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Marriage ban on trial in Mich. this week, defendants to argue gay parents inferior

Sunday, February 23, 2014

DETROIT — The trial that could overturn Michigan’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage ban begins Tuesday in a federal court in Detroit.

Among those scheduled to be called as witnesses for the state are a number of anti-gay social science researchers, including University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus, author of the discredited 2012 study on gay parenting, which critics say was based on “flawed methodology,” and was subsequently rejected by hundreds of scholars as well as the American Sociological Association.

On Sunday, The New York Times reported on the link between Regnerus and the and circumstances that led to the flawed report:

As they reel from a succession of defeats in courtrooms and legislatures, opponents of same-sex marriage have a new chance this week to play one of their most emotional and, they hope, potent cards: the claim that having parents of the same sex is bad for children.

[..]

The last time these issues were debated in a federal court, in California nearly four years ago, social science opponents of same-sex marriage underwent withering challenges in pretrial depositions and did not even appear in court.

As he struck down Proposition 8, the California amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman, Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court in San Francisco said he had heard “no reliable evidence that allowing same-sex couples to marry will have any negative effects on society.”

For some conservatives, that decision amounted to a call to arms.

In meetings hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington in late 2010, opponents of same-sex marriage discussed the urgent need to generate new studies on family structures and children, according to recent pretrial depositions of two witnesses in the Michigan trial and other participants. One result was the marshaling of $785,000 for a large-scale study by Mark Regnerus, a meeting participant and a sociologist at the University of Texas who will testify in Michigan.

Regnerus’ report continues to be cited cited by anti-gay rights activists in marriage equality and LGBT adoption debates both in the United States and internationally.

The Michigan challenge was brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who were seeking to jointly adopt their children, and originally challenged the state’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples. In August 2012, U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman invited the couple to amend their suit to challenge the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, which he termed “the underlying issue.”

Earlier this month, the plaintiffs filed a brief seeking to ban Regnerus from testifying as an expert witness on behalf of the state, and said his “flawed methodology and generic conclusions, untethered to any of the specific factual issues in this case, render his opinion unreliable and irrelevant.”

The case can be followed here: DeBoer v. Snyder

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69 more reader comments:

  1. Sounds like his (straight) parents never hugged him.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:41pm
  2. Fools.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:41pm
  3. I would state categorically that the Defendants themselves are Grossly Inferior. Get your heads out of your asses people and out of the Dark Ages!! Thank Christ I live in Canada…..Ugh :/

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:42pm
  4. Why do they always look like the love children of the pastor out of poltergeist.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:43pm
  5. A big part of it is because photographers will snap many pictures in a short period of time (or even just take a video and extrapolate a shot from that) and pick the most damning moment from the event in question. It's a way of predisposing the reader to a certain attitude before they read a word of what happened. In short, it's a combination of propaganda and psychology, and very much intentional. Sadly, it really is one of those things that "both sides do it!" can be said of. Media psychology is a huge occupation in this country.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:48pm
  6. Homophobic legislators are INFERIOR…fucking bigots.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:43pm
  7. They've got more than homophobia going for them. These are the legislators who passed a law allowing the governor to suspend democratic elections and appoint people at will with unilateral control over entire counties.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:45pm
  8. I hope someone asks the anti-equality lawyers how bringing this flawed report to court is different from all the other times it has been brought to court and failed.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:44pm
  9. That should be interesting…….GOPer’s will leave their trees long enough to plea their case?

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:46pm
  10. Abbey Downer OMG it’s Michigan’s moment of truth!!!!!!!! #toobadyoudontcare #imtaggingyouanyways

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:46pm
  11. Why don’t you speak to the kids of the gay parents??? They will tell you they know absolute love from their parents.. they weren’t accidents.. they are wanted, celebrated, cherished, and loved… Why don’t you speak to the grandparents of these children??? They will tell you their gay children who are these parents; love unconditionally without hatred and bigotry.. and waited for these children with joy and anticipation!! Why don’t you realize how stupid and useless you are to condemn these lovely parents and families?!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:48pm
  12. I believe I qualify as an expet witness…my partner and I have 5 adult age children who are all model citizens and highly successful in thier lives and careers.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:48pm
  13. if you need any advice or issues you can discuss them with me just give me a quick message on here i want to help XX

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:50pm
  14. Do they ever stop?!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:53pm
  15. Some people have nothing better to do then try make others sad but guss what as a 19 year old who is gay and proud we as the younger generation will push your stupid dictators 2 aside homophobia will get you no where people so you keep trying to make life sad for gays but we will just get stronger and stronger as a gay community

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:56pm
  16. How dare they! Gay parents are the better than most. BECAUSE THEY CARE about their kids and don’t give a flying F*** about keeping up with the Joneses!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 8:57pm
  17. I’m sorry but what actual physical facts do you have that same sex parents are inferior to straight parents? The only difference is that our kids tend to be bullied at school but that’s because you taught your kids to be so awful.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:00pm
  18. I am straight, and I doubt any Gay parents are inferior to my straight “mommie dearest”!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:00pm
  19. Before there’s any talk about gay parenting, I feel the issue of keeping your pet ferret on your chin should be addressed.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:01pm
  20. too bad studies have provd that claim wrong. our kids are happier and better adjusted.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:01pm
  21. smh

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:02pm
  22. A beautiful life comes about by being loved by loving parents. Love knows no genital or gender expression preference.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:05pm
  23. The Regnerus report is a load of hogwash.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:11pm
  24. They trotted out all the same, tired, unsubstantiated, hysterical arguments when they argued it here in Indiana this month. The sad thing is that conservatives cannot be swayed by FACTS, EVIDENCE, or REASON.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:11pm
  25. I can this as a foster to adopt parent, I’ve had more “unnecessary” training, certification, CPR/first aid training than most hetero parents. Gay parents adopt because they “want” to be parents, not because they”can”.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:11pm
  26. Please do the right thing. My marriage should be recognized in my home state.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:12pm
  27. looking at that strange ugly beard and that pasty face make me ill.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:16pm
  28. I have a gay trans* man as a father, raised in a home with no gender stereotypes, surrounded by gay men and women, crossdressers and trans people. I’m straight, well adjusted and love my family. I don’t know if anyone could find something “inferior” about my parent.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:18pm
  29. I am so sick of bigots and haters. My son has two moms and he is just happy as can be.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:18pm
  30. I’ve been to Mich. Nice place. I wouldn’t wanna live there. The people are a bit odd, but nice. However, I don’t think anyone from Detroit should be speaking about another social group so disparagingly. That place needs to be leveled and redone.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:18pm
  31. FACT: Gay parents do not starve, beat or abuse their children can you say the same for hetro’s?

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:20pm
  32. wont muster

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:21pm
  33. Parents who teach their kids hate and bigotry are inferior.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:21pm
  34. he’s a bully, a coward…lives with fears that are baseless…no clue as to what he’s saying, just spewing words and spreading hate…sad, waste of skin

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:29pm
  35. really, all evidence is that straight families have really blown it. they owe our community a huge debt of gratitude for fostering and adopting the children they neglected and abused…. tens of thousands of children GAY people have cared for when.straight people fail.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:37pm
  36. Bad parenting and good parenting is shared by all groups, there is no broad brush. We have two opportunities to have great parent-child relationships: first is as a child. If your parents didn't provide that, then you have a chance to change the pattern with your kids. This is not gay, or straight. or married, or single, or defined by race. The only people owed a "debt of gratitude" are those who treat all human beings with respect and dignity and afford them the same rights everyone deserves. This applies even when you strongly disagree and live your life differently than the other person. If a person cannot do that, then they are contributing to the continuance of the problem. Tolereance is not a one way street. We need to stop fighting over our differences and celebrate what we have in common. All people respect good parents and moral people. Bad people come in every form - it's part of life. People in general have trouble loving others who are not just like them. Adoption is a beautiful thing - it's not for everyone, and not all adoptive parents are the best, but it's too bad children needing a home are caught up in this debate.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:16pm
  37. Sorry Glen, I simply can't see it that way, while it's true that you may find good and bad in every group, the fact that Gay parents are different in the fact that they simply don't pop out a young one 9 months after a drunken Saturday night. While it's nice to think that everyone's both good and bad and all have the supposed same potential, the fact that children in same sex parenting situations are there by CHOICE, it's not an accident nor is it the result of some other mishap, those children are planned for, cherished, and loved.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:26pm
  38. And exactly what authoritative studies are they planning to use as evidence? Or do the defendants just think their opinion is good enough?

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:40pm
  39. Yes because the news is full of LGBTQ parents who accidentally have children. Oh and isn’t it the straight parents that send their kids away to the abusive “pray the gay away” camps?

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:41pm
  40. This is so stupid ,you can’t say they can’t get married because straights make better parents , that is not the issue ,marriage is the issue they are assuming all gay people are getting marries to have kids, they are getting married for love and yes some gay couples want kids ,but some don’t ever plan on it,so how can this even be an argument against gay marriage? Better make all the hetero couples who don’t have kids or want kids divorce.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:41pm
  41. I notice that this is their last resort- “Gay parents are inferior.”

    That is striking to me because they hail this argument as one of the most important ‘bad influences’ gay marriage will have in this country. “Think of the children!” Am I right?

    Well now we know conclusively that the anti-gay marriage crowd doesn’t give one hot flying crap about ‘the children’. The hoop and holler about how gay marriage will be the downfall of society as we know it and the *most* important thing they could possibly hold in their arsenal hasn’t even been researched yet? Seriously? So now they are scrambling to “prove” their case after all of this other stuff has already happened?

    They don’t care about children. If there was something wrong with gay parenting, they would already know and have ample evidence to bring to the courts in the first place. You know the ‘children’ have noting to do with this by the simple fact that this is their last resort and they haven’t even bothered to do any research beyond mere dogmatic speculation?

    Puh Leeze! Go ahead and scramble. Any judge worth his/her salt will see right through it.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:41pm
  42. Check out Brandon’s Diary and find out how a gay manager at burger king was fired after blowing the whistle

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:48pm
  43. Really, so all those straight parents that abuse, rape, disown, and kill their children. Are so much more superior than gay parents that would love and care for their children? How do people get to be this stupid.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 9:55pm
  44. Sophists to the core: gay parents are bad, because I don’t like gays, and their kids will grow up with parents people don’t like.
    That’s not logic; that’s not even sophistry. That’s Bullshit!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:03pm
  45. I know their assumptions are incorrect but not every married couple wants children right? Seems the decision to marry and the decision to start a family are two different processes and not always is one dependant on the other. Next they will be saying lower income people make bad parents (equally as ignorant) so they shouldn’t be allowed to marry either. The straw grasping never ceases to amaze me when radicals feel they are losing their ground.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:11pm
  46. Inferier,b b b BULLSHIT!!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:19pm
  47. First of all, several factors are much more likely than sexual orientation to shape and colour someone’s parenting. 1) their childhood experience of being parented (mostly by STRAIGHT parents, you might note!); 2) their upbringing; 3) where they brought up their children and 4) with whom; 5) the extent to which they were in control of their actions throughout their years as a parent (i.e. were they subject to alcohol or drug addiction, or even legal pharmaceutical dependence? 6) were they employed, or were they unemployed, desperately poor, wit no access to affordable childcare? 7) What kind of housing did they bring up their children in? 8) What help and emotional support did they have? 9) Did they have partner(s) during their years as parents, or were they completely alone? 10) Did they have partners in those years and how were they and their children treated by them? And, second, HATErosexuals are extremely foolish to go throwing rocks at LGBT parents and call them “inferior” parents… Anyone who picks up a newspaper or sits at a screen to read the news most anywhere is likely to come across truly heinous crimes against children, committed by their own, heterosexual parents – mostly males, but sometimes women too, though more commonly under the control of a male partner.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:30pm
  48. actually studies show that homosexual parents are just as good if not better than heterosexual parents .

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:32pm
  49. Let’s see here…

    Gay parents work harder to get their kids, because of all the bigotry and religious garbage they have to face, and they deal with discrimination from social services so they have to be better than hetero parents just to be considered equal.

    Hetero parents (not all) create children, abandon them, abuse them, neglect them, and toss them aside, yet they’re considered better than gay parents.

    How does this make any sense?!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:33pm
  50. Hopeful!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:35pm
  51. And the morons keep marching along.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:36pm
  52. some very old hate gene stuck in his heart

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:39pm
  53. Self-servatives are never interested in truth, facts or reality, they are only interested in being self-righteous dicks.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:39pm
  54. TWAT ALERT !!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:43pm
  55. Glen White, i agree with everything you wrote… not surprising, as we come from the same family! i do want to point out that in my community, it was common in the 80′s for gay men to adopt several children who were HIV+… i promise you they were and are heroes to those children that couldn’t or wouldn’t be placed with hetero couples. and in my life, i have an adopted son who’s father (hetero) was abusive and couldn’t be trusted to parent. i also have a daughter born after many years of attempted inseminations and medical interventions. i was also the family support coordinator for a national LGBT parenting organization. so, my experience with this is vast and varied. it is absolutely true that children dont tend to just ‘happen’ to us, for obvious biological reasons. so, adoption, fostering and very intentional pregnancies are the v way we build family. because of this, it is fair to say that the LGBT people who raise children do indeed invest a lot of time, thought and money into parenthood and because of that tend to cherish their children just as much as any other family, and maybe even more. in many child abuse studies, it had been shown that wanted and planned for children have a much lower instance of abuse and neglect.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:49pm
  56. Great info Lannie Thompson Kali. We really need to take the time to hear each others' story. Without the story, there can be no empathy or understanding, just judgement. Keep up the great job with Squidge!

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 10:59pm
  57. This attitude towards consenting adults who choose to seek love with other adults of the same sexual orientation and miraculously do find a loving partner to spend their life with deserve to live their lives with respect and privacy. However, defiant behavior that displays sexual debauchery towards minors or forced overtures against someone’s will should never be tolerated by any community. But two consenting & willing adults have the God-given right to share their love for one another without fear! Our God & Goddess Creators are the only ones that sit in this pious heavenly chair…NOT ANY MORTAL HUMAN BEING!!

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:05pm
  58. Sorry, the mythological ramblings don't improve the statement and "rights" don't come from God, they come from those willing to fight and die to protect them.

    Replied on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:29pm
  59. Oh bollocks!!! So sick and tired of all the bloody bigots & haters.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:05pm
  60. bs.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:05pm
  61. I really hope this ban is repealled. Rick Snyder has already pissed off the majority of us.
    Kids are just fine with loving families. Love is all that matters, not what its in our pants and if they “fit” with other parts.

    Jeez.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:11pm
  62. What a collossol Moron! It takes more than a heterosexual lifestyle to be a good parent. A dog can give birth but that holds no guarantee she’ll be a good mother. I know some horrific mothers suffering from addiction or other issues and they are not fit to raise anything but a glass or pipe. The same goes for fathers. Children need love, caring, guidance and education

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:14pm
  63. YOU GUYS SHOULD FOCUS MORE ON SEXUAL MOLESTATIONS HAPPENING IN SCHOOLS AND IN CHURCH WITH YOUR SO CALLED STRAIGHT PEOPLE

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:18pm
  64. Except for the fact that the only legitimate studies of the subject have shown that the kids do just as well if not better than similarly situated peers.

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:19pm
  65. GAY OR STRAIGHT PARENTING IS PARENTING DEFINED AS HUMAN BEINGS… Got that stupid people

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:20pm
  66. HOW MANY KIDS WERE RAISED BY STRAIGHT PARENTS WHO WERE EITHER LEFT BEHIND BECAUSE THEIR SO CALLED STRAIGHT PARENTS HAD OTHER FAMILIES OR HAD OTHER WIVES ON THE SIDE?? How many were single parents?? How many straight people made girls pregnant and did not assume responsibility??not because you straight people are majority it means that is a good one…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:27pm
  67. Great Terry that is a good insight…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:27pm
  68. HATE GENES ALL THE WAY…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:29pm
  69. Whatever you think or how you act among others will be your OWN ACCOUNTABILITY… You can HATE TILL YOU
    DIE FOR ALL I CARE…

    Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 11:30pm