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NOM-Regnerus ‘Gay Parenting’ Study: A One-Percenter Dirty Campaign Trick

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The Republicans’ Problem

Imagine you are Mitt Romney, running as a Republican for president.

Your net worth is about $250 million.

The people most eager to see you elected are billionaires — for example, the Koch brothers.

The voters know you are getting tax deductions for your wife’s dressage horses.

And you’re on record, promising to lower your own taxes and those of the Koch brothers, while raising taxes on the middle class.

How in the world will you get middle class voters to support you?

Scapegoating a Minority

Scapegoating a minority is one of the oldest dirty tricks in the political books.

Ignorance-fueled hatred is a goldmine for ruling-class people looking to gain an additional power advantage.

You distract the lower classes’ attention from the fact that your bad economic policies are unjustly disadvantaging them, by portraying the hated minority as a mortal threat to them and the society.

Why Demonizing Gays is so Effective Politically

Given an ignorant enough block of people, one can have success by telling them that a hated minority is a danger to the nation, and is out to get their children.

Notoriously, for example, the Blood Libel held that Jews stole Christian babies to use their blood to make matzo. It mattered not, that blood is not a matzo ingredient; lies give life to anti-minority demonization campaigns.NOM’s endless demonization of homosexuals is a tissue of lies.

NOM, by the way, exploits anti-Semitism in the populace, when doing so will advance its anti-gay agenda.

An Astonishing Coincidence

The so-called National Organization for Marriage repeats and repeats that same-sex marriage will spell doom for civilization.

And, the Southern Poverty Law Center has noted NOM’s enthusiasm for demonizing gays by fraudulently conflating homosexuals with pedophiles.

Something the Catholic Church has done, with an enthusiasm equal to NOM’s.

NOM has a great deal in common with the Catholic Church, which is a determined NOM collaborator. The Church conflates homosexuals with pedophiles, and five former U.S. ambassadors to the Holy See endorsed Romney on the same day. What a coincidence, then, that the Republican party shields the Church from proposed legislation to lift the statutes of limitations for prosecution of child rape.

The Evil NOM Plan to get Children of Gay Parents to Denounce Those Parents

In March, 2012, NOM strategy documents became public through a court order. They described schemes to “drive a wedge between” and to “fan hostility” between African-Americans and gay Americans. The election year political goal of the wedge driving, and the hostility fanning, is this; peel enough religious anti-gay African-American voters away from Obama for Romney in states with tight races, such as North Carolina, such that, together with other tactics, Romney wins in those states.

Notice carefully; where NOM is very aggressively busy, attempting to get religious African-Americans to vote for Romney — mainly on the basis that “same-sex marriage is an insult to us and to God” — its greatest successes will most likely be among rural religious anti-gay African-Americans. That is to say, NOM is most likely to have election year success with the populations least likely to benefit economically from a Romney administration. That is why Romney considers NOM a key ally.

The NOM strategy documents further described a scheme to get Latinos not to assimilate into modern American life, by maintaining opposition to gay rights, and making that opposition a marker of cultural identity. See what NOM was doing there for Republicans? The right wing complains all the time, that immigrants are not assimilating. So NOM is killing two birds with one stone; drive Latino voters to Republicans through hate-mongering against gays, while increasing, in the election year, an appearance that Latinos are not assimilating, the better to provoke white and African-American voters into voting for Republicans, who are tough against immigrants.

Say it out loud; NOM is an arm of the national Republican party. National Republican leaders coordinate their strategies with NOM. NOM’s Robert P. George got Romney to sign the NOM pledge, he is personal friends with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and House Speaker John Boehner appointed him to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.

One evil plot described in the NOM strategy documents seemed risible when first told to the public in March; NOM had planned to hire somebody, dedicated to getting children of gay parents to denounce their parents.

Naive Democrats and gays scoffed.  “Look what that silly NOM tried to do!  Looks like they couldn’t find a single kid to denounce his gay parents.”

And, as far as that went, it might have been true.

Yet, NOM co-founder Robert George had already secured $785,000 for a “fixed” sociological study that absolutely had to 1) produce results demonizing gay parents,  and 2) be produced in a hurry and in time for the 2012 elections.

NOM’s commissioned study, in effect, got children to appear to condemn their gay parents.

Democrats and gays should not have scoffed, when they first learned that NOM was plotting to make gay parents look bad through their children. If NOM says it is carrying out an evil plan, look for NOM to be carrying that evil plan out.

NOM’s and Regnerus’s Deceitfulness Related to the Study

In his published study, Regnerus states forthrightly that his aim was to compare children of married heterosexual couples with “young adults who grew up with a lesbian mother or gay father.”

Buried in Regnerus’s write-up of his study — which covered present-day young adults who were children up through the 1990s — is an admission that the majority of those among his survey responders who said 1) that one of their parents had had a “romantic relationships” with a same sex partner, had 2) been born to a mixed-sexual-orientation couple, whose gay or lesbian member eventually faced down the sham marriage, and came out as gay.

What is Regnerus’s excuse for not including any planned gay families?  The business of getting the surveys out and answered was contracted to a company called “Knowledge Networks.” Knowledge Networks does not go looking for specific demographics needed for a survey. The company will not, for example, take on a project where 3,000 left-handed Chinese people over 5’9″ are needed to answer questions. In the entire world, there are many more than 3,000 left-handed Chinese people over 5’9″.  But the trick is, they are not in Knowledge Networks’ existing list of enrolled potential survey subjects. Knowledge Networks has an existing list of potential survey subjects; it will not go out looking for a demographic not adequately represented on its existing lists.  The company does seek to sign up more general population members for later studies. That accrual of people from the general population, motivated to be on Knowledge Networks’ lists of potential survey responders, constituted the “public” from which Regnerus culled his study subjects.

Regnerus alleges that it would be “too difficult” to find actual children raised by gay parents; the truth is, had he worked with a company that operates differently from Knowledge Networks, he would have been able to find an adequate number of children of gay parents. In particular, had Regnerus wished to be honest and accurate about a gay parent survey — instead of rushing his study to completion for Republican political purposes in an election year — he would have opted for the slower route of finding actual children raised mainly by gay parents.

It’s a fact; NOM’s Robert George, who commissioned the study, needed to have it completed, with negative implications against gays, in time for use in the 2012 elections.

The circumstances of the survey responder recruiting, and Regnerus’s evasions and untruths about the recruitment, alone are very incriminating of him.

NOM and Regnerus appear to be colluding in a disinformation blitz, wherein the public is given to believe that Robert George handed off $785,000 to Regnerus, with no idea whatsoever about how Regnerus might wind up conducting his study, or whether he would even have it completed in time for the 2012 elections. Just how dumb do these people think we are?

Important to note: Regnerus’s written study says that it was supported “in part” by the Witherspoon Institute, where George is Senior Fellow, and by the Bradley Foundation, where George is a Board member. Who gave the remainder of the money for the study, and how much did they give?

It is known that secrecy for donors is a NOM specialty. Click into the pages of a Ku Klux Klan website, to where they talk about how “qualified” candidates can join the KKK. One reason the KKK always gives for joining, is that “It is a secret society; nobody on the outside will ever know that you belong.” The very fact that NOM has resorted to donor secrecy, demonstrates that its brand of bigotry increasingly is becoming too extreme for mainstream America.

Nonetheless, even though Regnerus admits that he did not study planned gay families, he and NOM are running around, telling the public that a gay parent is a bad parent.

Regnerus Politically in Cahoots with NOM

Beyond stating that the intent of his study was to compare children of gay parents to children of heterosexual parents — (without actually studying children raised mainly by gay parents) — Regnerus describes study goals that correspond precisely to NOM’s political motivations, and that also happen to position him as a highly-paid “expert” on the superiority of heterosexual parents to gay parents. Regnerus states that previous studies of gay parents were carried out mainly on affluent subjects, and he praises himself for having carried out a study that included “gay” parents from the middle and lower classes.

This is key, so pay attention: Although Regnerus studied people from different class levels — that is to say, people with dramatically different levels of access to money — his observations written and spoken about the differences in child outcomes are focused on the parents’ sexual orientation, the topic assigned him by NOM’s Robert George; not a word is said about how the parents’ financial situation impacted child outcomes. Regnerus does acknowledge that finances are a factor; but that’s all he does; he doesn’t at all talk about how money impacted outcomes. The study attracted a disproportionate number of African-Americans and Latinos, and especially, African-American and Latino adult offspring of gays or lesbians from broken heterosexual marriages, who were urgently needed in order for Robert George to get the type of “data” needed for his anti-gay Republican propaganda campaign.

For emphasis; had Regnerus analyzed his data from the viewpoint of how money impacts child outcomes, he would have produced a result antithetical to Robert George’s Republican political goals for the study. Having taken $785,000 of Republican political money from George, Regnerus was not going to produce an analysis that George and the Republicans could not use to their advantage in the 2012 elections. When Regnerus denies that he produced political propaganda made to order on a cash commission, one must assume he is lying.

How did Regnerus wind up with disproportionate representation of people of color mainly with modest to low incomes? Knowledge Networks provided incentives to participate; $5 for an initial screening, and $20 for taking the survey. Obviously, the less money one has, the more one will be motivated to earn $25 by responding to a survey. The bitter irony is that the disproportionate percentages of survey responders who took that tiny bit of pin money because they needed it, were enabling Republican operatives through a weapon to be used against them in the elections. Exactly how were wealthy people motivated to take this survey anyway, if that is not too much to ask? I have shown how the 1% stand to benefit from the political uses made of this study, and I have reported that a $25 incentive was paid to survey participants. Would a wealthy person responding to the survey be more motivated by the $25, or by the potential Republican political benefit to be had through the promotion of the study? There is no way to fact-check who took the study, because study subject confidentiality is part of survey ethics. I am just noting, if there was dishonesty involved in luring particular people to take the study and to answer it in assigned ways, we would have no way to learn whether that had happened.

Regnerus writes in his study that negative results about gay parents were needed to counter studies that showed positive results for children of gay parents. And he says that his is the study that provides negative results. Regnerus writes: “the empirical claim that no notable differences exist” — (between children of straight and gay parents) — “must go.” 

No matter what nuance exists in other parts of Regnerus’s description of his study, his bottom line result for public consumption is that 1) whereas previous studies of gay parents showed that gay parents were not more harmful to children than heterosexual parents, they were all flawed. I have come to the rescue by 2) scientifically demonstrating that homosexual parents are a danger to children.

Exactly what Dr. Robert George ordered!

Regnerus also discusses how studies of gay parenting have been used for legislation and court cases; he is positioning himself to be NOM’s highly-paid “expert” for Senate and Congressional hearings and court rooms. He already knows that NOM’s Robert George can come through with the big bucks for him.

Blame the Victims

The lion’s share of “bad” outcomes for children that Regnerus and NOM pin on homosexual parents, actually are attributable to class differences.

For example, “smoking marijuana” and “being arrested” and/or “being convicted or pleading guilty to any charges other than a minor traffic violation” are counted as “bad” outcomes (that get pinned on homosexual parents).

Ask yourselves; if a person is innocent until proven guilty, why does merely getting arrested count as a “bad” outcome? Then ask yourselves; who is more likely to be falsely arrested, a white heterosexual man in a business suit, or a black teen wearing a hoodie?

And consider how it happens, that people plead guilty, and/or are convicted of misdemeanors related to alleged illegal marijuana possession, or related to any alleged misdemeanor.  If you are a teen from a wealthy family, your attorneys will either get your case dismissed, or get you the very minimum conviction and sentencing, and then they will, for a fee, help you to expunge the conviction from your record. But, if you are a teen from a poor family, the court will not care about you, you may or may not be assigned competent representation, and a judge, to get rid of your matter, might accept a plea bargain, without bothering to tell you that a competent attorney handling your case would get you off the charges.

Regnerus assigns to various levels of “Educational attainment” labels of  “good” and “bad” child outcomes, even though he does note that money impacts educational opportunities. Face it; if a Romney son is accepted to Harvard, he’s going to Harvard. If the child of an unemployed welfare recipient gets into Harvard, but does not have adequate scholarship money, that child is not going to Harvard. Nonetheless, Regnerus and NOM are pinning lesser “educational attainments” on gay parents.

Note; the differences between children of heterosexual and gay parents that Regnerus is crowing over, are allegedly “statistically significant,” but he is using them to smear all gay parents. Just because he found negative differences for some children of gay parents, does not mean that all — or even anything close to a majority — of children of gay parents had “bad” outcomes.

Change the lens through which all the data in the NOM-Regnerus study are viewed, so that what gets compared is wealth and income level, and absolutely, you will see that the wealthier the parents, the better the statistical outcomes for the children, and the poorer the parents, the worse the statistical outcomes for their children. Yet we don’t hear Regnerus saying that his study showed that children of rich parents have better outcomes than do children of poor parents, no matter the parents’ sexual orientation.  What we do hear Regnerus saying, is that previous studies of gay parents focused mainly on affluent gay-headed families, and that because his study included far more gay parents of modest to poor means, his study gives a better picture of what gay parents really mean in terms of child outcomes. Again, one must assume he is outright lying and he knows it; money is far greater a determiner of child outcomes than is a parent’s sexual orientation.

The point is already established beyond any doubt, yet I’ll provide one more example. For the survey subjects to have been with a gay parent on public assistance is counted as a negative, and, for those children now as adults to be on public assistance also is counted as a “bad” outcome. Yet, with the unemployment picture in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis often meaning that for every job opening, there are five job seekers, why is being on public assistance counted as a “bad” outcome to be pinned on homosexual parents? It is urgently important to note, that a young adult unemployed — though with wealthy parents — would not be as likely to go on public assistance as an unemployed young adult with poor parents. Yet, Regnerus and NOM are telling the voting public that gay parents  are more likely to produce children who go on public assistance. In his written study, Regnerus suggests that homosexual parents will produce more public-assistance dependent children — perfect for Republicans to use as a political weapon against homosexuals.

I’m going to take that a step further. The study found far more children of a lesbian parent than of a gay male parent. Here is what Republican policies do; 1) they do not provide equal pay for equal work for women; 2) they do not provide anti-discrimination job protections for lesbians, or gays; 3) they do not provide the tax advantages for gay parents raising children; the extra money the government requires from the lesbian parents, is available for heterosexual parents to spend on their children, towards “good” outcomes.

So the Republicans have the deck stacked against the lesbian parents judged to be “bad” parents through this survey, but the Republican NOM operative Robert George and his anti-gay shill Mark Regnerus are pinning the accountability for financial hardship on lesbian mothers instead of on Republican economic policies, where the blame belongs.

Put the Blame Where the Blame Really Belongs

There should be no discussion about the “results” of the NOM-Regnerus study that does not insist on acknowledging that the study above all is Republican party propaganda being used in an election year to pin the blame for Republican-led devastation of the middle classes fraudulently onto homosexual parents.

Emphasis must be placed on the fact that NOM funded this study for Republican advantage in an election year, and that NOM and Regnerus are demonizing gay parents with no regard for how the additional stigmatization inflicts harm on innocent gay people and the children they are raising.

Regnerus must not be let off the hook for his despicable collaboration with greedy malicious Republican bigots intentionally inflicting harm on innocent people, to gain additional political advantages for the 1%, while being paid handsomely thanks to the Republican operative Robert George.

When Regnerus has access to a mass audience, he dances the dance that NOM’s Robert George, Mitt Romney and the Koch brothers want him to be dancing. For example, consider this ABC TV interview, where Regnerus directly states that children of gay parents have significantly worse outcomes than children of heterosexual married parents. Unlike in his written study, where one finds nuances, and admission that he can not claim causation between homosexual parents and the perceived “bad” outcomes, for the mass TV audience, the message he delivers boils down to “Homos hurt children.”

Jerry Falwell’s and Matt Barber’s anti-gay Liberty University is a Republican-NOM political stronghold. Romney recently addressed the graduating class, telling them he shares their “values,” even though NOM’s William Duncan told a Liberty symposium that homosexuals are not human. In April, 2012, Matt Barber and other Liberty U. officials participated in Calvary Assembly’s “The Awakening; Turning Voices into Votes.” Barber’s segment — held in the “Sanctuary” — was titled “The LGBTQ (QIAAP) Agenda: Winning the Battle and Messaging the Masses.”

That is what Regnerus is doing when he says on ABC TV that homosexuals hurt children; he is “messaging the masses,” for the Koch brothers, Mitt Romney and NOM.

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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The Chief Justice cited the Court’s recently adopted code of ethics which some say merely codified existing behaviors without doing much to hold the Justices to the same standard every other judge who sits on the federal bench is required to observe.

“Members of the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed the practice we have followed for 235 years pursuant to which individual Justices decide recusal issues,” Chief Justice Roberts said in his letter to Durbin and Whitehouse.

Roberts insisted he was obligated to refuse to meet.

“I must respectfully decline your request for a meeting. As noted in my letter to Chairman Durbin last April, apart from ceremonial events, only on rare occasions in our Nation’s history has a sitting Chief Justice met with legislators, even in a public setting (such as a Committee hearing) with members of both major political parties present. Separation of powers concerns and the importance of preserving judicial independence counsel against such appearances.”

“Moreover,” he added, “the format proposed – a meeting with leaders of only one party who have expressed an interest in matters currently pending before the Court – simply underscores that participating in such a meeting would be inadvisable.”

The Nation’s justice correspondent Elie Mystal, pointing to the Roberts letter, remarked: “John Roberts, again, has already spoken about Alito’s ethical failures. And Roberts is IN FAVOR of the corruption, not against it.”

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Constitutional law professor Anthony Michael Kreis, mocking Judge Cannon’s order, wrote:

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He added, “We’re approaching this level of stupid,” and concluded, “Judge Cannon is incompetently bad.”

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