The Mormon Church, via its wholly-owned Salt Lake City-based newspaper business, the Deseret News, was the first to announce and publicly applaud an anti-gay and — in our opinion — methodologically-challenged, soon-to-be-published paper,Â titled, â€œHow Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?,”Â that claims children of gay parents are not as emotionally and physically healthy or successful as their peers raised in intact biological (read: heterosexual) families. Robert P. George, co-founderÂ and chairman emeritusÂ of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, is on theÂ editorial advisory board of the Deseret News.
Leave it to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints — the people who funded California’s same-sex marriage-banning Prop 8 — to not only be the first to publish an article on the anti-gay paper, but to even publish a companion editorial, exactly just two minutes after they published the “news” article.
In, “In our opinion: Family structure counts,” an extensiveÂ editorial that accompanies the news article, “Studies challenge widely held assumptions about same-sex parenting,”Â the Deseret NewsÂ heralds the new paper, and, as the editorial’s title suggests, states, “the evidence is clear that the structure setting the standard for child well-being is the intact married biological family.”
At issue is a new “study,” funded by private conservative think tanks to the tune of more than three-quarters of a million dollars, and written byÂ Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at University of Texas Austin’s Population Research Center.
RegnerusÂ has also co-authored a book the purports to “provide the fullest portrait of heterosexuality among young adults ever produced.” Wow. Pretty big claim, especially for anÂ associate professor of sociology.
In an April New York Times op-ed, RegnerusÂ wrote:
Although New York may witness a brief rush to the altar â€” or rather, the courthouse â€” the new law will hardly make a demographic dent in the share of New Yorkers, much less Americans, who have tied the knot. Indeed, recent Census data indicate that less than half of American households are headed by married couples.
And that social fact, given the contribution of marriage to the common good, is a moral hazard in the making. When fewer of us marry and have families, more of us become dependent on the generosity of unrelated others. And given natural limits to neighborly kindness, it means more of us must rely on the state. (Yes, the one with the $14 trillion debt.)
Of course, without even mentioning same-sex marriage, RegnerusÂ attacked it.Â Unsurprisingly, the New York Times’ readers left comments that shot down Regenerus’ theories with far more insight than the Texas associate professor offered himself.
In 2010, Regnerus, lamenting a Pew study, wrote:
However, most young Americansâ€”and certainly the vast majority of Christiansâ€”still want to marry, and they donâ€™t want to settle. But when I study how young Americans form their romantic relationships, Christians included, Iâ€™ve come to the conclusion that while lots of them may want to marry, they just wonâ€™t get there from here. There are emerging barriers that are making marriage rarer.
Since what they hope forâ€”chastity in a spouseâ€”is becoming increasingly rare, the average Christian is spending more time on the marriage market (and making more sexual compromises along the way) than in previous generations. A recent study estimate suggests that the average evangelical marries somewhere around age 26 or 27, not much younger than the national average. But as Iâ€™ve noted elsewhere, steering clear of sex during this most fertile and virile period of the life course is both difficult and increasingly uncommon. Some of the blame lies not with their flight from marriage, but their simple delay of it. But as they delay it, their attitudes are changing. Many young adult Christians are making their peace with premarital sexâ€”some because they wish to, others because they feel they have little choice.
Yes, that was 2010 — not 1910, or 1810.
And consider this.Â In February — of this year — Tennessee’sÂ Bryan College newspaper reported:
Regnerus spoke at Bryan as a part of a week and a half chapel theme titled â€œSex, Singleness and Marriage.â€ His first talk, â€œWhat If We Donâ€™t Kiss Dating Goodbye?â€ began an uproar of conversations still continuing among the student body.
Regnerus is the associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and he holds three degrees in sociology from Trinity Christian College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He approaches his topics from the standpoint of a social scientist with statistics and facts, addressing the status quo of a society driven by the â€œeconomy of sex.â€ In chapel Monday (Feb. 6) he spoke of how young people easily become frustrated in their efforts to remain physically pure before marriage because the â€œpriceâ€ of sex is so cheap in modern culture.
And in March, the same paper noted:
Mark Regnerus (who has recently become a member of the Roman Catholic Church) spoke a little bit about this in chapel a while back. His argument was along these lines: perhaps marriage is a separate institution altogether, distinct from the state and the Church. It is a spiritual establishment, a bequest that, by its nature, can only be bestowed within a Godly context. If this is, indeed, the case (and Iâ€™m convinced), then neither the state nor the Church has more authority to join two persons in holy matrimony than the Office of Student Lifeâ€¦ and I think the Church understands this (or should)â€”and that is why everyone should relax. Marriage transcends social characterizations.
Clearly, this researcher has an agenda. A very religious agenda.
So it should come as no surprise that Regnerus’ paper, which no doubt the Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischers, and Maggie Gallaghers are already dancing for joy over, has a point of view.
The paper itself supposedly finds that adult children of parents who have had same-sex relationships are “different,” and suggests those differences are not good.
In â€œHow Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?,” Regnerus, making assumptions, concludes “that children appear most apt to succeed well as adultsâ€”on multiple counts and across a variety of domainsâ€”when they spend their entire childhood with their married mother and father, and especially when the parents remain married to the present day. Insofar as the share of intact, biological mother/father families continues to shrink in the United States, as it has, this portends growing challenges within families, but also heightened dependence on public health organizations, federal and state public assistance, psychotherapeutic resources, substance use programs, and the criminal justice system.”
We’ll examine the study itself later in a separate piece. For now suffice it to say, in our opinion, the Regnerus’ work is flawed, the methodology itself questionable,Â and the data presentation is irresponsible.
For now, what’s important to know is the religious right is not sitting still, and after losing their top antigay study earlier this year when its author renounced it, they’ll only be all too happy to find the next flawed research to hitch their wagons to.
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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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