A controversial new study by researcher Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas at Austin claims that gay and lesbian couples are unfit parents. One look at the study, however, reveals it to be totally fraudulent and lacking any basis in sound science.
In response, the American Psychological Association (APA) said this week that leading mental health organizations “have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation.” This is based on “a remarkably consistent body of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children.”
Clearly, Regnerus’ work is not in the mainstream, but on the far fringe of scientific legitimacy. It seems the researcher may have manipulated his interpretation of the data to please the virulently anti-gay bullies who funded his pseudo-science study.
Indeed, the study was funded with a $695,000 grant from the Witherspoon Institute and a $90,000 grant from the archconservative Bradley Foundation. Most ominously, Princeton professor Robert P. George is a key member of Witherspoon. George has been affiliated with the Family Research Council and is a founder of the notoriously anti-gay National Organization for Marriage. While Regnerus is trying to bill his work as the “gold standard” of science, upon closer inspection this research looks more like fool's gold.
The University of Texas should immediately launch an investigation to determine whether Regnerus’ research was truly independent, or if he worked in concert with anti-gay activists to smear loving gay parents and harm their children. Was the goal to produce legitimate science, or to manufacture a political club for use in an election year with marriage equality on the ballot in four states?
If collusion occurred which created a conflict of interest and compromised the academic integrity of the university, appropriate action should be taken against Regnerus.
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