Utah Attorneys Won’t Use Anti-Gay ’Fake Science’ In Appeals Case

Thursday Apr 10, 2014

After a miserable showing in March that dismissed its findings in a Michigan court, the widely disputed and oft-discredited study by Professor Mark Regenerus on the alleged negative effects same-sex parenting will not be used by the state of Utah during arguments starting Thursday to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage.

In a letter filed Wednesday by Washington, D.C. lawyer and "hired gun" in Utah's move to appeal a 2013 decision overturning the beehive state's ban on same-sex marriage, Attorney Gene Schaerr said:

"Utah files this supplemental letter in response to recent press reports and analysis of the study by Professor Mark Regnerus, which the State cited at footnotes 34 and 42 of its Opening Brief, and which addresses the debate over whether same-sex parenting produces child outcomes that are comparable to man-woman parenting.

First, we wish to emphasize the very limited relevance to this case of the comparison addressed by Professor Regnerus. As the State's briefing makes clear, the State's principal concern is the potential long-term impact of a redefinition of marriage on the children of heterosexual parents. The debate over man-woman versus same-sex parenting has little if any bearing on that issue, given that being raised in a same-sex household would normally not be one of the alternatives available to children of heterosexual parents.

Second, on the limited issue addressed by the Regnerus study, the State wishes to be clear about what that study (in the State's view) does and does not establish. The Regnerus study did not examine as its sole focus the outcomes of children raised in same-sex households but, because of sample limitations inherent in the field of study at this point, examined primarily children who acknowledged having a parent who had engaged in a same-sex relationship. Thus, the Regnerus study cannot be viewed as conclusively establishing that raising a child in a same- sex household produces outcomes that are inferior to those produced by man-woman parenting arrangements."

Schaerr's move to remove the study from the state appeal is the latest blow to Regenerus, whose 2012 journal article which was funded by religious conservatives argues that children of same-sex parents fared worse than those with heterosexual parents. According to Slate.com, the study, which never studied children of same-sex parents was condemned in a letter by 200 scholarly peers and was called "fundamentally flawed on conceptual and methodological grounds" by Regenerus' own department at the University of Texas.


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