Mark Regnerus

Mark Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of a controversial 2012 study concerning LGBT parenting called “New Family Structures Study” (NFSS), and funded by the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank in Princeton, N.J., that was founded on religious principles and is opposed to same-sex marriage.

The study was later declared to be flawed in an audit conducted by the publisher of the study, Social Science Research, and was criticized by major professional scientific institutions and associations as well as other sociologists at the University of Texas. The American Sociological Association formally condemned the NFSS for being invalid in a brief to the United States Supreme Court. The University of Texas conducted an inquiry into the publication and declined to conduct a personal investigation stating that ordinary errors are not considered personal misconduct. Documents from the University of Texas at Austin show that Regnerus was provided with talking points by the Institute, and that there was direct involvement in the study by the Witherspoon Institute. The methodology of the study has received widespread criticism, but is frequently cited by anti-gay extremists.