Over at The American Prospect, E. J. Graff asks…
Regnerus knows what he did. He set up a study that would make it seem that anyone who ever slept with someone of the same sex hurts their children by doing so. Instability is well known to be harder on children than stability. Decades of research are clear on this: Children do better with parents who stay together and have relatively low-conflict relationships than they do in high-conflict structures. The new parenting studies that are trying to measure whether the gender of your parent’s partner matters are following families where same-sex parents are together from the beginning – and comparing them with families whose different-sex parents are together from the beginning. That’s how you tease out the effect of gender from the effect of instability. Regnerus did the opposite.
Regnerus is smart enough to know this. He did one thing while purporting to do another. He compared fidelity with adultery. He compared stability with instability. Then, in Slate, he said he was comparing different-sex parenting with same-sex parenting—conflating the effect of family explosion with the effect of parental sexual orientation.
Anyone who can write the words, “Liberal War On Science” in anything other then the purest irony is a bigger asshole then even the right wing culture warriors who are have been engaged in just that thing for decades now. But never mind. The reason William Saletan is defending Mark Regnerus’ right to defame loving families is because he’s exactly the same sort of double talking faker Regnerus is.
In the article above E. J. Graff points out in sickening detail how Regnerus talks out of both sides of his mouth; first admitting his data does not say anything about same-sex households, then when in friendly territory (like…oh…Slate…) saying he’s proven the conventional wisdom about same-sex families is terribly wrong and that children of same-sex parents have suffered devastating effects from being raised in such households. Never mind that it’s flatly untrue his data shows any such thing…in the he-said/she-said journalmalist world of William Saletan talking out of both sides of your mouth isn’t a sign of untrustworthiness, but the highest sort of journalmalistic integrity. It’s people who insist that facts matter who are the creepy untrustworthy ones. Saletan comes to Regnerus’ defense because he sees a soul mate…someone who knows that there are no facts just opinions, truth is whatever someone says it is, and people who frown on playing fast and loose with the evidence are dangerous ideologues. Maybe even dirty fucking hippies.
That Mark Regnerus spent nearly a million right wing dollars on an anti-gay hit piece is just a matter of opinion. Like the humanity of gay people is just a matter of opinion. These are controversial matters…no one has a monopoly on the truth…and especially not gay people when it comes to the truth of their own lives. We must respect both sides… Saletan understands him perfectly.