PETITION: Elsevier: RETRACT CORRUPT ANTI-GAY REGNERUS STUDY FROM PUBLICATION

From Change.Org:  http://www.change.org/petitions/elsevier-retract-corrupt-anti-gay-regnerus-study-from-publication

Elsevier is the science publishing company that owns the journal Social Science Research. Elsevier has billions of dollars in revenue every year.

Through a combination of corporate greed and disdain for gay people’s rights — as well as a CORRUPT publication process — Elsevier enabled the publication of Mark Rengerus’s scientifically invalid, anti-gay study, and another study by Loren Marks, propagandistically twinned to the Regnerus study.

The Regnerus study was funded for a total of $785,000, mainly through the anti-gay-rights Witherspoon Institute’s program for Marriage, Family and Democracy. That Witherspoon program’s Director is W. BRADFORD WILCOX.

Wilcox is an EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER of Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research, which published Regnerus and Marks. The Regnerus study was accepted for publication on a suspicious rush schedule; the peer reviewers had conflicts of interest; none were same-sex parenting topic experts. Wilcox was a peer reviewer for one of the studies. His Witherspoon Institute is promoting the twinned studies in anti-gay-rights contexts, including through a stand-alone site it created for them.

What’s more is that Wilcox is a paid Regnerus study consultant. He “assists” Regnerus with “data analysis.” That means every time there’s an opportunity to monkey around with the data, in ways that are being hidden from the public, Wilcox can “assist” Regnerus to do that monkeying around with data, in ways that make gays look worse, and the public has no way of fact-checking what Regnerus and his anti-gay-rights funder did while monkeying around with the data.

When over 200 Ph.D.s and M.D.s sent journal editor James Wright and Darren Sherkat a letter complaining that the Regnerus study does not support its conclusions, and complaining also about the suspicious publication process, Wright went through the motions of a sham “audit,” that turned up a lot of shockingly unprofessional behavior at the journal but held nobody accountable for it. Wright understands perfectly well all of the conflicts of interest in this that his editorial board member Wilcox has as one of Regnerus’s funders, and as a paid study consultant promoting the study in anti-gay-rights political contexts, yet WRIGHT DID NOT DIVULGE THAT INFORMATION IN THE SHAM “AUDIT.” The information about Wilcox’s relation to Regnerus, and Elsevier’s journal Social Science Research had to be dug out by investigative reporters. Nobody at Elsevier wanted the public to know about Wilcox’s improper roles in the publication of Regnerus. In fact, they did everything they could to hide Wilcox’s roles in publishing Regnerus.

Elsevier must now retract Wilcox’s and Regnerus’s scientifically invalid, gay-bashing garbage from publication immediately. If it must be republished in the future, put it through valid peer review first. We will not stand silently by, allowing a science publisher’s greed to undermine – at our expense — the trust on which science is based.

Click Here To Sign Petition

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Opinion: Editor Of Anti-Gay Regnerus Study A Menace To LGBT Families And Community

Exposing the biased nature of this study should be a major concern for every LGBT/T person who is a parent or supports the parental rights of all LGBT/T people.

It was pointed out to me today that right wing extremist publications such as The National Review are using this dubious study to reinforce bigotry directed against LGBT/T parents. See:  Lesbian Mothers’ Children

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/opinion-editor-of-anti-gay-regnerus-study-a-menace-to-lgbt-families-and-community/news/2012/11/12/51173

by Scott Rose
on November 12, 2012

Reposted with permission

James Wright is editor of the Elsevier journal Social Science Research. Because Wright allowed Mark Regnerus‘s booby-trapped anti-gay study with NOM-linked funding to be published through a corrupt process in violation of science publishing ethics, many leading scholars are calling for James Wright to be fired from Social Science Research.

It is true; given what Wright enabled with his illicit publication of the Regnerus study alone, he undermined the trust on which science is based.

And, Wright and Elsevier have sent a clear message to anti-scientific, radical anti-gay-rights factions, that they are for sale, and that it is possible to get pseudoscience that has been booby-trapped against LGBTers published through Wright with Elsevier.

WHY ELSEVIER AND WRIGHT ARE SUCH SERIOUS MENACES TO THE COMMUNITY

What makes Elsevier and James Wright such serious menaces to the LGBT community, is that Elsevier has assigned James Wright to be editor-in-chief of The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition.

If trust does not begin getting restored right now, if Elsevier refuses to commit to upholding at least bare minimum standards of science publishing ethics, then when that 2nd edition of the Elsevier Encyclopedia appears, it could very likely be stuffed absolutely full to bursting with hoax studies commissioned by anti-gay-rights organizations that know that with James Wright driving the Elsevier bus, profits are in the front seat and the bus is running clear over science publishing ethics, smashing science publishing ethics to smithereens.

We must keep in mind that National Organization for Marriage strategy documents released only through court order described plans for an “Expert Witness Project.”

Imagine how empowered NOM feels right now, having, so far, successfully pulled off the Regnerus hoax, and knowing that Elsevier and Wright are thrilled with how the hoax upped the Social Science Research journal’s “impact factor.”

It is essential to remember that NOM’s recent political losses in the United States have made its bigot leaders more determined than ever to spread ignorance-and-lies-based anti-gay hatred around the world, including to countries that promote murdering people only because they are gay.  We must take a firm and unwavering stand against Elsevier and James Wright giving an unwarranted imprimatur of scientific respectability to anti-gay hatred and lies.

We have a worldwide human rights duty of conscience to stop James Wright and Elsevier from profiting from unseemly hate speech in the false disguise of a “study.”

Certain scholars not currently active in the drive to get the Regnerus study retracted nonetheless do not mince their words when speaking about it. For example, Dr. Judith Stacey says this: ”I certainly agree that the review process at the journal was seriously flawed and that the article should not have been published.”

Wright’s violations of science publishing ethics are already copiously documented.

WRIGHT AND ELSEVIER ARE KNOWINGLY ABETTING REGNERUS IN HIS LYING TO THE PUBLIC

One very serious infraction will serve here as an example of what makes Elsevier and James Wright so dangerous to the community.

Regnerus was funded chiefly by the NOM-linked Witherspoon Institute.

In 2010, a study supposedly to be on gay parenting was organized by the Director of the Witherspoon Project for Marriage, Family and Democracy, W. Bradford Wilcox.

Wilcox recruited Regnerus to do the study. Witherspoon gave Regnerus a $55,000 planning grant. Wilcox and Regnerus then collaborated on the study design. Subsequently, Witherspoon approved the study design and arranged for Regnerus to have his full $785,000 in study funding.

Wilcox was extensively involved in the remainder of Regnerus’s study, and, he is on the editorial board of the journal that published Regnerus, Elsevier’s Social Science Research. Yet, no further details of Wilccox’s involvement in the study are necessary to making the present point.

In his published study, and then again in his more recent Additional Analyses, Regnerus makes the false claim that no study funding agency representatives were involved in his study design or in otherwise conducting his study.

Wright, Regnerus and Wilcox did not disclose Wilcox’s multiple conflicts of interest of their own free wills. Rather, investigations unearthed the documentation that Wright had published a lie from Regnerus involving Wright’s editorial board member Wilcox.

Moreover, Wilcox’s conflicts of interest with Regnerus’s funders do not stop with The Witherspoon Institute. Regnerus received $90,000 for the study from The Bradley Foundation, which contributes money to The Ridge Foundation, whose chief officer is Brad Wilcox. (On page 3 at this link, you may see the Bradley Foundation’s $20,000 grant to Wilcox’s Ridge Foundation).

In response to being exposed in these ways, Wilcox is attempting to deny his connection to the funders by saying that his title of Director of Witherspoon’s Program for Marriage, Family and Democracy was “honorific.”

That is fooling exactly nobody.

Sociologist Philip Cohen says this: “I find this description not credible. I do not think any reasonable auditor or ethical agency would subscribe to the idea that the “director” of an organization was not an “officer” of it.”

Sociologist Dr. Lori Hollyfield says this:

“For Wilcox to use the word “honorific” about his position of Witherspoon Program Director, and Regnerus study design collaborator, is a veiled attempt to turn back the clock. But the damage is done, and the credibility of this study is absolutely, indisputably undone. That Wilcox was a study designer, and that was not disclosed, is alone enough to justify retraction. The further possibility that he was a peer reviewer just adds weight to the case for retraction.”

“It is especially unacceptable that the conflict of interests were hidden, and that there is an ongoing attempt to deceive the public about them.  It adds insult to that injury, that what was produced was a methodologically invalid study that perpetuates negative social stereotypes. This is a very malevolent situation; something must be done about it.” (Bolding added).

Elsevier officials and James Wright have been shown the documentation that Wilcox was a Witherspoon Program Director and that in that capacity, he recruited Regnerus to do Witherspoon’s study on gay parents, and then collaborated with Regnerus on the study design before Witherspoon approved Regnerus for full study funding.

Instead of correcting Regnerus’s lie, Elsevier and James Wright knowingly repeated the lie in publication.

Witherspoon, caught out lying on its stand-alone website for the Regnerus study, scrubbed incriminating evidence from their site, though we already had screenshots of that incriminating evidence.

People sponsoring, carrying out and publishing honest work do not have to lie in these ways.

In telling the public the lie that Regnerus’s funders were not involved in designing or conducting his study, Witherspoon and Regnerus are deliberately attempting to mislead the public into believing that Regnerus carried out his study independently of his funders and their anti-gay-rights political goals for the study.

Yet, Elsevier and James Wright have upon their shoulders an even heavier weight of accountability for disseminating that lie to the public, as they, not Regnerus, make the decisions of whether to publish.

With their planned, upcoming 2nd edition of Elsevier’s International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Elsevier and James Wright are capable of foisting any number of booby-trapped anti-LGBT “studies” off into the world.

Both Elsevier and James Wright must be counted as very serious menaces.

Sir William Timothy Gowers, British mathematician, is a Royal Society Research Professor at the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics at Cambridge University. He is the leader of a boycott against Elsevier. Gowers has said:  ”a piece of blatant anti-gay propaganda has been published in the otherwise respectable journal Social Science Research. The research was, it appears, indirectly funded by anti-gay campaigners and is now being gleefully used to help Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. The refereeing process seems to have been accelerated as well. Most importantly, the paper is bunkum and shouldn’t have been accepted: its conclusion (that children do worse if they have gay parents) is not remotely justified by the data used. So who publishes the journal Social Science Research and is not interested in investigating whether proper academic standards have been upheld? I surely don’t need to spell it out.” (Bolding added).

It is far past time for Elsevier to start behaving responsibly and to restore the trust that was shattered with the corrupted publication of the Regnerus submission. The Regnerus study must be retracted from publication, and James Wright must be fired from Elsevier, if the trust on which science is based is to begin to be restored.

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.

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5 Reasons Why the Christian Right Is Warning of a ‘Revolution’

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/five-reasons-why-the-chri_b_2117565.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


11/12/2012

Days before the election Pastor Robert Jeffress of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Dallas compared President Obama to Hitler, telling 600 other pastors at a luncheon that if they didn’t speak out on the election, it could lead to another Holocaust. On election day Franklin Graham, railing against the president, said on CNN that “this election could be America’s last call before the return of Christ.” (After the election Graham said that the country was now on a “path to destruction.”) It shouldn’t come as a shock, then, that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC), reacting to the reelection of the president and victories for gay marriage in four states, issued a dire warning of “a revolt, a revolution” if the Supreme Court now rules in favor of same-sex marriage, with “Americans saying, ‘You know what? Enough of this!'”

The court may do just that on Nov. 20 if it lets stand the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. The court is also likely to take on the Defense of Marriage Act, which has been ruled unconstitutional by several federal appeals courts.

It’s outrageous that Perkins would even remotely suggest violence (“I hate to use the words,” he said, “but I mean a revolt, a revolution”), particularly given that FRC was itself targeted by a gunman and Perkins was the first to claim that rhetoric against his group is what caused that violence. It betrays the fear and desperation now gripping the leaders of the decades-old political movement known as the Christian right, which is faced with some vexing realities:

1. There may no longer be enough of them. Contrary to what some may have predicted, evangelical voters turned out for Mitt Romney, a Mormon, making up a greater percentage of the electorate than they did in 2004, when they helped reelect George W. Bush, and giving a larger percentage of their vote (78 percent) to Romney than they did to John McCain in 2008. It’s not about loyalty. What they’re facing is something much more difficult: the rise of the “nones,” which I wrote about a few weeks ago. The fastest-growing religious category comprises those who have no religious affiliation, now the second largest category after Catholics, and even larger among younger voters. They overwhelmingly support same-sex marriage and abortion rights, and they largely vote Democratic. And polls show that even a majority of younger evangelicals themselves support marriage equality.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/five-reasons-why-the-chri_b_2117565.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Which States Are Next for Marriage Equality: Nov 12 Marriage News Watch

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Hillary’s Next Move

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/collins-hillarys-next-move.html

By
Published: November 10, 2012

Somewhere Over South America

“Maybe I’ll get a decorating show,” said Hillary Clinton.

It was a few weeks before the election. Clinton was flying back from an overnight trip to Peru, talking — without any great enthusiasm — about the topic that would begin to obsess the American political world as soon as the presidential ballots had been counted: Will Hillary run in 2016?

It’s more than two months until this inauguration. But the speculation is already roaring. On Friday, Politico reported that Public Policy Polling had a new survey showing that if the Iowa caucuses were held today — there’s a terrifying thought — Clinton would get 58 percent of the vote. Joe Biden limped in with 17 percent.

Every day, people approach Hillary Clinton and tell her she has an obligation to run and give America its first woman president. “Yes, they do!” she laughs, with the trademark H.C. chortle. Being asked to run for president is a kind of side career all by itself.

Clinton gives many variations on the theme of don’t-think-so. (“Oh, I’ve ruled it out, but you know me. Everybody keeps asking me. So I keep ruling it out and being asked.”) Also a thousand different forms of beats-me. (“I have no idea what I’m going to do next.”) What she does not do is offer the kind of Shermanesque if-nominated-I-will-not-run language that would end the conversation.

Instead, she veers off into a discussion of all the things she’ll do when she’s no longer secretary of state, and there’s time. That led to a mention of her favorite television shows, which are all about house buying and home improvement.

Her top pick is “Love It or List It,” in which a couple who are unhappy with their current residence gets to look at new houses while a decorator rehabs their old place. The plot arc is always the same, and in a way, it’s sort of Clintonesque. The redecorators find termites or a leaky furnace; the house search goes awry. Everybody’s upset! But after a lot of hard work and the final commercial, there’s a happy ending.

“I find it very calming,” she said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/collins-hillarys-next-move.html

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OWS bails out the 99 percent

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Why Occupy’s Plan to Cancel Consumer Debts is Money Well Spent

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/12/occupy-plan-cancel-consumer-debt

Occupy’s Rolling Jubilee idea transcends politics and will be difficult for lenders to oppose


guardian.co.uk, Monday 12 November 2012

A new initiative is re-energising the Occupy movement. Called the Rolling Jubilee, it is a plan to use money from donations to buy distressed consumer debt from lenders at a marked down price, just as debt collection agencies normally would. But instead of hounding debtors for payments, it will simply cancel the debts. The hope is that the liberated debtors will themselves contribute to the fund, “rolling” the jubilee forward.

The Rolling Jubilee is a genius move for several reasons. First, debt relief is a transpartisan message that eludes conventional political categorisation. As such, it returns Occupy to its origins as an advocate for the wellbeing of ordinary people, neither leftwing nor rightwing. The Rolling Jubilee says, non-threateningly, “We just want to help people in this unfair system.”

But despite its non-threatening appearance, the Rolling Jubilee has significant transformative potential. Two pillars uphold the present debt regime: the moral legitimacy of debt in society’s eyes, ie, the idea that a person “should” pay back what he owes; and the coercive mechanisms that enforce repayment, such as harassment, seizure of assets, garnishment of wages, denial of employment or housing, and even imprisonment. The Rolling Jubilee erodes both. It destigmatises debt by saying, “we’re all in this together, we believe your situation is unfair, not shameful, so we’re going to help you out”. And it lessens the severity of the consequences of default. If defaulting means you might get bailed out, why keep paying?

For this reason, we might expect lenders to balk at co-operating with the Rolling Jubilee, perhaps by refusing to sell loans to anyone who doesn’t agree to seek collection. So here is a third reason why the idea is so brilliant: if the lenders block debt cancellation even when it comes at no cost to themselves (as they would have sold it at the same price to a collection agency), they appear as a bunch of greedy, vindictive Scrooges. Given their current vulnerability, banks might not want to incite hostility by preventing people from helping each other out.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/12/occupy-plan-cancel-consumer-debt

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