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Authors of Disreputable Anti-Gay Studies Triggered Growing Numbers of Critics, Rapidly Widening Scandal

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Mark Regnerus, a professor at University of Texas, Austin and Loren Marks, a professor at Louisiana State University, authors of disreputable studies about gays have attracted growing numbers of critics in an apparent growing scandal

 

Reports on twinned studies now being used as anti-gay-rights weapons in the 2012 elections have to date focused mainly on 1) suspect work funded through NOM’s Robert George and 2) carried out by University of Texas, Austin’s Mark Regnerus.

Regnerus purported to compare young adult children of heterosexual parents with gay parents, yet for his study, did not even attempt to locate actual persons substantially raised by gay parents.

Previously, studies on children of gay parents showed good child outcomes.

The Regnerus and Marks papers appear to have been contrived as a one-two election year punch to demonize same-sex-headed families with children.

Regnerus claims the following in his study; previous conclusions that homosexual parents were not more dangerous — to children — than heterosexual parents — “must go” as a result of his study.  The aim and contorted conclusion of Loren Mark’s companion anti-gay-rights political propaganda, meanwhile — titled “Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes” — is the discrediting of a 2005 American Psychological Association brief on gay parenting.

One tell-tale sign that the two papers were coordinated for use as anti-gay-rights political propaganda is that although they were published simultaneously in “Social Science Research” — whose editor James Wright has written demeaningly of gay people and their relationships — the Marks paper cites the Regnerus paper.  That is to say, before either of these two papers were published, Marks had information about the Regnerus study and used it as a reference work for his own anti-gay-rights paper. The appearance is strong that Regnerus and Marks were working in cahoots towards the simultaneous publication of their two articles, with an anti-gay-rights political aim in an election year.

In this context, it is of great note that Loren Marks, a Louisiana State University Associate Professor, earlier was disallowed from giving expert testimony in a Proposition 8-related case when, under questioning, he admitted he had cherry-picked information from studies he had not read, and that he knew nothing about same-sex couples.

Undeterred by that episode in which his scholarly fraudulence was exposed in a court of law, Marks made his current anti-gay-rights propaganda-research available to John Boehner-House Republicans’ DOMA-defending attorney Paul Clement, for use in a court brief filed on June 4, 2012 in the Karen Golinski case. Marks’s paper was cited in the court document before the paper was published. Marks’s study is used in that court brief to argue that previous decisions in the Golinski case relied on insufficient research about gay parenting. Never mind that Golinski is not about gay parenting; it is about equal rights to federal benefits for same-sex spouses. Golinski and her wife do not have children, but the Boehner-Clement axis believes that demonizing gay parents in a case not involving gay parents should determine the outcome of the case.

One of the most galling aspects of that brief, is that it argues against courts deciding DOMA cases, because, so Clement alleges, gay rights should be decided by voters, not by questions of constitutionality. Meanwhile, though, NOM’s Robert George, who arranged for the funding of the Regnerus hit job, is an author of the anti-gay NOM pledge, signed by Romney, which calls for a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage throughout the country.

That is to say, Boehner is using LGBT-tax payers’ money to argue in court that gay Americans’ rights should not be decided on any constitutional basis, until the Constitution says that same-sex marriage is forbidden throughout the country.

Meanwhile, known Robert George political allies are using both the Marks and Regnerus studies to poison voters’ minds against gay people. The Witherspoon Institute, through which George arranged much of Regnerus’s funding, has published, among other anti-gay-attack articles The Kids Aren’t Alright  and Supreme Court Take Notice; Two Sociologists Shift the Ground of the Gay Marriage Debate.  That latter article by Matthew J. Frank was cross-referenced by Frank in another post he made about the studies on The National Review site, Sociology, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Courts. The National Review is a long-time home to NOM’s lying anti-gay bigot Maggie Gallagher, who has been touting the studies with evident anti-gay-rights political aims in varied publications including TNR’s site. Here, Gallagher made a post, reporting on a panel of “sociologists” voicing support for the Regnerus study. What Gallagher the anti-gay propagandist did not make explicit in her post is that those supportive of Regnerus’s anti-gay aims are all affiliated with the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, and that Regnerus himself is affiliated with Baylor. Robert George’s and Maggie Gallagher’s long-time anti-gay-rights collaborator Ed Whelan published on TNR’s website a three-part installment of posts trumpeting the corrupt Regnerus and Marks studies and bashing same-sex-headed households.

This reporter’s request from Loren Marks’s Louisiana State University for information regarding the funding of Marks’s study has yet to receive a definitive response.

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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Ten Commandments Governor Declares No Church-State Separation in Rough Fox News Interview

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Louisiana Republican Governor Jeff Landry appeared surprised in a Friday Fox News interview when asked to defend his newly-signed law requiring the Bible’s Ten Commandments to be posted in every public school classroom throughout the state, which critics say is unconstitutional.

Speaking about the First Amendment principle of separation of church and state, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed at least a half-dozen times, Landry declared: “I challenge anyone who says that to go find me those words in the First Amendment. They don’t exist.”

He went on to claim those who want to “extract” what he claims are America’s Judeo-Christian principles “out of the foundation of this country…really and truly want to create the chaos that ultimately is the demise of this nation.”

On Thursday in a signing ceremony Landry declared the Bible’s Moses is the “original lawgiver,” a claim some challenged as a cultural choice and not an accurate one, given there are others that date back earlier, to ancient Greece, Babylon,  and India.

READ MORE: ‘Ominous Opinion’: Same-Sex Marriage Targeted Again in Latest SCOTUS Ruling, Expert Warns

“You’ve heard the criticism, it seems to be pouring in. Was it still the right thing to do?” Governor Landry was asked Friday afternoon.

“I mean, I didn’t know that living the Ten Commandments is a bad way to live life,” Landry replied, not touching the obvious and likely unconstitutional nature of the legislation he proudly signed 24 hours earlier. “I didn’t know that it was so vile to obey the Ten Commandments. I think that that speaks volumes about how eroded this country has become. I mean, look, this country was, was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and every time we steer away from that we have problems in our nation. I mean, right now schools teach, basically treat kids like critters and get the Ten Commandments is something bad to put in schools? It just it’s amazing.”

The founders clearly intended to create a secular, not religious government and took great care, including in the First Amendment, to ensure no religion was favored and individuals had the right to observe any faith, multiple faiths, or none at all.

RELATED: ‘Christian Theocracy’: Ten Commandments Lawmaker Who Can’t ‘Fathom’ Outrage Gets Schooled

“For those listening right now, they’re wondering, what’s the goal?” Fox News host Sandra Smith continued. “Because it’s not as if this is going to be taught in every school and classroom. This is just being displayed on the walls. So my question to you is, how is this going to improve the school environment and the performance of kids in those schools? When Governor, I pull up the report cards of these public schools and Louisiana is struggling, I mean, it is at the bottom of the country. The education system is failing these kids. I mean, Louisiana is 43, 44th in math and reading. So is this gonna help what is a very big problem in Louisiana?”

“Look, I think it’s part and parcel for helping kids anywhere around the country, if other states followed our suits, but at the same time that we signed that bill into law, we signed a string of others assign 20 bills, including this one, to reform Louisiana schools.”

Experts note that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar law in 1980.

Sandra Smith’s remarks about Louisiana failing are accurate. According to U.S. News and World Report, Louisiana ranks 47th in education, 50th in crime, 49th in the economy, 46th in health care, and overall, it ranks last, at number 50.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

RELATED: ‘Desperately Needed’: Trump Wants ‘Revival’ of Religion and Ten Commandments in Classrooms

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‘Ominous Opinion’: Same-Sex Marriage Targeted Again in Latest SCOTUS Ruling, Expert Warns

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In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines the right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court once again targeted the landmark 2015 Obergefell same-sex marriage decision, leading liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor to sound “alarm bells” on marriage equality in her dissent a legal expert says, warning that they may try to “roll it back.”

The case involves Sandra Muñoz, a U.S. citizen who argued that the federal government’s denial of a visa for her husband, who lives in El Salvador, deprives her of her constitutionally protected right to liberty.

The right-wing majority in a decision written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett ruled: “A citizen does not have a fundamental liberty interest in her noncitizen spouse being admitted to the country.”

Friday’s ruling “undermines same-sex marriage,” Bloomberg Law reports Justice Sotomayor’s dissent warns.

Slate senior writer Mark Joseph Stern has covered the courts since 2013, and is the author of a 2019 book on the Roberts Supreme Court.

“Justice Sotomayor, in dissent, accuses the conservative supermajority of cutting back the rights guaranteed in Obergefell—the same-sex marriage decision—and of repeating ‘the same fatal error’ it made in Dobbs,” Stern writes. “A very ominous opinion.”

READ MORE: ‘Desperately Needed’: Trump Wants ‘Revival’ of Religion and Ten Commandments in Classrooms

The “fatal error” in Dobbs was ignoring precedent.

“Justice Sotomayor says the burden of today’s decision will ‘fall most heavily’ on same-sex couples, many of whom cannot safely reside in the non-citizen’s home country,” Stern adds. “Her dissent is littered with alarm bells about Obergefell.”

He points to this from Sotomayor’s dissent, a citation from the Obergefell decision:

“A traveler to the United States two centuries ago reported that ‘‘[t]here is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is so much respected as in America.’ ‘ ”

“Today,” Sotomayor continued, “the majority fails to live up to that centuries-old promise. Muñoz may be able to live with her husband in El Salvador, but it will mean raising her U. S.-citizen child outside the United States. Others will be less fortunate. The burden will fall most heavily on same-sex couples and others who lack the ability, for legal or financial reasons, to make a home in the noncitizen spouse’s country of origin.”

Again quoting Obergefell, she adds, “For those couples, this Court’s vision of marriage as the ‘assurance that while both still live there will be someone to care for the other’ rings hollow.”

Stern warns: “I think Justice Sotomayor is clearly correct that the Supreme Court’s gratuitous attack on the constitutional rights of married couples in Muñoz—especially same-sex couples—suggests that the conservative justices hate Obergefell and may roll it back.”

Sotomayor began her dissent also with a quote from Obergefell: “The right to marry is fundamental as a matter of history and tradition.”

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

She warns that the right-wing majority could have appropriately issued a narrow ruling but instead chose to hand down a broad decision:

“The majority could have resolved this case on narrow grounds under longstanding precedent,” she writes. “Instead, the majority today chooses a broad holding on marriage over a narrow one on procedure.”

Justice Sotomayor again points to same-sex marriage:

“Muñoz may be able to live in El Salvador alongside her husband or at least visit him there, but not everyone is sovereign lucky. The majority’s holding will also extend to those couples who, like the Lovings and the Obergefells, depend on American law for their marriages’ validity. Same-sex couples may be forced to relocate to countries that do not recognize same-sex marriage, or even those that criminalize homosexuality.”

She also noted, “The constitutional right to marriage has deep roots,” and “The constitutional right to marriage is not so flimsy,” while warning “the majority departs from longstanding precedent and gravely undervalues the right to marriage in the immigration context.”

Two years ago almost to the day, when the Supreme Court handed down the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v Wade and stripping away the constitutional right to abortion, Stern warned the Court, especially Justice Thomas, would come for contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage:

Two years before Dobbs, Stern also warned Justice Thomas was targeting same-sex marriage, writing that “Thomas (joined by Alito) wrote a jaw-dropping rant taking direct aim at Obergefell and suggesting that SCOTUS must overturn the right to marriage equality in order to protect free exercise.”

READ MORE: ‘Christian Theocracy’: Ten Commandments Lawmaker Who Can’t ‘Fathom’ Outrage Gets Schooled

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‘Desperately Needed’: Trump Wants ‘Revival’ of Religion and Ten Commandments in Classrooms

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Jumping on Louisiana’s controversial and likely unconstitutional new law mandating posters of a specific version of the Bible’s Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, Donald Trump overnight declared the nation “desperately” needs a religious “revival” and called for the religious text to be placed in classrooms across America.

Critics point out that the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980 found a similar law unconstitutional.

“The high court found that the law had no secular purpose but rather served a plainly religious purpose,” the Associated Press reports.

And while some lawmakers are insisting it is a historical document, remarks by Republican Governor Jeff Landry and the bill’s co-author, Republican state Rep. Lauren Ventrella, would appear to undermine that defense.

RELATED: ‘Christian Theocracy’: Ten Commandments Lawmaker Who Can’t ‘Fathom’ Outrage Gets Schooled

“I love the Ten Commandments in public schools, private schools, and many other places, for that matter. Read it — how can we, as a nation, go wrong??? This may be, in fact, the first major step in the revival of religion, which is desperately needed, in our country. bring back TTC!!! MAGA2024” Trump wrote on Truth Social in his all-caps post.

Some critics have been noting Trump has violated many if not most of the Ten Commandments. Some have listed the Ten Commandments and what they say are Trump’s actions in comparison to them.

MSNBC‘s Steve Bennen observed, “Trump is touting the Ten Commandments, despite the fact that he’s broken most of them. No graven images? Check. Honoring the Sabbath? Check. No adultery? Check. No stealing? Check. No bearing false witness? Big ol’ check. No coveting a neighbor’s wife? Check.”

Retired North Carolina Supreme Court justice and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Judge Bob Orr wrote: “The GOP and Trump want parents controlling the books that are in schools NOT educators…but their ok with educators being responsible for teaching children to follow the Ten Commandments – a responsibility that belongs at home with the parents and the church.”

Earlier this week, before Trump’s declaration, The Lincoln Project posted a video on Trump’s relationship to the religious document.

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Fact Checking His Delusions’: Trump’s Falsehoods May Not Be Lies Anymore, Critics Warn

 

 

 

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