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As Regnerus Testifies Against Marriage In Court, His University Denounces His Research

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var addthis_config = {“data_track_addressbar”:true};Mark Regnerus, the man whose name seems to have become synonymous with bad research, was allowed to deliver testimony in federal court today in a case that will decide the fate of same-sex marriage in Michigan. Many wondered if Judge Bernard Friedman, who barred one “expert” witness from testifying earlier in the day, would allow Regnerus, whose own work has been discredited, to testify. The case, Deboer v. Snyder, involves two nurses, Jayne and April DeBoer-Rowse, who wish to marry and jointly-adopt their three adopted children.

Friedman did, and Regnerus, according to many tweets and reports of journalists in the courtroom, told the judge that there’s just no conclusive evidence that there’s no difference between same-sex and different-sex parents raising children, and that “the most prudent thing to do is wait and evaluate some of these changes over time before making any radical moves around marriage.”

HRC’s Ellen Kahn issued a statement saying that “Mark Regnerus’ testimony today in this trial is, in many ways, a culmination of exactly what the anti-gay funders of his work intended when they conceived the New Family Structures study. Make no mistake about it – Regnerus is not offering valid, scientific data. In fact, his study is a clear outlier among 30 years worth of social science that suggest children thrive equally well in two parent households, regardless of the genders of their parents. He is simply carrying out the harmful rhetoric of organizations that seek to demonize LGBT people and their families.”

HRC added:

According to reports from the courtroom today, provided by the Detroit Free Press, Regnerus again stated that he believed marriage was between one man and one woman. He also admitted that the report’s chief funder, the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute, wanted the study completed before the U.S. Supreme Court took up marriage equality. That’s a reference to a remark from Witherspoon President Luiz Tellez. That exchange, as well as many other examples of the conflicts of interest surrounding the report, is available at HRC’s Regnerus Fallout website. Through the Regnerus Fallout site, HRC continues to track the study’s funding and flaws, as well as calling out where it is cited in new court cases around the country.

Meanwhile, apparently in response to Regnerus begin accepted as a witness and to the testimony he delivered, Regnerus’ own university issued a statement distancing itself from his work.

The University of Texas at Austin and the College of Liberal Arts issued a statement saying “Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the university. Like all faculty, he has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. We encourage the community of scholars and society as a whole to evaluate his claims.”

Ouch.

And if that weren’t sufficient, the Chairman of the University of Texas at Austin’s Sociology Department issued a statement today denouncing Regnerus’ work.

Like all faculty, Dr. Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. However, Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin. Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families. We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.

The Sociology Department at The University of Texas at Austin aspires to achieve academic excellence in research, teaching, and public service at the highest level in our discipline. We strive to do so in a context that is based on the highest ethical standards of our discipline and in a context that actively promotes and supports diversity among our faculty and student populations.

Ouch.

So much for being an “expert witness.”

 

Image via Jayne Rowse’s Facebook Page

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'ANGRY AND APPALLED'

Former Trump Defense Secretary Mattis Breaks Silence – Scorches Ex-Boss – Stands Up for Protestors in Scathing Statement

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Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general who served in the military from 1969 to 2013, has finally broken his long silence. In a scathing rebuke far more devastating than any delivered by any former Trump official (except his resignation letter), Mattis denounces Trump for violating the constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and stands up for the protestors.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try,” Mattis says, as The Atlantic reports.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

He goes on to contrast the American ethos of unity with Nazi ideology. “Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was “Divide and Conquer.” Our American answer is “In Union there is Strength.”’ We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

Mattis makes clear he is disgusted with how Trump has handled the protests across the nation – and that he supports the protestors.

“I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

He doesn’t stop there.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

Read The Atlantic’s full report, or Mattis’ full statement at CNN.

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WHAT LEADERSHIP LOOKS LIKE

‘Showing Off With These Complete Sentences’: Internet Rejoices as ‘Real President’ Obama Speaks – ‘I Miss Him’

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Former President Barack Obama delivered forward-looking, encouraging remarks in response to the police killing of George Floyd and the ongoing nationwide protests, and the Internet rejoiced. President Obama’s comments, part of a town hall organized by his My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, were focused for his younger audience, and were short and seemingly off-the-cuff, yet inspired a nation thirsting for caring, intelligence, and leadership.

Take a look.

 

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FASCISM

The Pentagon Announced It Was Pulling Hundreds of Troops Out of DC. The Defense Secretary Just Canceled That Order.

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It took Secretary of Defense Mark Esper just two hours to countermand a decision the Pentagon had announced, that it was pulling hundreds of active-duty troops out of Washington, D.C.

“Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions,” the AP reports. “It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed.”

Secretary Esper surprised many Wednesday morning when he announced at a hastily-called press conference he disagrees with invoking The Insurrection Act to deploy U.S. troops to cities across the nation to, as President Donald Trump has said, “quell” protestors. President Trump fully supports invoking the law, and has already heavily militarized D.C.

In more than 140 cities Americans have been protesting the police killing of an unarmed, handcuffed Black man, George Floyd, now for nine days and nights.

President Donald Trump has demanded mayors and governors “dominate” the protestors, and has posted threatening tweets advocating his position against the protestors.

About one hour ago several large military vehicles were deployed to the area in front of St. John’s Church, where President Trump held his Bible photo-op on Monday.

Image: DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James K. Lee
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