Friday, March 21, 2014

Roll, Tide

Another legal victory for marriage equality, in a decision by a Reagan appointee from the Eastern District of Michigan:
In attempting to define this case as a challenge to “the will of the people,” Tr. 2/25/14 p. 40, state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people. No court record of this proceeding could ever fully convey the personal sacrifice of these two plaintiffs who seek to ensure that the state may no longer impair the rights of their children and the thousands of others now being raised by same-sex couples. It is the Court’s fervent hope that these children will grow up “to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2694. Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail.
Bonus fun:
And the University of Texas took the extraordinary step of disavowing the testimony of sociology professor Mark Regnerus, who was a witness for Michigan.
See more here.

Back to the decision:
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.” See Pls.’ Motion in limine to Exclude Testimony of Mark Regnerus, Ex. 9....

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 in different 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. (pages 13-14.)
That's gonna leave a Mark ... unemployable.  


Montag said...

Even if Regnerus were to get bounced out of UT for this, an eventuality I doubt, he's sure to find a comfortable niche in the wingnut welfare program. An academic fraud like Regnerus is simply too valuable an asset to the wingnuts because he gives a patina of academic authority to the bigots.

That a judge in Michigan took his "study" and stomped that sucker flat ultimately is of no consequence to them. They'll tout him as a "renowned former professor of sociology," the mouthbreathers will ooh and awe, and the professional religious cretins will happily pay him to produce more pseudoscience.

Shit, in that world, bias and scientific sloppiness are CV advantages.

Roger said...

Absolutely correct.

Wingnut welfare has a nice pension plan.

Davis Statton said...

The Right consistently trashes academics for being out-of-touch elitists, until they find one on their side.