It was shocking to see that over the Father’s Day 2013 weekend, Robberson published a piece titled “Mark Regnerus: Defending my Research on Same-Sex Parenting.”
The scientific community is way past having documented that Regnerus’s New Family Structure Study — funded by the virulently anti-gay, NOM- and Catholic Church-linked Witherspoon Institute — is an academic hoax, the defamatory anti-gay nature of its findings determined before data collection had even been done.
In fact, documents had via Freedom of Information Act requests to Regnerus’ UT revealed that in August 2011 — before study data collection had occurred — Regnerus and Witherspoon’s Brad Wilcox traveled to Colorado for a full day meeting about promoting the study in the media with Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton. Then, in September 2010, Regnerus e-mailed Wilcox telling him that he wanted to know more about Witherspoon President Luis Tellez’s and Maggie’s “hopes for what emerges from this project.” (Regnerus refuses to answer questions about just who his “Maggie” is, increasing suspicions that it is NOM’s notorious anti-gay liar Maggie Gallagher).
The worst part of the lack of integrity involved in the Regnerus hoax is found in its having being published by editor James Wright, of the University of Central Florida, in Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research on the false pretense that it had received valid peer review prior to publication. Michael Schwartz, chair of sociology at Stony Brook University, is on record calling for the Regnerus paper to be retracted and for Wright to be removed from his position for his documented editorial misconduct in publishing Regnerus. Gary Gates of UCLA’s Williams Institute submitted an essay to Wright about his publication of Regnerus titled An Illegitimate Review Process. Wright refused to publish Gates’ essay.
Even were it not for the documented misconduct involved, on the purely scientific side every major professional group that has evaluated the Regnerus paper has concluded that the paper has nothing to say about same-sex parents — and yet Robberson chose to regurgitate, in publication, the known fraudulent claim that Regnerus did “research on same-sex parenting.”
Here is what the American Sociological Association has to say in its Prop 8 and DOMA cases amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court: “by conflating children raised by same-sex parents with individuals who reportedly had a parent who had ‘a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex,’ and referring to such individuals as children of ‘lesbian mothers’ or ‘gay fathers,’ the Regnerus study obscures the fact that it did not specifically examine children raised by two same-sex parents. Accordingly, it cannot speak to the impact of same-sex parenting on child outcomes.”
Robberson in his article presents Regnerus as though Regnerus had no connection to the political uses being made of his hoax study, when in fact, Regnerus filed a Supreme Court amicus brief alleging that on the basis of his study, the U.S. government should continue to discriminate against DOMA plaintiff Edith Windsor, who has no children.
Laurie Essig of Middlebury College e-mailed Robberson with her concerns about his counterfactual presentation of Regnerus and the study. Robberson blew her off by trying to assert that the lies he published are not lies. The documentation shows otherwise, it is in my possession and also is not hard to find on the Internet.
Robberson refused to comment for my piece. Shame on him and on the Dallas News for publishing their article in defense of Regnerus’s gay-bashing junk science on Father’s Day weekend.
Scott Rose is a New York City-based novelist, investigative reporter and freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org