The state of Michigan’s star witness opposing same-sex marriage acknowledged in court on Tuesday that children of gay couples could turn out just as well as any other kids. [...]The Regenerus study comes up a lot. It purports to suggest that children of same-sex parents are "disadvantaged," compared to those of heterosexual couples, but suffers from fatal flaw: The study was primarily of broken families to begin with.
“What we’ve learned is that it’s possible to grow up in same-sex households and the children will be fine,” said [sociologist Mark Regnerus], who acknowledged in court he is a religious conservative. “We won’t know if it’s probable until we test it over time.”
The study examined the lives of 248 adults who said their parents had had a same-sex relationship during their childhood and found, he said, that they fared worse academically and behaviorally than children raised in intact homes with heterosexual parents. [...]The other 246 were children of heterosexual couples or single parents who later went on to have a homosexual relationship at some point. Thus, the study self-selected for children in "disadvantaged" situations and purported to blame that disadvantage on The Gays.
Critics said Regnerus’ 248-person study included just two who had been raised from birth to adulthood by gay couples. When asked Monday how those two fared, Regnerus replied, “Pretty good.”
More on this anti-marriage-equality case below the fold.
Disingenuously, the author and star witness of the case doesn't hold the same concern for any of those other potential "disadvantages," the ones we already know will have an adverse impact on children.
Cooper, a veteran gay rights attorney pivotal in cases that led to invalidating Florida’s ban on gay adoption, asked Regnerus if the state should also ban heterosexual marriage among the poor, the less educated and the remarried, given that those factors are statistically known to harm children."I don't think much about that," said the author of the study testifying as to whether we ought to be banning all marriage between gay Americans for being Insufficiently Ideal To The Theoretical Children, when asked whether we should be banning all marriage in all other situations that have been proven time and time again to be Insufficiently Ideal To The Theoretical Children. Well, I suppose we can't attack him for not having an open mind about these things.
Regnerus said no regarding the poor and less educated, but said he didn’t have an opinion about heterosexual remarriage.
“You don’t have an opinion whether prior divorced people should be allowed to get married?” Cooper asked.
“It exists,” he said. “I don’t think much about that … I think it would be nice if (couples) can work it out.”
Regnerus found himself under attack from outside the courtroom too. Christine Williams, head of the sociology department at UT-Austin, issued a statement late Monday distancing the department from his findings. [...]Here's the thing. It's not necessary to argue that Regnerus, an opponent of marriage equality himself, bent the study towards the desired outcome. It's perfectly sufficient to note that it was an objectively flawed methodology, one that does not match with the results of more careful, targeted research, and that even the expert-witness author is quite willing to admit it doesn't provide much proof of anything. But this is what we get—what we always get—when marriage equality opponents go to make their legal case. We get "studies" that the rest of the scientific community has panned, or arguments that marriage equality is like being being a white supremacist because you're harming good Christian folks who have convictions about these things, or arguments that if we deny marriage equality the homosexual folks will go out and have more babies like God intended.
When Regnerus took the stand Monday, he spent much of his time answering criticisms of his work. Outcry over the quality of his study prompted Social Science Research to conduct an unusual postpublication audit of his work. That audit resulted in a report by one of the journal’s editors, sociologist Darren Sherkat of Southern Illinois University, asserting Regnerus’ piece shouldn’t have been published.
When the anti-equality movement finally makes it into a courtroom, the resulting legal arguments are always silly and contrived. You've got to believe they're doing the best they can, and have been mustering every resource that the entire anti-equality movement can possibly muster, and the best they can do still makes them look grasping and foolish.