It is becoming obvious that Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin is in some pretty serious trouble for taking $750,000 from the National Organization for Marriage affiliated Witherspoon Institute and then producing an inaccurate, invalid, and academically unsound sociological study aimed at demonizing gay parents.
Regnerus is already in trouble with UT for not getting his study peer reviewed, or at least not properly peer reviewed. He did not have it peer reviewed, of course, because they would have shredded him and the study faster than the LGBT Community did. Making matters worse, the study appears to have been directly commissioned in order so that it could be released in time for the 2012 elections. Most studies of this nature take years to compile and complete. Regnerus did not do that.
So far, eight professional associations including the American Medical Association have gone on record analyzing Regnerus’ study as being invalid. Specifically, they went on record in the Golinski case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. To date, the American Sociological Association has not taken any action regarding it, but that may change.
Scott Rose notes that:
There is precedent for the ASA taking action when one of its members distorts the scientific record to demonize a minority. For example:
“In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that ‘Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism’ and noted that ‘Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.’ The resolution formally charged an ASA committee with the task of ‘critically evaluating and publicly responding to the work of Dr. Paul Cameron.’ At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted the committee’s report and passed the following resolution: ‘The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research’.”
Regnerus has been guilty of using his invalid “findings” to incite the public to misunderstandings about, and discrimination against gay parents. For example, writing in Slate, Regnerus said that his study:
“…may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”
Philip N. Cohen, a council member for the ASA’s family section stated that:
“It now appears, I am glad to say, that the ASA will do something like submit briefs on this issue to the relevant courts (not just about this article but about the issue more broadly). This is a big deal, which happens rarely — and the suspicion is that it might become relevant in what history will judge as a landmark Supreme Court decision about civil rights.”
Cohen had earlier reported that the ASA was looking into the fact that Regnerus’ study did not support its own conclusions. Regnerus was given $55,000 initially from the Witherspoon Institute as part of a “planning grant” and then he was given the rest of the money as part of creating the study. Both Regnerus and the NOM subsidiary are unwilling to open their communications to be read over by journalists despite several Freedom of Information Act Requests.