Reagan Appointed Judge Strikes Down Michigan Gay Marriage Ban

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by GatorBen, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. LittleBlueLW
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    LittleBlueLW Well-Known Member

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    Were you married in a church? By a pastor?
  2. LittleBlueLW
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    LittleBlueLW Well-Known Member

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    Well Ben, we agree. I was just pointing out that folks get all worked up about which president is going to get to nominate SC Justices when in reality, there is no guarantee the appointees will rule in line with partisan idealogy all of the time.
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  3. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    The judge took issue with the study because the author received a lot of funding from outside sources (which is a big reason why it was able to be so large). If that were applied to most of the studies out there on man-made GW, most every study out there would be thrown out for similar reasons.
  4. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    Yes, funding for the study was an issue singled out by the judge, but it was not the single thing that informed his decision.

    The author of the study, Mark Regnerus employed methodologies designed to suppress information he did not want to include. He manipulated his findings and was otherwise deceitful to produce an outcome desired by the agency that funded his "research." Regnerus is employed by the University of Texas and UT has publicly denounced and distanced that institution from Regnerus's published findings.

    http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/so...mctr=(not provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=167227838

    During the trial Regnerus was forced to admit he tried to conceal the role his funders played influencing the outcome of the fundamentally flawed research.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/129660276/Mark-Regners-and-Witherspoon-Institute-Collaboration-Report

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  5. rivergator
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    rivergator Well-Known Member

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    No, not in a church. House on the gulf. But it was by a pastor. My wife's boss at the time was a pastor on the side.
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  6. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    None needed, no offense taken. But thank you for your thoughtful courtesies.
  7. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Lacuna nailed it but I'd add that although you might disagree with the conclusions of the vast number of climate scientists, you cannot simply say that their research would be discarded for similar reasons. It's unprovable for one, but also your political views of science are completely irrelevant and an absurd standard to use in judging the merit of a scientific study, whether AGW related or not.

    Regnerus' study wasn't pooh poohed simply because of the funding influence, it was bad science and he was deceitful and admitted--at least implicitly--not upholding the standards for academic research. And the statement posted by UT sociology is as telling as it is extraordinary. Indeed, while academia is not perfect and there are all types of issues, one study like this would (should) be enough to get a tenured professor fired for cause. He won't of course b/c that would set of the howling of some that he is being targeted, but he certainly deserves it. And I'd say that if some liberal professor was found to do the same thing. Heck, I'd say it if it were my best friend that did it.
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  8. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, God forbid that anyone in academia be a practicing religious person. That would make them inevitably "too biased" to make a proper study on any scientific matter (which was largely the focus of the witch-hunt that followed).

    But the scientist who publicly proclaims there can be "no doubt that man-made global warming is real" before doing a study on climate warming in Alaska (accepting funding from climatology organizations along the way) gets a pass when...gasp! He studies the matter and the research finds what his pre-conceived opinion said it would.

    Yup...no double standard there.

    Face it: he challenged the liberal gospel that gay parenting has "no effect" on children when the reality, of course, should be that it's something we don't really know much of anything about since there aren't many studies that have been done on the matter (which Regnerus conceded from day 1).
  9. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Again...Regnerus did what people do in academia and in research every day: start with a hypothesis (which always derives, in part, from some belief or pre-conceived opinion the scientist/author has), gets funding to do research (sometimes from outside groups that support such beliefs and/or opinions), and then does the research, writing about the data and their conclusions about what it shows.

    If every single study was attacked with the same gusto that Regnerus' was, it's safe to say a LOT of research would be thrown out.

    The primary thing Regnerus appeared to come under fire for was that he's a practicing Christian who believes what the Bible tells him. Fire the guy indeed--there can be no place for that in academia.
  10. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, it's just about politics eh? I see. Go team!
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  11. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Read the factual findings in the opinion. The primary thing his study came under fire for was that even he conceded it was impossible to draw the conclusions that he purported to draw from his data, and his study didn't even study what it purported to be researching to start with.

    Believe it or not, the child-rearing outcomes of children from broken heterosexual marriages where one parent went on to have a homosexual relationship - in at least half the cases when the child didn't even live with the parent who was in a homosexual relationship while it was going on - tells you very, very little about how children raised in a stable homosexual family unit are likely to turn out.

    But it couldn't be that his study got deemed uncredible for purporting to draw conclusions about something it didn't even study in the first place, no it must be because he's a Christian.

    Even once you move beyond the methodological problems with his study that formed the major reason it was deemed not credible, the other factors it was criticized for go far beyond him being a Christian. It had more to do with the fact that it was unrefuted that the only reason the study funders backed his study - and demanded that he produce a report as quickly as possible - was because they explicitly said they needed research pronto to use in gay marriage cases to counter the growing body of scientific work saying there was no negative effect on children raised in gay families. Believe it or not, when your study is explicitly conducted with the purpose of "we need some research that reaches this conclusion to use in litigation, and we need it fast!," that litigation is not terribly likely to find your study credible.
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  12. asuragator
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    asuragator Well-Known Member

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    No it isn't safe to say that a lot of research would be thrown out, as studies of these type list the limitations to the methodology and are clear about the funding sources as we are required to disclose them when having our research reviewed by journals. In fact, non-disclosure could open us up to legal issues. So studies in which the methodology might have some known shortcomings but gets published anyway with full disclosure would not open up researchers to such attacks since sometimes given the data, they use the best that is available and as it goes, no one wants to let data get wasted by not culling it for some knowledge that it might avail itself to.

    But Regnerus didn't just do what people in the field do. He tried to hide the funding source and he tried to hide some methodological limitations that made the conclusions he drew not just wrong, but deceitful. And that is the problem. When one does not note, for example, that it was unknown whether and/or how long children of supposedly gay couples actually lived with the gay couple, one can't simply categorize them as a gay parent household and then publish the findings. That's crap stuff and he was exposed.

    And for the record, there are plenty of religious minded folk in sociology and across academic disciplines who do excellent, methodologically rigorous research, unbiased by their religious views, some of whom are very close friends of mine and another, a major figure in the field.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
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  13. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    The "primary thing" that placed Mark Regnerus under the microscope was the faulty research methodology of his study. It was fundamentally flawed and the comments criticizing it were deserved. Why must every criticism be an "attack"? It's a peculiar thing I've noticed on this forum and elsewhere. Regnerus is no victim yet the rhetoric over this incident attempts to showcase him as just that.

    Mark Regnerus is a Christian, and yes, he evidently believes his work should reflect his faith. But when he deliberately conceals information, then lies about it, he is not honoring his faith or his God. Rather than complain that Regnerus is being "attacked" perhaps he and his supporters should be encouraged to examine their motives and their consciences and produce an honest day's work.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
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  14. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Here's the portion of the factual findings that deals with Regnerus's study:

    In defense of their asserted justifications for the MMA, the state defendants first called sociologist Mark Regnerus. Regnerus’s testimony focused on the results of his 2012 “New Family Structures Study” (“NFSS”), a survey data collection project that was formulated to assess adult outcomes of children who reported that one of their parents had been in a “romantic relationship with someone of the same-sex” during the respondents’ childhood years. Of the 15,000 participants ranging in age from 18 to 39, 248 of them reported that one of their parents had been in such a romantic relationship. From this sample, 175 reported that their mother had a same-sex romantic relationship while 73 reported that their father had been romantically involved with another man. Regnerus then compared the adult outcomes of these two sub-groups with another set of participants who were raised by intact biological parents. The outcomes of these groups were significantly different.

    Regnerus found that children who reported that their mothers had a same-sex relationship were less likely to pursue an education or obtain full-time employment and more likely to be unemployed and receiving public assistance, more likely to experience sexual assault, more likely to cheat on their partners or spouses and more likely to have been arrested at some point in their past. Similarly, Regnerus discovered that children who reported that their fathers had a same-sex relationship were more likely to have been arrested, more likely to plead guilty to non-minor offenses and more likely to have numerous sexual partners.

    Although Regnerus touted the NFSS as one of the few studies to use a large representative pool of participants drawn from a random population-based sample, other sociological and demographic experts, including Rosenfeld and Gates, heavily criticized the study on several grounds. First, it failed to measure the adult outcomes of children who were actually raised in same-sex households. This is because the participants’ household histories revealed that many parental same-sex romantic relationships lasted for only brief periods of time. And many of the participants never lived in a same-sex household at all. Regnerus reported that “just over half (90) of the 175 respondents whose mother had a lesbian relationship reported that they did not live with both their mother and her same-sex partner at the same time.” Id. at 11. Second, many critics voiced their concern that the NFSS made an unfair comparison between children raised by parents who happened to engage in some form of same-sex relationship and those raised by intact biological families. This is because almost all of the children in the former group were the offspring of a failed prior heterosexual union, which produced a significant measure of household instability and parental relationship fluctuation.

    Even Regnerus recognized the limitations of the NFSS. In his expert report, Regnerus acknowledged that “any suboptimal outcomes may not be due to the sexual orientation of the parent” and that “[t]he exact source of group differences” are unknown. Defs.’ Ex. 28 at 5. Moreover, of the only two participants who reported living with their mother and her same-sex partner for their entire childhood, Regnerus found each of them to be “comparatively well-adjusted on most developmental and contemporary outcomes.” Id. at 11. Nonetheless, Regnerus testified that there is no conclusive evidence that “growing up in households wherein parents are in (or have been in) same-sex relationships” does not adversely affect child outcomes. Id. at 16.

    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. 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, 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 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. 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.
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  15. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    If anything, this debate has only confirmed the oft-quoted phrase that ideas are wed more faithfully than one's spouses.

    I don't believe for one minute that the withering criticism of Regnerus had absolutely nothing to do with his religious beliefs. It, after all, is one of the biggest criticisms in EVERY article that's trying to discredit his work "he didn't disclose his devout Christian beliefs" before publishing the article.

    Sure, there are other criticisms of the work (some justified, some not)--but literally EVERY critique lists that as some sort of flaw.

    Do scientists do this in other areas? Did Mann, Bradley, and Hughes tell people in 1998 "I think anyone who's denying global warming is a complete ignorant buffoon" before publishing their hockey stick graph? Nope.
  16. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    ...because academia, as a whole, is not exactly known for being very conservative, now is it?

    I'd imagine a self-professed socialist/communist in Wall Street would be pretty rare too.
  17. lacuna
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    lacuna Well-Known Member

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    You are certainly free to believe whatever you want to believe, but stating "one of the biggest criticisms in EVERY article that's trying to discredit his work 'he didn't disclose his devout Christian beliefs'" before publishing the article," is flat out not true.

    I don't know what you are reading that leads you to believe the criticism of Regnerus and his study is because of his religious convictions, but here is a fair sampling of articles that make no mention of his faith.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2012/06/a-faulty-gay-parenting-study.html

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/...-landmark-same-sex-parenting-study-fall-flat/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/mark-regnerus-gay-marriage_n_4896142.html

    http://www.advocate.com/politics/ma...ting-study-author-regnerus-admits-faults-data

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/...d-anti-lgbt-study-testifies-in-federal-court/

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/04/mic...rt_witness_in_case_against_marriage_equality/
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  18. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    It certainly was in the judicial opinion you mentioned earlier. And has been in many articles too--to the point of where it didn't need to be mentioned.

    I mean, not EVERY news article says Barack Obama is a Democratic President either--but most people either knew that beforehand or figured it out on their own.
  19. gatorev12
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    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

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    Somehow, I highly doubt every scientist is squeaky-clean on this...and I really, sincerely doubt that very many studies would withstand the same level of scrutiny.

    If you're asking me to say he was wrong for not saying "these guys supported me in funding the study"--yea, he probably was.

    But does that automatically call into question his research? Not to me, it doesn't.

    If a climate scientist found inexplicably damning evidence of man-made global warming, but failed to disclose that the study was funded in part by radical conservation groups---would you question the science behind it? I doubt it. You might frown at the action, but I doubt you'd question the study.
  20. Lawdog88
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    Lawdog88 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of conjured sexual studies, so when are Kinsey's bogus studies going to be acknowledged as fabricated, agenda-driven, and scientifically bogus ?

    You know, the ones whose aim was to validate - Kinsey's and his perved-out pals' - sexual perverions, as his gerrymandered "statistics" claim to show ?

    And no, do your own research.

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