Reject Regnerus

[Regarding a column by Travis Knoll, which ran Nov. 28 titled “Revisit Regnerus.”] I think it’s nice that you and Regnerus got together and chatted. That’s what civilized people can do. I do have to take issue with some of your “new thinking” on this matter.

Please don’t succumb to the belief that two opposite but equally moral points of view are in play here; they’re not. There is an agenda in this country to maintain a legal and social imbalance between straight and gay people, for no valid public policy reason. Please don’t lend legitimacy to the absurd notion that there is a real discussion going on.

The controversial Social Sciences Research article that got him dumped on by his colleagues and peers makes conclusions that are not based on the data set he collected and which were outrageous. For example, he claims that the children of gay fathers are far more likely to consider suicide than the children of straight fathers. That insidious claim is completely unsupported by his data. He could, however, make the claim that the children of fathers who had an adulterous same-sex affair outside of their marriages to a woman and who ended up getting divorced from that woman are more likely to consider suicide. To wit, we don’t know if it’s the gay father, the affair or (most likely) the breakup of the family that lead to thoughts of suicide. Regnerus bundled together a heap of bad variables, and wants to blame only one of them, “having a gay father,” for all the trouble. Shoddy research conclusion, to be charitable.

Regnerus has been neither ostracized nor censored. He has been roundly criticized for making outrageous, absurd and false observations about a specific minority group, observations unsupported by his data. I suspect he’s been surprised by the backlash he’s gotten. But it’s well deserved. He’s not a victim here; he’s a perpetrator.

— Jeffery M. Davis
Royal Oak, Michigan