Add Michigan judge to list of people who discredit Mark Regnerus
Today, a judge struck down Michigan's ban on marriage equality, which is a victory in itself. But Judge Bernard A. Friedman also completely ripped apart the testimony of one "expert" witness, Mark Regnerus. His thoroughly flawed and discredited "parenting study" has not been able to pass muster.
The grooming of conservative experts appeared to be falling into place when Michigan called Regnerus and three other witnesses to describe research allegedly showing gay marriage and parenting harms kids. Regnerus testified that, based on his research, he believed “we aren’t anywhere near saying there's conclusive evidence” that children of gay parents fare as well as others, and that, “until we get more evidence, we should be skeptical” of any such claims. “The most prudent thing to do,” he concluded, “is wait and evaluate some of these changes over time before making any radical moves around marriage.”
But on cross-examination by the ACLU’s Leslie Cooper, Regnerus’ testimony quickly broke down. Cooper forced Regnerus to admit that he had sought to conceal the role of conservative funders and of his religious faith in influencing his research, both of which were later revealed with smoking gun evidence from his prior words. He acknowledged that he was “not a fan of same sex marriage” before he started his research and that his opposition to it was not primarily based on his research conclusions. And he had to concede that he had singled out gay couples in opposing their right to marry based on alleged family instability: Aware that African-Americans, the poor, step-families and divorced people are all at higher statistical risk of marital collapse and family instability, he nonetheless had no strong opinion on whether those folks should be banned from marrying—just gays, strongly suggesting his views are rooted in bias above all.
Judge Friedman didn’t fall for any of it. “The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration,” he wrote in what must be one of the most stinging and decisive repudiations of an expert witness in memory. He cited evidence that the conservative research was “hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder” which clearly expressed its wish for skewed results. Dismissing the defense’s other witnesses just as strongly, the judge wrote that “The Court was unable to accord the testimony of Marks, Price, and Allen any significant weight.” He concluded that “The most that can be said of these witnesses’ testimony is that the ‘no differences’ consensus has not been proven with scientific certainty, not that there is any credible evidence showing that children raised by same-sex couples fare worse than those raised by heterosexual couples.”
Read Slate.com for the full story.March 21, 2014 Issues: News, Local and Regional News, Family <!-- THIS FILE IS NOT USED AND IS HERE AS A STARTING POINT FOR CUSTOMIZATION ONLY. See http://api.drupal.org/api/function/theme_field/7 for details. After copying this file to your theme's folder and customizing it, remove this HTML comment. --> Tags: Marriage Equality, Michigan, Mark Regnerus
Judge rules Michigan's marriage equality ban unconstitutional
Michigan's ban on marriage for same-sex couples has been ruled unconstitutional by a judge in the state. Federal Judge Bernard Friedman's ruling says the state's ban is "unconstitutional because they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution." Read more at WDIV.March 21, 2014 Issues: News, Local and Regional News <!-- THIS FILE IS NOT USED AND IS HERE AS A STARTING POINT FOR CUSTOMIZATION ONLY. See http://api.drupal.org/api/function/theme_field/7 for details. After copying this file to your theme's folder and customizing it, remove this HTML comment. --> Tags: Michigan, Marriage Equality
LGBT and allied people of faith make their voices heard
Earlier this week, Bill Donahue, head of the notorious anti-LGBT group the Catholic League, emailed NYC Pride and asked to participate in the 44th annual NYC LGBT Pride March with a banner that reads “Straight is Great." Though he was hoping to stir up controversy, the parade organizers (as well as GLAAD's President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis) welcomed Donahue to join as a learning experience.
Further countering Bill's intended message, Michael O'Laughlin wrote an op-ed for The Advocate yesterday, called "Gay and Faithful Aren't Mutually Exclusive." In it, he wrote:
This is what those in Donohue’s camp don’t understand.
It’s not one or the other; this isn’t a zero-sum game. LGBT people should celebrate being their authentic selves. So should straight people. Draw the circle wide, as the hymn I learned in divinity school says.
Here’s the thing about Donohue. He riles up people for money. He doesn’t believe in the bigotry he inspires. In fact, just last month he admitted that he believes LGBT people should be legally protected against discrimination in the workplace.
But something Donohue might not understand is that to be a person of faith is not at odds with being an openly LGBT person. As a fellow Catholic, he surely knows as many holy and healthy gay priests as I do. So to claim that gay people who ask to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade are attacking Catholicism, as he does, is nonsense.
Donohue writes that Guinness’s decision to withdraw its sponsorship of New York’s St. Paddy's Day parade "has more to do with anti-Catholicism than with anti-Irish sentiment. Gay activists, and their tony heterosexual buddies, don’t have a beef with the Irish — they seek to punish Catholics for holding to traditional moral beliefs."
Many gay activists are Catholic. Some of us are Irish. We don’t have a beef with either group.
I’d be happy to explain this to Donohue further, perhaps over a Guinness.
Michael isn't the only one who knows it to be true that being religious does not necessarily negate support for the LGBT community. In Detroit earlier this month, 20-25 people gathered two days in a row at a vigil of protest. Representatives of faith-based, LGBT-friendly organizations demonstrated against the notion that LGBT Catholics must abstain from romantic relationships.
A recent poll revealed that the majority of religious Americans support LGBT equality issues, like marriage equality and workplace protections.March 21, 2014 Issues: News, Local and Regional News, Religion and Faith <!-- THIS FILE IS NOT USED AND IS HERE AS A STARTING POINT FOR CUSTOMIZATION ONLY. See http://api.drupal.org/api/function/theme_field/7 for details. After copying this file to your theme's folder and customizing it, remove this HTML comment. --> Tags: Catholic League, Bill Donahue, The Advocate, Detroit, Michigan
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