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Judge Orders Disclosure of Documents Detailing Publication of Regnerus’ Junk Science [HRC]

November 12, 2013

The process of discrediting the Regnerus study continues.

In an opinion released today, a Florida state court judge ruled that the University of Central Florida must turn over records related to the publication of a debunked 2012 study conducted by Mark Regnerus that demonizes gay and lesbian parents. Regnerus’ research has been called into legal question not merely for its questionable results, but also because the study was underwritten by the Witherspoon Institute, an organization with a history of distinctly unscholarly anti-gay activity….

In today’s opinion, Orange County Circuit Judge Donald Grincewicz ruled that emails and documents possessed by University of Central Florida (UCF) related to the flawed study’s peer-review process must be turned over to John Becker, who sought the documents under Florida’s Public Records Act. UCF houses the journal Social Science Research, which published the Regnerus study, and the editor of the journal, UCF Professor James Wright, led the peer-review process for the research.  Becker is represented by the Law Office of Andrea Flynn Mogensen, P.A., and Barrett, Chapman & Ruta, P.A; and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation funded the litigation.

15 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. bayareajohn  |  November 13, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Hoping for a smoking gun, some discussed admission of how the data doesn't support any conclusions, that the funders won't be happy… and documentation of how they'll just cover it in the (lack of) peer review.

    Part of why I really hope they can prove the fix was in from the start is that I just hate to think that real researchers and scholarly review could honestly put forth such an unsupportable "report". I prefer to think they knew they were lying than think that scientists could collectively be so stupid.

  • 2. Scott_Rose  |  November 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

    We have documented beyond all doubt that Regnerus in collusion with his funders booby-trapped this "study" in advance. We also have documented beyond all doubt that "Social Science Research" journal editor James Wright had some prior knowledge of what was going on, and that he later lied to the public about crucial relevant matters after publication in order to try to protect his investment in the hoax. Moreover, we have documented beyond all doubt that the peer review was fixed. After I smoked out Dr. Paul Amato as having done peer review despite his fiduciary conflicts of interest, he made a public confession that by doing the peer review, he had created an "appearance" of impropriety.

  • 3. bayareajohn  |  November 15, 2013 at 10:27 am

    As confessions go, admitting to creating an appearance of impropriety is weak tea. It does not admit there was actual a biased review, only that it might appear that way to some people.

  • 4. Scott_Rose  |  November 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    In research matters, a perception of bias is as significant as actual bias.

    Additionally, fiduciary bias arising from fiduciary conflicts of interest is a form of bias about which there can be no doubt, when fiduciary conflicts of interest exist, as they do in the case of Paul Amato.

    And never mind that we also have smoked out Witherspoon Institute Program Director W. Bradford Wilcox as a peer reviewer. Wilcox was closely involved with Regnerus in all stages of the NFSS. He collaborated on study design, design collection and analysis (and be it noted, he has no training or experience in LGBT sciences). In August, 2011, before NFSS data collection occurred, Wilcox and Regnerus traveled with Witherspoon money to Colorado where they met for a full day with Focus on the Family's Glenn Stanton to discuss NFSS promotions in anti-gay-rights contexts. Regnerus then reported back to Witherspoon President Luis Tellez "We have a good plan moving forward." N.B. — that study promotions planning was done BEFORE data collection occurred, and then later Wilcox did peer review of Regnerus's paper from the study.

  • 5. Scott_Rose  |  November 15, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Be it additionally noted that editor James Wright knowingly published a lie from Regnerus, namely Regnerus's lie about his funders having played no role in the design and data analysis of the study.

    In August, 2012, Wright was shown definitive documentation showing that that was a lie. It was sent to him via e-mail, snail mail return receipt requested, and several voice mails were left for him, as was a live phone message with his department secretary.

    Despite all of that, Regnerus repeated his same lie in his follow-up paper in Wright's November, 2012 issue.

    Wright has knowingly participated in efforts deliberately to mislead the public about the NFSS.

  • 6. Scott_Rose  |  November 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    One of the documents I obtained through Public Information Act requests to Regnerus's University of Texas at Austin had Witherspoon Program Director W. Bradford Wilcox telling Regnerus that he should omit from his findings anything about the responses he received to his study survey's questions about abortion because, according to Wilcox, including the responses about abortion would be "too much of a red flag" that the study was coming from a place of right wing Catholic rejection of gays and gay rights.

  • 7. Paul  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Will they get more than just a slap on the wrist "Well, be more ethical next time."?

  • 8. KTH  |  November 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Regnerus, as a member of the ASA is free to do more so called "peer reviewed research" with unfettered access to what may be unlimited funding from right wing supporters. Lacking main stream credibility, the audience and market for for LBGT junk science appears to remain insatiable.

  • 9. Lying for the Lord  |  November 19, 2013 at 8:01 am

    "In research matters, a perception of bias is as significant as actual bias." This shows poor scholarship and discredits him among peers and scientific community. This is cost of the business of poor scholarship. The real audience however, is right wing conservatives, with deep pockets for more "research" like this. NFSS is now being used around the world and has provided a great return on the $800k investment. Wright may have to tighten up the peer review process and CYA a little better. Perhaps before the next Gays Are Bad study to come out about the time DOMA's section 2 is challenged at SCOTUS.

  • 10. bayareajohn  |  November 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Any updates, anyone? I can't find a reference in the news since the Nov 13 order. Is UCF still stonewalling?

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  • 14. bayareajohn  |  March 6, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Is UCF still defying the Court to hide Regnerous email? No news anywhere in 3 months? Hello?

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