And anyone who supports his views is at risk, too.
In June, WingRight.org reported on the publication of Mark Regnerus‘ article, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” in Social Science Research. The adults reported more problems when compared to adult children of “intact biological families.” The early complaints from critics were that the data didn’t distinguish between types of homosexual relationships in the same way that it did among heterosexual families. The adult subjects were designated as having Lesbian Mothers (LM) or gay fathers (GF), without breaking out smaller groups by how long or stable the relationships of the parents were. This was a weakness in the study that was recognized by the author.
Legitimate criticism was rare. One article, here, by Walter Olson under “Gay Voices” at least looks at the data itself, although dismissing much of it and declaring the author’s own bias. Critics repeatedly point to a very few small studies of carefully chosen – often self-selected -upper-middle class LM families that are written by very biased authors, who openly advocate for same-sex marriage and parenting. Somehow, they believe that bias in favor is not significant, but any data or mention that there might be negative consequences from alternative families – or documentation of positive outcomes from intact biological families – is immediately dismissed as bigoted and discriminatory.
However, instead of focusing on the problems described and noting that adult children of divorced and step families also fared poorly compared to IBFs, the conversation in the media and on line quickly became attacks on Dr. Regnerus, the source of the funding, the Witherspoon Institute, and the connections between the leaders of the Institute and the National Organization for Marriage.
An article in “The New Civil Rights Movement,” an online site devoted to “gay rights and issues and marriage equality,” very literally attacks not only Dr. Regnerus, Witherspoon and NOM, but also tears apart the motives and history of a man who came forward to tell his story after the Regnerus piece was published. The author, gay rights activist Scott Rosensweig who writes under the name Scott Rose, is most certainly biased. His piece is loaded with emotional rants, using words such as the repeated use of “gay-bashing”personal attacks on the author of the Witherspoon essay.
And now, the heat is on the University of Texas to somehow censor or censure Dr. Regnerus. Due to a “formal” complaint by Rosensweig, author of the article above, UT is conducting an inquiry to determine whether to fully investigate Dr. Regnerus and his methods. Rosensweig’s letter evidently charged that “Your employee, Professor Mark Regnerus, is shaming and disgracing your institution by violating your university’s academic honor code,” he wrote. “If you take no stand against Regnerus’ coordinated political anti-gay hate campaign then you are leaving your institution’s reputation in a garbage-bin of iniquity.”
I’m forwarding my own essay to the University and suggest that those of you with an interest in the issue, or who pay taxes in Texas, send them your own polite informative notes. President Bill Power’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.