The National Organization for Marriage’s Ruth Institute held its “It Takes a Village” conference this weekend, coaching college students on how and why they should oppose marriage equality. In past years, this conference has been rife with anti-gay myths, including repeated promotion of ex-gay therapy. One of this year’s notable speakers was Mark Regnerus, whose fraudulent study on parenting has been manipulated by conservatives to claim that children do worse with same-sex parents. Documents that have been uncovered about how the study was conducted show that Regnerus was actually coached about how to talk about his results so that his research would help oppose same-sex marriage, so his cooperation with NOM is telling.
According to a report on the conference from The College Fix, a conservative outlet, Regnerus confirmed his religious biases in his remarks:
Underscoring that, sex has become “the opium of the masses,” that “we are lacking transcendence and sex is a transcendent act,” he said. Ultimately, casual sex is a disappointment, he added.
“Sex doesn’t explain the world, religion does,” he said. “Sex will come up short.”
The comment is revealing, given sex was exactly the tool Regnerus used to arrive at the fraudulent results in his study. He drew conclusions about any parent who ever had a “romantic” same-sex relationship to draw conclusions about all same-sex couples’ parenting, even though only two of the individuals in his study actually were raised by same-sex couples for their entire upbringing. Darren Sherkat, a researcher charged with auditing Regnerus’s study, recently explained that “it failed to take into account normal family effects on well-being, to control for known sources of positive or negative outcomes.”
Conservatives continue to cite the Regnerus study in arguments against marriage equality, but he continues to demonstrate that his research is just as politically motivated as the evidence suggests.