Michigan: Judge denies testimony from 'unqualified' anti-LGBT activists, Regnerus still good to testify

As Michigan's marriage equality ban continues in trial, we've seen anti-LGBT activists come out in full force.

The judge overseeing rejected the testimony of anti-LGBT 'expert' witness, Sherif Girgis, stating that just having an anti-LGBT opinion doesn't qualify him as an 'expert'. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said, "He’s very eloquent … but right now, all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions." Giris is not a lawyer, child development expert, psychologist or expert in Michigan law, though the Princeton PhD philosophy candidate has written an anti-LGBT biased report with noted anti-LGBT activists (and noted CAP profiles) Robert George and Ryan T. Anderson.

However, still being allowed to testify: Mark Regnerus, whose study has been widely discredited, even by his own university (University of Texas) and his own Sociology department. The study claimed to find that households with same-sex parents were less supportive and nurturing than households with opposite-sex parents. 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.

On top of having been funded by the Witherspoon Institute, utilizing flawed research methods and undergoing faulty review processes, The American Independent 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. The paper appeared in the journal Social Science Research, which will also publish the results of an internal audit that found that that Regnerus's paper should never have been published in the first place.

Another anti-LGBT figure making hay around the trial is Pastor Stacy Swimp. Swimp has organized anti-LGBT rallies outside of the courthouse, which have been poorly attended. Swimp is an advocate for so-called 'ex-gay' programs, as well as pulling youth out of the Boy Scouts after their decision to allow openly gay Scouts. He also claims LGBT activists are the "bigoted" ones for challenging religious condemnation. You can see his entire profile as a part of GLAAD's Commentator Accountability Project.

As the trial for marriage equality goes on, continue watching for leading anti-LGBT advocates, and ask the media to fully and accurately report the positions of those who are opposing marriage equality. They may speak in gentle-sounding talking points, but there is a fuller context behind their words. 

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