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Opinion: In Regnerus Study Scandal, Anti-Gay Rights Funder Manipulated Data



University of Texas at Austin researcher Mark Regnerus took $785,000 in funding from anti-gay-rights groups — including the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation — to carry out a study on same-sex parents’ child outcomes.

Regnerus alleges to have proven correlations between same-sex parents and negative child outcomes.

Among scientists with expertise in family sociology generally and same-sex parenting in particular, however, Regnerus’s study has overwhelmingly been judged scientifically invalid.

For Regnerus as a non-topic-expert to presume to make a study of same-sex parenting is preposterous.

Yes, he is a sociologist. No, he does not have the first clue about legitimate science involving homosexuality, homosexuals or same-sex parenting. To begin to comprehend how irresponsible Regnerus is in this, think of a scholar of English literature, with no knowledge of either Japanese or Japanese literature, presuming to carry out a professional-level study on Japanese literature.

Withespoon’s top-most officials also hold positions of authority with other anti-gay-rights groups.  Witherspoon senior fellow Robert P. George, for example, is co-founder and current mastermind of the National Organization for Marriage, and the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group. Both NOM and FRC have been heavily promoting the Regnerus study in anti-gay-rights political contexts in the 2012 elections.

In Section 2 of his study – titled Data collection, measures, and analytic approach – Regnerus alleges that:

the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript. ”

However, documentation reveals that a top Witherspoon Institute official — W. Bradford Wilcox — assisted Regnerus with data analysis for his study.

Witherspoon’s 2010 IRS 990 form shows that Wilcox is Director of the Witherspoon program that is Regnerus’s chief funder; the program for Marriage, Family and Democracy.

At this link, contracts for two Regnerus study consultants may be viewed; one for Paul Amato, the other for Wilcox.

The Wilcox contract states that Wilcox was and is being paid to assist Regnerus with data analysis.

The public does not know how Regnerus derived his published study’s numerical “findings” from his raw data. The raw data have not yet been made public. What the public so far may access, is Regnerus’s study Codebook and the numerical figures given in his published study.

The numbers given in Regnerus’s Codebook do not match the numbers given in his published study. Regnerus told a source that the lack of correspondence is due to the Codebook containing “unweighted” data and the published study containing “weighted” data.

Weighting” is one among many different options sociologists may employ, ideally in order to have their findings be as close to accurate as possible for whichever populations and characteristics they are studying.

However, Regnerus’s raw data as recorded in his Codebook are profoundly dubious. For example, consider the Regnerus Codebook response rates for Regnerus’s study question “Have you ever masturbated?”

Out of 2,988 respondents between 18 and 39-years-old, 620 said that they had never once in their lives masturbated.

Regnerus makes the claim that all of the results of his study have “statistical power” and apply to all young adult children of same sex parents in the United States.

Yet, if Regnerus’s “statistical power” claim were correct for his data, then one would have to believe it true that out of every 2,988 Americans between 18 and 39-years-old, 620 had never once in their lives masturbated.

On the basis of such blatant error, Regnerus and his funders have been using the study to demonize gay people in political contexts.

Regnerus, Wilcox and the University of Texas at Austin were asked to comment on Regnerus’s apparent lie about none of his funders having been involved with his data analyses.

As of publication time, none of those parties had responded.


New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on,, The New York Blade,, 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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Reporters Reveal Some Republicans Don’t Understand What a Default Means – and Don’t Believe the Debt Ceiling Is Real



CNN’s Jim Acosta and John Avlon compared notes on Republicans speaking on raising the debt ceiling over the weekend only to realize that the far-right members refuse to support the deal between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.

Acosta cited an interview he conducted Saturday with Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), who said he’s voted for shutdowns and would vote again this week.

After ranting about cutting spending, Acosta said, “Well, you can have the argument about cutting spending during the budget and appropriations process, but as you know, Congressman, the U.S. has never missed making payments on its bills before. In the last 45 years, Congress has raised the debt ceiling 65 times. So, again, I go back to the question: is it responsible — I understand what you’re saying about how much your daughter spends, but we’re not talking about $15. We’re talking about the American economy. Is it responsible to be the deciding vote to send the country into default?”

Burchett claimed that the country wasn’t going to be sent into default. He crafted a conspiracy that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen kept changing the date the U.S. default would happen.

“Nobody is, as the young people say, nobody has provided the receipts. Nobody has called her into Washington and said, ‘Show us the math on this,'” he said.

Yellen works at the Treasury Department, which is in Washington.

Burchett also had his own math, saying that if they cut the budget spending to the 2022 levels, the country would be in a surplus. The House passed a massive defense spending package that would have required cuts from other places.

“All they’re doin’ right now is scarin’ people,” Burchett claimed. “They’re talkin’ about cutting programs that have no need other than political cronyism, we’re tellin’ our seniors — and the Democrats will, and I get it — they’re tellin’ the seniors they’re gonna be cut. Veterans are gonna be cut. And nothing can be farther (sic) from the truth. And that’s just the reality of politics.”

The reason Democrats were citing cuts to seniors and veterans goes back to the Republican Party budget bill that required cuts to seniors and veterans. That’s because returning to the 2022 budget levels means making cuts to increases already passed by Congress.

Acosta turned back to Burchett to ask if he believed the debt ceiling wasn’t real.

“I think the debt ceiling is — it’s just a creative thing to hold us into responsible — into check,” said Burchett.

Avlon cited Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), who claimed he refused to sign a bill that would bankrupt the economy.

“Well, hold it right there,” said Avlon. “I mean, if you let the country default on its debt, that’s functionally the same thing.”

An annoyed Avlon was frustrated the process was even something allowed to happen.

“It’s a fact, Congress has to control the pursestrings. So, frankly, someone should figure out the 14th Amendment side of this because I think this is not the way we’re supposed to play ball, the greatest nation in the world constantly every couple of years when there’s a Democratic president flirting with defaulting on our debt because it’s fiscal policy by extortion,” said Avlon. “This is a win to the extent that we came up to a bipartisan agreement, but this is not the way the greatest nation in the world should conduct its fiscal policy. It’s ridiculous. And it didn’t happen when Donald Trump was president because Democrats worked with Republicans to ensure the debt ceiling was raised three times.”

See the discussion below or at the link here.

Image: GOP Rep. Tim Burchett


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‘Start the Kevin McCarthy Death-Clock’ After Biden Wins Debt Ceiling Battle: Rick Wilson



Appearing late Saturday night on MSNBC after it was announced that President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had reached an agreement “in principle’ on a budget deal, former GOP strategist Rick Wilson claimed this could be the beginning of the end for McCathy’s speakership.

Sitting in on a panel with guest host Michael Steele, Wilson suggested that McCarthy’s decision to compromise with the president to avoid a default that would spin the economy into chaos will not go over well with far-right members of his House caucus who could make a motion to “vacate the chair” to express their displeasure.

Asked by host Steel about what comes next, Wilson stated it was a win for the White House which will not make conservatives happy.

RELATED: ‘Crazy cuckoo MAGA people’ could sink debt ceiling deal: Dem strategist

“Great night for Joe Biden, great night for the White House even though I think their messaging has been kind of tentative the past few weeks” the Lincoln Project founder began. “I think though we are now going to start the Kevin McCarthy death-clock. He has certainly got a very angry part of his caucus tonight who probably burning up his phone no matter how good it is for the country not to default.”

“It’s not going to please the chaos caucus in the GOP,” he added.

Watch below or at the link:


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Debt Ceiling: McCarthy Faces ‘Lingering Anger’ and a Possible Revolt as Far-Right House Members Start Issuing Threats



As House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) continues to negotiate a deal to avoid a debt crisis, members of the far-right Freedom Caucus are growing furious with him over broken promises he made to them.

According to MSNBC political analyst Steve Benen, with a slim GOP majority in the House, McCarthy is walking a tightrope to get a budget deal passed and may need help from House Democrats if members of his caucus refuse to go along with him.

As Benen points out, in order to win the speakership McCarthy agreed to an easier path for a motion to “vacate the chair” which could end his tenure as Speaker. That could come into play if the Freedom Caucus stages a revolt.

“… as the negotiations approach an apparent finish line, the House Republicans’ most radical faction is learning that it isn’t likely to get everything its members demanded — and for the Freedom Caucus, that’s not going to work,” he wrote in his MSNBC column.

ALSO IN THE NEWS: Trump in danger of heightened espionage charges after bombshell report: legal expert

Citing a Washington Times report that stated, “[Freedom Caucus members] want everything from the debt limit bill passed by the House last month plus several new concessions from the White House,” Benen suggested far-right House Republicans are now issuing veiled threats.

In an interview, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) stated, “I am going to have to go have some blunt conversations with my colleagues and the leadership team. I don’t like the direction they are headed.”

With Politico reporting, “The [House Freedom Caucus] was already unlikely to support a final bipartisan deal, but lingering anger with Kevin McCarthy could have lasting implications on his speakership,” Benen added, “If this is simply a matter of lingering ill-will from members who come to believe that GOP leaders ‘caved,’ the practical consequences might be limited. But let’s also not forget that McCarthy, while begging his own members for their support during his protracted fight for the speaker’s gavel, agreed to tweak the motion-to-vacate-the-chair rules, which at least in theory, would make it easier for angry House Republicans to try to oust McCarthy from his leadership position.”

Adding the caveat that he is not predicting an imminent McCarthy ouster he added, “But if the scope of the Freedom Caucus’ discontent reaches a fever pitch, a hypothetical deal clears thanks to significant Democratic support, don’t be surprised if we all start hearing the phrase ‘vacate the chair” a lot more frequently.”

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