May 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A December 2014 study alleged that homosexual activists, in a twenty-minute conversation, can change the minds of those who oppose redefining marriage. Six months later, the data to support the study has been revealed as fraudulent, and the study itself has been retracted.
Titled “When contact changes minds: An experiment on transmission of support for gay equality,” the study claimed that homosexual activists canvassing door-to-door in favor of redefining marriage could convert the people they spoke with – and that the interlocutors' epiphanies would not only last for a year, but also inspire members of their households to favor redefining marriage as well.
The study, published in Science magazine, was conducted by Columbia University political science professor Donald Green and UCLA grad student Michael LaCour. Green initiated the retraction after discovering that LaCour's work comprised “an incredible mountain of fabrications with the most baroque and ornate ornamentation.”
In an extensive report, Buzzfeed News detailed that three researchers were unable to reproduce LaCour's findings, instead discovering multiple “statistical irregularities” in the data. Additionally, LaCour's claims of having received funding for the study from three organizations – the Ford Foundation, the Williams Institute at UCLA, and the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund – have been denied by the organizations themselves.
Following Green's retraction, Science published an “editorial expression of concern” “to alert our readers to the fact that serious questions have been raised about the validity of findings in the LaCour and Green paper.”
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) condemned the mainstream media for uncritically trumpeting the study and blasted the “questionable” methodology of studies purporting to show overwhelming social benefits from redefining marriage.
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NOM referenced a report by Louisiana State University professor and family studies expert Loren Marks, who examined 59 American Psychological Association-supported studies claiming that children raised by same-sex parents do as well as or better than those raised by opposite-sex parents. Marks found serious problems in all of the studies: among other issues, some studies had “no heterosexual comparison groups,” “single mothers were often used as the hetero comparison group,” and “(d)efinitive claims were not substantiated by the 59 published studies.”
Evidence opposing the redefinition of marriage has been loudly panned by mainstream media outlets, homosexual activist groups, and others. University of Texas professor Mark Regnerus's July 2012 study on same-sex and opposite-sex parenting households, which earned ire from Politifact, the New York Times, and others, is the most famous example. An anti-redefinition amici curiae brief filed by “Same-Sex Attracted Men and Their Wives” in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges garnered the derision of Slate, while Utah Valley University president Matthew Holland enraged UVU faculty by adding his signature to a brief from “100 Scholars of Marriage.”
The national campaign director for the homosexual activist group Freedom to Marry told Buzzfeed News that regardless of the dishonesty of the LaCour study, Freedom to Marry would continue its canvassing efforts. “The efficacy of it has been proven multiple times.”
The National Organization for Marriage said the retraction highlights “how the underlying methodologies of many- if not most -studies supporting the same-sex ‘marriage’ movement are questionable – often using small convenience samples featuring people who have an interest in a study turning out a particular way.”
“People – including Supreme Court Justices – would do well to remember these fake and flawed studies when the media trots out the next claim purporting to show how beneficial it will be if we redefine the most important social institution civilization has ever known,” they added.