This week, Mark Regnerus is taking the stand in Michigan to testify against same-sex marriage and adoption, citing his own debunked research as evidence to support his claims. This public display of his personal anti-gay beliefs prompted his own university, the University of Texas at Austin, to distance itself from the conclusions he draws from his research.
The university’s College of Liberal Arts simply noted that his testimony does not represent the views of the university:
Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the university. Like all faculty, he has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. We encourage the community of scholars and society as a whole to evaluate his claims.
The Sociology Department went a step further, rebuking Regnerus for promoting “fundamentally flawed” conclusions based on his research:
Like all faculty, Dr. Regnerus has the right to pursue his areas of research and express his point of view. However, Dr. Regnerus’ opinions are his own. They do not reflect the views of the Sociology Department of The University of Texas at Austin. Nor do they reflect the views of the American Sociological Association, which takes the position that the conclusions he draws from his study of gay parenting are fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds and that findings from Dr. Regnerus’ work have been cited inappropriately in efforts to diminish the civil rights and legitimacy of LBGTQ partners and their families. We encourage society as a whole to evaluate his claims. The Sociology Department at The University of Texas at Austin aspires to achieve academic excellence in research, teaching, and public service at the highest level in our discipline. We strive to do so in a context that is based on the highest ethical standards of our discipline and in a context that actively promotes and supports diversity among our faculty and student populations.
Though his cross-examination only begins Tuesday, he admitted under questioning from the state on Monday that only two of the subjects in his study were raised from birth by committed same-sex couples and both had positive outcomes. Still, he asserted his own personal views that the state should prohibit legal recognition of same-sex families.
Though Judge Bernhard Friedman heard requests to block the testimony of Regnerus and similar anti-gay experts whom the state has called, he has allowed them to be included in the record. He did, however, block Robert George-disciple Sherif Girgis from testifying about his opposition to marriage equality, noting that “all he is offering to us is mainly his opinions.”