Saturday, January 24, 2015

Your taxes at work: while plaintiff dies of stage IV cancer, new NE AG uses discredited Regnerus study as 'evidence' to stall gay marriage suit; auditor of journal that published study called it 'bullshit'

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach shows up in Lincoln, Nebraska to pimp GOP Voter Supression bill 
Three bills addressing anti-LGBT bias introduced in Nebraska Unicameral
The office of Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson Office has filed a motion to put a federal lawsuit challenging Nebraska's gay marriage ban on hold pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which the ACLU has answered.
     In the mean time, as Equality Case files reports, Senior Judge Joseph F. Bataillon has cancelled, pending further order of the court, next week's hearing on the ACLU motion for a preliminary injunction that would require the state to recognize same-sex marriages while the lawsuit proceeds.
     Nebraska's 45-page attempt to stall the ACLU's preliminary injunction contains such gems of compelling persuasion as its insistence that the state does not discriminate in marriage due to sexual orientation because it does not ask men restricted to marrying women what their sexual orientation is or women restricted to marring men what their sexual orientation is. All done!
     Well, not quite — we forgot the first exhibit's affidavit — evidence supporting the Nebraska Attorney General's office brief from Catherine Pakaluk an assistant professor of economics at Ave Maria University (seriously) in Naples, FL. She also describes herself as a Senior Fellow (in Economics) at the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture in Austin Texas.
     That would be Mark Regnerus' outfit.
     Pakaluk's affidavit, submitted by the Nebraska Attorney General's office, contains dozens and dozens of pages of the so-called Regnerus Study.
     Here's what federal judge Bernard Freidman scathingly wrote about the Regnerus study in his decision overturning Michigan's ban on same sex marriage:
 ...The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration. The evidence adduced at trial demonstrated that his 2012 “study” was hastily concocted at the behest of a third-party funder, which found it “essential that the necessary data be gathered to settle the question in the forum of public debate about what kinds of family arrangement are best for society” and which “was confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study.” ...In the funder’s view, “the future of the institution of marriage at this moment is very uncertain” and “proper research” was needed to counter the many studies showing no differences in child outcomes. Id. The funder also stated that “this is a project where time is of the essence.” Id. Time was of the essence at the time of the funder’s comments in April 2011, and when Dr. Regnerus published the NFSS in 2012, because decisions such as Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F. Supp. 2d 921 (N.D. Cal. 2010), and Windsor v. United States,-13-833 F. Supp. 2d 394 (S.D.N.Y. 2012), were threatening the funder’s concept of “the institution of marriage.” While Regnerus maintained that the funding source did not affect his impartiality as a researcher, the Court finds this testimony unbelievable. The funder clearly wanted a certain result, and Regnerus obliged. Additionally, the NFSS is flawed on its face, as it purported to study “a large, random sample of American young adults (ages 18-39) who were raised indifferent types of family arrangements” (emphasis added), but in fact it did not study this at all,as Regnerus equated being raised by a same-sex couple with having ever lived with a parent who had a “romantic relationship with someone of the same sex” for any length of time. Whatever Regnerus may have found in this “study,” he certainly cannot purport to have undertaken a scholarly research effort to compare the outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples with those of children raised by heterosexual couples. It is no wonder that the NFSS has been widely and severely criticized by other scholars, and that Regnerus’s own sociology department at the University of Texas has distanced itself from the NFSS in particular and Dr. Regnerus’s views in general and reaffirmed the aforementioned APA position statement. 
Below: Newly appointed Nebraska Chief Deputy Attorney General Dave Bydalek touting the discredited Regnerus Study in 2014 as evidence to defeat LB380's adoption reforms when he worked for the Nebraska Family Alliance. If Bydalek didn't know the study was bogus then, he surely knows it now, as the study:
  • was shown to be engineered and funded by right-wing groups to influence SCOTUS gay marriage deliberations
  • was discredited by 200 PhDs and MDs in a U.S. Supreme Court brief in support of the reversal of California's Proposition 8
  • was excoriated by the prestigious American Sociological Association
  • was called "bullshit" by Darren E. Sherkat, an editor of the very journal that published it, after he was assigned to audit the study following the uproar it caused

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