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

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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, titled, “How Different are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships?,” 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-founder and chairman emeritus of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, is on the 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 extensive editorial that accompanies the news article, “Studies challenge widely held assumptions about same-sex parenting,” the Deseret News 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 by Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at University of Texas Austin’s Population Research Center.

Regnerus 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 an associate professor of sociology.

In an April New York Times op-ed, Regnerus wrote:

Although New York may witness a brief rush to the altar — or rather, the courthouse — 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, Regnerus attacked it. 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 Americans—and certainly the vast majority of Christians—still want to marry, and they don’t want to settle. But when I study how young Americans form their romantic relationships, Christians included, I’ve come to the conclusion that while lots of them may want to marry, they just won’t get there from here. There are emerging barriers that are making marriage rarer.

Since what they hope for—chastity in a spouse—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 I’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 sex—some because they wish to, others because they feel they have little choice.

Yes, that was 2010 — not 1910, or 1810.

And consider this. In February — of this year — Tennessee’s Bryan College newspaper reported:

Regnerus spoke at Bryan as a part of a week and a half chapel theme titled “Sex, Singleness and Marriage.” His first talk, “What If We Don’t Kiss Dating Goodbye?” 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 “economy of sex.” 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 “price” 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 I’m convinced), then neither the state nor the Church has more authority to join two persons in holy matrimony than the Office of Student Life… and I think the Church understands this (or should)—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 “How 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 adults—on multiple counts and across a variety of domains—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, 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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News

‘Supposed to Be Hard’: Political Experts Explain Their Thinking on Biden and the Election

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Two weeks after the political class’s response to President Joe Biden’s poor debate performance threw the 2024 election into chaos, four political experts share their thinking about where the race actually stands and what Biden’s supporters should do.

“He can’t win right!? They point to the polling right?” wrote political strategist and pollster Cornell Belcher, a frequent NBC News/MSNBC political analyst, linking to a report about the latest polls which show President Biden ahead of Donald Trump. “Well this is the 2nd poll (credible poll) in 2 days showing the Pres race in statistical deadlock two weeks after debate! Using polls to push Biden out feels like red wave 2020 bs all over again.”

Belcher was commenting on the latest Marist College poll produced for NPR/PBS NewsHour. It found Biden beating Trump 50-48 in a one-to-one matchup. When factoring in the four third-party/independent candidates including RFK Jr., Trump came out ahead of Biden, 43-42.

FiveThirtyEight’s regularly updated polling aggregator currently shows Trump up over Biden by 1.9 points, a drop from Thursday where he was more than two points over Biden. FiveThirtyEight also currently shows; “Biden wins 50 times out of 100 in our simulations of the 2024 presidential election. Trump wins 49 times out of 100.”

READ MORE: Critics: Where’s Trump’s Hour-Long Press Conference With Policy Questions from Reporters?

Former Republican and former GOP communications director Tara Setmayer, a resident scholar at Harvard’s Institute of Politics, says the Democratic “freak out needs to stop.”

“Enough.”

Pointing to that same Marist poll, she focuses on a different question.

“This poll also shows character matters more than age. That’s to Biden’s advantage.”

NPR’s headline on its article detailing the poll reads: “After Biden’s debate performance, the presidential race is unchanged.”

“Biden actually gained a point since last month’s survey, which was taken before the debate,” NPR reports, adding: “the survey also found that by a 2-to-1 margin, 68% to 32%, people said it’s more concerning to have a president who doesn’t tell the truth than one who might be too old to serve.”

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

To Setmayer’s point, NPR also says, “A majority said Biden has the character to be president (52%), while a majority also said Trump does not (56%).”

Mike Madrid, the Latino GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder, offered advice to Biden supporters on how to think about Democrats and pundits pushing for the President to drop out of the race, and how to deal with the day-to-day emotional toll.

“Getting lots of questions on how to lower the anxiety level people are feeling. Best thing you can do is unfollow the people attacking Biden gratuitously. Don’t engage them. Unfollow them. It’s not an honest discussion. It’s a frenzy that’s doing real damage.”

“You will not get an explanation from the political arsonists fueling this panic,” he added. “Stop looking for one. Unfollow them. Drop your subscription. Quit listening. That’s the best thing you can do in the pro-democracy fight right now. Their gaslighting is now a suppression tactic.”

To someone who said they are “scared,” and the situation is “confusing, maddening and sad,” Madrid advised: “Nothing has changed. Stop watching TV and get off Twitter. Take the weekend off. Please.”

The Lincoln Project’s Stuart Stevens, a political strategist for decades and author of “The Conspiracy To End America,” writes: “I worked in campaigns for 30 years. I am hardwired to respond one way when your guy is in trouble: fight harder. Don’t start looking for exit ramps or magic bullets. Play the next play. Do your job. Ignore the scoreboard. It’s supposed to be hard.”

READ MORE: ‘Betrayal’: Trump Hosts ‘Russian Puppet’ Viktor Orbán as Biden Hosts NATO Leaders

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News

RFK Jr. Apology Over Sexual Assault Allegation ‘Disingenuous’ – Unsure if More to Come

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent candidate running for president, has apologized to the woman who accused him of sexual assault, and separately told reporters he does not know if there are more potential accusers.

The 70-year old anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist who has said a worm ate a portion of his brain, has not denied allegations of sexual misconduct. A recent Vanity Fair profile reports that in 1998, Eliza Cooney, 23-years old at the time and working as a part-time baby sitter for RFK Jr. and his wife’s children, felt his “hand moving up and down her leg under the table” during “a meeting in the family kitchen.”

There are other allegations in the Vanity Fair profile that include Kennedy being shirtless in Cooney’s bedroom and asking her to rub lotion on his back, which she said was “totally inappropriate.”

And this: “A few months later, Cooney says, she was rifling through the kitchen pantry for lunch after a yoga class, still in her sports bra and leggings, when Kennedy came up behind her, blocked her inside the room, and began groping her, putting his hands on her hips and sliding them up along her rib cage and breasts. ‘My back was to the door of the pantry, and he came up behind me,’ she says, describing the alleged sexual assault. ‘I was frozen. Shocked.’ ”

RELATED: ‘What in the F’: RFK Jr. in Photo With Alleged ‘Barbecued’ Dog Carcass Disgusts Critics

The Washington Post Friday morning reported RFK Jr. “privately apologized to a woman who accused him of sexual assault, saying he does not remember the alleged incident and that any harm he caused was ‘inadvertent.’ ”

“’I have no memory of this incident but I apologize sincerely for anything I ever did that made you feel uncomfortable or anything I did or said that offended you or hurt your feelings,’ Kennedy wrote in a text message to Cooney sent at 12:33 a.m. on July 4, two days after her accusations became public. ‘I never intended you any harm. If I hurt you, it was inadvertent. I feel badly for doing so.’ ”

Cooney told The Post that Kennedy’s texted message was “disingenuous and arrogant.”

“I’m not sure how somebody has a true apology for something that they don’t admit to recalling. I did not get a sense of remorse.”

READ MORE: Critics: Where’s Trump’s Hour-Long Press Conference With Policy Questions from Reporters?

Also on Friday, hidden in the middle of a Boston Globe soft profile of the presidential candidate whose support has reportedly now hit ten percent – possibly enough to change the outcome of the election – is Kennedy’s apparent acknowledgment there could be more allegations of sexual misconduct.

“Asked if other women might come forward with similar allegations he said, ‘I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.’ ”

The Globe notes Kennedy “is currently on the ballot in nine states, and submitted enough signatures to eventually get on the ballot in 15 states. There are five other states where the campaign claims to have enough signatures but hasn’t turned in them in yet, in some cases because the window to do so hasn’t opened.”

FiveThirtyEight reports there is a 58% chance the election “is decided by a smaller margin than the vote share for third-party candidates,” meaning Kennedy, who has the largest portion of third party votes, may have the potential to change the election outcome.

In a parenthetical addition, Vanity Fair updated its report, writing: “After this story was published, Kennedy told the Breaking Points podcast, in response to Cooney’s allegations, that he is ‘not a church boy… I have so many skeletons in my closet.’ When pressed to respond directly to her claims, he told the anchor, ‘I’m not going to comment on it.’ ”

READ MORE: ‘Betrayal’: Trump Hosts ‘Russian Puppet’ Viktor Orbán as Biden Hosts NATO Leaders

 

 

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OPINION

Critics: Where’s Trump’s Hour-Long Press Conference With Policy Questions from Reporters?

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Following President Joe Biden’s 58-minute long unscripted, solo press conference without a teleprompter, fielding questions from reporters and responding with nuance and depth on a range of issues including foreign and domestic policy, some critics are calling on his opponent, ex-president Donald Trump, to do the same.

It’s been a long time since Trump has held an actual unscripted, lengthy, solo press conference, with questions from reporters, and well-over a year since he did one that wasn’t centered on his legal crises.

“When is last time Trump did an hour long press conference? Anyone know?” asked Bloomberg News’ Steven Dennis Thursday night after the President’s press conference.

“So now the media will demand that Trump hold an hour-long press conference on complex foreign policy issues — right?” snarked attorney and legal commentator Tristan Snell, who headed the successful New York State civil prosecution of Trump University.

READ MORE: ‘Dead Heat’: Biden Ahead or Tied With Trump in Two New Post-Debate Polls

“Trump is getting a free pass just like he did in 2016. No way he could do a press conference for 40 minutes after 3 long days with world leaders. He is incoherent most of time when he’s not spewing bile,” declared CNN Political Commentator Karen Finney Friday morning.

“It’s now time for the corporate media to dissect every word Trump says for the next two weeks, have debates on his mental state, amplify the small number of Republicans who want Trump to drop out and demand he hold a press conference where we can dissect him even more,” remarked attorney and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah Friday morning.

“Per CSPAN last time Trump held a press conference that approached an hour in length at which he took questions from reporters, he was still president,” observed Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) Friday morning.

READ MORE: ‘Betrayal’: Trump Hosts ‘Russian Puppet’ Viktor Orbán as Biden Hosts NATO Leaders

He adds, “Per the CSPAN archive, the last time Donald Trump took questions from reporters in a press conference was on February 8th. National and campaign reporters made an issue of the lack of press conferences with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. To date, they have not done so with Trump.”

On November 8, 2022, from Mar-a-Lago, after polls closed, Donald Trump delivered remarks discussing the midterm elections. He spoke for about four minutes to supporters and took no questions from reporters, whom he mocked. (Full C-SPAN video.)

Semafor’s David Weigel argues, “A lot of the ‘whatabout Trump’ stuff is cope, but he really is getting an easy ride with interviewers compared to 2016 or 2020.”

“Most of his interviews are softball-fests. When he did All-In the campaign had to clean up his green card/diploma answer.”

READ MORE: ‘No Change’: Biden Debate Performance Has Had ‘Almost No Impact’ on 2024 Race Report Finds

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