Sign Up to Receive Email Action Alerts From Issa Exposed

Defendants in Nevada’s marriage equality case Sevcik v. Sandoval introduce Mark Regnerus study in case

Marriage Equality Trials Sevcik v Sandoval

By Scottie Thomaston

Despite erroneous reporting, there is no oral argument today in Sevcik v. Sandoval, Lambda Legal’s equal protection challenge to Nevada’s anti-marriage law. However, there are some new issues in the case. The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, the sponsors of the anti-marriage ballot initiative in Nevada, has requested to add evidence to their appendix for their motion for summary judgment.

The Coalition has added Mark Regnerus’ widely discredited study on gay parenting to their appendix. The study was found to be flawed after review, and even Regnerus himself has admitted that it does not show what has been suggested. But ever since the study was produced, it has appeared in various legal settings, even in challenges to Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act.

It is unclear what the addition of the Regnerus study would accomplish in this case. The challenge is based on Nevada’s unusual circumstances: domestic partnership and LGBT family protections exist in the state, but the law, while allowing gay couples to have most of the same rights as a marriage (including parental rights) stops short of allowing gay couples in the state to marry. Whether or not gay parenting is as ‘good’ as straight parenting, this challenge won’t change that reality.

Lambda Legal has filed a request with the judge to allow reply briefs in the case, to address the addition of the Regnerus study and other testimony introduced by the Coalition. The Coalition has filed a brief opposing any replies.

h/t Kathleen for these filings

Coalition’s addition to appendix:2:12-cv-00578 #99

Plaintiffs’ request for reply briefs:2:12-cv-00578 #100

Coalition’s opposition to reply briefs:2:12-cv-00578 #101


  • 1. Steve  |  November 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Even if the study actually showed what it claimed it does, so what? First, gay couples in Nevada already have access to second parent adoption, so the government can't claim that they are bad parents. Second, we don't prevent other groups who demonstrate worse parenting outcomes from adopting or rearing children.

  • 2. Scottie Thomaston  |  November 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Yeah it seems gratuitous really.

  • 3. davep  |  November 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    If I may mix a few metaphors I say they are grasping at straws, and including the Regnerus "report" will only give 'em enough rope to let them shoot themselves in the foot!

  • 4. Mark  |  November 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    The Coalition cannot have it both ways. They opened the door, so if the study is allowed, so should any reply.

  • 5. F Young  |  November 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I can't believe that the Coalition thinks that this study is sufficently legitimate to be be used as evidence in a court case.

  • 6. Lymis  |  November 26, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    The only way a study would have any applicability is if it showed that 100% of the very best of all gay couples raising kids consistently have significantly worse outcomes raising children that the absolute worst of straight couples raising kids.

    Given that convicted murderers, child rapists, deadbeat dads, drug addicts, people with violent tempers, and so on are all allowed to marry, that's a difficult low bar to prove, especially since gay people, married or not, are already raising kids with governmental approval.

    And, too, at most, such a study might – might- have some impact on adoption or child-rearing , but unless they are looking for a court determination that nobody who doesn't raise kids can be married, it's immaterial either way.

  • 7. Eric  |  November 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I welcome the chance to get Regnerus on the stand to testify and be cross examined under oath.

  • 8. Str8Grandmother  |  November 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I want the Editor of the Journal Deposed and he has to give up the names of the Peer Reviewers. This gets long and complicated, I'll try and hit the high points.

    Well here maybe just read these reports on The Regnerus "Study"

    Wilcox confessed to working on the research

    Wilcox was deeply operational at the Witherspoon Institute not honorary as he claims in his confession

    The defendants embed what looks like a peer reviewed published article by Regnerus. In factThat was published in the print magazine as a rebuttal and has NOT been peer reviewed. Here is the stand alone commentary "report" by Regnerus that is in the briefs.

    It has a lot of errors in it also. This is kind of hard to read but if you are really interested you will clearly see the errors

    What Regnerus did in his non peer reviewed rebuttal report which they are citing is he removed approx 400 records. He said they were taken out of his catch all "Other" catagory from his original report but in fact he removed records from Step Families and single familes and doesn't disclose this. You had to really work on this data to find this, but I found it. It is hard to read but if you take your time and stare at it, you'll see it.

    Here are graphs from his second non peer reviewed rebuttal report (I graphed the data in the tables in the report) this is the report where he removed those 400 records. You'll see that there is really not much difference at all comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges

    I kinda lost track if this was published in the November issue or not. Anyway this is a letter signed by over 200 academic scholars and medical professionals INCLUDING the President of the American Sociological Association Dr. Erik Olin Wright

  • 9. Str8Grandmother  |  November 26, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Maybe one more comment the only other scientific research other than Regnerus (and his study doesn't even show that either) that shows that children raised by same sex parents have poor outcomes is Sarantakos out of Australia. Here is a link to the full study, I suggest you save this on your computer. You will see that Sarantakos makes a point of recording how mercilessly these children were bullied, I think it is around page 5 or 6 if memory serves.

    Oh I probably should throw out the infamous "Noway Study" Right away Regnerus quotes from the Norway Study, however even though the title to the study says Marriage, the research subjects were not married they were Civil Unioned which is not the same as marriage.

  • 10. davep  |  November 26, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Wow, impressive detective work, Str8Grandmother!

  • 11. Str8Grandmother  |  November 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I have been working on Regnerus since the day before his study became publicly available on line for free. Box Turtle broke the story and I knew immediately this had the potential to be really huge and would be used in the court cases so I made it my mission to track down every single snippet of information and I have stayed on top of this since June 11th. I am really grateful to Kathleen for sharing these docs and for P8TT for posting them.

  • 12. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 26, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    It seems like 'the coalition' is saying "I've got my cake, and I'll eat it, too".

  • 13. Steve  |  November 27, 2012 at 1:30 am

    The CA Supreme Court settled the bullying thing way back in the 40s:

    "Respondent maintains that Negroes are socially inferior and have so been judicially recognized, and that the progeny of a marriage between a Negro and a Caucasian suffer not only the stigma of such inferiority but the fear of rejection by members of both races. If they do, the fault lies not with their parents, but with the prejudices in the community and the laws that perpetuate those prejudices by giving legal force to the belief that certain races are inferior. If miscegenous marriages can be prohibited because of tensions suffered by the progeny, mixed religious unions could be prohibited on the same ground."

  • 14. Johyn  |  November 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    New from one of the NOMbies, another study that claims to disprove Rosenfeld’s (2010) study on the association between child outcomes and same-sex family structure. They say 35% of children with same-sex parents don't not progress as well in school as compared to stable married opposite sex couples.

  • 15. Str8Grandmother  |  November 27, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Are you talking about the Potter Study? I don't think it was any coincidence that within a few weeks of each other we had the anti gay parents Loren Marks review of the research (NOT a study not original research), the Regnerus anti gay parents study and the anti gay parents Potter study. I am sure they were busting a gut keeping this big secret how the summer of 2012 was going to be a 3 study trifecta showing gays make bad parents.

    Marks is nothing new simply a review of the other studies.

    Regnerus most people know already he never actually found any straight up lesbian or gay parents, and Potter well Potter concluded that there is NO DIFFERENCE. Kids who have divorced straight parents and kids who have divorced parents where at least one of them was gay looked the SAME. Ha! Here is the link to the Potter study,

    They were promoting the Potter study on the Baylor (Baptist) University Religion Page Website where about a dozen religiously centered Sociologists were sticking up for Regnerus. They were shoring up Regnerus by saying, "Well this hot off the press Potter Study mimics the same data as Regnerus shows" But as is so typical they are lying. Potter clearly states that once you control for childhood transitions, (parents divorce, separation, re-marriage etc) once you control for childhood transitions the kids look the same.

    Wait I am trying to think, yes I recall an article that was trying to knock down the Rosenfeld study. The big issue to the anti gay side was that Rosenfelt studied children who had same sex parents and the parents were together at least 5 years. Rosenfelt was looking for true enduring same sex headed families which is why he started at couples who were together for 5 years. They are just mad because again with Rosenfelt again, NO DIFFERENCE.

    Johyn, maybe you are aware of something I have not come across yet, if so please do provide a link and I'll read it and add it to my collection.

  • 16. F Young  |  November 28, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Fantastic work, Str8Grandmother.

    I hope you can stay on top, because, you're right, these cases will be mentioned in court, and lawyers will need to debunk them or we will lose some of our rights.

    Have you considered having a website or blog to gather all this information together, or adding it to an existing website or blog?

  • 17. Str8Grandmother  |  November 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

    You know you are right. I really should do that. I should put it in one spot that is easily accessible. I have a lot of stuff on Scribd, I really should put it on a website.

  • 18. davep  |  November 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Please do! You've been doing some really great work!

  • 19. Str8Grandmother  |  November 28, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Oh yeah Johyn, many thanks. There is going to be an article about this within a few days. I'll keep you posted. The lead Author Dr. Allen co wrote an anti gay Marriage Book with Maggie Gallaher years ago, early in her career.

    Trust me when the article comes out they are going to have egg on thier faces and be disgraced by their collegues in academia. I don't want to say to soon but I can say they made a HUGE assed academic error. I can barely wait for the fun to begin actually ha- ha-ha. It's going to be Delish :) :) :) And you johyn are one of the first to know.

Having technical problems? Visit our support page to report an issue!