I just read with horror and disgust the full story of what happened to University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus who published a recent studythat contradicted the “accepted” scholarly consensus that children raised by homosexuals have no different life outcomes than those raised by intact biological parents. The wonderful Andy Ferguson summarizes:
As of mid-July, a month after his paper was published, these are some of the things that have happened to Mark Regnerus. Three of his colleagues in the sociology department at UT joined with a fourth to -publish a widely distributed op-ed in the Huffington Post accusing him of “besmirching” the university through his “irresponsible and reckless misrepresentation of social science research.” Led by Gary Gates, the UCLA demographer who had declined Regnerus’s offer to help design the study, more than 200 “researchers and scholars” signed a letter to the editor of Social Science Research. The letter demanded that the editor “publicly disclose the reasons” why he published the paper and insisted that he hire scholars more sensitive to “LGBT parenting issues” to write a critique for the journal’s next edition. UT’s Director of Research Integrity sent Regnerus a letter informing him that a formal complaint of “scientific misconduct” had been lodged against him. The complaint, made by a gay blogger/activist/“investigative journalist” called Scott Rose, triggered an official inquiry into Regnerus’s research methods and his relationship with the Witherspoon Foundation; he’s now preparing to appear before a panel of faculty investigators. Requests have been filed with the Texas attorney general’s office demanding that Regnerus, as an employee of a state-run institution, make public all email and correspondence related to his study. And he has hired a lawyer.
A large number of his fellow social scientists—members in good standing of the guild of LGBT researchers—would like to destroy his career.
Ferguson’s whole article is quite good and goes into the problems with Regnerus’ study (and since Regnerus is a good scholar, he acknowledged those problems up front!) and its “unique strengths” as Ferguson puts it, as well as the reaction from other scholars who study these issues (in particular the weaselly demographer Gary Gates).
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at any of this by now; but because I still care passionately about the truth, because I have known wonderful scholars and teachers who were willing to pursue the truth wherever it led them, and because I think the homosexual lobby is inimical to a flourishing American society – this story still managed to surprise me and make me sick.