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Opinion: Editor Of Anti-Gay Regnerus Study A Menace To LGBT Families And Community

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James Wright is editor of the Elsevier journal Social Science Research. Because Wright allowed Mark Regnerus‘s booby-trapped anti-gay study with NOM-linked funding to be published through a corrupt process in violation of science publishing ethics, many leading scholars are calling for James Wright to be fired from Social Science Research.

It is true; given what Wright enabled with his illicit publication of the Regnerus study alone, he undermined the trust on which science is based.

And, Wright and Elsevier have sent a clear message to anti-scientific, radical anti-gay-rights factions, that they are for sale, and that it is possible to get pseudoscience that has been booby-trapped against LGBTers published through Wright with Elsevier.

WHY ELSEVIER AND WRIGHT ARE SUCH SERIOUS MENACES TO THE COMMUNITY

What makes Elsevier and James Wright such serious menaces to the LGBT community, is that Elsevier has assigned James Wright to be editor-in-chief of The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition.

If trust does not begin getting restored right now, if Elsevier refuses to commit to upholding at least bare minimum standards of science publishing ethics, then when that 2nd edition of the Elsevier Encyclopedia appears, it could very likely be stuffed absolutely full to bursting with hoax studies commissioned by anti-gay-rights organizations that know that with James Wright driving the Elsevier bus, profits are in the front seat and the bus is running clear over science publishing ethics, smashing science publishing ethics to smithereens.

We must keep in mind that National Organization for Marriage strategy documents released only through court order described plans for an “Expert Witness Project.”

Imagine how empowered NOM feels right now, having, so far, successfully pulled off the Regnerus hoax, and knowing that Elsevier and Wright are thrilled with how the hoax upped the Social Science Research journal’s “impact factor.”

It is essential to remember that NOM’s recent political losses in the United States have made its bigot leaders more determined than ever to spread ignorance-and-lies-based anti-gay hatred around the world, including to countries that promote murdering people only because they are gay.  We must take a firm and unwavering stand against Elsevier and James Wright giving an unwarranted imprimatur of scientific respectability to anti-gay hatred and lies.

We have a worldwide human rights duty of conscience to stop James Wright and Elsevier from profiting from unseemly hate speech in the false disguise of a “study.”

Certain scholars not currently active in the drive to get the Regnerus study retracted nonetheless do not mince their words when speaking about it. For example, Dr. Judith Stacey says this: “I certainly agree that the review process at the journal was seriously flawed and that the article should not have been published.”

Wright’s violations of science publishing ethics are already copiously documented.

WRIGHT AND ELSEVIER ARE KNOWINGLY ABETTING REGNERUS IN HIS LYING TO THE PUBLIC

One very serious infraction will serve here as an example of what makes Elsevier and James Wright so dangerous to the community.

Regnerus was funded chiefly by the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute.

In 2010, a study supposedly to be on gay parenting was organized by the Director of the Witherspoon Project for Marriage, Family and Democracy, W. Bradford Wilcox.

Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the study. Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant. Wilcox and Regnerus then collaborated on the study design. Subsequently, Witherspoon approved the study design and arranged for Regnerus to have his full $785,000 in study funding.

Wilcox was extensively involved in the remainder of Regnerus’s study, and, he is on the editorial board of the journal that published Regnerus, Elsevier’s Social Science Research. Yet, no further details of Wilccox’s involvement in the study are necessary to making the present point.

In his published study, and then again in his more recent Additional Analyses, Regnerus makes the false claim that no study funding agency representatives were involved in his study design or in otherwise conducting his study.

Wright, Regnerus and Wilcox did not disclose Wilcox’s multiple conflicts of interest of their own free wills. Rather, investigations unearthed the documentation that Wright had published a lie from Regnerus involving Wright’s editorial board member Wilcox.

Moreover, Wilcox’s conflicts of interest with Regnerus’s funders do not stop with The Witherspoon Institute. Regnerus received $90,000 for the study from The Bradley Foundation, which contributes money to The Ridge Foundation, whose chief officer is Brad Wilcox. (On page 3 at this link, you may see the Bradley Foundation’s $20,000 grant to Wilcox’s Ridge Foundation).

In response to being exposed in these ways, Wilcox is attempting to deny his connection to the funders by saying that his title of Director of Witherspoon’s Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy was “honorific.”

That is fooling exactly nobody.

Sociologist Philip Cohen says this: “I find this description not credible. I do not think any reasonable auditor or ethical agency would subscribe to the idea that the “director” of an organization was not an “officer” of it.”

Sociologist Dr. Lori Hollyfield says this:

“For Wilcox to use the word “honorific” about his position of Witherspoon Program Director, and Regnerus study design collaborator, is a veiled attempt to turn back the clock. But the damage is done, and the credibility of this study is absolutely, indisputably undone. That Wilcox was a study designer, and that was not disclosed, is alone enough to justify retraction. The further possibility that he was a peer reviewer just adds weight to the case for retraction.”

“It is especially unacceptable that the conflict of interests were hidden, and that there is an ongoing attempt to deceive the public about them.  It adds insult to that injury, that what was produced was a methodologically invalid study that perpetuates negative social stereotypes. This is a very malevolent situation; something must be done about it.” (Bolding added).

Elsevier officials and James Wright have been shown the documentation that Wilcox was a Witherspoon Program Director and that in that capacity, he recruited Regnerus to do Witherspoon’s study on gay parents, and then collaborated with Regnerus on the study design before Witherspoon approved Regnerus for full study funding.

Instead of correcting Regnerus’s lie, Elsevier and James Wright knowingly repeated the lie in publication.

Witherspoon, caught out lying on its stand-alone website for the Regnerus study, scrubbed incriminating evidence from their site, though we already had screenshots of that incriminating evidence.

People sponsoring, carrying out and publishing honest work do not have to lie in these ways.

In telling the public the lie that Regnerus’s funders were not involved in designing or conducting his study, Witherspoon and Regnerus are deliberately attempting to mislead the public into believing that Regnerus carried out his study independently of his funders and their anti-gay-rights political goals for the study.

Yet, Elsevier and James Wright have upon their shoulders an even heavier weight of accountability for disseminating that lie to the public, as they, not Regnerus, make the decisions of whether to publish.

With their planned, upcoming 2nd edition of Elsevier’s International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier and James Wright are capable of foisting any number of booby-trapped anti-LGBT “studies” off into the world.

Both Elsevier and James Wright must be counted as very serious menaces.

Sir William Timothy Gowers, British mathematician, is a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge University. He is the leader of a boycott against Elsevier. Gowers has said:  “a piece of blatant anti-gay propaganda has been published in the otherwise respectable journal Social Science Research. The research was, it appears, indirectly funded by anti-gay campaigners and is now being gleefully used to help Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The refereeing process seems to have been accelerated as well. Most importantly, the paper is bunkum and shouldn’t have been accepted: its conclusion (that children do worse if they have gay parents) is not remotely justified by the data used. So who publishes the journal Social Science Research and is not interested in investigating whether proper academic standards have been upheld? I surely don’t need to spell it out.” (Bolding added).

It is far past time for Elsevier to start behaving responsibly and to restore the trust that was shattered with the corrupted publication of the Regnerus submission. The Regnerus study must be retracted from publication, and James Wright must be fired from Elsevier, if the trust on which science is based is to begin to be restored.


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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OPINION

Speaker Johnson: Marjorie Taylor Greene Turned Me Into a ‘Mental Health Counselor’

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Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the House, admitted to a local Louisiana radio station talk show that U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and some others in the GOP conference force him to spend “half” his day “as a mental health counselor.”

Appearing on KEEL’s “Mike & McCarthy” show, as Daily Mail reported, Speaker Johnson on Tuesday was asked if he and the far-right Christian nationalist congresswoman had “kissed and made up” after she tried to oust him in a dramatically failed “motion to vacate.”

“Oh good grief. You know me, I don’t I don’t carry grudges,” Johnson replied. “I don’t you know, you know, I don’t keep a record of wrongs. I went up to her right after her ridiculous tirade and said, ‘You know what, still gotta work together, Marjorie. … How about training some of that energy against the Democrats?'”

“Look. This is all gonna work out. I spend half my day as Speaker of the House and the other half as a mental health counselor,” getting everybody “through their issues.”

Daily Mail also reported that “in November, McCarthy had a piece of advice for his successor: ‘Bring in a psychiatrist for many of these members.'”

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In addition to his remarks about the Georgia Republican, Speaker Johnson went after President Joe Biden.

Asked about the southern border, Johnson defended House Republicans, insisting, “we’ve been fighting since Joe Biden walked into the Oval Office and started issuing executive orders to open it wide.

That’s false, there are no executive orders “to open it wide.”

He also ignored how in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans worked for months and came together to craft a tough immigration and border security bill that was supported by President Biden, Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and senators on both sides of the aisle – until Donald Trump killed it.

Johnson appeared uninterested in working with Democrats, whom he said he told Congresswoman Greene to fight.

He also insisted House Republicans have been “fighting tooth and nail” against Democrats.

“Here’s the problem. Everybody has to remember. We have the smallest majority and only one chamber of Congress and I have a one vote margin, right,” Johnson lamented. “So I can pass things in the House. But it doesn’t mean it’s gonna become law, because the progressive Democrats run the White House and the Senate and so we sit over our legislation, we pass resolutions. We impeached Secretary Mayorkas at Department of Homeland Security. First time a Cabinet Secretary has been impeached in the history of the United States.”

That too is false. In 1876 the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Secretary of War William Belknap.

Johnson also falsely claimed President Biden and the Democrats “wanted us to not fund the government and [to] shut it down. Because they know that [would be] blamed on Republicans, it would be very painful for the American people and then that would that would make sure that we lost the House majority, the narrow majority that we have, in November.”

During Speaker Johnson’s tenure and during his predecessor’s, Democrats joined with Republicans to keep the federal government open and running, while far-right extremists, including Rep. Greene, wanted to shut it down.

One fact Speaker Johnson neglected to mention: Democrats saved his job when Congresswoman Greene tried to oust him.

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‘Biggest Felony in American History’: Prosecutor’s Closing Argument Against Trump Praised

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A prosecutor in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s state prosecution of Donald Trump is being praised for his closing argument Tuesday by a top legal scholar who says the ex-president’s crime was “arguably the biggest felony in American history.”

Trump is on trial in lower Manhattan, facing 34 felony counts. Lawfare’s Anna Bower had summed up the case earlier on Tuesday: “Prosecutors allege that Trump falsified business records in order to commit or cover-up a conspiracy to promote his election to the Presidency by ‘unlawful means.'”

Calling his closing argument “devastating,” Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar, quoted New York prosecutor Josh Steinglass.

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“This scheme could very well be what got President Trump elected,” Steinglass told the jury.

Professor Tribe then remarked: “Think this was a minor crime? Think again! It was arguably the biggest felony in American history. Certainly the most harmful.”

MSNBC legal contributor Katie Phang offered some background.

Referring to AMI, then the parent company of the National Enquirer, she writes:

“STEINGLASS: Once AMI purchased stories on a candidate’s behalf and in coordination with the campaign, those purchases became unlawful campaign contributions. I suggest to you that the value of this corrupt bargain at the Trump Tower meeting cannot be overstated. It turned out to be one of the most valuable contributions ever made…. ‘This scheme, cooked up by these men…could very well be what got President Trump elected…'”

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‘Wildly Lawless’: Judge Cannon’s Removal Predicted by Top Legal Scholar

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will be removed from overseeing the trial in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Espionage Act case against Donald Trump, predicts a top constitutional scholar who is calling her rejection of an urgent request from federal prosecutors to place additional restrictions on the ex-president “wildly lawless,” and a “smoking gun.”

Last week Donald Trump, his campaign, and almost immediately his supporters, falsely claimed President Joe Biden had tried to assassinate the ex-president in 2022 when FBI agents executed a legal and lawful search warrant on Mar-a-Lago. Trump had been storing well over 1000 White House items he had taken, including hundreds of classified documents, at his Florida residence and resort. Among those were some of the nation’s top nuclear secrets.

In a fundraising email one week ago Trump’s campaign claimed, “Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Trump was out of state when the FBI entered Mar-a-Lago. Federal agents had conferred with Secret Service, and had planned for the search warrant to be executed when the ex-president was not at the club.

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“Cannon’s wildly lawless rejection of Special Counsel Smith’s clearly correct request for a gag order against fake and dangerous claims that the FBI was ordered to assassinate him is good news,” declared University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar who wrote a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s the smoking gun that will finally lead to her removal from the stolen secrets case,” Professor Tribe added.

Not responding to the substance of the Special Counsel’s request to order the ex-president to not make any statements that could be dangerous to law enforcement, Judge Cannon instead rejected the motion on the grounds Smith’s attorneys should have conferred with Trump’s attorneys before making the request, as ABC News reports.

“The Government moves to modify defendant Donald J. Trump’s conditions of release, to make clear that he may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case,” federal prosecutors wrote in the filing that Judge Cannon rejected.

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While the Special Counsel’s prosecutors did confer with Trump’s attorney, Judge Cannon claimed their efforts were “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” according to ABC News. “Trump’s lawyers argued that the special counsel violated Local Rule 88.9, which says both parties must ‘meet and confer’ before flings motions so the court and the parties’ time is used efficiently. In a filing Monday, Trump’s lawyers asked Cannon to strike the special counsel’s request and impose sanctions on any prosecutors involved in filing their motion.”

Trump’s attorney had wanted to delay any meeting to confer over the issue until Monday, but federal prosecutors, concerned about Trump’s recent remarks, said they could not wait.

“As we also tried to explain earlier, our judgment was that the situation your client has created necessitated a prompt request for relief that could not wait the weekend to file,” Special Counsel prosecutor David Harbach told Trump’s lawyers via email, according to ABC News. “We understand your position and represented to the court that you do not believe the government has engaged in adequate conferral here.”

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