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Regnerus Is ‘Disgraced,’ Anti-Gay Parenting Study ‘Deeply Flawed’ Says Chief Reviewer

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The Regnerus anti-gay parenting “study” by Mark Regnerus (image, above) is “deeply flawed” and as a result, the author himself is “disgraced,” says the study’s top appointed scholarly reviewer.

In a lengthy interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Darren Sherkat, a professor of sociology at Southern Illinois University, and a member of the editorial board of Social Science Research — the publisher of the Regnerus “study,” officially the “New Family Structures Study” (NFSS) — once again decimates the Regnerus paper.

“When we talk about Regnerus, I completely dismiss the study,” Sherkat tells the Southern Poverty Law Center:

It’s over. He has been disgraced. All of the prominent people in the field know what he did and why he did it. And most of them know that he knew better. Some of them think that he’s also stupid and an ideologue. I know better. I know that he’s a smart guy and that he did this on purpose, and that it was bad, and that it was substandard.

Regular readers will note that The New Civil Rights Movement was at the forefront of investigating the background and methodology of the Regnerus work, which falsely claimed that adult children raised by gay and lesbian parents by far more likely to perform poorly in life. The Regnerus study claimed that these adults of gay parents had far great chances of using drugs, being on welfare and food stamps, have behavioral problems, and exhibit self-destructive behaviors. The list of negative outcomes was lengthy — and false.

In fact, Regnerus used a sample of adults who were asked not if their parents were LGBT, but if they thought their parents had ever had sex or a relationship with a member of the same-sex. Only a handful of the study’s participants were actually raised by a same-sex couple.

Here at The New Civil Rights Movement, Scott Rose authored dozens upon dozens of articles on Regnerus, and was instrumental in convincing the academic community to re-examine the Regnerus work and the University of Texas to conduct a review of Regnerus’ study.

The New Civil Rights Movement has published over 120 articles on, about, or mentioning Regnerus. You can read them all here.

Below, a few excerpts from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s interview with Darren Sherkat, who “was tapped” by Social Science Research editor James Wright “to conduct an audit of the process of publishing the Regnerus study,” the SPLC writes:

Let’s get down to the details. What’s wrong with the Regnerus paper?
Regnerus and other right-wing activists have been fond of claiming that the study is “population-based” or a “national probability study.” As a scientist, I don’t even know what “population-based” means, and the data used in this study are by no means a probability sample. Regnerus’ data are from a large number of people recruited through convenience by a marketing firm — they are not a random, representative sample of the American population. Science requires random samples of the population, and that is not how this marketing firm collected their data.

Several scholars also have pointed to incongruities and outlandish values in the Regnerus study, such as people claiming hundreds of sex partners in the prior week. The online collection of data makes the veracity of responses even more problematic. The state of the art in family research would use a random sample of households and follow up with parents and children to see whether or not parental couplings impacted child outcomes — controlling for other potential influences like income, education, ethnicity, relationship stability, and the like.

Isn’t a key criticism also that the study doesn’t actually address children growing up in households of self-identified LGBT parents?
The key measure of gay and lesbian parenting is simply a farce. The study includes a retrospective question asking if people knew if their mother or father had a “romantic” relationship with someone of the same sex when the respondent was under age 18. This measure is problematic on many levels.

Regnerus admits that just two of his respondents were actually raised by a same-sex couple, though I doubt that he can even know that, given his limited data. Since only two respondents were actually raised in gay or lesbian households, this study has absolutely nothing to say about gay parenting outcomes. Indeed, because it is a non-random sample, this study has nothing to say about anything.

 

The SPLC notes a troubling increase in right wing funding of research that is designed to guarantee a positive outcome for conservative values and positions.

You mentioned what you see as a trend in academia, the rise of conservative ideologies in science and in funding for research. How widespread is that?
There is in fact a movement to change the intellectual and cultural climate of academics. This has been going on for over 30 years. Look at things like James Davidson Hunter’s Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation, where he talks about the growth of these more intellectual conservative evangelical types in Christian colleges like Wheaton and Gordon and Calvin, which is Regnerus’ alma mater. They’ve actively courted the young, successful people in these colleges to become professors, to become intellectuals, and they support their careers.

One thing that’s disturbing to me about the Regnerus study is that Regnerus received a large amount of money from these foundations and this creates a very different scholarly and intellectual atmosphere. It creates a playing field that’s not level. Someone like Regnerus is now able to go out and buy his own data, if we’re to accept data of this quality.

Even if we were to say it’s high-quality data, he is able to get a million dollars’ worth of influence — he was able to generate that kind of funding from these conservative foundations in a way that other intellectuals are not able to do. All of the traditional sources of social scientific funding have dried up over the last 20 years and there’s nowhere to go to get money, but these guys have it. There are talks in Congress about cutting the entire social science budget at the National Science Foundation. That is chilling, because then we’ll be completely reliant on people like Mark Regnerus and Brad Wilcox [of the University of Virginia] and Christian Smith [of Notre Dame University] and people like that for our information about potentially crucial or controversial issues.

So it’s less about science and more about fighting a culture war?
Absolutely. It’s a real coordinated effort to create a kind of separate culture, to change contemporary culture in broader society. What’s different now is that they are beginning to move into the world, as they call it, and they are adamant about having an impact in the public square. That’s a real change for some of those groups. And they’re enabled in that in a lot of different ways, with the deregulation of education and their ability to create their own educational institutions, to provide home-schooling and all kinds of other alternative educational institutions.

 

Jeremy Hooper at Good As You notes:

This weekend, Mark Regnerus will appear at the “It Takes A Family” conference, a project of the National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute, where he will lecture alongside intensely anti-gay figures like Robert Gagnon. Just in case you needed more grist for the agenda-driven mill.

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'ETHICS PROGRAM HAS BEEN RAZED TO THE GROUND'

Online Database Has 426 Videos of Police Attacking George Floyd Protestors

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police brutality

The nationwide protests against police violence have created numerous instances of police violence. As hundreds of thousands have non-violently protested without incident, they’re capturing police attacks against demonstrators on camera, and now there’s a database where you can watch them all.

Lawyer T. Greg Doucette and mathematician Jason Miller have placed these clips into a public Google Sheet entitled “GeorgeFloyd Protest – police brutality videos on Twitter.” It contains links to at least 426 videos of police violence committed in cities across the United States.

“[The videos] come in from a variety of spots, but the vast majority are sent via DM. I’ve got nearly 1,000 unopened DMs at this point plus ppl I’ve already talked with sending me more,” Doucette told Vice News.

Doucette makes sure to verify the time and place of each video so he doesn’t re-circulate old footage from years ago.

The importance of cataloging such videos is that they counter police narratives about police being provoked into violence or lies about protestors being injured after “tripping” or “resisting arrest.” After all, if it weren’t for the now-viral video of George Floyd having his neck kneeled on by police, the national public might not be rallying in such large numbers in the first place.

“I’m a political “anti-state” conservative, and police brutality angers me on a visceral level,” Doucette said. “People need to understand that what they’re seeing now is *normal.* It happens several times a week, every week, every year, for years now. It’s not a one-off; it’s cultural rot and flagrant lawlessness.”

Police attacks against journalists have also been increasing since the Floyd protests began. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is now suing on behalf of journalists assaulted by police. In 2018, the U.S. was named as one of the top five most dangerous countries for journalists to work by the organization Journalists Without Borders.

 

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AWESOME!

The U.S. Marine Corps Will No Longer Allow Racist Confederate Flags at Their Bases

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Marines confederate flag

On Friday evening, the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) released guidelines banning the Confederate Flag at any of its domestic or foreign military installations, including bases, training, operating, and storage facilities.

In an image explaining the new guidelines published on Twitter, the USMC wrote, “The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our corps. Our history as a nation, and events like the violence in Charlottesville in 2017, highlight the divisiveness the use of the Confederate battle flag has had on our society. This presents a threat to our core values.”

The USMC now forbids any display of the flag on bumper stickers, clothing, mugs, posters, flags and in any other forms.

Since confederate flags are hate symbols flown by states that fought for the right to own black people as slaves. While some people claim that the confederate flag is merely a symbol of southern “heritage, not hate,” it was re-popularized in the U.S. by white southerners who opposed racial integration.

The USMC’s decision comes alongside decisions by leaders across the U.S. to scrap similar monuments dedicated to racist confederates in light of the ongoing protests against racism in policing and the judicial system.

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'HEART' OF TEXAS

Texas GOP Leaders Call George Floyd’s Death a Hoax and MLK a Monkey

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Cynthia Brehm racist GOP, YouTube

Leaders of the Republican Party in Texas have been publishing conspiracy theories and racist posts on social media in response to the national protests against anti-Black policing. Amid calls for them to step down, all have refused.

Bexar County Republican Chairwoman Cynthia Brehm posted a now-deleted Facebook post in which she claimed George Floyd’s May 25 death was actually a “staged event” to spark opposition to President Donald Trump.

In her post Brehm wrote, “I think there is at the very least the ‘possibility’ that this was a filmed public execution of a black man by a white cop, with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti deep state sentiment from common people that have already been psychologically traumatized by Covid 19 fears.”

There’s absolutely zero proof whatsoever that Floyd’s murder was a fabricated hoax—he was killed after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he begged for his life.

Nueces County GOP Chair Jim Kaelin shared her post, calling it an “interesting perspective.” Harrison County GOP chair Lee Lester shared her post as well as “food for thought.”

It’s worth noting that on May 22, Brehm claimed that Democrats were overemphasizing coronavirus just to hurt Trump.

Similarly, Comal County GOP Chair Sue Piner, posted a message with an image of Jewish billionaire and political reformer George Soros which read, “I pay white cops to murder black people. And then I pay black people to riot because race wars keep the sheep in line.”

Elsewhere, Keith Nielsen, the GOP chairman-elect in Harris County, posted an image on Facebook showing a Martin Luther King Jr. quote — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — on a background with a banana. Associating Black people with apes and monkeys is a long-used racist trope to insult Black people as sub-human wild animals.

In response to calls for him to resign, Nielsen wrote, “It is unfortunate that the sentiment of the quote and my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been overshadowed by people’s misinterpretation of an image… My hope is I will continue to be part of the solution and never part of the problem.”

He didn’t explain why his image had a banana in it.

Republicans in Texas and in the U.S. Congress have said that the GOP leaders who made the racist posts should step down. None of the GOP leaders have said that they will.

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