Mark Regnerus was coached to pretend his study wasn't biased

Even more evidence has now come to light that proves that Mark Regnerus' flawed study of children raised by gay parents funded by the anti-LGBT Witherspoon Institute was intended to further their agenda, rather than shed any actual light on the topic.

Since it was published last year, the study has garnered huge amounts of criticism and controversy – and was called "bullshit" by an editorial board member at the very journal that published it. The study claimed to find that households with same-sex parents were less supportive and nurturing than households with opposite-sex parents. On top of having been funded by the Witherspoon Institute, utilizing flawed research methods and undergoing faulty review processes, The American Independent has now uncovered a 'media guide' that was provided to Regnerus, which tells him exactly how to discuss his study, to further a conservative anti-gay agenda.

Among other things, the guide instructed Regnerus to say, "Every academic study is paid for by someone. Witherspoon approached us with a desire to independently examine the differences between young adults raised in a same-sex household and those raised in traditional, intact families... Witherspoon has played no role in the outcome of this study."

The message itself subtly highlights one of the biggest flaws in the study by claiming that Regnerus' respondents were, "young adults raised in a same-sex households and those raised in traditional, intact families."

In fact, the study actually compared homes with committed opposite-sex parents to broken homes headed by parents who had, at some point, had a same-sex relationship. These were hardly "same-sex households." Only two of the respondents were raised by a lesbian couple from birth.

Since the publication of the study, Regnerus has insisted that it was not politically driven. However, he signed an amicus brief opposing the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 and is scheduled to speak at an upcoming National Organization for Marriage event. He has also written a blog post which said, "the science on same-sex parenting remains comparatively new, unable to keep up with political and legal developments. But those few population-based studies exist- that map what's going on across the country- seem to foster skepticism about moving quickly or universally to deny children their right to a mom and a dad."                               

The truth is the only studies that have fostered this skepticism are biased ones, such as his own. Whatever his personal opinion, this media guide seems to indicate once and for all that Regnerus was coached by his funders, and it seems even more likely that his conclusions were established well before research even began.

The most highly respected child welfare organizations and medical and psychological associations in the country understand that Regnerus' claims were not only incorrect but were also dangerous.

There are 2 million children, in this country, being raised by LGBT parents. While there have been many studies to suggest that kids raised by same-sex parents are just as well adjusted as those raised by opposite-sex parents, there have been no legitimate studies that showed anything different. The media did a good job of handling this study when it first came out, providing many consenting opinions and acknowledging the controversy surrounding it, and they must continue to do so whenever it is cited by anti-gay activists from groups like NOM or Family Research Council. Studies like this must be called out of their scientific falsities and their social dangers, and must only be acknowledged as attempts by the anti-LGBT industry to prevent full equality for all loving couples and families.

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