Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Red flags abound

I do scan some of my regular gay news sources each evening, along with checking my email. So I know the Ugandan Parliament is in a tizzy trying to pass a new version of the Anti-Homosexual Act that their Constitution Court recently nullified. More here.

And I also learned Mark Regnerus has a new study out. He was the researcher who created a study to “prove” gays are unfit parents and who was thoroughly discredited in Michigan's same-sex marriage case earlier this year. This new study isn't in any peer-reviewed journal and doesn't contain any of the methodology details such a journal would require. So red flags abound. The study does include some words of caution on how to interpret the results. But the handy-dandy chart that the Fundies are going to pass around doesn't include those cautions.

Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin decided to take the basic data seriously – for a moment – and see what kind of craziness the conclusion claims. Regnerus reports on attitudes of various groups of people on topics, such as cohabitation before marriage, contraception, abortion rights, easy divorce, and pornography, also known by Fundies as Very Bad Things (note how many of them relate to sex). Then he matches those opinions up against opinions on same-sex marriage and … Gosh! Allow people to think same-sex marriage is OK and they'll go on to believe all sorts of things are permissible!

I can hear my friend and debate partner muttering, yup, he's confused correlation with causation. As in some people may have concluded contraception is just fine long before they reached the same conclusion on same-sex marriage.

Burroway's conclusion: Those who oppose marriage equality are likely to be busybodies who know how other people are supposed to live their lives.

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