Discredited researcher Mark Regnerus and other anti-gay social science researchers are scheduled to be called as witnesses in this week’s marriage equality lawsuit in Michigan. The New York Times today reports on the link between these men and the virulently anti-gay Heritage Foundation.
In meetings hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington in late 2010, opponents of same-sex marriage discussed the urgent need to generate new studies on family structures and children, according to recent pretrial depositions of two witnesses in the Michigan trial and other participants. One result was the marshaling of $785,000 for a large-scale study by Mark Regnerus, a meeting participant and a sociologist at the University of Texas who will testify in Michigan. The trial involves a challenge to Michigan’s constitutional restriction of marriage to a union between a man and a woman, brought by a lesbian couple who want to marry and legally adopt each other’s children. This time, four social science researchers, all of whom attended at least one of the Heritage Foundation meetings and went on to publish new reports, are scheduled to testify in favor of Michigan’s ban. The most prominent is Dr. Regnerus. His study, published in 2012, was condemned by leading social scientists as misleading and irrelevant, but some conservatives call it the best of its kind and continue to cite it in speeches and court cases.
And where did Regnerus get the money for the study?
Among those at the Heritage meetings was Luis E. Tellez, president of the Witherspoon Institute, a religious-conservative research center in Princeton, N.J. His organization seized the baton, signing up Dr. Regnerus, who was known as a skilled quantitative researcher, mainly on adolescent sexuality and religion, and as a Roman Catholic and opponent of same-sex marriage. The institute gave Dr. Regnerus $695,000; the Bradley Foundation, a grant-making organization that supports conservative causes, gave him $90,000, according to his résumé.
As you are no doubt aware, the Regnerus study has been cited in numerous defenses of US same-sex marriage bans and has been used to battle LGBT rights in foreign countries such as Russia. Earlier this month the plaintiffs in the Michigan case filed a motion which demands that Regnerus be barred from testifying. We’ll likely get the ruling on that this week. Hit the label link for Mark Regnerus for my extensive reporting on him over the last two years. (Tipped by JMG reader Str8 Grandmother)