Prof. Regnerus says Michigan judge showed bias in ruling allowing same-sex ‘marriage’
DETROIT, MI, March 31, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Dr. Mark Regnerus, whose conclusions about same-sex "marriage" were dismissed in last week's ruling on the matter by Judge Bernard Friedman, is fighting back.
"I frankly don't understand why the judge elected to pass on a discussion of some of the very real concerns our research raised," Regnerus told LifeSiteNews in an e-mail. Regnerus says Friedman "chose to privilege certain scholars as well as research that leaned on self-selected samples."
Friedman ruled that same-sex "marriage" should be legal in Michigan, overturning the state's ban on those relationships. Gov. Rick Snyder has said he will not validate about 300 same-sex "marriages" until the state's attorney general has exhausted his legal defense of the state. Friedman's decision was temporarily "stayed" by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, pending the state's appeal.
Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, Friedman criticized Regnerus' study and testimony in his opinion. He called Regnerus’ testimony “entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration," and accused Regnerus of being influenced by the goals of the study's funder. The study was given $700,000 by the Witherspoon Institute, and the organization wanted the study to be done prior to the arrival of certain cases before the Supreme Court.
Regnerus' study found that children raised in the homes of homosexuals do statistically worse than those children raised in homes with heterosexual parents. According to Regnerus, "it's as if raising standard methodological issues on this subject is just unwelcome today, unless it's clear that you are friendly to the political goals of the same-sex marriage movement."
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"My study noted numerous suboptimal outcomes experienced by adult children who reported a parental same-sex relationship," says Regnerus. "Like other studies, it has its limitations. But there is much it can tell us, including about the household instability experienced by such children, and the uncommon frequency of stably-coupled lesbian households with children in the era I was examining."
"In the end, the judge seemed to focus on what my study could not say rather than what it could. It is frustrating to see him overlook the significant limitations of other studies."
Those limitations are significant. Matthew J. Franck, Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute, argues in an article at The Public Discourse that the American Psychological Association ignored flaws in its cited studies when it asserted in 2005 that same-sex parents are able to support children’s psychosocial growth as well as heterosexual parents.
Those flaws include "sampling and design problems, inadequate statistical rigor, and conclusions about “no differences” that could not be justifiably generalized to the larger population,” he wrote.
At the Daily Caller last week, political commentator David Benkof argued that “all the gay parenting studies are flawed.” He said he examined "more than 50 studies that supposedly ‘prove’ same-sex parenting is completely equal to opposite-sex parenting,” but "every single bit of research had at least one of the substantial drawbacks I outline below." Those drawbacks include a lack of objectivity by homosexual researchers whose results showed homosexual relationships were not inferior to heterosexual relationships, as well as potential funding biases Benkof says Friedman ignored.
Benkof also pointed to the flaw of appealing to the authority of the APA and other organizations that "lean sharply leftward." Benkof highlighted the support of the APA, which "has issued studies and statements favoring abortion and mandatory handgun licensing, and opposing welfare reform."