, then, is that kids from broken homes headed by gay people develop the same problems as kids from broken homes headed by straight people. But that finding isnâ€™t meaningless. It tells us something important: We need fewer broken homes among gays, just as we do among straights. We need to study Regnerusâ€™ sample and fix the mistakes we made 20 or 40 years ago. No more sham heterosexual marriages. No more post-parenthood self-discoveries. No more deceptions. No more affairs. And no more polarization between homosexuality and marriage. Gay parents owe their kids the same stability as straight parents. That means less talk about marriage as a right, and more about marriage as an expectation.
The studyâ€™s main takeaway, according to Regnerus, is that kids of gay parents have turned out differently from kids of straight parents, and not in a good way. Iâ€™m sure that conclusion will please the studyâ€™s conservative sponsors. But the methodology and findings, coupled with previous research, point to deeper differences that transcend orientation. Kids do better when they have two committed parents, a biological connection, and a stable home. If thatâ€™s good advice for straights, itâ€™s good advice for gays, too.
MARK REGNERUS: SLATE
This study arrives in the middle of a season thatâ€™s already exhibited plenty of high drama over same-sex marriage, whether itâ€™s DOMA, the presidentâ€™s evolving perspective, Prop 8 pinball, or finished and future state ballot initiatives. The political take-home message of the NFSS study is unclear, however. On the one hand, the instability detected in the NFSS could translate into a call for extending the relative security afforded by marriage to gay and lesbian couples. On the other hand, it may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and stillâ€”according to the data, at leastâ€”the safest place for a kid.
MARK REGNERUS: PATHEOS
Q: Some might say this study reveals evidence that gay and lesbian parents would benefit from access to the relative security of marriage. What are your thoughts on that?
A: Itâ€™s possible. How gay marriages would function for children is an empirical question, but itâ€™s only answerable in the future, after ample numbers of cases have accrued, after considerable time has expired, and when the respondents are old enough to speak and reflect about it, as the respondents in my study have.
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‘Scared to Death’: Trump’s Prison Panic Admission Means He Knows He’s Doomed Says Legal Expert
Reacting to a report that Donald Trump has been quizzing his attorneys about what type of prison he likely will be sent to, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner stated that is not only an indication that he knows he’s going to be convicted but also an admission of guilt.
Speaking with MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart, the attorney was asked about a recent Rolling Stone report about Trump’s prison panic.
As Rolling Stone reported, Trump asked if he’s “be sent to a ‘club fed’ style prison — a place that’s relatively comfortable, as far these things go — or a ‘bad’ prison? Would he serve out a sentence in a plush home confinement? Would government officials try to strip him of his lifetime Secret Service protections? What would they make him wear, if his enemies actually did ever get him in a cell — an unprecedented set of consequences for a former leader of the free world.”
According to the attorney, Trump is revealing himself by asking for so many details.
“What does this tell you about Trump’s mindset?” host Capehart asked.
“It tells me he is scared to death” Kirschner quickly answered. “It tells me he has overwhelming consciousness of guilt because he knows what he did wrong and he knows he is about to be held accountable for his crimes. So it is not surprising that he is obsessing.”
“If he was confident that he would be completely exonerated, would he have to obsess about what his future time in prison might look like?” he suggested. “I think the last refuge for Donald Trump can be seen in a recent post where he urged the Republicans to defund essentially the prosecutions against him. which, to this prosecutor, Jonathan, smells a lot like an attempt to obstruct justice.”
Watch below or at the link.
Image via Shutterstock
‘Vulgar and Lewd’: Trump Judge Cites Extremist Group to Allow Drag Show Ban
A federal judge in Texas known for a ruling that attempted to ban a widely-used abortion drug is citing an extremist anti-LGBTQ group in his ruling allowing a ban on drag shows to stay in place.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a former attorney for an anti-LGBTQ conservative Christian legal organization, and a member of the Federalist Society, in his 26-page ruling dated Thursday cited the “About” page of Gays Against Groomers to claim, “it’s unclear how drag shows unmistakably communicate advocacy for LGBT rights.”
Judge Kacsmaryk, appointed by Donald Trump twice before finally assuming office in 2019, suggests the First Amendment does not provide for freedom of expression for drag shows, calls drag “sexualized conduct,” and says it is “more regulable” because “children are in the audience.”
Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern adds, “Kacsmaryk’s conclusion that drag is probably NOT protected by the First Amendment conflicts with decisions from Texas, Florida, Tennessee, and Montana which held that drag is constitutionally protected expression. It also bristles with undisguised hostility toward LGBTQ people.”
Calling the judge “a proud Christian nationalist who flatly refuses to apply binding Supreme Court precedent when it conflicts with his extremist far-right beliefs,” Stern at Slate writes that Kacsmaryk ruled drag “may be outlawed to protect ‘the sexual exploitation and abuse of children.’ In short, he concluded that drag fails to convey a message, while explaining all the reasons why he’s offended by the message it conveys.”
Stern does not let Kacsmaryk off the hook there.
“From almost any other judge, the ruling in Spectrum WT v. Wendler would be a shocking rejection of basic free speech principles; from Kacsmaryk, it’s par for the course. This is, after all, the judge who sought to ban medication abortion nationwide, restricted minors’ access to birth control, seize control over border policy to exclude asylum-seekers, and flouted recent precedent protecting LGBTQ+ equality,” Stern says.
“He is also poised to bankrupt Planned Parenthood by compelling them to pay a $1.8 billion penalty on truly ludicrous grounds. And he is not the only Trump-appointed judge substituting his reactionary beliefs for legal analysis. We have reached a point where these lawless decisions are not only predictable but inevitable, and they show no sign of stopping: Their authors are still just settling into a decadeslong service in the federal judiciary.”
West Texas A&M University President Walter V. Wendler penned the letter that sparked the lawsuit.
Titled, “A Harmless Drag Show? No Such Thing,” Wendler wrote: “I believe every human being is created in the image of God and, therefore, a person of dignity. Being created in God’s image is the basis of Natural Law. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, prisoners of the culture of their time as are we, declared the Creator’s origin as the foundational fiber in the fabric of our nation as they breathed life into it. Does a drag show preserve a single thread of human dignity? I think not.”
Journalist Chris Geidner concludes, “It’s an extremely biased ruling by a judge who has established that he does not care about being overturned — even by the most conservative appeals court in the nation.”
Gaetz Praises GOP Congressman Who Echoes His Call for Change ‘Through Force’
U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). largely seen as pushing Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s Republican-majority House of Representatives toward shutting down the federal government, is praising and promoting remarks made by a freshman GOP lawmaker that appear to suggest the use of violence. U.S. Rep. Eli Crane‘s comments, posted Friday (below), call for change “through force,” remarks echoing Congressman Gaetz’s recent comments which were denounced by an expert on authoritarianism as fascistic.
“The only way we’re going to see meaningful change in this town is through force,” wrote Congressman Crane, Republican of Arizona atop a three-minute video in which he frames what is now an almost guaranteed government shutdown as a “spending fight.” In his video he says, “the only way you’re gonna get any change in this town is through force.” Gaetz in August had said, “we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C.”
Congressman Crane is a former Navy SEAL. He has promoted the false “Big Lie” conspiracy theory that there was massive fraud in the election President Joe Biden won, and called “on the state legislature to decertify the 2020 election.” He is one of six House Republicans who voted against McCarthy’s speakership all 15 times in January.
“Congressman Eli Crane is a fountainhead of political courage,” said Rep. Gaetz Friday afternoon. “He holds the line.”
Crane recently came under fire for calling Black people “colored,” during debate on his legislation that would force the U.S. Armed Forces to not use any diversity requirements in its hiring practices.
Just days before he won his House seat last year, The Washington Post reported Crane had urged an “audience to look up an antisemitic sermon at a recent campaign stop.”
“Crane said that he was motivated to run because of ‘radical ideologies that are destroying this country’ and that he was most concerned about ‘Cultural Marxism,’ which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as an antisemitic baseless claim gaining traction on the American right.”
“He encouraged the audience to watch a speech by a right-wing pastor who blamed cultural change on a group of German Jewish philosophers and condemned Barack Obama for having a ‘homosexual agenda.'”
“If we don’t wake up,” Crane said, according to the Post, “if we don’t study what they’re doing, and if we don’t put people in influential positions that understand what this war is all about, what they’re trying to do and have and have the courage to call it out, we’re going to lose this country.”
In August, while standing next to Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Congressman Gaetz said, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should.”
“But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
At the time, Raw Story reported, “historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.”
“What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence,” she warned.
“And that’s how fascists talk,” Ben-Ghiat added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Image via Shutterstock
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