Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rob Tisanai at Box Turtle Bulletin: "Dear Dr. Regnerus"

And now, in non-"Dancing with the Stars" news as the weekend arrives:

I really like Rob Tisanai's open letter to Mark Regnerus at Box Turtle Bulletin this week. Regnerus is author of the widely discredited study that claimed to "prove" that same-sex parents are inferior parents--when it didn't study same-sex parents at all. It studied children of broken heterosexual marriages whose mothers had a same-sex relationship at some point in their lives. 

Tisanai tells Regnerus that he's sure Regnerus will be concerned to hear that the National Organization for Marriage is misusing his study to make claims that Regnerus has now definitively "proven" that same-sex parents are poor parents. And he tells Box Turtle readers that he will keep us posted on Regnerus's response.

All this is tongue-in-cheek, of course. Tisanai knows full well that Regnerus will almost certainly not respond to his letter, when his study was bought and paid for by none other than Witherspoon Institute. Which was founded by neocon Catholic activist Robert P. George, among others. Robert P. George, who is chairman emeritus of the board of NOM . . . . And Tisanai knows full well that no sooner had Regnerus's study been released, than it began appearing in amicus briefs of right-wing groups attacking marriage equality: it was cited, in fact, the very day after it appeared in print by an amicus curiae brief   in a lawsuit about the Defense of Marriage Act.

As Sofia Resnick reported for the American Independent a few weeks after the Regnerus study appeared, the right-wing groups who bought and paid for it clearly did so with the intent of using it to "prove" that same-sex parents are inferior parents in their battle against marriage equality. NOM itself began to tout the study from the moment it appeared.

And guess who else is now citing Regnerus's study in amicus briefs to "prove" the inferiority of same-sex parenting? The U.S. Catholic bishops in their brief to the Supreme Court regarding proposition 8--as Peter Montgomery informs readers of Religion Dispatches.

But as Montgomery and Jim Burroway have also just noted, the American Sociological Association, the premier academic and professional organization in Regnerus's own field, has filed its own amicus brief in the prop 8 case that includes a blistering take-down of Regnerus's methodology and conclusions--and undercuts the attempts of the USCCB, NOM, and others to use the study as conclusive "proof" that gay parents cannot be good parents. Essentially, the American Sociological Association points out that you can't "prove" that same-sex parents are inferior parents via a study which doesn't even research same-sex parents--and it reminds the Supreme Court that real sociological studies conducted with real attention to correct research methodology have consistently proven the opposite: namely, that same-sex parents are every bit as effective at parenting their children as are opposite-sex parents.

For my previous commentary on Regnerus's study, which links (in several instances) to yet more commentary, see the following:

No comments: