Documents revealed earlier this week provided extensive evidence that Mark Regnerus’s infamous “New Family Structures Study,” which claimed that same-sex parenting was inferior to the parenting of married opposite-sex couples, was rigged from the start. The conservatives funding the study had clear intentions about what they wanted it to show, and the data were manipulated to produce that result. Even though every group opposed to LGBT equality has boasted the study since before it was even published, Regnerus has always claimed that they had no influence. After months of criticism, Regnerus even admitted the study was not about gay parenting, but apparently, he finds these groups to be good company.
Regnerus has now agreed to speak at the National Organization for Marriage’s conference for college students this summer. This is the same conference that promotes anti-gay myths such as the idea that same-sex relationships are “inherently unstable,” lesbian relationships fail because they “get on the same menstrual cycle,” and ex-gay therapy is important because homosexuality is “self-degrading.” One of its speakers is Robert Gagnon, an advocate of ex-gay therapy who recently compared high school gay-straight alliances to the KKK. By agreeing to keep company with these anti-science, anti-gay individuals, Regnerus is cementing a relationship he claims never existed.
It’s unclear what Regnerus has to gain from continuing to allow his research to be abused in this way. He may very well have some interesting results in the massive data set he collected; unfortunately, none of it has anything conclusive to say about committed same-sex couples raising children. Perhaps he feels his reputation has already been tarnished enough in the year since “the Regnerus study” was published that he has nothing left to lose. At any rate, by continuing to peddle his sham study in cooperation with those opposing equality, he abandons any hope of scientific redemption.