Scalia suggests women have no right to contraception

Impeach Scalia!

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/scalia-suggests-women-have-no-right-to-contraception/

By David Edwards
Sunday, July 29, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says that the pivotal decision which reversed a law that prohibited women from using contraception is not supported under his interpretation of the Constitution.

During an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Scalia why he believed that it is a “lie” that women have a Constitutional right to abortion.

“Nobody ever thought that the America people voted to prohibit limitations on abortions,” the 76-year-old conservative justice explained. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that.”

“What about the right to privacy that the court found in 1965?” Wallace pressed.

“There’s no right to privacy in the Constitution — no generalized right to privacy,” Scalia insisted.

“Well, in the Griswold case, the court said there was,” Wallace pointed out.

“Yeah, it did,” Scalia agreed. “And that was wrong.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/29/scalia-suggests-women-have-no-right-to-contraception/

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Tricks, Traps, and Accountability

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/cfpb-anniversary-consumer-protection_b_1695547.html

Elizabeth Warren
7/23/2012

As we mark the one year anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), I’ve been thinking about how for years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, I asked students in my contract law class to read a credit card agreement — either an offer that they’d received in the mail or the actual agreement they’d signed onto — and answer some basic questions. Some were easy: When is your bill is due? Do you get points? The students always answered those.

The next questions went to the heart of the deal: Does your credit card have an arbitration clause, preventing you from suing in court if the company cheats you? No one knew. How long it would take you to pay off a $1000 purchase with interest if you paid the minimum monthly payment? They didn’t know. And when I assigned that basic question as homework, almost all of them spent hours knee deep in fine print without finding an answer.

Markets work when people can evaluate the prices and risks of different products, then pick the ones that work best for them. But when the terms of the deal are hidden, competition doesn’t work. And customers aren’t the only ones who are hurt. If a small bank with a limited advertising budget offered a better card, no one could figure that out and switch. That had been the state of the consumer credit market for years.

Following deregulation in the 1980s, a number of big banks figured out that they could build a very profitable business based on deception — tricks and traps buried in fine print, teaser rates that hid the true costs of mortgages, and obscure terms (like double-cycle billing) than no one understood. They sold a lot of mortgages, credit cards and other loans, sometimes deliberately targeting people they knew wouldn’t be able to pay in order to rake big fees off the top before they sold the loans to someone else.

Eventually the lousy mortgages crashed the economy. Families that already had been squeezed for a generation got hit from every direction. Their pensions and savings were wiped out, their friends and family members lost their jobs, and the values of their homes plummeted.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-warren/cfpb-anniversary-consumer-protection_b_1695547.html

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How the New York Times Tries to Cover Its Ass on Glass-Steagall

From The Progressive:  http://www.progressive.org/nyt_pathetic_apology_banking_dereg.html

By Matthew Rothschild
July 27, 2012

So Sandy Weill, former head of Citigroup, woke up one morning this week to the epiphany that the banks are too big to fail and should be chopped up. Well, that’s not exactly cause for bestowing an honor on the guy.

After all, he was the chief architect of too big to fail.

He was the prime mover behind destroying Glass-Steagall, the New Deal law that built a wall between commercial banking and investment banking.

Now he wants that wall rebuilt?

Well, thanks a lot, Sandy, but you already destroyed the economy with your greedy power play when you ran Wall Street and bullied the Clinton crowd into foolish deregulation.

And you were paid handsomely by Citigroup for your dirty work.

Now you say you’re sorry.

Continue reading at:  http://www.progressive.org/nyt_pathetic_apology_banking_dereg.html

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Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/why-cant-we-end-poverty-in-america.html

By Peter Edelman
Published: July 28, 2012

RONALD REAGAN famously said, “We fought a war on poverty and poverty won.” With 46 million Americans — 15 percent of the population — now counted as poor, it’s tempting to think he may have been right.

Look a little deeper and the temptation grows. The lowest percentage in poverty since we started counting was 11.1 percent in 1973. The rate climbed as high as 15.2 percent in 1983. In 2000, after a spurt of prosperity, it went back down to 11.3 percent, and yet 15 million more people are poor today.

At the same time, we have done a lot that works. From Social Security to food stamps to the earned-income tax credit and on and on, we have enacted programs that now keep 40 million people out of poverty. Poverty would be nearly double what it is now without these measures, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. To say that “poverty won” is like saying the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts failed because there is still pollution.

With all of that, why have we not achieved more? Four reasons: An astonishing number of people work at low-wage jobs. Plus, many more households are headed now by a single parent, making it difficult for them to earn a living income from the jobs that are typically available. The near disappearance of cash assistance for low-income mothers and children — i.e., welfare — in much of the country plays a contributing role, too. And persistent issues of race and gender mean higher poverty among minorities and families headed by single mothers.

The first thing needed if we’re to get people out of poverty is more jobs that pay decent wages. There aren’t enough of these in our current economy. The need for good jobs extends far beyond the current crisis; we’ll need a full-employment policy and a bigger investment in 21st-century education and skill development strategies if we’re to have any hope of breaking out of the current economic malaise.

This isn’t a problem specific to the current moment. We’ve been drowning in a flood of low-wage jobs for the last 40 years. Most of the income of people in poverty comes from work. According to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, 104 million people — a third of the population — have annual incomes below twice the poverty line, less than $38,000 for a family of three. They struggle to make ends meet every month.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/why-cant-we-end-poverty-in-america.html

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Social Security is not headed for disaster

From The Philadelphia Inquirer:  http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20120729_Social_Security_is_not_headed_for_disaster.html

Barbara R. Bergmann
Sun, Jul. 29, 2012

The gloomy annual report of the trustees of Social Security has provoked the usual ominous predictions of big trouble ahead. Media accounts spoke of significant deterioration in the financial outlook of the system, and declared it unsustainable unless structural changes were made. The scare words might seem to justify the often-heard prediction that Social Security may last long enough to sustain our current oldsters, but that it is headed for bankruptcy and “won’t be there” for our younger citizens.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Into the future, Social Security can and will provide wage replacement at about the same level it does now. It does not depend for its resources on an entity that might run out of money, that has no way to raise more, and could go into bankruptcy. The U.S. government has the ability to raise enough revenue to pay out whatever level of Social Security benefits the public wants. In that, Social Security resembles all the other things the government pays for, including the national parks, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Defense.

At what level does the public want retirees supported?

All indications are that the public is satisfied with benefits that replace wages at about the present level. Can the richest country in the world afford to continue to do that? Of course. Our taxes are very low compared with those of most other developed countries. Our ability to spend more than we now do on government is very high. If necessary, the public would support higher taxes to maintain Social Security benefits.

The doom and gloom about Social Security, and the claims that it needs radical restructuring, derive from the way Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration explained the system to the public. To avoid accusations of “socialism,” citizens were made to understand that the pensions they would get would consist of their own money that they had put into a trust fund.

The trust-fund story made it politically easier to start the system and maintain support for it. But that story has made it vulnerable to the prediction that it is going bankrupt and will have to be radically changed. After all, if the pensions come out of the trust fund, and the fund will shrink to zero in about 2033, as predicted, then isn’t the system unsustainable?

Continue reading at:  http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20120729_Social_Security_is_not_headed_for_disaster.html

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Occupy the Dam: Brazil’s Indigenous Uprising

From Yes Magazine:   http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/occupy-the-dam-brazils-indigenous-uprising

In the Amazonian backcountry, tribes are challenging construction of the world’s third-largest dam—by dismantling it. Here’s what they can teach us about standing up to power.

posted Jul 23, 2012

Last month, hundreds of indigenous demonstrators began dismantling a dam in the heart of Brazil’s rainforest to protest the destruction it will bring to lands they have loved and honored for centuries. The Brazilian government is determined to promote construction of the massive, $14 billion Belo Monte Dam, which will be the world’s third largest when it is completed in 2019. It is being developed by Norte Energia, a consortium of ten of the world’s largest construction, engineering, and mining firms set up specifically for the project.

The Belo Monte Dam is the most controversial of dozens of dams planned in the Amazon region and threatens the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Amazonian people, plants, and animals. Situated on the Xingu River, the dam is set to flood roughly 150 square miles of already-stressed rainforest and deprive an estimated 20,000 people of their homes, their incomes, and—for those who succumb to malaria, bilharzia, and other diseases carried by insects and snails that are predicted to breed in the new reservoir—their lives. Moreover, the influx of immigrants will bring massive disruption to the socioeconomic balance of the region. People whose livelihoods have primarily depended on hunting and gathering or farming may suddenly find themselves forced to take jobs as manual laborers, servants, and prostitutes.

History has shown again and again that dams in general wreak havoc in areas where they are built, despite promises to the contrary by developers and governments. Hydroelectric energy is anything but “clean” when measured in terms of the excruciating pain it causes individuals, social institutions, and local ecology. The costs—often hidden—include those associated with the privatization of water; the extinction of plants that might provide cures for cancer, HIV, and other diseases; the silting up of rivers and lakes; and the disruption of migratory patterns for many species of birds.

The indigenous cultures threatened by the Belo Monte Dam, including those of the Xikrin, Juruna, Arara, Parakanã, Kuruaya and Kayapó tribes, are tied to the land: generations have hunted and gathered and cultivated the same areas for centuries. They—as well as local flora and fauna—have suffered disproportionately from the effects of other hydroelectric dams, while rarely gaining any of the potential benefits. Now they are fighting back.

Continue reading at:  http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/occupy-the-dam-brazils-indigenous-uprising

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Come Together, to Save the Arctic

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-mccartney/come-together-to-save-the_b_1694616.html

Paul McCartney
07/23/2012

1968. That was a hell of a year. The people were on the streets, revolution was in the air, we released the White Album, and perhaps the most influential photograph of all time was taken by an astronaut called William Anders.

It was Christmas Eve. Anders and his mission commander Frank Borman had just become the only living beings since the dawn of time to orbit the moon. Then, through the tiny window of their Apollo 8 spacecraft their eyes fell upon something nobody had seen before, something so familiar and yet so alien, something breathtaking in its beauty and fragility. “Oh my God!” Borman cried. “Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!”

“You got a color film, Jim?” Anders snapped back. “Hand me that roll of color quick, will you…” For a minute or so, two human beings in a tin can nearly 400,000 kilometers from home scrambled furiously to fix a roll of Kodak into their camera. Then Anders lifted it to the window and clicked the shutter and captured our delicate home planet rising slowly over the horizon of the moon. Earthrise. That single image made such an impact on the human psyche that it’s credited with sparking the birth of the global environment movement — with changing the very way we think about ourselves.

That was more than 40 years ago, the blink of an eye in the grand sweep of time, but something quite remarkable has happened since then. For at least 800,000 years the Arctic Ocean has been capped by a sheet of sea ice the size of a continent. But in the decades since that photo was taken, satellites have been measuring a steady melting of that white sheet. Much of it has now gone, and it seems likely that there’ll be open water at the North Pole in the lifetimes of my kids. I might even see that moment for myself.

Think about it. Since Earthrise was taken we’ve been so busy warming our world that it now looks radically different from space. By digging up fossil fuels and burning our ancient forests we’ve put so much carbon into the atmosphere that today’s astronauts are looking at a different planet. And here’s something that just baffles me. As the ice retreats, the oil giants are moving in. Instead of seeing the melting as a grave warning to humanity, they’re eyeing the previously inaccessible oil beneath the seabed at the top of the world. They’re exploiting the disappearance of the ice to drill for the very same fuel that caused the melting in the first place. Fossil fuels have colonized every corner of our Earth, but at some time and in some place we need to say, “No more.” I believe that time is now and that place is the Arctic.

That’s why I’ve joined Greenpeace’s campaign to create a legally protected sanctuary around the North Pole and a ban on oil drilling and industrial fishing in Arctic waters. My name will be among at least 2 million that Greenpeace is taking to the pole and planting on the seabed 4 kilometers beneath the ice. We’re coming together to secure the Arctic for all life on Earth.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-mccartney/come-together-to-save-the_b_1694616.html

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Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind

Earth’s land shown to have warmed by 1.5C over past 250 years, with humans being almost entirely responsible


guardian.co.uk, Sunday 29 July 2012

The Earth’s land has warmed by 1.5C over the past 250 years and “humans are almost entirely the cause”, according to a scientific study set up to address climate change sceptics’ concerns about whether human-induced global warming is occurring.

Prof Richard Muller, a physicist and climate change sceptic who founded the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) project, said he was surprised by the findings. “We were not expecting this, but as scientists, it is our duty to let the evidence change our minds.” He added that he now considers himself a “converted sceptic” and his views had undergone a “total turnaround” in a short space of time.

“Our results show that the average temperature of the Earth’s land has risen by 2.5F over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1.5 degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases,” Muller wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times.

The team of scientists based at the University of California, Berkeley, gathered and merged a collection of 14.4m land temperature observations from 44,455 sites across the world dating back to 1753. Previous data sets created by Nasa, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s climate research unit only went back to the mid-1800s and used a fifth as many weather station records.

The funding for the project included $150,000 from the Charles G Koch Charitable Foundation, set up by the billionaire US coal magnate and key backer of the climate-sceptic Heartland Institute thinktank. The research also received $100,000 from the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research, which was created by Bill Gates.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind

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Washington DC: New Latina Transgender Organization Already Subject To Death Threats

From WAMU:   http://wamu.org/news/12/07/26/new_latina_transgender_organization_already_subject_to_death_threats

By: Armando Trull
July 26, 2012

A new Latina transgender organization is embracing its mission to serve as a haven for community members seeking to escape violence, in spite of a death threat received last week. We warn you that some of the language is violent.

The Spanish-language death threat was left on the voice mail of the newly-opened Casa Ruby, the first and only Latina transgender agency serving the D.C. area. Translated roughly, the message says, “You deserve divine punishment and death, but before death you should suffer. You are damned from birth to death.”

Ruby Corado is the founder of the agency, and she was the one who initially retrieved the message. “I am very upset,” says Corado. “This is something that I didn’t expect so soon.”

Corado called D.C. police and said she received a return call from Chief Cathy Lanier. Police are investigating the threat and officers from the gay task force are dropping by the center on a regular basis.

Corado explains why she doesn’t take these threats lightly:” I have been to dozens of funerals throughout this city and I have also been hundreds of times to the hospitals to aid people who have been victims of a violent crime or death for being who they are.”

Complete article at:  http://wamu.org/news/12/07/26/new_latina_transgender_organization_already_subject_to_death_threats

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Chick-Fil-A Sued for Gender Discrimination

From GLAAD:  http://www.glaad.org/blog/chick-fil-sued-gender-discrimination

by Brian Pacheco, GLAAD’s Spanish-Language Media Strategist
July 26, 2012

Former Chick-Fil-A employee Brenda Honeycutt is suing Chick-Fil-A for wrongful termination based on gender discrimination. According to a lawsuit which is circulating today on Twitter, on June 27, 2011, owner and operator of Duluth, GA’s Chick-Fil-A restaurants Jeff Howard terminated Honeycutt, whose employee performance was satisfactory-to-above satisfactory, so that she could be a “stay home mother.”

Honeycutt was terminated by Howard after meetings with restaurant management (during which she was not present), and was replaced by a male employee. The lawsuit cites a pattern of discrimination against female employees, who, after being terminated, were also replaced by male employees in Northern Georgia’s Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

omes after last week’s statements by Chick-Fil-A’s Chief of Operations, Dan Cathy, in which he openly declared that he does not support marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples – now the company has taken one further step of being out of touch with American values. In light of this statement, a number of individuals and groups have taken action against the company, notably the mayors of Chicago and Boston, a Philadelphia city councilmember, as well as youth from the Orange County, CA-based group Youth for Empowered Action (YETA), who are working with GLAAD.

Chick-Fil-A’s anti-LGBT donations have long been public knowledge. In 2010, the company donated $2 million dollars to anti-LGBT organizations, including Exodus International, the National Christian Foundation, the Family Research Council, and the Marriage and Family Foundation.

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Opinion: Regnerus Study — Official Misconduct Allegations

From The New Civil Rights Movement: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-regnerus-study-official-misconduct-allegations/news/2012/07/26/44553

by Scott Rose
July 26, 2012

Reposted with Permission

OFFICIAL SCIENTIFIC AND SCHOLARLY MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS 

PRESENTED AGAINST 

MARK REGNERUS, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN 

Regarding His Study

How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?

Findings from the New Family Structures Study 

By 

SCOTT ROSE: MINORITIES ANTI-DEFAMATION PROFESSIONAL 

THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE BEING PRESENTED TO: 

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN’S INQUIRY PANEL

______________________________________________________________________________

The author of this document has uppermost in mind the scope and aims of a University of Texas, Austin Inquiry in response to a Complaint of Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct.

The University of Texas (UT) defines “Inquiry” thusly: “Inquiry means gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an allegation or apparent instance of scientific misconduct warrants an investigation.”

The author of course trusts that all members of the Inquiry Panel will read this document in its entirety – (as it contains much relevant information as well as many facts pertinent to the allegations contained herein) – towards making a determination as to whether these allegations, and cited apparent instances of scientific and scholarly misconduct, warrant an investigation.

The document will conclude by asking the members of the Inquiry Panel, respectfully, to advance these allegations against Mark Regnerus to a full scientific and scholarly misconduct investigation, in order that trust in science not be undermined.

About the Complainant:

Scott Rose is a New York City-based Minorities Anti-Defamation Professional

His writings appear regularly in the Journal for the Study of Anti-Semitism.

He has published op-eds critical of unjustifiable demonization of Muslim-Americans, and of defamation of American Hindus, among other minority groups victimized through and because of 1) negative prejudices, combined with: 2) falsifications of scientific records pertaining to minorities.

As an investigative journalist, he did original research into the story of H.S., a female high-school cheerleader in Silsbee, Texas sexually assaulted by school football stars and then re-victimized by her local community. Rose’s reporting and involvement in the matter was praised and publicized by national organizations and publications, including Ms. Magazine, co-founded by Gloria Steinhem because: “there really was nothing for women to read that was controlled by women, and this caused me along with a number of other women to start Ms. magazine.”

Rose first discovered and reported that North Carolina State Senator James Forrester, a doctor, had falsified associations with professional medical groups on his curriculum vita. Rose’s work was reported about and/or quoted on television, radio, magazines, newspapers and online venues. Forrester had been improperly exploiting his perceived, yet very severely lapsed medical knowledge and expertise, to communicate to the public known falsehoods defamatory of homosexuals. To hate-monger against gays at political rallies, and in political op-eds – (to cite but one example here) — Forrester and his wife were telling the public that the average life-expectancy for a homosexual male was 39 years. Forrester claimed that he had his information about homosexuals’ health and life expectancy from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Rose obtained on-the-record statements from the Centers for Disease Control that they had never given Forrester the health information he claimed they had given him. The CDC verified that 39 is not the average life expectancy for gay Americans. Forrester had falsified his record by untruthfully claiming to be a current Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. The ACPM stated that Forrester was not one of their current members, still less a Fellow. Forrester also falsely claimed that he was member of the Aerospace Medical Association and of the American Medical Association. If Forrester was at one time a member of any of those professional organizations, his memberships in them had long expired, and he apparently had not carried through with any of the ongoing modernization of one’s knowledge automatically expected of a medical doctor, medicine being a continually evolving field. These documented revelations about the untrustworthy Forrester did not stop Forrester from defaming LGBTers through public dissemination of known falsehoods about them in political contexts. His continued promulgation of known negative falsehoods about minorities after he had humiliated himself by falsifying his record of professional associations demonstrates something of what minorities all too often face, in terms of a truthful public record about them being acknowledged, sometimes – disturbingly —  even by certain bigots among elected officials. 

Why Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct Allegations are being Presented Against UT’s Mark Regnerus

Violations of scientific standards undermine the trust on which science is based.

Certain research behaviors are so contrary to the core principles of science that they threaten the overall reputation of science and the health and welfare of the intended beneficiaries of legitimate research. That is to say, acts of scientific misconduct can have negative consequences for all of science and the public at large. Because sociological — and other — research impacts social policy on, and public perceptions about, certain irrationally despised minorities who currently are mistreated as second-class citizens, researchers have an ethical responsibility to adhere to appropriate research methodology. That ethical obligation to adhere to appropriate research methodology is written into ethics codes of the American Sociological Society, the American Psychological Association as well as the ethics codes of many similar professional organizations.

Regnerus’s chief funders have authority over a scientifically disreputable anti-gay rights organization – The National Organization for Marriage — that has used the works of the long and utterly discredited Paul Cameron to demonize gays to the public. An example of Regnerus’s funders having propagandized against gays using Cameron’s discredited “research” shall be provided below. Cameron was expelled from the APA and lost his professional license due to apparently willful and deliberate misrepresentation of the scientific record pertaining to homosexuals. After Cameron submitted affidavits to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, Judge Jerry L. Buchmeyer wrote in his opinion that Cameron had “made misrepresentations to this Court.”

There follows an example of the severe harms all too often caused by defamatory falsifications of scientific information about homosexuals.

This information is relevant to the allegations against Mark Regnerus, because he seems to have been misrepresenting his study to the public, in ways that could enhance stigmatization of gay people. An example of Regnerus seeming to do that shall be provided below.

Falsified information that contributes to stigma and discrimination against a minority often inflicts an injury against the public health. The Centers for Disease Control note the roles that multiple stigma and discrimination — (for example, simultaneous stigmas against a person who is black, Hispanic, gay and female) — play in the dramatically disproportional rates of HIV and other STD transmissions among people of color. Gay and/or bi-sexual men of color, for instance, often are frightened of publicly revealing their orientation, where doing so might result in their being fired from their jobs, only because they are gay or bi-sexual. That fear of exposure often leads them not even to get tested for STDs. State-of-the-art treatment of STDs reduces the overall rate of new transmissions, but obviously, a person who does not even get tested cannot be treated if they are a carrier of a potentially fatal, or any STD. The described circumstances can exacerbate public health epidemics. By way of example, one of the demographics with the highest rates of new HIV infections in the United States is that of heterosexual women of color in the south. Thus, while a researcher such as the aforementioned Paul Cameron – (and by extension, Regnerus’s funders who repeatedly cite Paul Cameron) — may intend to inflict harm only on homosexuals through falsification of research on them, such researchers’ falsifications can contribute to harms inflicted — through scientific misconduct – on others, including heterosexuals, and particularly on non-white heterosexuals, who can be subject to stigma and discrimination on the basis of their skin tone, ethnic heritage, or some other personal characteristic.

These Allegations Shall Rely Substantially on Expert Steven Nock, Ph.D.

At the University of Virginia, Dr. Steven Nock (1950 – 2008) was a Commonwealth Professor, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Marriage Matters Project. During his career, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he served as an American Family Policy consultant to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. In 1999, Dr. Nock won the William J. Good Book Award from the American Sociological Association for his book Marriage in Men’s Lives; the volume was acknowledged as “the most outstanding contribution to family scholarship” for that year.

Dr. Nock submitted an affidavit in Halpern v. Canada, a case heard in 2003 in the Ontario Superior Court. Plaintiffs led by Halpern were seeking marriage equality for homosexual couples through the court, in opposition to the Attorney General of Canada, against whom the case had been brought. The Attorney General asked Dr. Nock to provide his assessment of the existing scientific literature on gay parenting.

Nock was expert in sociological survey research, and thus his prescriptions for acceptable scientific practices in large, random sociological surveys are relevant to Mark Regnerus’s survey research, as Regnerus alleges to have carried out and worked with a large, random, national sampling of young adult children of “Lesbian mothers” and “Gay fathers.”  The first part of Nock’s affidavit defines a true gold standard for conducting sociological survey research in the field of gay parenting. Some — liberals particularly — may disagree with certain of Nock’s personal opinions about family life and associated matters, yet his gold standard guidelines for the field of his greatest expertise, sociological survey research through large random samples, command broad-based respect. He developed these random survey sampling methodology guidelines disinterestedly, wanting to define standards for his profession. Sociologists who are gay parenting experts often refer to Nock as their research standard.

For example, Stanford University Sociologist Michael J. Rosenfeld, in his 2009 studyNontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School,” noted that 1) his study, based on the U.S. Census for the year 2000, included 3,502 (three-thousand five-hundred and two) children of same-sex couples who had been living with both parents for at least five (5) years, and that that 2) “more than satisfies Nock’s criteria of 800 as the minimum number of gay and lesbian couples required for statistically useful study.”

Regnerus’s Seeming Falsification of Data 

Falsification of data can be qualitative as well as quantitative.

If a researcher surveyed 25 Hutu, for example, but intentionally misreported that he had surveyed 75 Hutu, in order to appear to obtain a research result, which result he and/or his study’s funders desired, but which was not a valid result, then the researcher would be guilty of quantitative falsification of data.

If, on the other hand, the researcher surveyed 25 Hutu, but intentionally misreported that he had surveyed 25 Tutsi, in order to appear to obtain a research result, which result he and/or his study’s funders desired, but which was not a valid result, then the researcher would be guilty of qualitative falsification of data.

Regnerus appears to have carried out a qualitative falsification of his data, and perhaps a deliberate one, where he labels certain of the parents of his young adult respondents as being “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers” without having formulated an operational definition for “lesbian mother” or “gay father,” and additionally without having done anything scientifically to determine whether the persons he labels as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” are indeed “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers.”

Nock explained the necessity — to valid social science research — of working with a valid operational definition: “In social science literature, the process of translating a concept into one or more empirical indicators is known as developing an operational definition of a concept.” Nock continues: “In social science research, the concepts used, frequently come to have conventional operational definitions.  Researchers using accepted operational definitions are able to replicate others’ research, and build upon it. In this fashion, social science advances, as any science might.”

Writing about the specific requirements for sociological surveys in the field of gay parenting, Nock says: “With regard to the question at hand” – (which question at hand happened to be gay parenting child outcomes, Regnerus’s alleged study topic) — “we would need operational definitions of “gay”, “lesbian”, “bisexual,  “parent”, “child”, “child’s health”, and “child’s well being.’” Regnerus apparently did not work with operational definitions for any of those things.

Nock states that without a valid operational definition of a gay or lesbian parent, researchers cannot know what is being studied. He notes, moreover, that “The precise definition of all concepts to be used is crucial to the capability to replicate studies.” And he says: “Scientific evidence accumulates and gains credibility only through replication.”

Regnerus, with no operational definition of the terms “lesbian mother” or “gay father,” asked one — (1) – question, only, of his study’s respondents towards his effort in labeling certain of his study subjects’ parents as “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers.” Here is that question:

“From when you were born until age 18 (or until you left home to be on your own), did either of your parents ever have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex?”

As the Inquiry Panel will recognize, a parent of a Regnerus survey respondent who had had only one — (1) – “one-night stand” with a same-sex partner, and otherwise personally identified as heterosexual throughout their life, would according to Regnerus’s seemingly — “operational definition-free” —  study of gay parenting, be classified as a gay parent.

That Regnerus’s seemingly – “operational definition-free” – study seems invalid is highlighted in an analysis of it filed as part of an amicus brief in the Golinski-DOMA case by eight major professional organizations including the American Medical Association. The AMA brief very pointedly notes that 1) the Regnerus study placed individual participants between the ages of 18 and 39 into one of eight family structure categories such as “divorced,” and “step family,” but 2)there was no category for “same-sex couple.”

The italicizing of that phrase occurs in the AMA brief.  It must be emphasized here that eight major professional associations — including the American Medical Association — want to be sure that the Court pays attention to the fact that the Regnerus gay parenting study’s categories do not include a category for same-sex couples.

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to consider the Golinski-DOMA case, meaning that the AMA’s accurate analysis of Mark Regnerus’s seeming scientific failings in his sociological study could be reviewed by the Supreme Court, with the University of Texas, Austin’s name attached to Regnerus’s name through  the AMA’s devastating critique of Regnerus.

The AMA brief further contains a critique of what Regnerus alleges his data to show, compared to what his data actually shows:

The eight major professional associations write that the study’s:

“final two ‘family structure’ categories included all participants,” in the study “regardless of family structure, who believed that at some time between birth and their 18th birthday their mother  or their father ‘ever ha[d] a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex.’ Hence the data does not show whether the perceived romantic relationship ever in fact occurred; nor whether the parent self-identified as gay or lesbian; nor whether the same sex relationship was continuous, episodic, or one-time only; nor whether the individual in these categories was actually raised by a homosexual parent.” (bolding that of the editor).

In consideration that Regnerus;

1)      in his alleged qualitative falsification of his data — in which — said alleged falsification of data involves Regnerus’s sociologically inappropriate labeling of study subjects’ parents as “gay fathers” and “lesbian mothers,” when;

2)      those parents are not known actually to be gay or lesbian, and;

3)      nothing in Regnerus’s data allows anybody to determine whether those parents are gay or lesbian; and additionally when;

4)      the study was carried out with no valid operational definition for the terms “gay father” and/or “lesbian mother;” we say that in consideration of the foregoing;

5)      Regnerus appears not to have made these glaring and fundamental errors, seemingly devastating to his sociological study’s validity, in good faith — or because he did not know that the precise definition of all concepts to be used in a sociological study is crucial to the capability to replicate a study — and that is, Regnerus appears to have made these glaring and fundamental errors in bad faith. A preponderance of the evidence appears perhaps to suggest that Regnerus carried out a falsification of his data in bad faith; that further allegation will be treated later on in this Official Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct Allegations document.

Regnerus’s Use of a Seemingly Inadequate, Inappropriate Research Design 

Regnerus’s study design seemingly fits none of the salient criteria that Nock describes as mandatory for a valid sociological survey study in the field of gay parenting.

As Stanford University’s Michael J. Rosenfeld noted in his gay parenting study’s citation of Nock, the minimum number of gay parents needed for a sociological survey to be adequate for statistical purposes is 800. Regnerus — beyond not having a valid operational definition for “lesbian mother” or “gay father” — only included in his study 175 women labeled, dubiously, as “lesbian mothers” and only 73 men labeled, dubiously, as “gay fathers” for a total of 248 parents.  Even had Regnerus used a valid operational definition for “gay parent,” he would still be 552 gay parents short of Nock’s minimum of 800 gay parents needed for a sociological survey study on gay parenting to be statistically valid.

Nock says that a researcher could expect to survey the minimum requirement of 800 gay parents by screening at least 40,000 adults randomly. Regnerus only screened 15,058. By Nock’s guidelines, Regnerus needed to screen at least 24,942 additional people to have an adequate sampling of gay parents.

Here is what Nock says about screening 40,000 people: “This is not a particularly large screening task.” (Bolding added). And he continues: “For example, the Current Population Survey (U.S. Bureau of the Census) interviews (not simply screens) approximately 50,000 individuals every month.”

Nock discusses the difficulties in surveying homosexual parents in comparison to the difficulties of surveying comparably small minorities. “Homosexuals are probably no more difficult to locate and interview than homeless individuals, those who have been the victim of crimes in the past year (without reporting the incident to the police), or those who have had abortions. All have been the subject of scientific investigation. The crucial point is, however, that without a sample of the type just described,” – meaning, a random sample with a minimum of 800 gay parents –  “it is impossible to make scientifically valid claims about the population of homosexuals and their children.”  (Bolding and underlining added). That quote makes clear that Nock, according to the standards he defined in his affidavit, would deem Regnerus’s study invalid.

Regnerus and his funders appear to be exploiting the general public’s ignorance of the field of sociology. While Regnerus and his funders tell the public that they could not possibly have funded or carried out a screening of 40,000 people, and extravagantly applaud Regnerus for having screened 15,058 people, Nock says that screening 40,000 people “is not a particularly large screening task.”

A preponderance of the evidence suggests that, perhaps in bad faith, Regnerus might have committed scientific misconduct by;

1)      using an inadequate and inappropriate research design, which;

2)      did not feature a valid operational definition for “lesbian mother” or “gay father;” though he alleges he studied young adult children of “lesbian mothers” and/or “gay fathers” and which study ultimately;

3)      fell 552 parents short of the minimum number of gay parents that apparently would be necessary for a statistically valid study of gay parenting.

Regnerus seems to have used an inadequate, inappropriate research design. In connection with the many ways that Regnerus has been promoting his apparently invalid study to the public as legitimate, many believe that he is misrepresenting fundamentals of sociology to the public. As UT sociologist Debra Umberson wrote in the Huffington Post: “I am disturbed by his irresponsible and reckless representation of social science research.”

Regnerus’s Possible Bad-Faith, Invalid Comparison Between His Test and Control Groups 

Regnerus’s study’s comparison of 1) young adult children raised by continuously married heterosexual parents with; 2) young adult children raised by parents in a welter of varying family structures — predominated by that of divorced biological heterosexual parents – is wholly invalid as a study of young adult children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers.”

In Section “f” of his affidavit, titled “Assembling the Appropriate Comparison Group,” Nock says: “if we are attempting to answer the question ‘Are the children of gay and lesbian parents as healthy and well-adjusted as those of their heterosexual counterparts?’ we must be able to rule out any third factors that could conceivably mask or cloud the issue.” Nock continues by saying that in order to try to determine what effect, if any, there is of having homosexual parents as opposed to heterosexual parents, then “To do this in a sound methodological manner, they” — the researchers – “must somehow be able to compare children who differ in their circumstances on only this one dimension,” meaning, that of their sexual orientation. It would, for example, not be valid to compare the children of highly affluent, professionally accomplished and loving same-sex couples to the children of impoverished heterosexual substance dependent fathers and then to conclude that in comparison to children of same-sex couples, heterosexual fathers have bad child outcomes.

It frankly is beyond belief that a UT sociologist is – seemingly disingenuously – presenting a study with an invalid test-group/control-group comparison, as though it were valid. Many sixth grade science classes teach the importance of a valid comparison.

Regnerus boasts that his study is based on a “large, random, national” sample, yet he seeks to justify his invalid comparison by alleging that it was too difficult to recruit enough children raised by gay and/or lesbian couples for his “large, national, random” sampling. Regnerus failure to survey adequate numbers of children of same-sex couples is a direct result of his not having screened enough members of the general population to do so.

Regnerus does not explain why; 1) as his young adult children of (inappropriately labeled) “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” were from broken heterosexual homes, he did not 2) compare that test group to a control group also of young adult children from broken homes, who appear to be adequately present among his respondents, to judge by the numbers in Regnerus’s study Code Book. Regnerus had data to make some appropriate test-group/control-group comparison, but did not make one.

The question arises: “Would Regnerus have us believe that it is too difficult to find and to survey young adult children from broken homes whose parents are both exclusively heterosexual?” Regnerus attempts 1) to explain away his invalid comparison between his test group and his control group – (as though it did not matter that he had made an invalid comparison) – but 2) he never explains why he did not use his data to make some – (any, please!) — appropriate comparison.

That fact about Regnerus and his public promotions of his study would not appear to be reflective of a good faith effort in analyzing his data and promoting his study to the public.

To put it another way, the Inquiry Panel members should be asking themselves: “Would a sociologist acting in good faith attempt to explain away his invalid comparison between his test group and his control group, instead of having used his data to make a valid comparison in the first place?”

Nock says: “To make a convincing case about the consequences of having homosexual parents, a researcher would need to compare children living with homosexual and heterosexual parents but who did not differ on any other important dimension. A failure to compare children identical (or almost identical) on all important other dimensions except the sexual orientation of their parents would be sufficient to invalidate the study.” (Bolding added).

Regnerus failed to do something in his study, and that is, he failed to make an appropriate comparison between his test group and his control group, and sociologist Steven Nock, Ph.D. says that alone is “sufficient to invalidate the study.” Regnerus seemingly cherry-picked his control group in relation to his test group, according to a perhaps suspicious system not necessarily of either purely sociological origins or exquisite sociological rigor, to which system his anti-gay-rights political funders would perhaps have nodded approval — (after all, they are known to be scientifically disreputable) — if given a chance to do that nodding of approval of this particular invalid test-group/control-group comparison that just oh so coincidentally makes gay parents look bad. Who could ever have imagined that a gay parenting study with $785,000 of NOM-linked funding would be the one study out of all studies to make gay parents look exceptionally bad?

Even had Regnerus conscientiously developed operational definitions for “lesbian mother” and “gay father” and appropriately surveyed young adult children of such people, his comparison between respondents from stable couples with broken couples would still be utterly useless and invalid for determining what effect, if any, a homosexual parent’s sexual orientation, per se, has on child outcomes. In explaining why he made the invalid comparison, Regnerus uses an alibi to the effect that there simply are not enough stable gay and/or lesbian couples to be surveyed for a study.

Therefore, the Inquiry Panel is asked to remember that the aforementioned Rosenfeld gay parenting study based on the 2000 U.S. Census “included 3,502 (three-thousand, five-hundred and two) children of same-sex couples who had been living with both parents for at least five (5) years.”

The allegation is re-iterated, that Regnerus might have made his inappropriate comparison between his test and control group deliberately and in bad faith. However that may be, according to Nock’s criteria for valid comparisons between a sociologist’s test group and control group, Regnerus’s study is invalid.

Apparently Damaging Peer Review Issues, Perhaps Linked to Regnerus Himself

Are Regnerus and/or his scientifically disreputable funders linked to apparent peer review failures at the journal which published his study?

Regnerus’s study was published on June 10, 2012 in the Elsevier journal Social Science Research.

A group of over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s in sociology and relevant related fields sent a letter to Social Science Research expressing profound concerns about the study’s perceived lack of intellectual integrity, as well as about the integrity of the publication process through which the study appeared.

Those Ph.D.s and M.D.s wrote: “We have substantial concerns about the merits of this paper and question whether it actually uses methods and instruments that answer the research questions posed in the paper.” They continue: “We are very concerned about the academic integrity of the peer review process for this paper as well as its intellectual merit.”

Social Science Research editor-in-chief James Wright assigned Southern Illinois University sociologist Darren Sherkat to conduct an audit of the Regnerus study publication process. Sherkat is a Social Science Research editorial board member.

In e-mails, Sherkat has reported, on the record, apropos of the publication of the Regnerus study:

1)      “The peer review process failed here”

2)      “How did this study get published through peer review? The peers are right wing Christianists.”

3)      Sherkat also says that his audit found a conflict of interest with one of the peer reviewers

Towards a comprehensive understanding of the forces at work in the Regnerus study’s funding and public promotions, the publication of Regnerus’s study in Social Science Research should now be thoroughly and completely investigated. The investigation should be carried out with impartial professionalism. Though in theory, one could present a complaint to the Committee on Publication Ethics — (COPE) — the Elsevier company — (which owns the journal Social Science Research) — belongs to COPE, and thus a COPE investigation could suffer the same deficiencies due to unacceptable protections of self-interest that Sherkat’s audit appears to exhibit.

Though Sherkat says he carried out an audit, he appears to have a self-interest in not seeing an any possible eventual full-blown scandal fully uncovered at the journal for which he is an editorial board member. For example, Sherkat told an informing source that 1) he did not want to sequester the peer reviewers’ e-mails relevant to a full investigation, because 2) he does not want subsequently for others to be able to see his e-mails in association with a full investigation. Thus, Sherkat himself has a seemingly known, and seemingly admitted, conflict of interest in carrying out a credible, full audit. And that is to say, the appearance is strong that Social Science Research editor James Wright might have enabled a sham “audit” of the publication of the publication of the Regnerus study, which hypothesized sham audit admits to a failure of the peer review process, but which does not fully reveal, and actually appears to cover up, editorial accountability for the admitted peer review failure, and which omits holding anybody accountable.

A conflict of interest in reviewing research might of course be an instance of scientific misconduct. The list of members of the study review board should be compared to the peer reviewers, and those lists should be available to the public for fact-checking, if the trust on which science is based is not to be undermined. The conflict of interest that Sherkat reports having uncovered must be defined through documentation, and then that documentation of the conflict of interest must be used towards detection of additional possible misconduct involved with the Regnerus study.

Given that the peer review process for the Regnerus study  — as per the admission of Social Science Research editorial board member Darren Sherkat – failed – and we repeat, the peer review process for the Regnerus study is said to have failedthe only way that Regnerus’s findings could be replicated would be for a repeat study on the same topic again to be published through a failed peer review process.

As Nock says: “Scientific evidence accumulates and gains credibility only through replication.”

It is seemingly true that the only way that Regnerus’s study of young adult children of “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” could be replicated would be for a researcher to; 1) not employ an operational definition for any of the most important terms for things and phenomena the study alleges to be studying; and to 2) screen and survey a total number of respondents that many experts deem inadequate for the study to have statistical validity; and to 3) use an inappropriate comparison between the test group and the control group, which inappropriate comparison would invalidate the study, and then nonetheless to: 4) submit the final study paper to a journal where the peer review system would fail, with the peer reviewers alleged to be “right wing Christianists” and at least one of the peer reviewers having a confirmed conflict of interest in peer reviewing the study.

To understand whether Regnerus and/or his scientifically disreputable funders are complicit in the reportedly corrupt peer review of his study at Social Science Research, major news agencies, reporters and the public must have access to the full record of communications involving the Regnerus study in any way between:

1) Social Science Research’s editors and editorial board members and each of;

2) any and all University of Texas administrators, academics and/or support staff; 3) Regnerus and his study team; 4) any and all officials and/or staff and support staff at The Witherspoon Institute and/or The Bradley Foundation; 5) National Organization for Marriage officials including but not limited to a) Robert George; b) Maggie Gallagher Srivastav; c) Brian Brown; d) John Eastman; e) Thomas Peters, and; 6) any and all owners, professional and support staff of the National Organization for Marriage’s public relations service provider CRC Public Relations; 5) any and all communications between any and all of the aforementioned parties and; a) any and all Republican party officials including but not limited to i) House Speaker John Boehner and his staff; ii) House counsel Paul Clement and his staff; iii)  any and all officials, staff and/or support staff for the Romney for President campaign, Romney having signed the NOM anti-gay-rights pledge from Regnerus’s scientifically disreputable funders; iv) any and all officials, staff and support staff for the Republican National Committee, of course including RNC Chair Reinhold Reince Priebus.

Moreover, it must be kept in mind that Regnerus and all parties communicating with him about his study might have made some of those communications via their personal, rather than their professional e-mail addresses.

The specific allegations of scientific misconduct involving possible apparent corruption between Regnerus and his study’s funders shall be discussed in the next section of this Official Scientific and Scholarly Misconduct Allegations document.

Regnerus’s Scientifically Disreputable Funders 

Various forms of interactions with a sociologist’s study’s funders could constitute scientific misconduct.

For example, formulating and/or changing the design methodology or results of a study in response to pressure from a funding source evidently could constitute scientific misconduct. Political collusion between a sociologist and his funders, to misrepresent the findings of his study to the public, also could constitute scientific misconduct.

There is evidence clearly suggesting that Regnerus could be in political collusion with his scientifically disreputable funders. There appears, indeed, to be such a preponderance of evidence suggesting that, that an investigation of the matter might be warranted.

When it happens that a sociologist’s study appears to present evidence of scientific misconduct within the study itself, then it is recommended that:

1)       the sociologist’s connections with his scientifically disreputable funders be taken into consideration, to determine whether;

2)       it appears that the scientifically disreputable funders might have improperly influenced the sociologist in any way, and/or;

3)       to see if the sociologist might have compromised his integrity in his relations with his scientifically disreputable funders, and the foregoing very likely must be taken into consideration if;

4)      the preliminary investigation of allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct – that is to say, the Inquiry – against that sociologist may be considered a credible one.

Regnerus’s scientifically disreputable funders have very long and disgraceful histories of using falsified scientific records as part of their efforts to demonize homosexuals to the public and to motivate the public against LGBT equality. A preponderance of evidence appears to suggest that Regnerus could be in collusion with his study’s funders, in matters regarding his study. In order to illustrate that Regnerus’s funders have exploited falsified scientific records, against homosexuals, it is necessary first to outline who – (that we so far know) – funded the Regnerus study.

Regnerus obtained his thus-far-known minimum alleged study funding from:

1) The Witherspoon Institute, which gave Regnerus an alleged minimum of $55,000 “planning grant” before apparently approving Regnerus’s seemingly inadequate, inappropriate research design and then giving him an alleged minimum of $640,000;

2) The Bradley Foundation, which has received financial support from Witherspoon, and which gave Regnerus an alleged minimum of $90,000 “supplementary assistance” grant;

Regnerus’s thus-far-known funding parties are connected to the anti-gay-rights group the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” – (an anti-gay group which regularly and deliberately promulgates known negative falsehoods and falsification of scientific studies about LGBTers to the public, and sponsors anti-gay hate rallies where NOM-approved speakers yell through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death”) –  in at least the following ways:

  1. Witherspoon Institute President Luis Tellez has been a NOM board member since NOM’s founding by;
  2.  Witherspoon Senior Fellow Robert George, who also is a Board member of;
  3. The Bradley Foundation

The Inquiry Panel is asked to note that the relation between 1) Regnerus’s Witherspoon and Bradley funders to 2) the so-called National Organization for Marriage is not merely coincidental and that NOM has been very heavily engaged – along with The Witherspoon Institute — in promoting the Regnerus study in anti-gay-rights political contexts nationally and beyond.

The Inquiry Panel is asked to acknowledge that there is no daylight between NOM and Regnerus’s funders. If Inquiry Panel members doubt that fact, then before proceeding with their inquiry, they are asked to solicit from Complainant Scott Rose further documentation of the fact that there is no daylight between Regnerus’s funders and NOM.

In an interview with The Daily Texan, Regnerus was asked why he took Witherspoon/Bradley funding instead of seeking funding from the National Institutes of Health. Regnerus said:

“I had a feeling when we started this project that it would not survive the politics of, in my opinion, the peer review system at the National Institutes of Health.”

Regnerus surely had some prior knowledge of his Bradley/Witherspoon/NOM-linked funders’ records of anti-gay-rights politicking, publishing, and perhaps even of their uses of falsified scientific records to demonize homosexuals to the public. It certainly is not unreasonable to suggest that sociologists should steer clear of funding sources known deliberately to falsify scientific information and then widely to broadcast the falsified scientific record to the public.

Regnerus says that he did not think that his study would “survive the politics” of the National Institutes of Health as a study funding source — but *when* —  recently, did the NIH itself knowingly and deliberately *ever* make use of falsified scientific records to demonize minorities, the way Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders have done?

What might it be perceived to tell us about Regnerus’s integrity of  professional sociological judgment, that he took funding arranged by some of the leaders of NOM – very widely and well known as being scientifically disreputable — because he thought his study would “not survive the politics” of the National Institute for Health?

Moreover, sociologists have an ethical responsibility to correct public misstatements about their work, yet Regnerus appears never publicly to have corrected his funders’ public misrepresentations of his study. To the contrary, Regnerus seemingly is indulging in an apparent public misinformation campaign about his study, parallel to his funders’ public misinformation campaigns about his study. An example of that shall be provided below.

That Regnerus says his study “would not survive the politics of . ..  the National Institutes of Health” implies that he knew that his study would survive the politics of The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation. Thus the questions arise; 1) What are the politics of the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation?; and 2) Is it credible that Witherspoon and Bradley would have a more scientific, and less political aim in funding a study than do the National Institutes of Health?

The specific allegation is made: that in deciding to take funding from The Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation, instead of seeking funding for a gay-parenting study from the National Institute for Health, Regnerus made a political – (and perhaps also, a personal economic) — not a scientific decision. By his own admission, in fact, Regnerus made a politicaldecision not to seek funding from the NIH.  He did not think his study would survive the “politics” of the NIH, but had unlimited confidence that his gay parenting study with its seemingly inadequate and inappropriate study plan would survive the notorious anti-gay-rights politics – including defamation of gays through misrepresentations of scientific studies — of The Witherspoon Institute’s NOM-linked anti-gay-rights Regnerus study funders.

In his remarks to the Daily Texan, Regnerus complained that NIH expects “revisions and revisions.” The question therefore arises: Does a conscientious professional sociologist object to having to make “revisions and revisions” to his written study? Is that not what one is expected to do, as a professional scholar? Not to put too fine a point on it, if Regnerus wants to be respected as a sociologist, why does he appear on camera whining about having to make “revisions and revisions” to a sociology study on gay parenting? Are gay parents maybe chopped liver, that Regnerus does not want to be bothered with revisions to his study about them and their children?

Regnerus gained a significant advantage for himself, and a very significant political advantage for his funders, by taking funding from them instead of from the NIH. When misconduct allegations are made against a researcher funded by the NIH, the NIH itself follows and can be involved with eventual inquiries and investigations of the researcher’s alleged misconduct. NIH-funded researchers found guilty of misconduct can be barred from receiving further NIH funding, among other penalties. By contrast, Regnerus’s Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM-linked funders’ appear to fear this inquiry. They certainly have no mechanism for receiving and investigating eventual complaints of scientific and scholarly misconduct pertaining to the study they funded and are now very heavily promoting in anti-gay-rights political contexts. Their greatest  interests thus far manifested in the misconduct allegations against Regnerus appear to be those of 1) obstructing public disclosure of all study-related communications between Regnerus and Witherspoon, Bradley and NOM, and other parties, regarding the Regnerus study, and of 2) spreading defamatory, documentable and documented lies against Complainant Scott Rose, including in the pages of The National Review, to which NOM’s Robert George and Maggie Gallagher contribute.

That is to say, UT’s Mark Regnerus’s study funders are retaliating against Scott Rose – with falsehoods — for having filed a scientific and scholarly misconduct complaint against the UT researcher whose study they funded. That retaliation includes fanning anti-Semitic sentiment among anti-gay-rights members of the public and then directing that sentiment against Scott Rose, who will upon request provide a full and complete explanation of that phenomenon to UT’s Inquiry Panel. The reason that these people connected to Regernus’s funding organizations are retaliating against Scott Rose, would appear to be that they conceived of the defamatory, apparently invalid Regnerus study as a key part of their politicking in the 2012 elections — (which feature marriage-related ballot measures in Washington State, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine, and an anti-gay-rights “pledge” signed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney) — and thus, Regnerus’s scientifically disreputable funders do not want the light of public, authentically scientifically-informed reason shining on the manifestly defamatory study for which they paid $785,000.

An additional instance of attempted retaliation against Scott Rose for filing a misconduct complaint against Regnerus took the form of a letter sent to UT President William Powers by the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue, attacking Scott Rose’s person without making so much as one attempted rebuttal of any of the many widely-circulated science-based criticisms of the Regnerus study. If Donohue is interested in defending the science of the Regnerus study, why is he not issuing a press release countering the American Medical Association’s cuttingly accurate critique of the Regnerus study? Donohue’s letter does say that Donohue studied Sociology. President Powers may not realize that Donohue has a conflict of interest in writing to him about Rose’s misconduct complaint against Regnerus. While Donohue did disclose that Robert George is a Catholic League board member, he did not make explicit the connection between George and the Regnerus study funding. In other words, having a conflict of interest in the matter, the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue sent an ad hominem attack against Scott Rose to UT President Powers, because Scott Rose had filed a scientific misconduct complaint against Regnerus.

The University of Texas, Austin’s General Policy Guidelines for complaints of Misconduct in Science and other Scholarly Activities say: “It is also the responsibility of all researchers and scholars to report instances of misconduct, as well as instances of retaliation against those who, in good faith, bring charges of misconduct in science or other scholarly research.” There is no such thing as a “bad faith” complaint about a sociological study that makes no valid test-group, control-group comparison.

Separately now, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher wrote — in her National Review post titled “Attacking Freedom of Thought and Scholarship”– that Scott Rose “writes that I have blood on my hands for opposing gay marriage.” While Scott Rose does criticize NOM – for example — for sponsoring anti-gay hate rallies where NOM-approved speakers yell through megaphones that homosexuals are “worthy to death,” he has never said that for opposing gay marriage, only, NOM’s Maggie Gallagher has “blood on her hands.”  Furthermore, Regnerus substantially misrepresented his study’s findings to the public in an interview published in the National Review.

FOIA and Public Information Act requests from multiple reporters are being obstructed, and are not being respected. One letter that UT officials sent to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott specifically states that The Witherspoon Institute does not wish to release the requested documentation. Furthermore, the Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is enjoying the luxury of a 45-day-wait period until he even decides whether the requested documentation will be provided to professional reporters. That does not speak to a climate of transparency and openness; quite the contrary. That speaks to an apparent climate of possible dirty secrets being hidden away from the public view. Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders have a long and just absolutely disgraceful history of dirty secrets dishonorably guarded, but subsequently being released through court order. That history will be partially detailed below.

If Regnerus, his NOM-linked funders, and other relevant parties have nothing to hide, why are they hiding their Regnerus-study-related communications? What is there to hide, if there is nothing to hide?

There follows an example of Witherspoon’s Robert George’s group NOM promoting falsified scientific information to the public.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2012 Intelligence Report on NOM – titled “National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays — largely is concerned with NOM’s conflation of homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood. The SPLC reports that on December 7, 2011, NOM’s Ruth Institute “posted a gushing recommendation for a book titled Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk, a jeremiad by Mathew Staver, head of the anti-gay Liberty Counsel.”

The SPLC report also notes that NOM said: “Anybody who cares about the future of our society should read this book.” The SPLC further notes that NOM said that Staver’s book “gives you real answers” (bolding added) and that “the book claims that ‘29 percent of the adult children of homosexual parents had been specifically subjected to sexual molestation by that homosexual parent, compared to only 0.6 percent of the adult children of heterosexual parents.’”

Continuing, the SPLC notes that “Staver’s citation for this hair-raising claim is remarkable — a debunked 1996 article co-authored by Paul Cameron, an anti-gay ideologue whose fraudulent studies have been denounced by the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Association and many others.”

At its membership meeting on October 19, 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association adopted a resolution stating that it ”formally disassociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron in his writings and public statements on sexuality.” That is the same scientifically disreputable Paul Cameron whose writings Regnerus’s scientifically disreputable funders still today sometimes use to hate-monger against gays. In 1985, the American Sociological Association adopted a resolution which asserted that ”Dr. Paul Cameron” has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism” and noted that ”Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.” At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted an investigative committee’s report and passed the following resolution: “The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research.”

Paul Cameron’s falsified, discredited science on homosexuals also has been quoted by the Family Research Council, an SPLC-certified anti-gay hate group, of which the Regnerus-funding-linked NOM head Robert George is a Board member. FRC has been very heavily involved around the country and beyond with promoting the Regnerus study in an anti-gay-rights political context. The Inquiry Panel is asked to bear in mind that the SPLC’s main and salient reason for placing an anti-gay group on its hate groups list is a given group’s pattern of repeating known falsehoods about a minority; the SPLC does not classify an organization as a hate group only because the organization opposes LGBT rights.

Regnerus’s funding parties had a documented political stake in the outcome of Regnerus’s study. Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM’s Robert George, for example, is an author of the anti-gay-rights NOM pledge signed by Rick Santorum – (who says that children are better off with a heterosexual father in jail than with two loving gay dads in their home) — and by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Anti-gay-rights propaganda is a key element in Republican strategy for the 2012 elections. It is unseemly that an apparently invalid sociological study on gay parenting is being used in a political context to defame an entire minority for political gain. That activity subverts the dignity of the university where the invalid study was carried out, and violates gay people’s human right not to be stigmatized and persecuted on the basis of falsified scientific records.

Regnerus’s Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM-linked funders have the following political chronology attached to their funding of the Regnerus study:

NOM was heavily, if often secretly involved in the campaign to pass Proposition 8, a 2008 California ballot measure that prohibited same-sex marriage. NOM strategy documents released through court order describe a plan to “fan hostility” between African-Americans and gays in the wake of Proposition 8, which hate-mongering strategy would not appear to indicate authentic concern for child welfare on NOM’s part. In fact, the NOM strategy documents specifically described an evil plot to “drive a wedge” between African-Americans and gays because those are two significant Democratic constituencies. In other words, NOM, according to its own internal strategy documents, is exploiting anti-gay-bigotry in the populace, and gay rights issues in a “divide and conquer” strategy for Republicans that has nothing to do with promoting child welfare.

Further, NOM’s strategy documents contained an evil plot to get children of gay parents to denounce their gay parents on camera. Additionally, in its Proposition 8 campaign, NOM improperly expropriated images of students on a field trip; those students’ school principal denounced NOM, and said that NOM was “lying” about field trip “opt-out” options in its ads and videos with the students’ images. Two of the students’ mothers, outraged against NOM for its unauthorized uses of their children’s images in anti-gay-rights contexts, demanded that NOM cease using those images on NOM’s Proposition 8 website and elsewhere.

Here is what the Newark Star-Ledger said about NOM’s strategy documents after the documents were released through court order: “It is sick beyond words that a group to “save” marriage would exploit racial and ethnic divisions, stir intolerance and fear, and even rip families apart by pitting children against parents. In their self-described “battle,” they come across as the biggest losers of all.”

Subsequently, legal challenges were brought to Proposition 8. Expert witnesses on the anti-gay-rights side in those challenges to Proposition 8 were discredited in Federal Court. Notably, Loren Marks withdrew as a witness in late 2009 after, under cross-examination, Loren Marks admitted that he had not read studies from which he had quoted in his deposition, and that he had not read any studies involving gay parenting.

A paper by Loren Marks on gay parenting studies was simultaneously published in Social Science Research with the Regnerus study. Because 1) SSR editorial board member Sherkat was assigned to audit the publication of the Regnerus paper, and then said; 2) “The peer review process failed here,” and said that 3) there was a conflict of interest with a Regnerus peer reviewer, it is not unreasonable to hypothesize that the peer review might have failed on the Marks study as well.

The upshot is that:

1) January 1, 2010 found NOM with no apparent gay parenting science on its side in its scientifically disreputable War Against Gays, apparently leaving NOM to think;

2) “We better go buy some science” and then;

3)  by 2011, Regnerus had his NOM-linked funding for a gay parenting study, and then;

4) the study was published in June, 2012, in time for both Witherspoon, NOM and other anti-gay-rights groups perniciously to exploit it during the 2012 election season.

The question necessarily arises, at what point would a hate group cross a line, such that no respectable university would countenance having one of its professor’s studies funded by that hate group?  In 2010, NOM’s William Duncan headed a symposium session at Liberty University titled Homosexuals or Homo Sapiens: Who Deserves Protected Class Status?A conscientious sociologist looking at that question, and imagining related sociological studies to test it, might see the necessity of testing the question “Are homosexuals Homo Sapiens?”

Seriously? Regnerus took study funding from NOM, whose officials have said that gay people are not humans.

Exactly what despicable level of insult against a minority must be reached, before a hate group is deemed untouchable as a respectable university’s sociological researcher’s funding source?

Dr. Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, who holds a joint position as Senior Lecturer in Princeton’s Department of Sociology, and as Research Associate in the Office of Population Research, offers withering criticism of NOM’s Robert George’s zeal for funding a non-scientific study to advance towards his anti-gay-rights goals. She says: “Robert George appears to ignore that such use of shameful, glaring pseudoscience echoes exactly what was done against African-Americans and Chinese, among others, in the country’s past. The very fact he is resorting to it, shows he is losing the argument.”

The specific allegation is made that Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM appear to have commissioned from Regnerus anti-gay political propaganda in the guise of a sociological study, and that Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM appear to have required a particular, pre-determined outcome for the study, and that Witherspoon/Bradley/NOM appear to have required that the study be available for pernicious exploitation in the 2012 elections. The notion that Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders would spend $785,000 on a study not guaranteed to produce results damning of homosexuals frankly, in our opinion, is not credible. Furthermore, the letter from over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent to Social Science Research — which published the Regnerus study – poses questions about the dramatically accelerated and dubious publication production schedule by which the Regnerus study got rushed into SSR’s June, 2012 issue.

Regnerus has on umpteen occasions substantially misrepresented his study’s results to the public, in ways that appear consistent with his funder’s anti-gay-propagandizing and political goals.

For instance, in his June 11, 2012 article on the website Slate – with the inappropriately jokey, insulting title “Queers as Folk” – Regnerus said the following about what his study may show:

“ it may suggest,” Regnerus wrote, “that the household instability that the NFSS reveals — (bolding added) — is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”

Observations about Regnerus’s offending passage include:

1)      Regnerus is misrepresenting what his study shows. The NFSS did not study same-sex couples at all. To qualify for the survey, respondents were not required to have a gay parent who was part of a same-sex couple. “Same-sex couple,” was not one of the family structure categories included in Regnerus’s study. There are plenty of stable same-sex couples, but Regnerus did not make a professional screening effort adequate to his being able to survey enough of them. The aforementioned Rosenfeld study was based on the 2000 U.S. Census; the U.S. Census is recognized as valid. Rosenfeld’s studyincluded 3,502 (three-thousand five-hundred and two) children of same-sex couples who had been living with both parents for at least five (5) years.” Not having made a study of same-sex couples, Regnerus cannot credibly claim that his study “reveals” anything whatsoever about them, still less that household instability among them is “just too common.” That is NOM-like, anti-gay bigot talk, based on a false representation of Regnerus’s study data. And note; Regnerus made his baseless claim, while saying that his baseless claim is based on “the data.”

2)      Regnerus’s hypocrisy must be noted. His published study says that he would be “remiss to claim causation” between gay parents and bad child outcomes. In the quote above, though, Regnerus is well beyond merely suggesting “causation.” He is telling the public that his study “reveals” – not saying that it may have revealed, but rather, actually telling the public that his study “reveals” — an alleged particular degree of instability among homosexual parents. That is to say, Regnerus is alleging to the public that his study “revealed” that there is a “scientifically revealed” rate of “homosexual instability” distinct from and above the instability rate for heterosexual couples, and that, because it is an identifiable rate of  “homosexual instability,” it provokes homosexual-parent-specific bad child outcomes. The point cannot be emphasized enough: in his written study, Regnerus reports that he cannot claim causation between a gay parent and a bad child outcome, but on the Slate website, he more than just suggested that his study demonstrated causation between gay parents and bad child outcomes. His misrepresentations of his study, defamatory of homosexuals, mirror those of his scientifically disreputable funders. In our opinion, this is a most serious infraction against the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics and against all ethics for scientists talking about their work publicly, generally.

3)      Regnerus also baselessly references an alleged “social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form.” That statement sounds as though it had been written by a NOM official. NOM regularly demeans LGBTers by pointing to the small size of their minority and suggesting that because it is small, its members are undeserving of rights; Regnerus does that here. NOM regularly says that gays must be prohibited from raising children, because of — (unsubstantiated) — dangers they represent to children; Regnerus has repeated that NOM canard here. The Inquiry Panel is asked to acknowledge that the foster care system is full of children abused, neglected and/or abandoned by irresponsible heterosexual parents, and that often, loving gay and/or lesbian parents adopt those children and nurture them wholesomely in loving homes. It therefore is shocking, defamatory and offensive that Regnerus alleges that 1) giving those adoptive gay parents and their children legal marriage recognition would 2) cost “significant political and economic capital” to 3) “esteem” those families of gay parents with children, and that 4) “esteeming” them at falsely alleged, but not actual, documented high cost in political and economic capital would be 5) an unacceptable “social gamble.” Where does Regnerus get off, insulting, demeaning, and defaming families comprised of gay parents and their children that way? Regnerus’s NOM-like statement i) does not correspond to any determinable reality; ii) is beneath contempt, and beneath the dignity of a researcher at a respectable university and; iii) is beneath the dignity of any respectable university. Academic freedom is not a freedom to perpetuate known defamatory falsehoods about a minority. Regnerus appears shamelessly to have pulled out of his hat that it would cost “significant political and economic capital” to institute marriage equality for gay couples. Regarding the economic impact of same-sex couple marriage made law in New York, for example, the New York Senate’s independent Democratic conference forecast that in the first three years, marriage equality in the state would generate $311 million in increased revenue and economic activity. Meanwhile, equality opponents — just in Maine and Minnesota — which have 2012 November marriage ballot measures, are spending at least $20 million towards defeating equality. Do the math, please. Equality generates $311 million for New York, while NOM and similar groups spend at least $20 million towards defeating equality in Maine and Minnesota.  Do the math to understand the arrogant outrageousness and falsity of Regnerus’s statement. Regnerus in his remark above misrepresented the reality of the economic impact of marriage equality, precisely in a way that NOM might wish – or even perhaps, instruct and/or require — him to do.

Further to Regnerus’s falsified claims about what his study “reveals,” in connection with his unsubstantiated claims about his study and the economics of same-sex marriage: On July 24, 2012, The New York Daily News reported that for New York City alone in the first year of same-sex marriage, the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Company, and the City Clerk’s office estimate that $259 million in overall positive economic impact came from same-sex marriages. Mayor Bloomberg said that same-sex weddings have generated $16 million in revenue for the City government. What in the world is Regnerus talking about, when he says that same-sex marriage is too much of a “social gamble” to be worth “spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form”? What is Regnerus talking about?  A sociologist may not say any old stuff-and-nonsense about his study to the public, and then not be criticized for his stuff-and-nonsense that just coincidentally happens to bolster his funders’ political gay bashing.

One of the alibis that Regnerus, his funders, and his supporters are broadcasting far and wide is that it would have cost millions to survey a sufficient number of young adult children of actual long-term same-sex couples. They imply that because millions could not possibly be spent on such a study, Regnerus had carte blanche to do the seeming hack job he did. Firstly, this claim – “We didn’t have enough money to do it right, but we did it anyway,” is like somebody saying that they intended to build a mansion, but had to stop at the basement because they ran out of money, but had nonetheless earned the privilege of standing in front of their unfinished basement announcing: “I built a mansion!” Regnerus is standing in front of the seeming moldy, leaky unfinished basement of his study, crowing about it as though he had built a whole splendid mansion, when clearly he did no such thing. As far as millions being required to carry out a scientifically valid gay parenting study, consider this; Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders spent only $785,000 on this study, but NOM and like-minded anti-gay-rights groups are spending millions upon tens of millions of dollars to fight gay rights all around the country in the 2012 election season, and bragging to the public that they are spending that much money.

The Inquiry Panel is asked to acknowledge how that works. NOM and its affiliates did not give enough money for a truly valid study, because a truly valid study would have cost millions, yet in fighting against gay rights in 2012 all over the country, there are seemingly few limits on the millions of dollars that NOM and its affiliates have to spend. It seems apparent from the NOM angle, that the Regnerus study was a relatively minor dollar cost item in their overall anti-gay-rights political budget, yet to have that investment be worthwhile in their total, far more expensive overall anti-gay-rights political campaign budget, it was essential that the Regnerus study appear to damn homosexuals as being dangerous to children. Additionally, a valid gay parenting study, which would have cost more to fund, would very likely not have been so politically useful to Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders and their anti-gay-rights political affiliates. In fact, had Regnerus made an appropriate test-group, control-group comparison with his existing data, the result would seemingly not have been so politically useful to Regnerus’s anti-gay-rights, NOM-linked funders.

Justifiable Doubts About Regnerus’s Survey Company, Knowledge Networks 

Regnerus and others promoting his apparently invalid study sing the praises of the survey company he used, Knowledge Networks, without inhibitions or qualifiers. Knowledge Networks of course is pleased to have Regnerus & Co. doing that terrific free advertising for the company.

However, grave concerns legitimately exist surrounding the Knowledge Networks “panel” system of surveying and in particular, how the panel functioned for the Regnerus study.

To cite but one concern: Regnerus boasts that he surveyed a lot of lower-income African-American and Hispanic alleged “lesbian mothers,” and that this gave him a truer view of “lesbian mothers” than that found in smaller convenience and/or snowball samplings, which often have involved a majority group of affluent white lesbian couples with children.

However, Regnerus not only oversampled lower-income African-Americans and Hispanics; the way he did it throws into doubt whether any of his lower-income African-American and Hispanic “lesbian respondents” even ever actually had a “same-sex romantic relationship” at all. (The AMA, we must recall, noted in its amicus brief that Regnerus’s data do not make it possible to determine whether a study respondent’s parent’s perceived same-sex romantic relationship ever in fact occurred. Thus, absent this Knowledge Networks-related subsection of the allegations document, the AMA thinks that Regnerus’s data does not and cannot show whether any of Regnerus’s study subjects had “lesbian mothers” or “gay fathers”).

Now, here is why the Knowledge Networks-related assertion is being made. When a person is recruited to the Knowledge Networks panel, they generally will take at least one survey for the company per week. And, the relationship between the panelist and Knowledge Networks can go on for a long time. One week, it is a marketing survey on snack chips. The next week, the survey might be about favorite movies or TV shows. The following week, the survey could be about an illness. Then the next week, the survey could be about ice-cream brands or public road construction. Respondents are paid $5 for each “screener” taken, and $20 for full surveys. For each survey taken, their names are entered into sweepstakes and raffles for larger cash prizes. Panel members who do not have home computers and internet service when they sign up with Knowledge Networks are given free laptops and free monthly internet service for as long as they are panel members. So those are the incentives for Knowledge Networks lower-income panel members to keep on taking at least one survey per week.

As panel members get more experienced with survey taking, many begin to recognize certain “dog whistle” questions – questions that are “out of the usual for a survey” — as being indicative of what the survey is about. Many come to know to answer such “dog whistle” questions with the answer “Yes,” in order to continue with the full survey, to get the $20 payment and the sweepstakes entry, and to continue with the free laptop and internet service.

The question in the Regnerus survey “Did your parent ever have a same-sex romantic relationship” is one of those “dog whistle” questions, extremely rare in such surveys, and thus a clear and unmistakable signal – a “dog whistle” — to the experienced Knowledge Networks panelists that for a “best chance” to stay in the survey, they should answer yes to that question. There is no fact-checking of these things; and no way for Regnerus or anybody else to verify whether the experienced, low-income habitual survey takers ever actually had a parent who had had a same-sex romantic relationship. The respondents can fill in the rest of the answers according to things from their real life, or even just make up any old answer, so long as it is not wildly inconsistent info from one response to another, or inconsistent with what Knowledge Networks already knows about their surveys-experienced panelist. In other words, some very significant quantity of Regnerus’s supposed young adult children of “lesbian mothers” are low-income, and or unemployed persons, taking surveys weekly because they have so few existing additional opportunities to get a job or to make money. And then, Regnerus reports that they are on public assistance, and he chalks it up to a “lesbian mother” having a young adult child on public assistance.

Furthermore, although a sociologist would expect to see certain “outliers” among his survey responses, and adjust for them, certain numbers that appear in the Regnerus study Code Book raise red flags because they are way beyond being mere “outliers.” For example, respondents were asked “Have you ever masturbated?” Out of the 2,988 respondents, 110 refused to answer that question, meaning, people who did not want to answer were given a chance not to answer.  2,258 said that yes, they had masturbated, but 620 responded “No.” Remember; it is not that those 620 did not want to answer. There was an opportunity to decline to answer, which 110 respondents chose. 620 respondents said that they had never in their lives masturbated.  How credible is it that 620 people over the age of 18 answering Regnerus’s survey had never in their lives masturbated?

And how many other responses to Regnerus’s survey are as equally and deeply dubious?

Regnerus’s Seemingly Feeds into NOM’s Defamatory Conflation of Homosexuals with Pedophiles 

As mentioned, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 2012 Intelligence Report on the so-called National Organization for Marriage is titled: “The National Organization for Marriage Continues to Spread Lies About Gays.” The SPLC report largely is taken up with NOM conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood.

Anti-gay bigot crusaders long have demonized gays by conflating homosexuals with pedophiles. In 1977, for example, Anita Bryant campaigned successfully to repeal a Dade County (FL) ordinance prohibiting anti-gay discrimination after having named her organization “Save Our Children,” and warning that “a particularly deviant-minded [gay] teacher could sexually molest children”

Most of the “convenience” and “snowball” sampling studies done on lesbian mothers have found very low rates of sexual abuse acted upon those lesbian mothers’ children. So it really is quite astonishing to see in Regnerus’s published study that 23% (twenty-three percent) of the study’s children of “lesbian mothers” allegedly answered “Yes” to the following question:

“Has a parent or other adult caregiver ever touched you in a sexual way, forced you to touch him or her in a sexual way, or forced you to have sexual relations?”

The Inquiry Panel will note that the question is so phrased that the alleged child sex abuser could have been a priest, or the child’s heterosexual father, or a babysitter, and yet, Regnerus gives us a graph showing that 23% of the children of his “lesbian mothers” were sexually abused as children. In the hypothetical case that NOM had wanted to “cook” the study results, they could hardly have been much more pleased than they manifestly are with Regnerus’s reported result, which they and their anti-gay-rights allies are presently trumpeting all over the country.

The Inquiry Panel is asked especially to notice that the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, a pathological anti-gay bigot, who nonetheless has a huge radio audience, told that audience about the Regnerus study and then suggested that all homosexuals are pedophiles who cannot be trusted even around their own eventual biological children.

Regnerus reports that the “stepfamily” is the second highest for child sexual victimization, at 12%, still disturbing but far below Regnerus’s reported, jaw-dropping rate for his “lesbian mothers.”  The jaw-dropping 23% figure that Regnerus reports might be considered as suspect as his figure of 620 study respondents who allegedly never in their lives masturbated, not even once.

Regnerus has no data – no data whatsoever — showing who allegedly sexually abused the children of “lesbian mothers.” Yet on June 8, 2012 – two days before his study was even published — Regnerus appeared on ABC TV. He told a national audience that his study “discovered that compared to kids, adults who grew up with a mom and dad who were married, and who are still married today, the adults who sad ‘my mother had a same-sex relationship’ were more likely to . . . experience more sexual victimization.”  In the ABC interview, Regnerus did not admit that he has no idea which adult allegedly sexually abused his respondents as children. Yet what he did tell a national audience, was that those study respondents who had “experienced more sexual victimization” as children, had mothers who had had a same-sex relationship. At best, that was irresponsible of Regnerus; at worst, he did that in collusion with his funders.

Writing in the July 30, 2012 issue of The Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson reported that Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders at The Witherspoon Institute orchestrated a “careful” rollout of the Regnerus study.

Here then, are salient aspects of this scientific misconduct allegations document subsection titled: “Regnerus Appears to Feed Into NOM’s Defamatory Conflation of Homosexuals with Pedophiles;” 1) Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders are notorious for conflating homosexuals with pedophiles, a known falsehood; 2) though virtually all previous gay parenting studies showed a very low rate of sexual abuse of the children of verified lesbian mothers, Regnerus had no operational definition for “lesbian mothers,” and off of that seemingly flimsy base, Regnerus reported that his child sex abuse figure for his children of “lesbian mothers” is a jaw-dropping 23%; 3)  according to The Weekly Standard, Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders orchestrated a “careful” rollout of the Regnerus study, and as part of the study rollout; 4) Regnerus appeared on national television, two days before his study was published, saying that his study was top-notch science, and that he “discovered” that the children of women who had a same-sex relationship were more likely to experience sexual victimization.

What might one conclude, if one puts all of that together?  Regnerus ends his ABC interview by alleging that his study produced a “unique, high quality data set.” Regnerus’s finding that 620 adults aged 18 through 39 have never in their lives masturbated almost doubtless is “unique,” but one could doubt whether that finding is “high quality.”

Curiously enough, moreover, when Regnerus asked his respondents if it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry in America, the number who answered “Strongly disagree” was also 620, exactly the number of those who supposedly never once in their lives have masturbated. 879, by contrast, “Strongly agree” that it should be legal for gays and lesbians to marry in America, something that neither Regnerus nor his funders have, that we know, ever mentioned in public.

Regnerus Might Be Incompetent to Study Gay Parenting 

There can be a relation between competency and scientific misconduct.

Reference is to The American Sociological Society’s Code of Ethics, Standard 2, on Competence.

While 2 (a) says that “Sociologists conduct research….only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, or appropriate professional experience,” 2 (b) adds that sociologists can move into new areas of research “after”  — and we ask the Inquiry Panel to observe the word “after” very carefully – they have taken reasonable steps to ensure the competence of their work in these areas.” (Bolding added).

Regnerus previously had published nothing about gay parenting. He appears to have no professional competency in the field. He appears not to have consulted adequately with credentialed scientific experts in gay parenting at any stage of his study.

Whereas 1) Regnerus did not formulate an operational definition of “lesbian mother” or “gay father” for his study, and; 2) did not ask respondents questions sufficient to determining their parents’ sexual orientation; 3) he did nevertheless and bizarrely ask them “When did you last masturbate?

An e-mail sent by Scott Rose to Mark Regnerus – asking this — “What in the world does the answer to When did you last masturbate? have to do with child outcomes for parents of whatever sexual orientation?” — went unanswered by Regnerus.

According to Regnerus’s CV —  downloadable from his personal website — Regnerus is co-author of a paper in preparation for submission titled “The ‘M’ Word: Social Distinctions in Masturbation Patterns among Young Adults.” The appearance is that while Regnerus was carrying out his seemingly suspicious job on gay parenting child outcomes, he figured he might as well stick in a few questions almost entirely irrelevant to gay parenting but useful to him in his masturbatory studies. The appearance is that instead of taking his professional obligations related to a gay parenting study seriously enough, Regnerus was jerking off.

Conclusions 

As regards the study that is the subject of these allegations, the University of Texas, Austin’s Mark Regnerus:

1) Made an inappropriate comparison between his test and control groups, which particular class of inappropriate comparison the sociologist Dr. Steven Nock says would invalidate a study;

2) Did not work with operational definitions for the alleged objects of his study, leading to a seeming falsification of his data, wherein study subjects’ parents not known to be gay or lesbian nonetheless were labeled in and throughout Regnerus’s published study as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers.”

3) Worked in a sub-specialty of sociology, gay parenting, about which he seemingly controls insufficient knowledge to a minimally adequate professional engagement with the sub-specialty;

4) Has documentably misrepresented his study to the public, in ways that might be seen as aligning with the anti-gay prejudices and anti-gay-rights politicking of his funders;

5) Appears only to have seen his study published, thanks to a reportedly corrupt and failed peer review process

Respectfully, therefore, the Inquiry Panel is herewith asked to advance these allegations against Mark Regnerus to a full scientific and scholarly misconduct investigation, in order that trust in science not be undermined.

 

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Pat Buchanan: GOP Imperiled by Decline of White Population

From Rolling Stone:   http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/pat-buchanan-gop-imperiled-by-decline-of-white-population-20120727

By Matt Taibbi
July 27, 2012

So the Mad Hatter of the American conservatism, Pat Buchanan, wrote a piece today called “In the Long Run, is the GOP Dead?” It’s basically a fatalistic prediction that the GOP is doomed because it can’t promise enough free lunches for the inexorably rising percentage of nonwhite voters. And there’s a line in there that I hope he clarifies, because it seemed crazy even for him.

The piece starts off by looking at California as a test case:

In the Golden Land, a state Nixon carried all five times he was on a national ticket and Reagan carried by landslides all four times he ran, the GOP does not hold a single statewide office. It gained not a single House seat in the 2010 landslide. Party registration has fallen to 30 percent of the California electorate and is steadily sinking.

Buchanan first posits that perhaps this problem is specific to California, a place where conservative positions on abortion and gay rights make statewide wins a challenge. But then he switches to demographics, quoting generally-astute Karl Rove acolyte Steve Schmidt, the hero of Game Change.

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Pat Buchanan: GOP Imperiled by Decline of White Population

Who’s on America’s Side?

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/opinion/dowd-whos-on-americas-side.html

By
Published: July 17, 2012

Usually, at this stage of a presidential campaign, Republicans are doing a much better job of sullying the Democratic candidate as un-American.

Michael Dukakis was accused of having a funny last name and failing to say the Pledge of Allegiance 10 times a day. John Kerry was faulted for acting French and eating Philly cheese steaks with Swiss cheese. Al Gore was into the earth and earth tones — need we say more?

And the G.O.P. has had so much practice over the last four years at skewering Barack Obama as an existentialist socialist apologist for America with a secret foreign birth certificate that it should be like shooting mahi-mahi in a barrel.

The dude used to wear a sarong to do The Sunday Times crossword puzzle, for Pete’s sake — a look more exotic than Ralph Lauren’s Chinese French berets. Yet this week’s Republican attacks have been so shriekingly shrill, they make Poppy Bush campaigning at a New Jersey flag factory back in 1988 look like a masterpiece of subtlety.

“I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” said John Sununu, the former New Hampshire governor, on Tuesday during a Romney campaign media conference call. (He later apologized.)

He also went on Fox News to assert that the president “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and frankly, when he came to the U.S., he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/opinion/dowd-whos-on-americas-side.html

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ALEC Rock

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Spanish unemployment reaches record high of 24.6%

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/27/spanish-unemployment-record-high

Second quarter figures show 5.7 million Spaniards now out of work, including 53% of under-25s, as austerity measures bite

in Madrid
guardian.co.uk, Friday 27 July 2012

Spain‘s unemployment rate hit record levels in the second quarter of this year, leaving one in four of the working population jobless as austerity continued to bite and fears of a national bailout grew.

Figures released by the national statistics institute revealed that the second quarter, traditionally a time when employment picks up for the tourist season, recorded a rise in unemployment to 24.6% as a further 53,000 people joined dole queues. That broke a previous record set during Spain’s last major recession 18 years ago.

Some 5.7 million Spaniards are now unemployed. The under-25s are suffering most, with 53% unable to find work.

One in three people are now jobless in the Canary Islands and across a swath of western and southern Spain covering the regions of Extremadura and Andalucia.

Almost half of the unemployed have now been out of work for more than a year as the devastating decline in construction jobs that began four years ago shows no sign of improvement.

Cuts in government, regional and municipal spending have prompted the number of public sector workers to fall by 5% over the past year. Town halls have cut their workforces by 11% over the same period.

The government has admitted that Spain’s double-dip recession will continue for at least another full year, with the economy set to contract in both 2012 and 2013. Job creation is unlikely to be boosted in the near future.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/27/spanish-unemployment-record-high

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Katie Slowe, Massachusetts Student, Has To Choose Between Health Care And College

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/katie-slowe-massachusetts-student_n_1709400.html

By
07/27/2012

Because of a gap in the U.S. health care system, one college student is being forced to choose between her education and saving her own life.

Katie Slowe, 19, was dropped from her state’s health insurance program, MassHealth, on her 19th birthday because she is a full-time student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, CBS Boston reports.

Slowe, who is diabetic, needs an insulin pump to stay alive. But she cannot afford one without health insurance: It costs nearly $1,000 per month, according to CBS Boston.

Now, Slowe has to choose between college and life-saving health care. Massachusetts could provide her insulin but not the insulin pump, which her mom says is necessary for controlling her diabetes and preventing complications such as blindness and kidney failure, CBS Boston reports. Slowe cannot afford her college’s health insurance program because it is not covered by financial aid. If Slowe were no longer a student, she could be covered by MassHealth.

Slowe’s dilemma results from a major gap in the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2010 and the Supreme Court upheld last month. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young people now can remain on their parents’ private health insurance plans until age 26, but the provision does not apply to state health insurance programs, such as MassHealth, which covers Slowe’s mother and other people in need.

If Slowe drops out of college, she may have to contend with lower earnings for the rest of her life.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/katie-slowe-massachusetts-student_n_1709400.html

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“Silicone” Pumping ‘Black Madam’ charged with murder

Why TS/TG women tolerate monsters like this maiming, murdering and damaging our sisters is beyond me.  Where is the out cry?  Where is the demand for harsh punishment for this sort of behavior?

From The Philadelphia Gay News:  http://www.epgn.com/view/full_story/19585153/article-%E2%80%98Black-Madam%E2%80%99-charged-with-murder

by Jen CollettaJuly 26, 2012
The transgender woman accused of giving illegal silicone injections was this week charged with murder in connection with the death of a British tourist last year.

Padge Victoria Windslowe, who calls herself the “Black Madam,” was charged with third-degree murder Monday night. She was arraigned Tuesday and will face a preliminary hearing Aug. 8.

Windslowe, 42, is accused of performing an illegal buttocks-enhancement procedure that led to Claudia Aderotimi’s death in February 2011.

In addition to the murder charge, she faces additional counts of conspiracy, reckless endangerment, possessing an instrument of crime and the unauthorized practice of medicine.

Windslowe, who describes herself as a gothic hip-hop artist, has been in prison since March on a number of charges related to another injection case, in which the victim survived.

Investigators identified Windslowe as a suspect shortly after Aderotimi’s death but couldn’t charge her in that case until the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, which it did this week.

BOMBSHELL: Editor Darren Sherkat Admits Peer Review Failure Of Invalid, Anti-Gay Regnerus Study

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-regnerus-study-official-misconduct-allegations/news/2012/07/26/44553

by Scott Rose
July 26, 2012

Reposted with permission

We have been reporting on an invalid sociological study on gay parenting carried out by researcher Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, Austin.

Regnerus’s known total of $785,000 for the study was arranged by The Witherspoon Institute and The Bradley Foundation, where Robert P. George, head of the anti-gay-rights, scientifically disreputable National Organization for Marriage holds positions of authority. Witherspoon president Luis Tellez is a NOM board member.

The Regnerus study currently is being used as an anti-gay-rights political weapon in the 2012 elections.

The Regnerus study was published in the Elsevier journal Social Science Research.

After over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent Social Science Research a letter complaining about the Regnerus study’s lack of intellectual integrity, and the suspect rush process through which the study got published, SSR editor-in-chief James Wright assigned Sherkat to conduct an “audit” of the publication process for the Regnerus study.

Darren Sherkat, an Editorial Board member of Social Science Research admitted in an e-mail exchange with this reporter that “The peer review process failed here.”

Sherkat went on to say in a subsequent e-mail: “How did this study get through peer review? The peers are right wing Christianists!

Sherkat further says that Social Science Research editor-in-chief James Wright is the authority who picks the reviewers for submitted papers.

Sherkat also said: “Regnerus produced some exceptionally distorted and inferior research that should not have been published in a major general interest journal.”

Sherkat said:  ”There are other ethical issues related to this paper which I am continuing to investigate, and I have filed a FOIA to the University of Texas regarding those issues.” UT has asked Texas Attorney General Republican Greg Abbott for Freedom of Information Act exemptions for all of the requested documentation of the Regnerus study. The Witherspoon Institute is on record, not wishing to release any of the requested documentation.

Sherkat completed his audit without seeing any of the Regnerus-study-related documentation that he allegedly requested from the University of Texas, Austin under the Freedom of Information Act.

There was nothing ethical or acceptable about Wright assigning Sherkat to an “audit” of the publication of the Regnerus study. Wright earlier wrote to me in an e-mail that he had asked Sherkat to conduct the audit; in that e-mail, Wright noted that Sherkat was already a vocal and public critic of the Regnerus study. Sherkat’s position on the editorial board of Social Science Research, on top of his public condemnations of the study, mark him as an entirely inappropriate figure to carry out an audit, regardless of one’s opinion of gay rights. And, there certainly was no possibility of Sherkat carrying out an independent audit, which is what is desperately needed in this case, as a CYA farce audit is worse than useless, and unethical. Moreover, although Sherkat promised this reporter a copy of his written audit as soon as it was ready, Sherkat failed to follow through on that promise, instead discussing his full, completed audit with The Chronicle for Higher Education.

CHE reports that Sherkat found conflicts of interest with two of the study’s peer reviewers; Sherkat can not even get his facts straight; he previously told me that he had completed his audit and found “only” one conflict of interest among the peer reviewers.  Additionally, as you can see in the CHE interview with Sherkat, Sherkat 1) condemns the study as invalid, but then says that despite its invalidity, and 2) despite the conflicts of interest he found — in which conflicts of interest, 3) persons paid with NOM-linked money to consult on the study design, which appears to be an inappropriate and inadequate study design, went on to 4) approve for publication the study with their apparently inappropriate and inadequate study design; 5) despite all of the foregoing, Sherkat says that he may well have made Wright’s same decision to publish the Regnerus study.

A further red flag in Sherkat’s public statements about his audit to the CHE, is that he admits that three of the six peer reviewers are on record as being against same-sex marriage. What — if it is not too much to ask — might be the other three peer reviewers’ opinions of gay people and same-sex marriage? Are they maybe neutral? Without a genuine investigation of the publication process, there is no way to know whether Wright hand-picked all of the peer reviewers with a mind to giving the Regnerus study an unwarranted peer review “free pass” towards publication.  Let us not forget; NOM officials are on record saying that homosexuals are not human. NOM’s Maggie Gallagher has said that she is “unwilling” to live in a nation that gives homosexuals anti-discrimination protections. For Sherkat to audit the publication of the invalid, Regnerus study defamatory of gays, and to report in his audit that three out of six of the study’s peer reviewers are on record as being against same-sex marriage, leaving the public to imagine that the other three peer reviewers are neutral on same-sex marriage — (as if!) — highlights that the “audit” appears to be a CYA sham.

In addition to the Regnerus study peer reviewers having had conflicts of interest because of their paid involvement with the study design, Wright also chose persons paid to consult on the study to write commentary on it, which commentaries were published alongside the study. The letter from over 200 Ph.D.’s and M.D.s notes that none of the Regnerus study commentators have experience in the sociological specialty of gay parenting. In regard to that, Sherkat said: ”Wright erred in picking who commented, and he did this to rush the papers to publication in order to jack up journal publicity.” One of Sherkat’s alibis for Wright is, “he’s an older scholar.”

Furthermore, Sherkat is falling all over himself , praising Social Science Research editor-in-chief James Wright for his handling of the publication of the Regnerus study. Sherkat told CHE that he “may well have made the same” publication decisions as Wright. Wright meanwhile is described as having made his decisions to publish the paper because of the attention it would attract to his journal, (for political rather than for purely scientific reasons). Ergo, Sherkat “may well have made the same” publication decisions as Wright for business-and-reader-attention reasons rather than for scientific reasons.  However that may be, that Wright assigned Sherkat to conduct an audit, the upshot of which is that Sherkat is falling all over himself praising Wright, is on its face a towering ethics fail. Moreover, Sherkat told a source that he did not want to inspect the e-mails of those involved in the Regnerus matter, because he did not want others to be able to see his own e-mails as part of any eventual inquiry or investigation. That is to say, apparently by his own admission, Sherkat seemingly had conflicts of interest in conducting the audit. Some independent entity should now further investigate the circumstances of the publication of the Regnerus study, if the community’s trust in the journal Social Science Research‘s integrity is not to continue in its sadly undermined condition. Social Science Research‘s integrity is every bit as trashed as that of anybody else connected with the public perpetration of the unscientific travesty known as the Regnerus study. My official allegations of scientific and scholarly misconduct against Regnerus, now presented to the University of Texas, Austin, express grave concerns about the process through which the Regnerus study was published.

Meanwhile additionally, an amicus brief filed in the Golinski-DOMA case by eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association criticized the Regnerus study for improperly labeling as “lesbian mothers” and “gay fathers” persons not actually known to be that, and logically by extension, for not making a scientifically valid comparison between its test group and its control group. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Nathaniel Frank said of the Regnerus study: Regnerus  ”fails the most basic requirement of social science research — assessing causation by holding all other variables constant.”

In view of the blatant scientific invalidity of the study, I sent SSR editor-in-chief Wright an e-mail, asking whether he defends Regnerus’s invalid comparison between his test group and his control group. I specifically asked: “Can you cite ten additional studies with test and control groups mismatched to at least an equal degree as those in the Regnerus study, which ten studies are widely acknowledged as valid and cited as important contributions to the field of sociology?”

Sherkat, answering for Wright, said that it is “not up to the editor to answer” that question, or any other question posed about the publication of the Regnerus study. Thus, Social Science Research‘s editor-in-chief James Wright takes on a likeness to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who, absurdly, was at Bain after he was not at Bain and then resigned from Bain retroactively even though he had not really been at Bain. Though James Wright is editor-in-chief of Social Science Research, he will not answer any questions about how the invalid Regnerus study came to be published on his watch. He will not answer as to whether any sociological studies exhibiting failings as glaring as those found in the Regnerus study enjoy any respect whatsoever in the community of scholars. Wright through Sherkat is admitting that the journal Social Science Research published the Regnerus paper even though it does not make a valid comparison between its test group and its control group — “The peer review process failed here” – but Wright as editor-in-chief is refusing to explain how so fatal a flaw in a study got published on his watch as editor-in-chief. Wright is hiding behind Sherkat, refusing to explain his unacceptable publication decisions. For Sherkat to say that 1) the Regnerus study never should have been published, but that 2) he may well have made the same decisions as Wright to publish it, shows that Sherkat is confused about how to present his audit and his opinions to the public coherently, and without coming off as a danged, double-talking fool, which he now has succeeded perfectly in doing.

Dr. Gary Gates of the Williams Institute gave this reporter the following statement about this matter. His commentary, while somewhat lengthy, is worth reading in its entirety. Gates provides insight into the publication process at a mid-tier scientific journal such as Social Science Research, and he also gives a direct assessment of questions that SSR editor-in-chief James Wright should already have answered, but has not yet answered.

Gates writes:

“Sound and compelling social science is not the only driving force behind research and publication.  The truth is that there are a wide variety of incentives associated with why social scientists do research and why journals publish it.  The top academic journals are all quite established and have little trouble getting good submissions of research from scholars. One way for smaller and less prestigious journals to delineate themselves and get better submissions is to get their citation index and impact scores higher.  Scholars know that the tenure process often includes a review of the relative impact of journals in which a scholar publishes, so younger scholars are very motivated to try to submit to journals with higher citation and impact scores. One way for smaller and less prestigious journals to bump up their impact is to publish research that will get attention.  They have a clear incentive to publish more provocative papers, even if they have flaws.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since it offers an outlet to scholars doing work that is perhaps a bit out the mainstream and that top tier journals are still leery about.  Top ranked journals can at times be somewhat conservative and focus on fairly canonical science.  Less prestigious journals play in important role in disseminating scholarship that the mainstream academy may be reluctant to embrace.  So I don’t necessarily find it problematic that an editor is motivated to find provocative, attention-getting research.

“However, in the case of the Regnerus paper, there are still too many unanswered questions about why this editor seemed to have such a sense of urgency not just to publish a provocative paper, but to publish it now.  There was a clear rush here that goes beyond just a motivation to get the journal attention.  That urgency led to very bad decisions about the selection of commentators and perhaps peer reviewers.  The editor has still not answered this key question about what motivated such urgency.”

Elsevier, which owns the Social Science Review journal, previously alleged that it had referred SSR’s publication of the Regnerus study to the Committee On Publication Ethics (COPE) for review. However, in an e-mail, COPE Chair Virginia Barbour then said she had yet to receive that referral from Elsevier. Barbour said that if Elsevier said they were going to refer the matter to COPE, she was sure that Elsevier would do that. In a subsequent official e-mail from Elsevier, however, a company spokesperson said that Elsevier could not refer this matter to COPE, that somebody outside the company, as a matter of company policy, would have to take that action. In other words, Elsevier is not communicating its policies coherently to the public. Meanwhile, Elsevier’s CEO Youngsuk Chi has made political donations to Senator Tom Inhofe of Oklahoma, one of the most virulent political gay-bashers in the United States. Asked whether he supports LGBT equality, CEO Chi, through an Elsevier spokesperson, refused to answer, in an age when Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, General Mills, J.C. Penney and many additional top-ranked companies have come out for LGBT equality.

Whereas Regnerus first submitted his study to SSR before he had completed his data collection, and whereas the letter to SSR from over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s expresses concern that the Regnerus study was accepted for publication on an unusually hasty schedule of just five weeks, Sherkat asks that everybody be patient until November, when SSR intends to publish the professionals’ letter, though it has been available right here on our TNCRM site since June 29, 2012.

SSR’s foot-dragging in publishing the letter from 200+ Ph.D.s and M.D.s questioning the Regnerus study’s intellectual integrity is unforgivable, given that Elsevier has the technical capacity to publish that letter online alongside the Regnerus study immediately.

Regnerus’s NOM-linked funders had a political stake in the outcome of his study, and are juicing his study constantly and nationally for political gain. Section 3(c) of the American Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics says:  ”Because sociologists’ scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their knowledge, expertise, or influence.”

Wright’s and Sherkat’s “professional judgments and actions” in publishing — and now in auditing their own publication of — the invalid Regnerus study are negatively affecting the lives of others.

There  is an appearance that — less a valid investigation — many of the transparency scandals in the publication of the Regnerus study will never be sufficiently set aside. According to the journal’s peer review policy, Regnerus was able to recommend people to “referee” (i.e., to peer review) his own paper. Although a researcher is not guaranteed that his recommended peer reviewers will be used, in the event that a researcher’s recommendations are accepted by the editor, the public has no way of knowing whether that happened. For all we know, Regnerus recommended all six of his study’s peer reviewers, and Wright accepted all six of Regnerus’s recommendations.

However that may be, it would appear very telling that Sherkat said: ”How did this study get through peer review? The peers are right wing Christianists!”  He also said: “You are not on the editorial board of SSR, and I am the only board member who knows who the reviewers were. I will not be informing the rest of the Board about who the reviewers were, much less the public. You are not privileged to know who the reviewers were on a blind reviewed article. Indeed, it is irregular that know that information. No, you cannot “fact check” that, or whatever.”

Summing up what we know, then; 1) Sherkat admits that he knows the identities of those who peer-reviewed the Regnerus study, and he says: 2)  ”How did this study get through peer review? The peers are right wing Christianists!3) Notice very carefully that in that remark, Sherkat did not say that only three of the peer reviewers are “right wing Christianists.” He did not say that “some” of the peer reviewers are “right wing Christianists.” He clearly implied that all of the peer reviewers are “right wing Christianists.”

I asked Sherkat if he was investigating whether any of the Regnerus’s paper’s peer reviewers are being investigated for possible conflicts of interest  (i.e., were any of the Regnerus study’s peer reviewers paid consultants on the study) —  and whether he would release those reviewers’ names to the public, if he found they had had conflicts of interest.

“Yes, I am,” he said. “I don’t report to the public. However, I would advise the editor and the editorial board that the paper should be retracted and resubmitted for a full review (that is normal procedure in all sciences). Sherkat also said: “I am almost finished with my audit response, and I will send it to you very soon. I hope it will answer some questions, but I know it will never be satisfying. It can’t be. The fuckers played this one perfect, and now we’re all just on the defense.”

(Journalist’s note: Where Sherkat says “now we’re all just on the defense,” he appears to mean that the journal’s editors are “all just on the defense.” The question of exactly how the Regnerus study got peer-reviewed by “right wing Christianists” and then published, leaving “all” the editors of the journal Social Science Research “on the defense” has yet to be answered.) 

In one particularly angry e-mail, Sherkat alleged that I am “not a journalist.”  That is a rogue’s attack, which this journalist has heard many times before from people in positions similar to Sherkat’s, when people like Sherkat do not want the public to have a full and complete understanding of their behavior.

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

Why Chick-fil-A Matters

From Lambda Legal:   http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/why-chick-fil-a-matters

by Kevin M. Cathcart, Executive Director
July 27, 2012

The furor is about much more than just a chicken sandwich.

When Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy declared his opposition to marriage for same-sex couples, reaction was swift. Some LGBT groups called for a boycott, the Jim Henson Company pulled out of a merchandising deal, and politicians in Boston and Chicago said their cities would not tolerate such discrimination. But the backlash points to a bigger shift in the national conversation about the freedom to marry. We have been saying for some time now that the tide is no longer turning—it’s already turned.

A few weeks ago, more than three dozen companies signed on to a brief in support of Lambda Legal’s challenge to DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act—Microsoft, Google, Viacom, Starbucks, Xerox, CBS, eBay, the Gap and other corporations much larger than a fast-food chain. All of them agree on one thing: Discrimination is bad for business.

Last week, Jen Cast, a former Lambda Legal board member and one of Amazon.com’s first employees, emailed the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, asking for his support in the fight for marriage equality in Washington State. Lambda Legal and the Northwest Women’s Law Center sued in 2004 for the freedom to marry in the Evergreen State, but we did not prevail in court. In February of this year, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a marriage equality bill into law, but opponents collected enough signatures for a referendum in November.

Jen is now finance co-chair of Washington United for Marriage. She asked Bezos for $100,000 or $200,000 to help defeat the antigay initiative. Instead, she got this email from Bezos and his wife: “Jen, this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/why-chick-fil-a-matters

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New Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow claims Labour MP David Cairns died because he was gay/Chick-fil-A chief spokesman Don Perry dies unexpectedly

Why is that when ever a disaster wrecks a Bible Belt city it is always because people weren’t harsh enough on the people of the queer alphabet?

Especially when something similar but in reverse could be said when a homophobic bigot croaks.

From The New Humanist:  http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2012/07/new-catholic-archbishop-of-glasgow.html

When it comes to making homophobic statements, the Catholic Church in Scotland has often led the way in Britain in recent years. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and Britain’s most senior Catholic, has a track record of extreme pronouncements on gay-rights-related-issues, and earlier prompted outrage by comparing the legalisation of gay marriage with the legalisation of slavery.

Considering O’Brien’s record, it should perhaps come as little surprise that Philip Tartaglia, the newly-appointed Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, has stepped into a row over homophobia before he has even officially taken up his new post.

A report in the Scotsman reveals that, in a speech delivered at a conference in Oxford in April, Tartaglia suggested that the tragic death of a 44-year-old Labour MP may have been linked to the fact that he was gay. David Cairns died last year from Pancreatitis but, in remarks reminiscent of the Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir’s controversial take on the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately, Tartaglia asked his audience to consider whether there is a connection between early deaths and sexual orientation:

Continue reading at:   http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2012/07/new-catholic-archbishop-of-glasgow.html

From The LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-chickfila-perry-20120727,0,7787369.story

By Tiffany Hsu
July 27, 2012

Don Perry, head spokesman for Chick-fil-A, has died.

The Atlanta-based company said Perry died “suddenly” Friday morning. Perry, who most recently was vice president of public relations, had worked with the chain for nearly 29 years, according to Chick-fil-A.

“He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him,” the company said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Local news outlets reported that Perry suffered a heart attack.

A spokesman with a third-party public relations company working with Chick-fil-A said he could not confirm the heart attack reports.

Last week, Perry helmed the company’s official response to the controversy that erupted after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke out against gay marriage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-chickfila-perry-20120727,0,7787369.story

I wonder if the totally insane Phelps Klan will picket his funeral?

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