As Mark Regnerus was preparing to testify against marriage equality in Michigan, the actual academics who employ him at the University of Texas issued a statement, all but denouncing their rogue colleague, who has obviously found it to be more profitable to manufacture bogus studies in service of the Religious Right than it is to conduct real research:
Like all faculty, Dr. Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. However, Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin. Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families. We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims.
The Sociology Department at The University of Texas at Austin aspires to achieve academic excellence in research, teaching, and public service at the highest level in our discipline. We strive to do so in a context that is based on the highest ethical standards of our discipline and in a context that actively promotes and supports diversity among our faculty and student populations.
The Sociology Department resides in the College of Liberal Arts, which has issued a statement regarding Dr. Regnerus.
The Sociology Department has no affiliation with the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture.
Translated: “We are saying this as nicely as possible, but Mark Regnerus is a discredited hack and we’re really embarrassed to be associated with him at this point.”
It’s worth repeating what a real scientist, Darren Sherkat of Southern Illinois University, has said about Regnerus, reproduced nicely in this graphic:
Wow. No opinion, sir? It’s too bad no real scientists have studied that subject. Oh wait, they have, and the actual social science research has shown that not only do kids do better with two loving parents than they do in foster care, but kids of two loving gay parents do just as well as kids of two loving straight parents. Meanwhile, Mark Regnerus has admitted that his study wasn’t about gay parenting in the first place, considering the fact that it didn’t analyze any data from kids raised by loving, committed gay parents. You see, when the Religious Right buys studies, they don’t even care if they make sense, because they know their followers are so well-trained to swallow whatever their leaders tell them that they won’t feel any need to read up for themselves.
Ew. Imagine a world where Mark Regnerus is the best judge of how qualified and devoted parents are to their children. Ew.
The SPLC gives a little more information on what Mark Regnerus is doing when he’s not being a wingnut welfare recipient for hate groups who refuse to lose their little culture war quietly:
When he’s not being called upon for anti-LGBT testimony in court, Regnerus is researching topics like masturbation patterns in young adults (hint: masturbation is bad) and addressing audiences, such as at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he claimed in November that same-sex marriage and the “normalization of gay men’s sexual behavior” will cause straight men to “stray” and more heterosexuals to have anal sex.
He seems like a completely stable individual. Regnerus, at this point, really ought to cut ties with all institutions of higher learning and move fully into the wingnut welfare circuit. As the example of Matt Barber shows, the Religious Right will accept any old schlub who parrots their talking points — the whinier the better, apparently.