Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Academic gay-bashing at Unicameral: discredited Regnerus research used to attack LGBT protections

The notorious New Family Structures Study (NFSS), authored by Mark Regnerus, was immediately assailed upon publication for its methodology and conclusions.
     The University of Texas disassociated itself from the paper and its author; the journal that hastily published it backpedaled when the auditor it appointed to review the study called it "bullshit;" 200 PhDs and MDs criticized the study in a letter to Social Science Research, and the American Sociological Association excoriated the research in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. So did the APA and AMA.
Dave Bydalek, named Chief Deputy Attorney General
by Nebraska AG Doug Peterson, shown in 2014
using the widely-discredited Regnerus study as a
political weapon to oppose LGBT legal protections
     Nevertheless, right-wing opponents of gay marriage and adoption/foster care protections for gay parents continue to cite the deeply flawed study, which has been presented to the Unicameral Judiciary Committee at least twice (once by former Family First representative Dave Bydalek, who now works in the Nebraska Attorney General's office.)
     Below is the newest attempt, last week, to sell the Regnerus Study to the Unicameral during hearings for LB647, which would add protections for LGBT foster parents and nullify an unreviewed and probably illegal 1995 memorandum prohibiting even qualified gay couples from being foster parents. The memo is now the subject of an ACLU lawsuit:

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocacy group was so outraged by the Regnerus Study that it set up a website to expose the study, its dubious funding and methodology and conclusions, and its use as a political weapon in the U.S. and abroad. (In Russia, it has been cited as a justification for removing children from the custody of gay parents.)

AKSARBENT's condensation of NET's coverage of the LB647 hearings was picked up by one of the largest gay blogs in the country, Towleroad. There, it elicited the following letter from a gay couple recounting their shabby treatment by the State of Nebraska in the 1990s during the administration of Governor Ben Nelson, who presided over the notorious anti-gay foster parent memo that has prompted both the ACLU lawsuit referenced above and the corrective LB647 legislation:
Ben Nelson, governor of
Nebraska from 1991 to 1999
     My lover and I are the cause of the original ban on gays being foster or adoption parents. Back in the early 90's we both applied to become foster adopt parents. We went to classes in Lincoln after driving from Omaha each Thursday for many weeks. We were approved to become parents. We had been together as a couple for over 5 years at that time. We passed all back ground checks etc. We even passed the home safety check, and following that visit for that check we received a call from HHS in Omaha and were yelled at, called names, told that there should be jails for people like this. Two weeks later the HHS department changed its rules by putting out the memo saying that "No person who is single residing with another person of the same or opposite sex out of wedlock shall not become foster care or foster adopt parents". Needless to say we were heart broken. Today we have been together for over 24 years, we housed several teens, young adults who were homeless, gay, drug abusers and more. Each of them we clothed, fed, saw that they got education by registering in schools and or getting a GED. We have no regrets on this. I just think that there are a lot of single people out there gay or straight who would make a wonderful parent. Do the right thing people. Write to the state senators in Nebr and urge them to pass this bill...
     Posted by: Robert Hershgeer | Feb 8, 2015 11:55:02 AM
Below is contact information for the Unicameral's Judiciary Committee: Senators in bold may be unsympathetic to, or on the fence about LGBT legal protections. Urge them to vote for LB647, LB648 and LB568.

Sen. Les Seiler, Room #1103, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2712
Email: lseiler@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Colby Coash, Room #2028, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2632
Email: ccoash@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Ernie Chambers, Room #1114, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2612
(Chambers does not have a legislative email address)

Sen. Laura Ebke, Room #1101, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2711
Email: lebke@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Bob Krist, Room #2108, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2718
Email: bkrist@leg.ne.gov 

Sen. Adam Morfeld, Room #1008, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2720
Email: amorfeld@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks, Room #1523, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2633
Email: ppansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov

Sen. Matt Williams, Room #2015, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2642
Email: mwilliams@leg.ne.gov

No comments:

Post a Comment